Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Judging Event Timeline conflict with Event Partner Event Timeline pertaining to Interviews & Opening Ceremonies

Eric Schnurr (Event Partner)

I attended an event earlier this season where interviews started shortly after inspections opened, well before the opening ceremonies. This was the first time I had encountered this at a tournament. I then found out later on that there were multiple teams in interviews during the opening ceremonies and during the Driver's Meeting, so those teams were kept from attending and participating in the opening ceremony and driver's meeting. This struck me as wrong, so I turned to the Judges Guide to see what it said. Under the "Typical In-Person Event Timeline" Heading, for in-person judging, there's a sample timeline that has the following text under the Judges Column:

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. Notebooks can also start being evaluated at this time.

This column is shown in parallel to "Check-in, Inspection, Opening Ceremonies / Event Meeting", which indicates that it is ok for teams to be in interviews and miss the opening ceremonies and event meeting.

Going to the Event Partner Guide, Sample Agenda 1 & 2 for VRC / VEX U One-Day Tournament Agendas shows Judging not starting until after the Event Meeting, not in parallel to the Event Meeting.

Which one of these is correct? Is it ok for a team to miss the opening ceremonies and event meeting due to being in an interview? And can the EP and Judging Guides sample schedules be sync'd up with each other?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Answered by Competition Judging Committee

Event Partners have broad latitude with how the agenda for the day unfolds. Judge Advisors also have broad latitude with how judging is scheduled.

With that in mind, we would recommend that teams all be present for the Event Meeting / Opening Ceremonies. Those are usually not very long, minimizing the amount of work judges can do during that time, and the content of the meeting is useful for all participants to hear.