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Short vs. Long season?

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  • Short vs. Long season?

    For those who have been coaching for more than one year, do you think it's better to have a short season [late summer start] or a longer season [early spring start]?

    Typical teams meet 2-3 times a week for 10-14 weeks. My team had a 24 week season...meeting once to twice a week. All the parents and kids liked the season starting early, but my more competitive kids all wished we had met more often.

    The idea was to have strong kids who often were involved in multiple activities and advanced curriculum. The longer season allowed for better juggling of schedules and a deeper understanding of technical concepts. But my spouse felt that the season was way too long.

  • #2
    Re: Short vs. Long season?

    There's no way my team could start before mid-August. The kids have too many other things going on in the summer.

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    • #3
      Re: Short vs. Long season?

      Our teams typically only have one meeting before the start of school in September. The initial meeting is simply a "building party" to put together the mission models. I think the majority of teams in Minnesota are school-based, and do not meet prior to the beginning of school (which by law in Minnesota, cannot come before Labor day for public schools).

      In Minnesota, the FLL season is a little longer than most other areas. Our regional (qualifying) tournaments start in late November and go well into December. Then the state tournament is held at the end of January. Thus, I think most teams have a season that lasts about 12 weeks, with the advancing teams gaining approximately another 6 weeks in their seasons. Of course, some time is lost due to having the holidays between the regional tournaments and the state tournament.

      We've always ended our seasons after our last tournament, with only an occasional get together in the off-season for a fun activity or demo opportunity.

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      • #4
        Re: Short vs. Long season?

        We're school-based & we don't get our new teams set up until school starts in the fall. We're thinking about having a couple of advanced programming classes this summer for the 5th graders that will be returning, but that's not certain.

        Originally posted by timdavid View Post
        In Minnesota, the FLL season is a little longer than most other areas. Our regional (qualifying) tournaments start in late November and go well into December. Then the state tournament is held at the end of January. Thus, I think most teams have a season that lasts about 12 weeks, with the advancing teams gaining approximately another 6 weeks in their seasons. Of course, some time is lost due to having the holidays between the regional tournaments and the state tournament.
        This is the schedule our region (Kansas/Western Missouri) went to this year; it's a *significantly* shorter season than before (no qualifiers, regional tournament in late February). I'm "interested" to see how the regional championship goes on 1/14, since a lot of the volunteers come from local FRC teams & the 14th is after FRC build season starts. Late February was after build season & therefore easier to staff with high school students.

        Originally posted by timdavid View Post
        We've always ended our seasons after our last tournament, with only an occasional get together in the off-season for a fun activity or demo opportunity.
        We cut back the number of meetings, but we continue to meet weekly. We did LEGO sumo last year & it's been eagerly anticipated this year. This allows us to sneak in some additional learning on the kids, and they love beating the mentors' and coach's robots.
        Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
        KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at kcfllref@gmail.com

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        • #5
          Re: Short vs. Long season?

          We typically meet during the summer to buff up on basic building skills and research preparations but that is usually only bi-monthly. Like dnb said though, the schedules are just way too crazy during the summer to try and have regular meetings. We have a hard enough time finding two days a month where we can have all the kids together.
          Coaching the Flamingos since 2004!
          Team #79 - The Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          https://www.facebook.com/KalamazooFLL
          http://www.KalamazooRobotics.org

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          • #6
            Re: Short vs. Long season?

            Originally posted by someonewhobikes View Post
            This is the schedule our region (Kansas/Western Missouri) went to this year; it's a *significantly* shorter season than before (no qualifiers, regional tournament in late February). I'm "interested" to see how the regional championship goes on 1/14, since a lot of the volunteers come from local FRC teams & the 14th is after FRC build season starts. Late February was after build season & therefore easier to staff with high school students.
            I would LOVE to have a season this long. Our regional was the second Saturday in November and our state tournament was the first Saturday in December.
            Coaching the Flamingos since 2004!
            Team #79 - The Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            https://www.facebook.com/KalamazooFLL
            http://www.KalamazooRobotics.org

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            • #7
              Re: Short vs. Long season?

              I believe a longer season is more beneficial, since there's more time together to build up chemistry. I don't think a shorter season is great, even though you meet about the same amount of times. I believe time away from each other, during the week, is needed to learn. Having 3 per week is not an optimal number.
              How To Reinvent Yourself

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              • #8
                Re: Short vs. Long season?

                I prefer the short seasons. Coaches complain about not having enough time during the short season to try young players, etc. But really, how much of that went on during the long seasons ?

                For the most part, I recall youngsters being brought in sporadically, or only late in the season (weeks 34 - 38) for a few minutes. Was this enough to try out youngsters ?

                Anyway, my biggest complaint about the long season is that basically, coaches played very conservatively. They knew the season is long and so they played not to lose. If they lost 5 or 6 games, their cliched response is always 'well, it's a long season, no need to worry'. Made for some very dull games during the winters. Things only picked up as the liguilla approached.

                The games are much more intense now, week-in and week-out.
                snel afvallen

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                • #9
                  Re: Short vs. Long season?

                  Originally posted by softwind21 View Post
                  I prefer the short seasons. Coaches complain about not having enough time during the short season to try young players, etc. But really, how much of that went on during the long seasons ?

                  For the most part, I recall youngsters being brought in sporadically, or only late in the season (weeks 34 - 38) for a few minutes. Was this enough to try out youngsters ?

                  Anyway, my biggest complaint about the long season is that basically, coaches played very conservatively. They knew the season is long and so they played not to lose. If they lost 5 or 6 games, their cliched response is always 'well, it's a long season, no need to worry'. Made for some very dull games during the winters. Things only picked up as the liguilla approached.

                  The games are much more intense now, week-in and week-out.
                  It sounds like you've from a very different FLL system than we have in the US. The whole event typically runs from September through December, other than for the teams that qualify for a regional (i.e. state) event. So most teams have but one event, not multiple games, then the season is over.
                  FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Short vs. Long season?

                    I think a longer season would be good if the game was announced early. The normal 6-8 weeks is crazy

                    Or maybe just announce the Project early to allow more time for that part of the game?
                    X.K.A.R.'s Teams
                    Xenia Kids And Robots
                    www.xkar.org

                    Team 633 Robotatoes
                    Team 634 Bro-ritos
                    Team 6348 uhhh do you want fries with that

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                    • #11
                      Re: Short vs. Long season?

                      Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                      It sounds like you've from a very different FLL system than we have in the US. The whole event typically runs from September through December, other than for the teams that qualify for a regional (i.e. state) event. So most teams have but one event, not multiple games, then the season is over.
                      Thats true.
                      snel afvallen

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Short vs. Long season?

                        Originally posted by RvRDilemma View Post
                        For those who have been coaching for more than one year, do you think it's better to have a short season [late summer start] or a longer season [early spring start]?

                        Typical teams meet 2-3 times a week for 10-14 weeks. My team had a 24 week season...meeting once to twice a week. All the parents and kids liked the season starting early, but my more competitive kids all wished we had met more often.

                        The idea was to have strong kids who often were involved in multiple activities and advanced curriculum. The longer season allowed for better juggling of schedules and a deeper understanding of technical concepts. But my spouse felt that the season was way too long.
                        Short seasons are always good, since excitement and interest remains live till the end of season.
                        snel afvallen in een week

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