This article provides an overview of the Judge volunteer role including expectations, skills required, and recommended training. Judge volunteers evaluate student teams through interviews, review Engineering Notebooks, observe on-the-field performance, and present awards as needed.
Experience Level: Intermediate
Physical Activity: Moderate physical activity level, with a mix of sitting and walking
- Prior experience is helpful, but beginners can be trained quickly and easily
- Pay attention to detail and be impartial
- Interact positively with students
- Communicate effectively
Judges can play many roles depending on the assignment:
- Review Engineering Notebooks
- Walk around to interview teams in the pit areas
- Observe teams on the competition floor
- Present awards as assigned by the Event Partner
Training & Preparation
- Get familiar with the tournament format. It is helpful to attend a local event prior to volunteering, though not required.
- Review the judging guidelines, beginning with the Guide to Judging: Introduction and Terms
- Review the Engineering Notebook Rubric and the Team Interview Rubric
- Review the one-page game description and game introduction video for your assigned competition. Full game details are available in the Game Manual for each competition, but Judges do not need to have a full understanding of the game and its rules.
On Event Day
Wear comfortable team-neutral clothing appropriate for a school related event, closed toe shoes, and a Judge or volunteer shirt (if provided).
Judge training begins early! Check with your Judge Advisor, Event Partner, or Volunteer Coordinator for reporting time. Sign in at Volunteer Check-in, then report to the Judge Advisor.
On-site training will be provided by the Judge Advisor. Confirm your reporting time in advance and plan to arrive early.
Most or all supplies will be provided by the Event Partner or Judge Advisor, but you may wish to bring a clipboard, pen or pencil, and paper for note taking. Many events provide food and beverages for volunteers, but you may want to bring water, snacks, and a lunch.
There are diverse roles within the Judge volunteer position, both technical and non-technical. The Judge Advisor will assign you where you are best suited and will share the related processes with you.