NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

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NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby BMC4COSMO » May 19th, 2013, 7:13 pm

Did anyone have unusual interpretation of the mission rules at nationals? We lost 30 points because of the word "lift"

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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby hc1220 » May 19th, 2013, 7:23 pm

Though I didn't do mission, I thought the judging was unusually harsh. I watched my friend from my school do it, and he lost like 50 points because of a controversial complication of the wheel and axle.
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby CMShong » May 19th, 2013, 7:34 pm

same here. Lost all the points on the wheel and ax.
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby hc1220 » May 19th, 2013, 7:51 pm

Yeah. And the judge tried to take off all 250 final task points for illegal wiring on a wire that wasn't even part of the mission... We protested successfully. The judge was really technical.. We only got 17th in mission. If not for the 50 point loss, we would've gone close to placing...
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby hscmom » May 19th, 2013, 8:32 pm

Seems like it was a tricky event. From the buzz yesterday it seemed like the majority of arbitration issues were MP issues. You'd hear the coaches walk to the table saying "blah blah blah mission possible blah blah blah."

Got 8th -- as we were 3 seconds off. We had gotten 7 perfect runs after letting our device acclimate to the humidity there in Dayton -- we arrived on Tuesday. Oh well. As the team was setting up, one of the judges stopped by and asked my daughter a question, interrupting the set up. Another judge said not to bother the teams during their set up time and to save questions for later. It was an innocent mistake... Maybe that interruption screwed up the kids' timing or something because we were totally surprised that we finished 3 seconds early -- something we've never done before. But, 8th is fine (medal would've been finer...)
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby alpacas » May 20th, 2013, 4:45 pm

our mission's tower got stuck on the way up, which was extremely unusual and we were 3 seconds over (10th place). I thought the judging was a lot more lenient this year than last year.

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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby chalker » May 20th, 2013, 5:14 pm

In case you all didn't know, the national event supervisor is the one that primarily wrote the rules and has been doing this particular event for a VERY long time. Thus I'd suggest his 'interpretation' or 'harshness' or 'technicality' was exactly what was meant in the rules. Note that although there were several arbitrations in this event, they all essentially boiled down to only 2 issues, and the committee ruled in favor of the supervisor on one issue and in favor of the competitors on the other one.

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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby Luo » May 20th, 2013, 5:16 pm

chalker wrote:In case you all didn't know, the national event supervisor is the one that primarily wrote the rules and has been doing this particular event for a VERY long time. Thus I'd suggest his 'interpretation' or 'harshness' or 'technicality' was exactly what was meant in the rules. Note that although there were several arbitrations in this event, they all essentially boiled down to only 2 issues, and the committee ruled in favor of the supervisor on one issue and in favor of the competitors on the other one.

If I may ask, which way was the arbitration on Rocks & Minerals (Division C) decided, and were any changes made? (Apologies for being off-topic of thread.)
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby apeworld » May 20th, 2013, 5:47 pm

The national event coordinator was very tough but, I did understand his reasoning. Though I do not like the fact he chose to deduct points if it looked like the student DID NOT build it.
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby BMC4COSMO » May 20th, 2013, 7:49 pm

chalker wrote:In case you all didn't know, the national event supervisor is the one that primarily wrote the rules and has been doing this particular event for a VERY long time. Thus I'd suggest his 'interpretation' or 'harshness' or 'technicality' was exactly what was meant in the rules. Note that although there were several arbitrations in this event, they all essentially boiled down to only 2 issues, and the committee ruled in favor of the supervisor on one issue and in favor of the competitors on the other one.




I believe we have found the root cause. "exactly what was meant" seems a little self centered. That arrogance was certainly on display last Saturday. Our coach always talks about many ways to solve a problem. It looks like at nationals there is only one way.

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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby chalker » May 20th, 2013, 7:55 pm

apeworld wrote:The national event coordinator was very tough but, I did understand his reasoning. Though I do not like the fact he chose to deduct points if it looked like the student DID NOT build it.



I don't want to speak for him (and don't know exactly what situation / team you are referring to), but I feel like I know him well enough to be very confident he didn't deduct points just for something 'looking like' a student didn't build it. Those of us who are event supervisors in 'build events' are very sensitive to the fact that parents/coaches sometimes do a lot of the work for the students in these events. And at nationals, with the prestige of potential medals as well as college scholarships on the line, the pressure and intensity sometimes results in teams pushing things too far. We weigh a LOT of factors when trying to make such decisions, including oral interviews with the students about the devices, as well as observations of what happens during impound and while kids are waiting around to compete. Obviously the appearance of a device can raise a red flag, but we always dig deeper via various inquiries and observations.

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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby chalker » May 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

BMC4COSMO wrote:
I believe we have found the root cause. "exactly what was meant" seems a little self centered. That arrogance was certainly on display last Saturday. Our coach always talks about many ways to solve a problem. It looks like at nationals there is only one way.


Wow... are you seriously implying that a LONG TIME NATIONAL EVENT SUPERVISOR is in this purely for the ego and thrill of playing 'gotcha' with kids just to impose his viewpoint? If so, I humbly suggest you review the Science Olympiad code of ethics printed on the back of every rules manual and online at http://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules and in particular rule #1. The event supervisors don't have a dog in the race regarding individual teams, and generally err when possible on the side of the teams while ensuring as level a playing field for everyone as possible.

There were 59 teams that competed in MP on Saturday. Amongst those, there were 72 successful completions of either task g or i (the 2 tasks with the word 'lift' in them (out of a theoretical max of 118 if all teams had chosen those tasks and been able to complete them). I only saw a handful of devices personally, but saw a WIDE variety of solutions to those tasks in the ones I did see. There obviously were MANY ways to solve these problems that were accepted by the supervisor.

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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » May 20th, 2013, 8:42 pm

BMC4COSMO wrote:
chalker wrote:In case you all didn't know, the national event supervisor is the one that primarily wrote the rules and has been doing this particular event for a VERY long time. Thus I'd suggest his 'interpretation' or 'harshness' or 'technicality' was exactly what was meant in the rules. Note that although there were several arbitrations in this event, they all essentially boiled down to only 2 issues, and the committee ruled in favor of the supervisor on one issue and in favor of the competitors on the other one.


I believe we have found the root cause. "exactly what was meant" seems a little self centered. That arrogance was certainly on display last Saturday. Our coach always talks about many ways to solve a problem. It looks like at nationals there is only one way.

I would highly recommend that you refrain from accusing a national rules coordinator of being arrogant. These people are the reason Science Olympiad exists and should be treated with highest respect. I believe I am safe in saying that we, as a site, will not tolerate attacks on the chalkers in this manner.
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby DivineBbbbbeast » May 20th, 2013, 9:09 pm

While there may be some discrepancies over wording, the fact is clear that the judge treated each team the same way. That being said, there is no way there could be bias towards some teams over others. The fact that the supervisor is willing to put forth his help for these past years ( and upcoming years in div C ) shows the dedication of this guy to Science Olympiad. If he wrote the rules, that he would clearly have an idea of an illegal mission that "bends" the spirit of the rules. Also, I'm sure that the supervisors and directors like Chalker on the commitee have put forth an insane amount of time into reviewing the rules. If there was any problems, clarifications should've been made before nationals. And besides, the tournament is already over and the scores are already final. Complaining now doesn't really do much now besides upsetting others.
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Re: NATIONAL MISSION POSSIBLE

Postby Tower Mind » May 23rd, 2013, 9:37 am

I have had the fortune of coaching at both the High School and Junior High levels for several years with both "test" and "build events". I have also been a judge at prior Invitational and Regional competitions for Mission Possible. In the past 4 years, I have now worked with two teams that have had top 5 results at the National Tournament. This is one of the most difficult events, both from a competitor (as it actually involves 10+ mini events that all need to be done with extreme precision) and judge perspective (as it usually has the largest number of arbitration and disputes, and it requires foresight as to every possible solution). The key to this event is to (1) explore all ideas and options for each individual task, (2) read the rules as they are presented, and (3) if you want to read between the lines, or implement innovative/risky tasks accept the risk/reward that comes with it.

For example, this year for each task we had several options that we considered. For each option we diagramed what we were going to do, discussed the risk rewards and then built each option. This was extremely time consuming, but it allowed the kids to explore their ideas and see whether they worked or not. It also allowed for discussion of risk/reward on the options that explored going above and beyond what the literal rules and parameters. As a prior judge, I explained to the kids how each task could be interpreted by a judge and whether they wanted to take the risk when their option was in the "grey area". For example, this year for the ramp task, we had numerous options, some that would have achieved 56+ centimeters in height, that could have resulted in the kids achieving first place. As we discussed implementation and the rules, we decided to go with a more conservative ramp that we felt would stand up to the rules and stay out of the "grey area". We recognized that this decision would probably result in a significantly reduced chance of first place, but knew that if we implemented one of the options, and if it did not stand up, that it could result in falling outside the top 10 which would jeopardize achieving a medal and potentially jeopardize the team achieving a trophy. Based on my understanding of how this task was scored, we made the right decision.

As a coach it is my responsibility to insure that all kids and parents that assist in an event, recognize that judges are providing their time and talents to foster learning for the kids and provide a place for the kids to perform under a consistent set of rules, parameters and guidelines, and recognize that many of these judges are there to assist the students, not there to find ways to insert themselves in the scoring of an event. It is also my responsibility to insure the kids understand the risk/reward in build events and that there are many options to achieve their desired results. It is not a surprise that there were arbitrations/disputes at this years National Tournament. This year there were 11 mini events rolled into one event with the goal is to maximize the point total through implementation of ideas that the kids identify and build. The key is whether the implementation is within the parameters as outlined, whether they are a stretch (which involves more risk than reward) and whether they are within the spirit of the event. In the years I have been involved, I have found that the judges and Event Supervisors have been fair and objective..and most importantly consistent with their interpretation and implementation.


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