Townview Qualifier 2017Tags: journal, tips, connect, and motivate
This past weekend, Iron Reign hosted a 28-team qualifier at Townview Magnet Center. Many of us attend the School of Science and Engineering inside Townview, so it was familiar territory and made the whole experience a little easier. We were lucky enough to host a Scrimmage as practice for our actual qualifier. Weeks of preparation and anticipation paid off when the FTC Affiliate Partner for North Texas told us it was "the best run qualifier this season," and the North Texas Judge Advisor, Freidrich Elliot, called it the "best judging panel he's ever seen." Unlike most posts in our blog, this post's purpose is not to give a play-by-play. You can take a look at how the day went on our instagram. We want to use our experience as an opportunity to help out other teams who may be hosting a qualifier.
- It is very important to manage your volunteers. We had volunteer coordinators for every task, like a match queueing coordinator or inspection coordinator.
- Our PTSA was kind enough to donate food as a fundraiser. However, a lot of it was left over and wasted because it was perishable. Our recommendation is be careful in the amount of perishable food you make.
- Make a playlist using FIRST-approved songs ahead of time or use the one we used. Thanks to Roaheen Neil Mansuri on Spotify!
- Take notice of which teams queue on their own, which teams need lots of reminding, and other general manners. You and your volunteers may be asked by the judges, as we were, which teams were the best to work with.
- This may seem obvious to some, but if you cannot find a team, they are likely at the practice field.
- If possible, build two fields (in addition to the practice field). It helps immensely with time management and is part of the reason our qualifier went so well.
- Competing in a qualifier, much less running one, makes everyone a little high-strung. The most important tip we can give is to be understanding of everyone there. We all understand how much FTC means to many and it can cause some to be less considerate than normal. People standing in others' way or not queueing is not helpful, but it is nothing to lose temper over. Try to give people some kindness in a stressful day, whether you're participating or facilitating.
- Closely related to the last point, be sure to thank people. Tell your volunteers and teams that you appreciate them being there!
A big thank you to Karina for volunteering even though she was sick. We had so much help from Townview parents and students that made this qualifier successful. The entire event would not have been successful without the support and sponsorship of DISD.