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Coach Interaction?

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  • Coach Interaction?

    Regarding governance of match play- In years past it was stated somewhere that referees and coaches were to not talk with each other during the tournament. Tournaments are time for the team members to show their work, they present to judges, etc.

    Question: Is this still the case? In looking through documents from last year and this year I cannot find our "point to the printing" used for all other decisions.

  • #2
    I would be surprised to hear that it was that draconian. I make a point in action and in my coaches meeting before the tournament that I will speak to the kids first, and only then talk to a coach if needed. And I urge the coaches to do the same: give the kids a chance to make their point, see how it works, and get used to the idea of telling adults they are (might be) wrong.

    But you have to understand, the littler kids are scared of gray hairs, and the tournament is a big loud deal, and expecting them to get their thoughts organized enough without any coach involvement at all is a stretch, especially in the hectic pace of a tournament. So I say I am not opposed to talking to them after. I want them to understand my decisions as much as the kids do.

    At the same time, I insist that they not talk to my table referees, who are mostly just kids themselves, and I don't want them getting heat from adults. I tell the coaches they have to deal with me, or I will take a very dim light on their concerns. And I tell the refs to not get into an argument, just send them to me, that is what I am standing around dressed as a zebra.

    So maybe that is all you remember, but as head ref you should expect to talk to a lot of coaches.
    MA Head Referee since 1999
    Sharon Youth Robotics Association


    • #3
      Is this still the case?
      I've been doing this for a few years now, and I do not recall any such rule, ever.

      Clearly coaches should not go to the referees to discuss the robot game, that is the team's job. But referees are free to talk with the coaches should it be necessary or helpful.
      Last edited by Tom Mosher; 10-08-2019, 11:12 AM.
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.


      • #4
        IMHO, Coaches should not be allowed to talk to the referees? Coaches are not allowed to talk to judges after the teams' presentations. The kids do the work, including communication with the referees. Coaches should not get involved in scoring decisions Period. A big (key) lesson for teams is learning to advocate for themselves.


        • #5
          I frequently will have the coach around when the kids ask a question, and after I've explained my position to the kids, I make sure the coach also understands. Mostly because the coach is more likely to remember the reasons all the way back to their pit. But I don't allow the coach to ask questions or guide the kids while they're presenting their case.

          And, there are occasions where the nature of the discussion isn't the rules, but personalities, and often that's not something the kids should be involved in.
          Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
          KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at [email protected]


          • #6
            I do the same - have a discussion with the team until we're all in agreement, then recap it with the coach as the team packs up their stuff, so we're all on the same page.
            FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.


            • #7
              For me, part of the head referee role is to insulate the table referees and scorekeeper from any drama at any time outside of matches, particularly post-match. Kid controversies or appeals should be handed off to me per R17, and I also get any followup discussions afterward (where I took try to encourage the kids to do as much of the talking as they are able to, but sometimes irate coaches need management).
              QT Head Referee and Southern California RCT Referee (and occasional acting RCT Head Referee/Trainer), 2013-present, + coach, 2011 & 2012