Categories

Teams participate in all four FIRST LEGO League Challenge categories

Overview

During the preparation for FIRST LEGO League Challenge you will look at the areas Robot, Research and Core Values.

On the tournament day judges and referees are scoring you in the following four categories:

  • Robot Game
  • Research
  • Robot Design
  • Core Values

NEW starting with the 2020/21 season:
Instead of the previous category Teamwork there is now the category Core Values. For the categories Research, Robot Design and Core Values there is only one combined juding session. It takes 35 minutes in total, coaches and spectators are allowed during the entire time. There is an unique evaluation sheet for every category, you can download the sheets here. Take a look at the detailed flowchart for the juding session:

At the awarding ceremony at the end of the tournament day, all teams will receive certificates and medals in recognition of their achievements. The best teams of the categories will receive awards.

NEW starting with the 2020/21 season: One team can only win one award. If it already won the first place in one category, a team can only be awarded second place at a maximum in other categories. The exceptions are the awards for Robot Game and Coaching:Teams that have won in these categories, can receive another award.

The evaluation sheets filled out by the jury for each category serve as a basis for the rankings, but not as a mathematical calculation of the rankings.

The highlight of the awards ceremony is the announcement of the FIRST LEGO League Challenge Champion. This award is given to the team that shows the best results overall in all categories. The points from the categories Robot Game, Research, Robot Design and Core Values are equally weighted in the overall ranking.

For your preparation for the tournaments we have put together a lot of resources here, e.g. tips on how to get connected with other teams of the season video for the referees.

Robot Game

Ahead of the tournament day

In the preparation phase you will design and program a robot based on the LEGO MINDSTORMS system (RCX, NXT, EV3, Robot Inventor) or LEGO SPIKE Prime. The task of the robot is to solve as many missions on the Challenge playing mat autonomously as possible and to collect points.

On the tournament day
  • On the day of the tournament, each team will compete in three preliminary rounds of a Robot Game match of 2:30 minutes each.
  • In the tournament, two game tables are always placed next to each other – with the starting zones diagonally opposite each other. This means that two teams compete in a match at the same time.
  • When it's your team's turn, the two team members who operate the robot at the table have to go to the tournament table. The rest of the team stays in the spectator area.
  • At the tournament table the referees have the responsibility and the team members follow the instructions of the referees.
  • At the end of the match, the referees record the state on the playing field in a printed evaluation sheet or electronically via tablet with the two team members who are at the table.
  • Your team's best preliminary round match will be included in the evaluation for the FIRST LEGO League Challenge Champion.
  • After the three preliminary rounds, the four or eight teams repectively that scored the most points in a preliminary round match will be announced. These teams then compete again in the semi-finals or quarter-finals of the Robot Game. Only one round is played in the quarter- and semi-finals. It is the score that determines how far you get, not a knockout system.
  • In the two rounds of the final, the two teams will compete that have won in the semi-finals against other teams.

The winner of the category "Robot Game" is the team that can achieve the most points in the two rounds of the final.

The award "Robot-Game"
  • Winner of the category "Robot Game" is the team that scored the most added points in the two rounds of the final.


Here you can the scoring sheet, building instructions and an excerpt of the Robot Game Rulebook for the 2020/21 RePLAY season:

In this video for the Robot Game missions for the RePLAY season you can see exactly which missions there are and how they are scored.

Research

Ahead of the tournament day

Here are the steps to prepare:

  • Learn about the topic: Try to learn as much as possible about the topic in general before you commit to a specific topic. Use different sources such as the internet, books, newspapers, interviews with experts, etc.
    Use the time before the kick-off (mission publication) to research the topic of the year before you get detailed information about the research project.
  • Find a research question: Make a list of different topics that interest you. Select a topic from this list. Think together about a problem related to the topic. Use it to formulate your research question. Now find out as much as possible about that particular topic.
  • Work out an innovative solution: Work out an innovative solution to the problem you have chosen – a solution that makes life easier by improving something that already exists, by using something that exists differently, or by inventing something completely new.
  • Share your results with others: Once you have a plan for your solution, share it with others! For example, introduce your research and your solution to people who will benefit from it. Or you can present it to the experts who helped you. Think about who else might be interested in your solution. Consider someone who can give you good feedback. Accepting good suggestions and making improvements is part of the development process. Don't be afraid to present your ideas – if it gives you helpful feedback.
    Find a creative way to present your research project and solution. Your presentation can be supported by different formats: Posters, pictures, models, multimedia, your research material etc. Be creative, but don't forget to include all important information in the presentation.
On the tournament day - NEW INFORMATION
  • Starting with the 2020/21 season you will present your Research, Robot Design and Core Values in one combined judging session to the jury. This session takes 35 minutes and takes place in a room. This is new, up until now there were three separate sessions.
  • Read the flowchart about the judging session that is available for download on this site carefully. You will see: Research is the first category during the judging session.
  • Your presentation must not be longer than 5 minutes! It should be short, to the point and memorable. In order to treat all teams fairly, jurors will stop presentations that are longer than 5 minutes.
  • You have various options for the presentation, e.g. formal lectures, role-plays, parodies and much more. The jury members make sure that more than just one member of the team has done research work.
  • It is important that your presentation includes and reflects all parts of the assignment (find a research question, come up with an innovative solution and share your findings with others).
  • Please note: The judges can only judge what they hear!
  • After the presentation, the judges will ask you a few more questions about your research.

At most regional tournaments, the three best teams in the category research present their project again publicly on the big stage in the afternoon. Here the teams and the spectators have the opportunity to see very good research projects and possibly learn something from them for next year.

The award "Research"
  • The award for the categoy "Research" will go to the team, which, through high-quality research, a innovative solution and a creative presentation, demonstrates the deepest understanding of the various disciplines and aspects associated with the research assignment.


You will find the exact tasks for your research in the team documents (team guide and engineering notebook), which the coaches can download in their coach account. Get inspired by the Robot Game missions and the project ideas in the team documents.

Robot Design

Ahead of the tournament day
  • Before the robot can solve the Robot Game tasks, you have to build and program the robot.
  • Collect ideas for the construction of the robot and create several concepts for the robot's base and attachments.
  • Plan and build several prototypes to try out different ideas and then implement the best ideas for the actual robot.
On the tournament day - NEW INFORMATION
  • Starting with the 2020/21 season you will present your Research, Robot Design and Core Values in one combined judging session to the jury. This session takes 35 minutes and takes place in a room. This is new, up until now there were three separate sessions.
  • Read the flowchart about the judging session that is available for download on this site carefully. You will see: Robot Design is the second category during the judging session.
  • Prepare an oral explanation about the construction, programming and strategy of your robot. This report must not be longer than five minutes! The jury will stop longer explanations, so that all teams have the same chance.
  • It is exciting for the judges to learn about the construction process or to find out what you are most proud of in the robot and if there are parts that need improvement. The use and selection of sensors is another interesting aspect. In the document about the Robot Design explanation that is available to download below, we are giving you tips for that explanation.
  • At some tournaments you can show the jury a trial run of your robot on the Challenge field. Choose specific missions and do not show a full match. The trial run needs to take place within your five minutes. You can find out, if there is a Robot Game table available for the judging session on the respective site of your tournament.
  • After your explanation, the judges will ask you some questions about your robot.
 
The award "Robot Design"
  • The robot that is chosen for the award "Robot Design", impresses the jury with an innovative and robust design as well as with kreative and efficient programming.
    • Innovative design: The ability to create a creative design or innovative strategy. Because the tasks should be mastered in the most original way possible.
    • Robust design: Correct mechanical principles should be understood and applied. For this purpose the most solid, reliable and persistent robot must be built.
    • Programming: Correct programming principles should be understood and applied. The children and young people should develop a lot of creativity and efficiency in programming.


In this document you can find tipps for your five-minute Robot Design explanation, e.g. about the aspects that the jury finds most interesting. It helps you to prepare well for this part of the jury session.

Core Values

All FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams, coaches, mentors and organizers know the FIRST Core Values and act according to them. They describe our way of working together, which is characterized by respectful cooperation.

  • Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.

  • Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.

  • Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.

  • Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.

  • Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.

  • Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
Ahead of the tournament day
  • Respecting each other and accepting differences, discovering new talents and ideas, working creatively and persistently, applying and improving what you have learned, working together and having fun at work are among the core values of FIRST LEGO League Challenge and make a good team.
  • Make sure that you put these core values into practice during the preparation period and during the day of the tournament.
  • Set your own goals with regard to your participation.
    • The goal for rookie teams should be to participate in a regional tournament after the preparation period, even if not all tasks have been completed.
    • From the second season on, teams usually set more specific goals. Write down your goals so that you can check at the end of the season to see if the goals you set have been met. Goals for teams can be, for example: learning together, working and finding solutions, sharing experiences and knowledge with others, showing respect and fairness.
On the tournament day - NEW INFORMATION
  • Starting with the 2020/21 season you will present your Research, Robot Design and Core Values in one combined judging session to the jury. This session takes 35 minutes and takes place in a room. This is new, up until now there were three separate sessions.
  • Read the flowchart about the judging session that is available for download on this site carefully. You will see: Core Values is the third category during the judging session.
  • You cannot prepare for this category in the traditional sense. Rather, it is important that you have already internalized the FIRST core values in the preparation time and live them.
  • NEW starting with the 2020/21 season: There is no team task anymore. The jury will ask you questions to get into a conversation with you. It is about your experiences and your teamwork during the entire season.
The award "Core Values"
  • The award in the "Core Values" category goes to the team that has shown the greatest enthusiasm, the best sporting spirit, the most extraordinary respect for its own team members and the most support for other teams in the competition.

Coaching

NEW starting with the 2020/21 season

Hurray for our coaches and co-coaches!

With the award for the best coaching we honour the best coach or coaching team. The nomination is made by the team on the day of the tournament using a form. On this form you will have to write a reason and convince the jury why exactly your coaches deserve the award. Be creative and show us what makes the very best coaches.

The whole jury decides on this award. There is no separate evaluation for this.

FIRST LEGO League Challenge Champion

This trophy is given for the overall success of the team and for the implementation of the FIRST LEGO League Challenge values. It includes the four core elements of the competition: Robot Game, Research, Robot Design and Core Values. All categories are counted equally into the overall ranking.

The ranking for the FIRST LEGO League Champion is created mathematically by the results of the evaluation sheets. In case of a tie between two or more teams, the jury decides in a joint session which team will receive the award. The rankings in the individual categories are then discussed and the awards allocated.

Please note: The basis for the evaluation of the Robot Game in regards to the Champion is the score of the best match from the three preliminary rounds. Therefore, a team does not necessarily have to qualify for the final rounds of the Robot Game to become FIRST LEGO League Challenge Champion.

Evaluation Sheets

For all FIRST LEGO League Challenge tournaments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the same evaluation sheets are used by the jury and the same referee sheets are used by the referees at the Robot Game.