Updated July 19, 2024


General Guidelines

In order to compete in a VA-DC FIRST LEGO League regional qualifying tournament,
– Teams must be registered with FIRST and VA-DC FIRST LEGO League
– Teams consist of 2 coaches and 2-10 team members (members must be between the ages of 9-14 as of January 1st, 2023); students younger than 9 can compete with permission from VA-DC FLL)
– Complete the online Youth Registration (including Consent & Release) for each team member and coach/mentor

Additionally, at VA-DC FIRST LEGO League regional qualifying tournament,
– All work presented at an official event is the work of the children on the team. Kids do the work!
– All team members attending an event are required to participate in the judging session, and be present as a team at the Robot Game matches
– Teams should be supervised by accompanying adults during all times of the event.
– Teams, Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers should always display our Core Values and demonstrate Gracious Professionalism at events.

At a VA-DC FIRST LEGO League event, teams can expect…
– One 30 minute judging session for teams to share their Robot Design, Innovation Project, and Core Values journey this season. Find more details below in the Judging section.
– At least four 2.5 minute robot game matches (1 Practice Round and 3 Official Matches). The best score out of the 3 Official Matches will be the one to count. Find more details in the Robot Game section below.
– An Awards Ceremony. Find more details below in the Awards and Advancement section.
FUN! We encourage teams to celebrate their team and show their Team Spirit. Some teams do this with matching shirts, fun songs/ chants, team swag to hand out!

Robot Game

Teams will have at least three official 2.5 robot game matches at an official event. The best score will be the score that counts. At each match, teams and referees will be follow the official Masterpiece Robot Game Rules (coming August 6th, 2024), including the official Challenge Updates & Clarifications (which will supersede the Robot Game Rules).

In each round…
– When the team arrives at the table, the referee will signal them to set up for the equipment inspection (M00). The robot and all equipment needs to be on the robot game table. There will be no additional room to store items (tables, carts, etc)
– After the inspection, the team will divide themselves and all their equipment between the right and left launch areas. Please refer to the SUBMERGED Robot Game Rulebook (coming August 6th, 2024)
– The team will have 2.5 minutes to complete as many missions as they can. At the end of the 2.5 minutes, the referee and the teams will go through the missions together for scoring. One member of the team will sign off on the scoresheet and the scoresheet is final at that point.

Gracious Professionalism: Referees will evaluate Gracious Professionalism for every team at each one of their matches. The Gracious Professionalism points will be added to the points scored on the Core Values rubric during the judging session and will make up a portion of the total Core Values score. Teams will not see the GP score at the robot game table, but will receive the scores back with their other judging rubrics at the end of the event.


Each team will have a 30 minute session with a set of event judges. Teams and Judges will follow the Judging Flow Chart. The judging session will allow the team to share their season journey. See the sections below to find out more about each portion of the Judging.

– Two adults and a historian are allowed to accompany the team in the judging room.
– Teams should not expect to have access to any presentation equipment or a power outlet.
– Teams should not leave anything behind in the judging room, other than their team information sheet.

Innovation Project Judging

Teams will do a live presentation on their innovation project (no longer than 5 minutes), which will be followed by a 5 minute Q&A portion.

Innovation Project rubric Use the rubric when deciding what information to put in the project presentation.

Robot Design Judging

Teams will have 5 minutes to talk about their robot and then there will be a 5 minute Q&A. Many teams do prepare a presentation or have talking points for the first 5 minutes of this portion, but it isn’t mandatory.

Robot Design rubric Use the rubric when deciding what information teams should talk about.

Core Values Judging

Core Values judges will be looking for Core Values throughout the whole presentation (think about all the Core Values skills needed to put together the project and robot game). Check out the Core Values rubric!

Core Values judges will be looking for examples of FIRST Core Values within the Innovation Project and Robot Design portions of judging. At the end of the the team’s judging session, teams will have a few minutes to reflect on the Core Values. While teams are not asked to submit anything, if the team would like to share anything regarding Core Values, they will be able to share their screen. We ask the teams do not share video or audio elements. Teams could share a quick slide or image if a visual element is needed.

This is a big change from past years (no Core Values activity), but at in-person events there will also be Core Values judges in the pits, practice area, and robot game area.

Awards and Advancement

– Find the complete awards list here. This list will vary based on the size of the tournament Awards are given out by division. Teams can expect 30-50% of teams to receive an award. All participants will receive a official tournament ribbon.
– Teams are only eligible for ONE judged award (this does not include the Robot Performance award which is based on the highest robot score)
– FIRST®LEGO®League teams are evaluated equally in four areas: Core Values, Innovation Project, Robot Design,and Robot Game.

– Team advancement to the VA-DC FLL Regional Championship is based on the overall performance of a team. So it is possible for a team to advance without winning an award and it is possible for a team to win an award but not advance.
– The number of teams advancing from an event is based on the event size. Each event has an allotted number of teams that can be advanced which as been decided in advance by VA-DC FLL.
– Advancing teams will be announced at the Closing Ceremony. Team coach/mentors will receive an email with additional information after their event (please allow time for tournament leadership to send the advancing team list to VA-DC FLL)

Team Info Sheet

Teams will need to bring four copies of this document to their event. One will be turned in at registration and the others will be given to the judges.

Microsoft DOC (download)
Google Doc (make a copy)

FIRST requires all youth team members to register. Youth Team Members who have not registered will not be permitted to participate in FIRST remote competitions. 

1. Through the FIRST dashboard, the Lead Coach will invite Parents/ Guardians to register their child, via email or the QR Code.
2. Parents/ Guardians will create an account, register their child, and accept the Consent & Release conditions.

– If you need a Spanish version of the form
– If you have parents/ guardians that cannot electronically register their child

Instructions for Coaches
Instructions for New Parents/ Guardians
Instructions for Returning Parents/ Guardians
Instructions: Parents w/ Mobile Device
Youth Registration Q & A