March 7th, 2014 By Coaches Mentor


Let’s review the scoring system, which contribute to the overall score for each team—long term, style and spontaneous.

Primary—The primary teams will be scored on the same three elements as the competitive teams—long term, style and spontaneous. Since the program goal at this stage is to have fun while learning about Odyssey, the regional tournament is non-competitive, leeway is given on the ‘limitations and scoring, and the long term scoring is not numbers, but stars. The idea is for the kids to view the stars as success while allowing the coach to see the elements that received more stars as areas where the judges scored higher. Each judge will write one ‘sticky note’ comment for the team. The Spontaneous part of the tournament is scored in the number of answers the team members gave. The ‘sticky notes’ will be read at the awards ceremony at the end of the tournament, when the coach receives the score sheets, each team is recognized, and each team member receives a medal. REMEMBERPrimary teams do not move on to the State tournament—they perform only once, at the regional tournament, and they do not receive a team placement.

Div I, II, III
Each long term problem has two parts –the long term score and the style score. The long term score is worth up to 200 points. The style score is worth up to 50 points. Every team in the same problem in the same division will be evaluated by the same judges on the same point system that has been provided in the problem. Div I teams will be scored and compared ONLY to other Div I teams in that problem at the specific tournament. This is same process is for Div II, and for Div III. There are several groups of judges within the problem who look at the same elements all day. Some will be looking at the long term (and within the long term elements there may be an additional breakdown of judges, depending on the problem scoring for the year). A different set of judges will be judging on the style elements. Style will be scored the same way, except each team will select two original elements, and the overall effect to score. The goal is to make sure the judges can fairly assess all of the scored elements of each team. Long term and style are scored separately. Spontaneous is a separate part of the competition and is worth 100 points. Again, each team in the same problem in the same division will get the exact same problem and scored by the same judges all day.

The team who scores the highest in Long Term, no matter what the score is—will receive a prorated score of 200. Everyone else will receive a percentage score of 200 based on its raw score in relation to the highest raw score. Any penalty points are deducted after scores are calculated. Again, the top scorer in Style will receive 50 points and the teams below will receive a percentage score. The same is true for Spontaneous, except the top scorer will receive 100 points.

Note: You cannot determine what a low or high score is for the day, as each coach receives the score for his team, but teams cannot see each others’ scores until the Sunday after the awards ceremony when they are posted on line. Exception—teams moving on will receive their scores in a packet at the tournament and can compare to the other teams. Teams do not receive 200 points or 50 points respectively for Long Term or Style, and rarely for Spontaneous. For example, it is possible for a team to score 153 points and be the top scorer for the day. Or, a team could score 127 points and be the top scorer. Or a team could score 172. You just do not know. What you can be assured of is that the judges will score consistently all day. About 30-45 minutes after the competition you will meet with the problem captain, or designated person for the problem to go over your score. The person will make sure you understand the score – you’ll sign the sheet to verify you received the scored elements, and you can then share it with your team. You’ll also receive ‘sticky notes’ on the team’s performance to share with the kids. This will be their favorite part – so let them enjoy their compliments. Please be cautious of your interpretation of the score with your team. You may be disappointed, but this is their time to be excited for all they have accomplished. Many teams have been surprised at how well they did—their score may not have seemed to reflect how well they did for the day in comparison to other teams.

Style is scored separately and is not given to the coach until the awards ceremony, if a top scorer, or online the next day if not moving forward to the State tournament This is the same for Spontaneous.

REMEMBER–Only first through third placement of teams announced at the awards ceremony move on to the State tournament to compete with the teams from the other two tournaments. Ranatra Fusca winners automatically move on to the state tournament. The other teams will end the competition at the regional tournament.

Filed Under: Coaches Mentor Blog

Selecting a Problem

November 26th, 2013 By Coaches Mentor

Selecting a problem-Selecting a problem can be a task in itself.  Some schools with more than one team have a method of selecting problems.  I know when the school where there were two elementary school teams we took turns each year giving the other team a chance to select their preferred problem first.  If there is no method then read the synopsis of each problem and brainstorm brief ideas.  Have each team decide on the choice order. Or perhaps, just flip a coin. If the teams want to solve the same problem it will cost an additional membership if in the same division.

A  few ideas…

Find out what the majority of the team likes.  If you have a lot of builders (they want to saw, use circuit boards, fiddle with how things go together, build with balsa wood) then perhaps problem 1, 2 or 4 is for them.  If you have a lot of dramatic kids, then problem 5 might be a good fit. If you have students who like history, to research, and to act, then problem 3 might be good.   If members of the team are diverse in talent and interest then you could let them decide what the most interesting problem is and then have them discuss splitting up parts of the problem to solve once the overall scheme has been developed. For example, in problem 1 two could build the vehicle and the other writes the script. Each team is different and it does not matter as long as each member is involved and utilizing his/her talents and is having fun! Just make sure they reconnect to make sure the problem is being solved in the way they all want it.

Filed Under: Coaches Mentor Blog