SEM Robotics Tournament
By Coach and Bhanaviya
Qualifying Tournament needs Volunteers!
Iron Reign (team 6832), The School of Science and Engineering and the Dallas ISD STEM Department are happy to announce that we are hosting our third annual FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament at our Townview campus on December 14th. Thirty Two North Texas robotics teams will compete for awards plus approximately 4 or 5 advancements to the Regional Championship to be held in February, and 4 advancements to the Wildcard Qualifer for another chance.
This is the third time our school has hosted an official qualifying tournament and we will need your help to make it a first-rate experience. This is a full day event on Saturday, December 14. There are also options to help with setup Friday afternoon December 13. Please feel free to circulate this message to everyone in the SEM community who can contribute their time and expertise. And if you can suggest a business that might want to sponsor the event, we'll be happy to talk with them.
One group of volunteers that support the running of robot matches include referees, score keepers, inspectors, field managers. Some of these roles require training and certification and we will generally draw from mentors already involved in FTC. Other roles supporting match play do not require training and include field management, pit management and queue management.
Another group of volunteers will support judging of teams for awards. Judges can be drawn from industry or academia and can have an engineering background or a general business backround in a technology industry. Judges assess the merits of teams' robots, their engineering process and journal, their strategic decisions, team dynamics and outreach. Judges will be led by a Judge Advisor, but will need to understand the awards criteria ahead of time.
Another group of volunteers will support the event overall. This includes team registration, crowd control, DJ, photography, A/V support, floaters, runners, concessions, load-in/load-out crew, etc.
This is just a summary of the most common roles, but there are many specialty roles. Full volunteer info can be found here.
For some roles it helps to understand the run-of-show for the day
How to sign up as a volunteer
FIRST is the governing body of these competitions and they have a volunteer sign up system so that we can assure that all roles are filled by vetted volunteers. We are trying to get all volunteers processed through this system. It does involve creating a FIRST account if you have not previously done so.
Please sign up for as many roles as you feel comfortable fulfilling. We may need to be flexible with assignments depending on who is available and which roles can be fulfilled by our regional managing partner. Students may volunteer for certain roles and as event hosts, Iron Reign team members will be supporting the event throughout the day.
To begin, go to the volunteer signup page for our event:
If you have not previously registered with FIRST, you'll need to sign up / register and activate your account first. Then you can go back to the link above and indicate your preferences. We truly need your help and look forward to working with you to create a great tournament for our students. We hope this event will showcase SEM as the premiere home for future scientists and engineers.
All our Thanks,
Karim Virani and Cathy Lux
7:00 Doors open for volunteers
7:30-8:30 Teams arrive, register and load their robots and gear into the pit areas
- 9:00 - 10:30 Teams present their robots to Judges for the awards competition. They also get their robots inspected and approved for the robot game
- 10:30 Opening ceremonies and then qualifying matches of the robot game begin. Judges are observing teams in their pits and on the competition field
- Noon - Lunch will be provided for the teams and volunteers. Judges share information with each other about the teams they interviewed.
- Afternoon - qualifying matches continue until each team has competed 5 times. There are 4 robots per match and we'll have two alternating competition fields to speed things up.
- Mid-to-late afternoon is Alliance Selection, top teams from qualifying rounds will build alliances to compete in the elimination / playoff rounds. Judges continue deliberating.
- Playoff rounds usually take a bit over an hour
- Closing Ceremonies and Awards
- Pack up fields and equipment
We plan to end the tournament by 5:30pm, but events often run long. All volunteers are encouraged to stay until the end of the tournament - it's at the awards ceremony where it becomes clear how much your service matters. But it's not required if your role is completed earlier in the day.