Spectators?

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Spectators?

Post by maggymay » February 25th, 2011, 1:42 pm

Just found out that spectators won't be allowed for MP at our Regionals. I'm kinda bummed, but maybe some of the coaches thought people would copy stuff for State or maybe someone's worried about balloons being jostled by air currents...I dunno. I loved watching MP last year, seeing how everybody did stuff, some of the designs were so cool. Anyway, anybody else have no spectators at any of their tournaments (for *any* of the building events)?...I hope that spectators will be allowed at State for this.

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Re: Spectators?

Post by Frogger4907 » February 25th, 2011, 2:15 pm

Thats pathetic really. I've never heard of that happening anywhere. Really shocking. :shock:
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Re: Spectators?

Post by courage7856 » February 25th, 2011, 3:58 pm

At the last Invite I went to, spectators were (for the most part) not allowed. They were allowed to stand in the doorway, but could not enter the room completely unless they were wearing goggles. This was for safety reasons, and for good ones. When I was in the room, two helium balloons exploded (I'm not sure I could say pop, because nothing touched them- it was completely random and unexpected) and a screw shot out of a device. Also, they asked spectators to keep quiet so other competitors setting up their devices would not be distracted since they only had so much time. I remember BLG had a rule about not talking to spectators- this could also apply here.

So, very sad, but I can understand your supervisor's motivation. I think the best place to do this would be in a room with a glass wall, so people could stand outside and watch.
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Re: Spectators?

Post by questionguy » February 27th, 2011, 10:51 am

Yea, at the regional competition that I was at, they didn't allow spectators. I think it is just so no teams go scout the other teams and just create exact copies to take to the state competition.

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Re: Spectators?

Post by Frogger4907 » February 27th, 2011, 11:03 am

I think spectators should always be aloud but maybe with rules, restricting talking, etc
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Re: Spectators?

Post by Uncle Fester » February 27th, 2011, 11:38 am

I run a very tight ship at my tournaments. I have no issues with law-abiding students, coaches and spectators, but the others make up for it, unfortunately. When such a draconian policy goes into effect, the question that should be asked is NOT, "Why can't we?", but "What happened last time?" It can all be traced back to cat-and-mouse tactics by someone who doesn't believe that a better event device is the way to win. These people are the ones who think I'm rude, a dictator, unfeeling, inconsiderate, etc., and complain about me.

No details were provided, but I suspect that this was an invitational. I see this all the time: Great team shows up, but without their build event devices. Sorry, but with a month to go before Regionals, there's no way they have no devices ready. All about supposed "secrets". But do they show up for the event? You betcha, and usually with cameras. I know some invitationals that have a policy, "You can watch if you are participating", which is a great idea, IMHO. I just wish I had the time and a fool-proof plan for implementing it (I''m working on one). The way you keep me from implementing it is to simply show up with your Mission and run it.

My team is looking at hosting invitationals, and I have a list of these kinds of teams-- in short, if you're on it, you aren't coming.

As mentioned above, I'm one of those who don't allow event communication during impound (I allow repairs of travel effects and testing during impound), 30m setup, and operation. I'm not evil (well, not too evil) and allow non-Mission communication, but they have to ask first and I chaperone it. Gotta potty? Someone you don't know will make sure you aren't having a coach-student meeting in the restroom, and there'll be a nice 85-year-old little old lady in the ladies room who knows Mission very, very well-- Bearasaurus has been sending her birthday cards for quite a few years now. In short, I have all bases covered, and you WILL set up on your own.

Know that if there's an issue with your device, I will talk to two people: Students with the machine, and the head coach. Nobody else. Your coach cannot "authorize" someone else to do the talking, and I don' care how busy they are-- I can wait. Once an emotional argument issue is introduced (usually something along the lines of "My kids tried so hard. . . "), the conversation is over.

I shudder at the though of parents, and sorry to say, there's a specific type that I expect to cause problems, and they usually do, so I watch them like a hawk. A few weeks ago, I booted a large group that was simply out of control. They were taking pictures, talking over the rope, and when I told them to stop, they said "Okay"-- and kept taking pictures and helping. Complaints were made, and my response wasn't that they were taking pictures, but that they lied to me and didn't follow my direct instructions. I was especially livid in that I had allowed the same team to have a student enter and setup late despite tournament policy, and my reward was to be snubbed and ignored.

Just like the original post, what they did has another price: Unless someone changes my mind, no more late impound.

I doubt safety was an issue, unless the room had no way to separate spectators from devices, OR there wasn't enough help (most likely). I ran 21 Missions without ANY help at one tournament this season, and for two hours at a pace that would have allowed me to run Mission at Nationals >SOLO<. I told everyone that they were all welcome to spectate, but teams RUNNING at the moment were to be in the front row against the rope (courtesy), and the first time I had to deal with anyone, everyone had to leave. No issues, and everyone had a good time.

Over the years, I have had quite a few coaches that though I was a real jerk of an event sup. Most have come around, and the moment that changed their mind was when they went to another tournament not run by me, and found themselves at a disadvantage because other teams were out of control. Next time they see me, we're friends, because I actually have the most lenient paperwork policy in the country, allow outsiders to retrieve forgotten materials at impound, run a level playing field, stop immediately if a student questions procedure, explain points and penalties, do exit interviews for teams that want to know how to fix what went wrong, and actually care about "My Mission Kids."
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Re: Spectators?

Post by Uncle Fester » February 27th, 2011, 11:40 am

You can't photograph, sketch, or create an "exact replica" of what really wins-- QUALITY.
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Re: Spectators?

Post by chalker » February 28th, 2011, 11:38 am

Uncle Fester wrote:Gotta potty? Someone you don't know will make sure you aren't having a coach-student meeting in the restroom, and there'll be a nice 85-year-old little old lady in the ladies room who knows Mission very, very well-- Bearasaurus has been sending her birthday cards for quite a few years now. In short, I have all bases covered, and you WILL set up on your own.

Regarding this, I'd like to point out the general rules, from http://soinc.org/ethics_rules, (which apply to all events and people seem to forget sometimes), and in particular #4: Once teams have entered the event area to compete, they must not: leave until they are finished, return once they have left, communicate with outside resources, including people, places, etc. by any means (this effectively excludes the use of any computer, PDA, calculators, wireless devices, phones, etc. that have access to external communication or data retrieval during an event unless specifically permitted).

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Re: Spectators?

Post by Frogger4907 » February 28th, 2011, 11:47 am

Uncle Fester wrote: I shudder at the though of parents, and sorry to say, there's a specific type that I expect to cause problems, and they usually do, so I watch them like a hawk. A few weeks ago, I booted a large group that was simply out of control. They were taking pictures, talking over the rope, and when I told them to stop, they said "Okay"-- and kept taking pictures and helping. Complaints were made, and my response wasn't that they were taking pictures, but that they lied to me and didn't follow my direct instructions. I was especially livid in that I had allowed the same team to have a student enter and setup late despite tournament policy, and my reward was to be snubbed and ignored.
There is always one group of parents from one team who have to continuously make poor choices and not be courteous and respect other competitors, they also need to realize that they aren't the best there is always* someone better.

*Almost always :)
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Re: Spectators?

Post by Uncle Fester » March 1st, 2011, 6:55 pm

Point out all you want, but if I have chaperones available, I'm not going to take the heat over a "potty emergency". Kids are kids, and this stuff happens. I've had like FOUR in TWENTY years. No chaperone, though, means no leaving. Most back off when a chaperone is mentioned, so it's really more of a quiet, non-confrontational way to remind everyone that cheating isn't going to be allowed. I go to great lengths to not embarrass anyone.
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