All questions and answers
As the coach, do I have to know how to program the LEGO® robots myself?
No. It’s not difficult to pick up the basics of the MINDSTORMS software, and it’s up to the team members to find the information they need to complete the challenges.
The latest version of the LEGO® Mindstorms software has a Getting Started section with very useful lessons.
Download the latest version of the software.
My team are new and don’t think they’ll be ready to compete at the tournament. Can we pull out?
As long as your team have made an effort at tackling the project and robot game in the spirit of the Core Values, they will learn a lot from attending the tournament and will enjoy the day. The aim of the tournament is to celebrate the work that the students have done. All tournament staff will be working hard to make sure that there is a positive, encouraging atmosphere, so whether the team win an award or not they should come away feeling good about their work. If they’ve enjoyed working on the challenges and have fun at the tournament then you will have completed a successful first year in FIRST® LEGO® League, and should be well placed to go again next season!
An award in a FLL tournament can only be won by teams that have participated in all 4 evaluations (Research, Robot Design, Teamwork and Robot Game). Qualification for a further tournament is also only possible for these teams.
What if parts of the challenge set are missing?
You can reorder any missing parts or entire packages that are missing for free from LEGO.
If you followed this link, click on “Missing Bricks” and then give the set number. The 5-digit set number can be found in the top left of the package sticker on your challenge set.
You can also easily order missing bags from the LEGO® customer service at the following free telephone number:
00800 5346 5555
LEGO® Customer Service staff speak several languages.
At the regional tournament, which team will qualify in the Robot Game after the 3 preliminary rounds, when 2 teams have the same score in their best match?
If 2 teams have the same score in their best match in the Robot Game after the 3 preliminary rounds, the scores of the second best preliminary or – if there is also the same number of points – the third best preliminary round of both teams will be compared. The team with the higher score qualifies.
If 2 teams always score the same number of points in the 3 preliminary rounds, a play-off will be run (1 match).
What awaits me regarding the evaluation software?
Please note: The evaluation software is only available in English. So preferably you familiarize yourself with the English terms of the Robot Game, so you can follow and understand the referees what they type in their tablets at the evaluation of the match.
Does the presentation of the research project have to be presented in the respective local language?
The language at the regional tournament is based upon the respective local language (at a regional tournament in Germany, the language is German, at a regional tournament in Poland, the language is Polish). The background is that the parameters should be the same for all participants.
This applies for all evaluations, presentations, interviews with the judges and for the presentation of the regional tournament.
What happens with robots which are built with the aid of a construction manual?
Teams who build a robot with the aid of a construction manual must expect the robot not to be rated as the team’s own creative achievement in the category robot design.
At this point, it should also be noted that the circulating construction manuals often refer only to basic robots that meet the specific requirements of the actual season only inadequate.
So: no plagiarisms! Because what counts in the category robot design is the team’s creative achievement at programming and design!
What is the maximum score that can be achieved with the robot game?
We asked our partner FRIST for the maximum number of points to be reached. The maximum number of points is not calculated by FIRST, so that this number will not discourage anyone from taking part in the competition or deterring anyone. Accordingly, the total score is not published.
Is it possible to become a junior coach with 17 years?
A team can be supervised by several coaches and / or mentors. But there is only one "official" FLL coach who registers the team and is in contact with us. He/she gets all the important information about the contest and for he/she is the person in charge during the tournament. But he/she can get support and advice from other coaches or mentors. But it is important: coaches and mentors should guide the workflow of your team, but should not proposes any solutions. They should "coach" but stay out of the substantive work of the team. We are delighted to support former team members who wants to be involved with the coach job.
Where can I find the evaluation sheets?
You'll find the evaluation form for each category under the subheading “Evaluation”.
For example, you'll get the evaluation sheet for the category teamwork here: https://www.first-lego-league.org/en/season/teamwork.html#2
Are the FLL tables identical at all tournaments?
Please consider while constructing and programming that there can be variations between different tournaments depending on local conditions. The variations might occure in differenciations in the character of the field borders, lightning conditions, structure/irregularties of the field mat. At many tournaments there is no opportunity to roll out the mats early enough so that they might be a little bit wavy. Place and severity of waves can vary.
Hint: There are two important construction techniques to minimize differences in illumination:
1. Avoid control systems containing something that might rub on the mat.
2. Hide light sensors from ambient light.
Questions according the local conditions at regional tournaments can be posed directly to the local organiser. Please find there contact dates on the regional websites.
Are there any consequenses if a team does not prepear a research project? What will happen when a team misses the target of the research project?
A FLL team should take part in all categories of evaluation. When a team doesn't have a research project (or doesn't take part in another category of evaluation) it could not become a FLL Champion and will not be evaluated. in the particular category. All teams should act as the core values told them.
If a team fails the research project it still could be evaluated by the judges for presentation but not for 'research' and not for 'innovative solution'.
Can we pick us any topic we like?
No, the topics are limited to the topics listed in the research project documents.
Do we have to prepare some written material or our presentation in written form for the judges?
No, you don´t have to produce a written material for the judges. Important is the presentation and its content you perform for the judges.
What includes the presentation?
Each team should show on which way they found the specific problem. Show how you researched and came to a soulution for the problem you chose. It is not enough to present only the result.
How much time do we have for the presentation of our research results at a FLL Tournament?
At a FLL Tournament you have 5 minutes time (actual presentation time, not set up time) to present your results to the jury. The manner of presentation is up to you - you can create a role play, use Powerpoint and so on. Give your presentation live - you may use media equipment (if available) but only to enhance the live presentation.
Does the research project has to have a technical approach?
No, the research project does not have to contain a technical approach.
Shall we name our sources? Do the sources have to be part of the presentation or is it sufficient to show them at the end of the presentation?
Yes, a good presentation shows at the latest at the end all the sources the team had worked with during their research project. The sources should also be part of the 5 minutes presentation.
Are we obliged to publish the results ahead of our presentation on the tournament day?
Each team is obliged to publish the results ahead of the tournament. This can happen in several ways: presentation in front of parents, students, teachers or the interviewed experts, write an article or make a website or blog etc. The team should show the form of publishing within their presentation e.g. by a photo.
Is it allowed to clamp a model in a “gripper” before the (re-)start of the robot in the base, which the autonomous robot later opens to deposit the model on the field? The model cannot be lifted after clamping without anything else moving.
Yes. The jamming is not a connection to the robot (D04), because the model should “separate” itself from the robot.
Are things that the autonomous robot transports over the border wall (intentionally or unintentionally) automatically in base?
No. For transport to the base D07 applies. When a thing is transported across the border wall, R15 applies, in other words: It stays outside the base. If it bothers the technicians or referees there, it can be cleared away.
Is it allowed to use a self-programmed interpreter?
Yes – if the interpreter is programmed in one of the allowed programming languages and serves to read text files loaded on the smart stone, this is allowed.
Is it allowed to put things in the base after the (re)launch?
If after the launch (or relaunch) things are still placed in the base and the robot moves or uses them before the next relaunch, this is considered as influencing in the sense of R14.
Everything that should be used or moved must already be in the base before the (re)launch - cf. R13.
Is pneumatics allowed with FLL?
Yes – please note the points R01 and R06 in the Robot Game document.
Is it allowed to use LEGO® DUPLO®?
Yes, it’s allowed to use LEGO® DUPLO® at FLL as equipment (D03/R01).
D06: Does the area between the north of the playing field and the table belong to the playing field?
Yes, this area belongs to the playing field. You'll find more details here. Please ask the regional partner for information, too.
When is an object “totally in” a target area?
The diagrams in rule D7 define “completly in” for the Base but apply for any other target area.
What are the rules for FLL and where can we find them?
With the challenge release at the beginning of August there will be all FLL Rules available online.
THE TEAMS, READING EVERYTHING have fewer questions, have less work, have fewer surprises at the tournament, score higher and have more fun.
Playing Field & Missions
When and how will the missions for the 2019/20 challenge be published?
The publishing date for the challenge is every year in August. The missions for the next season will be published online.
Does the gap between the target on the mat and the border wall also belong to the target?
Yes, the gap between target and border wall also belongs to the target, respectively. So the target is theoretical “extended” to the border wall.
Does the robot return to the Base after each mission?
No, the robot can return to the Base as often as you want. He does not have to do this after every mission. It can also combine several missions. This saves time.
To which model and which task do the white and orange LEGO pieces you've got with the challenge set belong to?
The white “coach'”pieces you'll get with the challenge sets are an accessory for the coach. They can be used as a reference to be a coach during a challange. The orange tool you'll get simplify the separating one Lego piece from another.
Do the areas between the playing field mat and the border walls also belong to the playing field or to the individual target areas?
Yes, the areas up to the border walls also belong to it.
What are the dimensions of the border walls from a Playing Table used during a FLL tournament?