FTC Tip #2: Tournament Spectator Etiquette
§ Please follow signs for entering and exiting the competition area, they are there to try to keep the tournament flow moving. Better flow means getting to go home on time!
§ You (everyone) must wear safety glasses in the pit area and on the competition floor. This is for your safety and to show your kids the right way to be around machinery.
§ If you are not a team mentor, student member or a tournament volunteer, do not go on to the competition floor or to the queuing area (the area where the teams wait to setup for their next match.) I know tournaments are exciting and sometimes you just want to help, but team mentors have been working with students for months to get ready for this and we should respect their commitment by letting them work with their team. If you have lots of ideas—make sure to help mentor a team during the design and build sessions.
§ Even in the pit area, let the team and their mentors do their work. I have personally cleared all non-students from my team’s pit area before due to parents telling the kids what to do or getting upset about tournament performance. I will support any mentor who feels the need to do this.
§ Please keep your students at the tournament until the Awards Ceremony comes to an end. It’s never obvious who is winning awards, and it’s a bummer when your team wins an award or qualifies to go to state and only a couple kids are there to celebrate the achievement. I know it’s a long day, it is for all of us, but we’ve put in tons of hours and so have the other teams. Let’s stay to cheer those commitments! I also expect everyone on teams to finish cleaning up and making sure that all equipment is put away or loaded into the appropriate vehicles.
§ Do not offer video of bad ref calls to students for the sake of challenging decisions. One student from a team can go to a special challenge box on the field to discuss a ruling with the head judge, but they cannot ask the judge to review video. Adults are not allowed to challenge rulings (this includes mentors/coaches). Mistakes happen, but the Refs want the teams to do the best they can while keeping things fair. Remember Gracious Professionalism.
§ Do the tournaments seem long and boring? Why not volunteer to help at a tournament? The day will fly by! Both technical and non-technical volunteers are always needed. Training is provided for the positions that need it, and it’s a great way to learn about the current year’s game. Check out http://www.hightechkids.org/first-tech-challenge-volunteers or e-mail Caitie at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started! (Minnesota ONLY)
§ At the end of the day, celebrate what your child has learned this season—it really is amazing!