Event Supervising

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Event Supervising

Post by Unome » September 12th, 2018, 6:36 pm

I'll be running this event at a tournament in a few weeks. Anything I should know? Recommendations? I'm expecting one other person for timing, and likely a rate of around 6 teams per hour.
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Re: Event Supervising

Post by TheSquaad » September 12th, 2018, 7:26 pm

Unome wrote:I'll be running this event at a tournament in a few weeks. Anything I should know? Recommendations? I'm expecting one other person for timing, and likely a rate of around 6 teams per hour.
Our team noticed last year at our state competition that the ES’s were often inconsistent in what specifics they checked (pulley load travel distances, balloon distance etc). A checklist for things to look over in each build would probably be a good idea.

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Re: Event Supervising

Post by marty3 » September 14th, 2018, 12:25 am

6 teams/hr should be manageable. I recommend 2+ people time the runs, if possible. As TheSquaad suggested, checklists are very helpful. On top of that, if there's only 1 team of ES, have each ES do the same measurements for each team (e.g. device dimensions, timing, action measurements). That helps with consistency.

It probably won't be too competitive this early in the season, so I doubt it will be too bad. That said, here's a list of some things that might help. They're all based on my experiences.

Cell Phones: Many teams use them during setup, but that isn't allowed due to tournament rules. Remind them of this during check-in/impound.

Safety: Anything can go wrong during a run, and teams often overlook designing a device where it's safe to touch any part at an point during their run. In 2012 a Div B. team had a weight too heavy for them to lift without parent help, and it could have broken their arm if it fell during a touch. Last year a team had an unguarded blade on a mousetrap that could have sliced an arm open. I recommend just having them remove anything unsafe, and docking points accordingly.

Goggles: Many teams bring the wrong type.

Parents/Coaches: It's less true for Div C, but they can get quite involved, and students don't always explain their mistakes well to them. I generally allow 1-2 adults watch the run to lessen delays and official arbitration.

Don't trip, bang into a table, and set off a device making the competitors cry, especially right after the mayor walks in. That's not the kind of Rube Goldberg machine anybody would want to see.

Measurements: Often best to estimate before and measure precisely after, as needed. Pay close attention to where things start and where they trigger the next action.

Document runs: In addition to the scoresheets, it's good to make notes of where touches were made and what requirements weren't met for actions. I do this right on the ASL.

Stalling: I recommend defining this for the students before they start their run. Some teams ask for permission to touch their device, which baffles me!

Rule interpretations: Be prepared to defend your interpretations. Your best bet is a simple example you can explain with both simple and really technical jargon. If possible, speak with other ES before the tournaments to make sure you're all on the same page, and consult your tournament director and/or arbitration committee as well.
Last edited by marty3 on September 14th, 2018, 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Event Supervising

Post by nicholasmaurer » September 14th, 2018, 7:04 am

marty3 wrote: Stalling: I recommend defining this for the students before they start their run. Some teams ask for permission to touch their device, which baffles me!
At least in Ohio, this is considered standard practice. At the National Tournament last year, our students were actually denied permission to make a touch, as the ES did not believe the action had failed. We won that on arbitration, but it could have been penalized as cheating if we had touched without permission.
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Re: Event Supervising

Post by Unome » September 14th, 2018, 7:15 am

nicholasmaurer wrote:
marty3 wrote: Stalling: I recommend defining this for the students before they start their run. Some teams ask for permission to touch their device, which baffles me!
At least in Ohio, this is considered standard practice. At the National Tournament last year, our students were actually denied permission to make a touch, as the ES did not believe the action had failed. We won that on arbitration, but it could have been penalized as cheating if we had touched without permission.
I'm definitely leaning toward allowing teams to touch regardless of whether or not the task fails.
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Re: Event Supervising

Post by nicholasmaurer » September 14th, 2018, 7:21 am

Unome wrote:
nicholasmaurer wrote:
marty3 wrote: Stalling: I recommend defining this for the students before they start their run. Some teams ask for permission to touch their device, which baffles me!
At least in Ohio, this is considered standard practice. At the National Tournament last year, our students were actually denied permission to make a touch, as the ES did not believe the action had failed. We won that on arbitration, but it could have been penalized as cheating if we had touched without permission.
I'm definitely leaning toward allowing teams to touch regardless of whether or not the task fails.
Well 4.h. is pretty clear (as it was last year) that the participants are only allowed a touch if the "device stops, jams, or fails." However, absent an obvious attempt to skirt this rule, I am inclined to defer to the competitor's judgement on whether this has occurred - they built the device and know how it normally operates. In practice, that generally means allowing touches whenever asked for permission.

If I question the validity of a touch, I'd want them to explain to me afterwards what made them believe the device had failed etc. But it's impractical to have that debate during the middle of a run.
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Re: Event Supervising

Post by Unome » September 14th, 2018, 7:47 am

nicholasmaurer wrote:
Unome wrote:
nicholasmaurer wrote:
At least in Ohio, this is considered standard practice. At the National Tournament last year, our students were actually denied permission to make a touch, as the ES did not believe the action had failed. We won that on arbitration, but it could have been penalized as cheating if we had touched without permission.
I'm definitely leaning toward allowing teams to touch regardless of whether or not the task fails.
Well 4.h. is pretty clear (as it was last year) that the participants are only allowed a touch if the "device stops, jams, or fails." However, absent an obvious attempt to skirt this rule, I am inclined to defer to the competitor's judgement on whether this has occurred - they built the device and know how it normally operates. In practice, that generally means allowing touches whenever asked for permission.

If I question the validity of a touch, I'd want them to explain to me afterwards what made them believe the device had failed etc. But it's impractical to have that debate during the middle of a run.
Ah yeah I forgot about that rule...
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Re: Event Supervising

Post by marty3 » September 14th, 2018, 9:29 am

nicholasmaurer wrote:
Well 4.h. is pretty clear (as it was last year) that the participants are only allowed a touch if the "device stops, jams, or fails." However, absent an obvious attempt to skirt this rule, I am inclined to defer to the competitor's judgement on whether this has occurred - they built the device and know how it normally operates.
That's why I trust students to decide when to touch. I'd still question them on it if they, for example, skipped an action with a touch just to ensure their final action happens in the time limit.

Anyhow, I'm sure many ES run things differently. I think it's best for ES to explain these rules to teams before the run.

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Re: Event Supervising

Post by Northridge » September 17th, 2018, 12:42 pm

Unome wrote:I'll be running this event at a tournament in a few weeks. Anything I should know? Recommendations? I'm expecting one other person for timing, and likely a rate of around 6 teams per hour.
I would recommend as mentioned before taking measurements after the students run, but noting positions beforehand to avoid accidentally setting off the device. The sturdier the tables the better, and try to get a good separation between tables to avoid students knocking into each others tables. At the Invitational level, this is not always possible, but try if you can.

As a rule, I do not put my hands on or in a students' device. Laser pointers can be handy to show what part of the machine you are talking about when talking with students. I found over the years that I have an easier time measuring the devices with a measuring tape (like the kind a seamstress would use) as opposed to meter sticks, but that is more of a personal preference. I feel like I can get the tape closer/measure better with those than with sticks.

Other then that I would advise be ready for anything. Mission is one of the toughest events to judge simply because they all can be very, very different. Students will some times come up with interesting interpretations of the rules, especially early on in the season before many FAQ's and Rule Clarifications are published. Make sure you go over how the machine will run with the students, and make sure you understand how it should flow before they start. These devices tend to go very fast. Do your best, and simply try to be as fair of a judge as you can. .

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Re: Event Supervising

Post by trdd » September 18th, 2018, 1:58 pm

I want to emphasize what others mentioned: DON'T TOUCH THE DEVICE. DON'T BUMP INTO TABLES. DON'T even breathe over the device. Don't even get close to the device with your fingers when pointing because it can trigger something and mess up the competitors. The laser pointer is a great idea. HANDS OFF!!! Make sure the other people helping you follow this to a T. If something breaks, let that be because of the STUDENTS not because of the supervisor or volunteer's error. Don't even help them carry a device even if the students ask. That way, everything is clean and there's no doubt that the Supervisor messed up the device in any way.

Only touch the device AFTER they are done running their machine. Take all measurements like the weights and device dimensions AFTER they run. If for some reason you need to verify a measurement before the run, (like maybe the 20 cm from the start of the balloon to the object, give the measuring jig to the student and let THEM show you. Let them touch the machine not you.

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