Tournament Prep

The Core Values Poster and the Robot Design Executive Summary are required only at the State Championship.

Be sure to bring:


Basic Tournament Schedule
Actual times will be different for each  individual tournament! Contact your tournament director for more details!

8:00 Begin Check in

Teams and guests trickle in, and set up their pit areas. Candy is traded, buttons are given out, coopertition at it’s best!

9:00-12:00 Team Interviews (Details…)

During this time, everyone will circulate around the pit area, viewing projects, showing off their robots, and practicing. Teams are called up to their three judges sessions throughout this period.

12:00-12:30 Opening Ceremony

Ever seen the Olympics? It’s like that, but 1,000 times more awesome.

12:30-3:45 Robot Competition  (Details…)

4:00-4:30 Closing Ceremony

Teams are awarded, volunteers are recognized, and we close out the day with a bang!


Check out this video for a quick trip through the day.

Judging Session FAQ (Courtesy of Jake Fischer of Oshkosh)

Q: What do we need to prepare for the Core values session?
A: Besides your team, a positive attitude, good communication skills and a plan for who on the team answers what question topics is all you need.  You do not need to bring a poster or presentation materials.  The session will be focused on an activity that the judges will observe and a few questions after the activity.

Q: What do we need for the Robot Design session?
A: We encourage you to bring your robot, be prepared to show all the cool things you can do that are unique or effective.  If you want to show the software judge what you have done, we suggest brining a laptop with the code, or printouts that the judge can keep. Note that we do not have extension cords or power supplies, so the method you choose needs to be mobile.  Any documentation in your process, design choices or testing that the judges can keep is great.

Q: How much time do I have with the judges?
A: You will have exactly 10 minutes to interact with the judges starting at the beginning of your time slot.  This is why it is important to be on time.  For the Project presentation, you will have 5 minutes to setup and deliver your presentation.  This time begins when you enter the door at the beginning of the time slot.  The intention is that you are ready to go when you enter the door.  The last 5 minutes of each session is meant for interaction with the judges with a Q&A type format.


    • The judges love having stuff they can keep, especially documentation on how you have made decisions and what the results were.
    • Review and prepare against the judging rubrics available on the FLL site:  Oshkosh (and the rest of the FLL world) will be using this judging criteria.  It’s the best kept publicly available to everyone secret in FLL!
    • You can find the rubrics at:

Robot Game Details (Lifted DIRECTLY from Central Valley Robotics’ Wiki)

 One of the core components of the FLL Challenge is the Robot Game. This is the where your team’s robot will compete against the clock to score as many points as possible in the 2 and 1/2 minute match. Each team has at least 3 tries at the table to get the most points possible. The highest score from the day is the one that counts. Ties are settled by the next highest score.

The tables are setup in adjacent pairs as seen in the figure at the right. You team will run head to head against another team during your match. Some tournaments will have more than one pair of tables and may alternate tables for each match. Be sure to check out the Tournaments page on our website for more information about the number of table pairs at the event.

The Five Parts of Robot Performance

The remainder of this section is separated into the five sections of any robot performance match.


Team should arrive at the dedicated queue area about 1-2 matches before their scheduled match. (This equates to about 7-10 minutes depending on the event schedule). For events with multiple table pairs, the queue area may be roped off into separate lines for each table pair. Only Coaches and Team Members will be allowed into the queuing area. Parents and other guests must view from the designated spectator area. Teams will wait in the queuing area until they are called to the table by the Referee.

For tournaments using the Coach Badges, they MUST be worn in the queuing area. Only adults wearing the Coach Badge will be allowed in the queuing area.

Approaching the TableRobot Game Table Layout

Teams are allowed to bring the following to the table:

  • One robot in compliance with all the FLL Rules.
  • (optional) A box to use to store items outside of base.
  • (optional) A TV tray to set the box on.

Do NOT bring the following:

  • Another robot (other than the one you plan to use).
  • A computer (programming must be done in the pits)
  • Any mission models. You must use the ones provided at the table.

Only two team members may be at the table at any given time (even before and after the match). The rest of the team must stand behind a designated line (about 3-5 feet from the table). Coaches may not approach the table before, during, or after a match unless to help the team move bulky/large equipment before/after a match (IE: the TV tray or a large box).

Before the Match

The team should get their robot and all materials set up on the table and get ready to go. Teams will have at least one minute to get everything good to go, but may have more time depending on the schedule of the event.

Tables are set up by the Table Setters at the tournament. While they try to set it up to the best of their ability, they are still human and may make mistakes. It is crucial that the team verifies the setup of the field. In the event they feel there is a discrepancy, then the must notify the Referee BEFORE the match starts. Teams are not allowed to touch the field outside of base, except as described in the rules. Once the match starts, the field cannot be changed even if it was setup wrong.

The match starts at the end of the countdown sequence. Here in the Central Valley, we use the countdown “3. 2. 1. LEGO!” Per the FLL rules, the official start of the match is defined as the moment the first syllable of “LEGO” is spoken.

Please try to keep any official mission models on the table in view of the Referee. This will help prevent your team from accidently carrying them off with you and make sure the Referee scores them properly.

During the Match

The match lasts for 2.5 minutes. During the time only two team members are allowed at the table (three in the event of a catastrophic robot failure). Team members at the table may swap out with team members in the line. Members may also hold equipment back in line to assist with their upcoming mission.

Teams will run their robot on the field for the duration of the 2.5 minute match. The robot may return as many times as necessary to base and team members may only interact with the robot in base. Interacting with the robot outside of base is not allowed and maybe subject to penalties as described in the Challenge Rules.

The match ends right when the buzzer sounds and the Referee scores the field in this state. Any modifications to the field after the buzzer sounds are ignored.

After the Match

Once the buzzer sounds, only two team members will remain behind with the referee. The rest of the team (including coaches) must head to the Team Waiting Area to wait for the two team members at the table. The team should take as much of their supplies as possible with them (IE: box of materials, TV tray, etc). Anything on the table should be left alone until the Referee clears the table for reset. Be sure not to take any Mission Models with you!

The Referee will score the field. The team should not touch the robot or the field unless instructed by the Referee. Once the Referee finishes scoring the table, he/she will go over the score sheet with the team. Once the team members initial the score sheet, the score is considered final and the referee will clear the field for reset. The team members at the table will collect their remaining materials and rejoin their team.

The Head Referee

Teams with any comments or questions regarding their match should consult with the Head Referee(s) for the tournament. Only student team members may talk with the Head Referee. The Head Referee’s job is to ensure consistency and fairness throughout the competition. Any decisions made by the Head Referee are considered final.