The process of preparing for judging needs to be taken into consideration in the initial stages of event planning. The success of Judging at an event takes coordination between the Event Partner, the Judge Advisor, and Judge volunteers. The size of the event, the number of awards given out, the event agenda, and volunteer recruitment all impact the judging process.
Prior to Event – Tasks by Role
- Recruit a qualified Judge Advisor that would not have any conflicts of interest with teams at the event
- Collaborate with the Judge Advisor to recruit and select Judges well in advance to ensure there are enough Judges to meet the needs of the event
- Ensure that there is a secure and quiet room with adequate space for the judging staff to deliberate. Teams at an event should not have access to this room
- Know and understand the roles of the Judges and the Judge Advisor
- Ensure that the Judging staff has appropriate judging materials, including clipboards, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, copies of current Judging documents such as rubrics and note taking sheets, and other needed items – These documents cannot be modified or replaced with unofficial versions
- Have no conflicts of interest with any teams attending the event
- Review with the Event Partner the awards to be offered at the event
- Work with Event Partner to ensure adequate Judges are recruited and confirm their attendance
- Manage any potential conflicts of interest that individual Judges may have with teams at the event
- Prepare a judging schedule based on the number of teams registered and the agenda for the event
- Formulate a clear process for how Competition Logbooks will be collected and judged
- Confirm with the Event Partner that the Judging staff will have all appropriate and current judging materials and documents, including team lists and match sheets from the event’s Tournament Manager Operator – These documents cannot be modified or replaced with unofficial versions
- Review the game video and game description to understand the fundamentals of the game that teams will be playing
- Communicate any potential conflicts of interest that they may have with teams at the event with the Judge Advisor
- Be familiar with the current judging materials including official judging documentation, rubrics, and award descriptions. These documents cannot be modified or replaced with unofficial versions.
Event Day – Tasks by Role
- Ensure Judging staff have all needed materials and access to the secure Judging Room
- Communicate any schedule changes to the Judge Advisor
- Event Partners may not recommend or assign judged awards to any team. They may recommend or assign awards given to individuals, such as the Volunteer of the Year Award.
- The Event Partner should do a final check to ensure no team is being given more than one judged award – if a team was assigned multiple judged awards, the EP should consult with the Judge Advisor to rectify the situation
- Review the judging process with Judges prior to the start of the event and answer any questions they may have
- Review list of submitted Competition Logbooks
- Ensure Judges sign in on the Judge Volunteer Check-In Sheet
- Group Judges and assign each group a subset of teams to interview, managing potential conflicts of interest. This may be done prior to the event. Judges should not be placed in a position to interview or deliberate for teams with which they have such a conflict
- Assign Judges with pre-existing relationships to each other, or with similar backgrounds, to different Judge groups so that teams are interacting with Judges who have different perspectives and backgrounds
- Manage time and ensure judging groups are keeping pace to interview all teams on schedule
- Lead deliberations for judged awards
- Collect field notes to Judges from event staff prior to final deliberations
- Record the results of all judged awards and transmit the list of award winners to the Event Partner and Tournament Manager operator
- Have the Tournament Manager operator print the award scripts to be used at the award ceremony
- Collect all judging materials to ensure confidentiality. After the event, these materials should be destroyed
- Ensure the process for returning all Competition Logbooks to teams, if applicable
- Conduct one or more tasks depending on the needs at the event, including:
- Evaluate Competition Logbooks using the Competition Logbook Rubric
- Interview teams in the pit areas
- Observe teams in competition
- Present awards to teams during Award Ceremony
- Communicate any potential conflicts of interest with attending teams to the Judge Advisor
- Deliberate with Judges under direction of the Judge Advisor to assign award winners following the guidelines in the official Judging documentation
- Hand in all judging notes and rubrics to the Judge Advisor
- Maintain confidentiality of any Judging deliberations and discussions. Teams should not receive any feedback from Judges, nor should Event Partners be given specific information discussed by Judges
Typical In-Person Event Timeline
The chart below is an example of how the in-person judging process might operate in parallel with the rest of the competition schedule in a typical one-day event.
If Remote Judging is done Competition Logbook evaluations and/or initial team interviews will be done before the event. See that section for more details.
Event Activity: Check-in, Inspection, Opening Ceremonies/Flight Team Meeting, Autonomous Flight, and Qualification Matches.
Teams: Teams check in as present, hand in Competition Logbooks and get inspected.
Teams attend and ask questions at Flight Team Meeting.
Teams compete in Autonomous Flight Matches and are scheduled into Qualification Matches.
Judges/Judge Advisor: Judge Orientation/Begin Interviews Judges organized into groups and assigned to interview teams. Interviews can begin as soon as there are Judges assigned to groups, and any questions about the process have been addressed by the Judge Advisor. Logbooks can also start being evaluated at this time.
Teams will be interviewed during breaks between their matches.
Event Activity: Lunch Break
Teams: If event is running behind, teams may run matches through this time.
Judges/Judge Advisor: Working lunch discussion so far, each pair of judges can name top picks for awards so far. Competition logbooks can also be reviewed at this time.
Event Activity: Qualification Matches
Teams: Teams are scheduled into qualification matches
Judges/Judge Advisor: Finish judging interviews begin final deliberations. Judge advisor should collect the final autonomous flight and qualification rankings from the tournament manager operator, as well as any field notes to judges. If additional interviews are needed, they should be done before qualification matches are over.
Afternoon/End of Day
Event Activity: Alliance Selection/Alliance Pairings, Elimination/Finals Matches, Awards/Closing Ceremonies.
Teams: Teams undergo alliance selection.
Teams play in finals/receive awards. Some events may intersperse awards with finals matches, others may have an awards ceremony afterwards.
Judges/Judge Advisor: Final deliberations. Teams should not be interviewed during this time. Decisions should be made with the data at hand. Once all awards are decided,Judge Advisor takes them to the EP/TM Operator to be put into tournament manager. Any competition logbooks should be returned to teams.
Judge advisor collects and destroys notes and rubrics, clears judging room of any identifying info. Judges may be asked to read award scripts, present awards, or just be visible for teams. EP should plan this beforehand.