Important: FIRST has implemented significant changed to the judging experience for the 2020-2021 Season. Even experienced teams will need to read about the changes to the judging process for this season.  

There are four judging components to the FIRST LEGO League Challenge: Core Values, Project, Robot Design, and Robot Game. Each component is weighted equally (one-fourth each) when judges consider teams for the Champions Award. Each team will have an assigned time slot in which to report to their assigned judging block (as designated on the team schedules).  Please arrive 5-10 minutes before your scheduled time to be fully prepared for the remote judging session.  

There is one 30 minute judging session that will cover the Innovation Project, Core Values, and Robot Design Judging sections. In the PDF below you can see the new workflow defined for the judging session. 

This means you will need to have all your judging materials ready for the one session as your team will not be taking breaks between topics. 

Please remember that judges will consider input from other event volunteers who interact with teams. It is important that team members, parents, and coaches all should be demonstrating the Core Values throughout the event day. 

Teams are expected to complete the Team Judging Profile online through MyCVR.  Judges will use this information to assist in deliberations. 

Overview and Expectations of the Session

Innovation Project

Teams will present their research, solution, and how they shared with the community to the Project judges at the session. More information about the project is available on

Each team will be allotted 5 minutes to present their research project.  The timer starts two minutes into the judging session. There will be a 5-minute Q&A session following the team’s presentation, for a total of 10 minutes spent on the Innovation Project. Please do everything you can to make your presentation portable, mobile, and easy to setup and take down, as the time constraints in the judging rooms are very tight. Make sure anything your team wants the judges to know is in the Project Presentation. 

For the Project judging session, Coaches may assist with setup of bulky or large objects prior to sitting in their required chairs.  Once the judges have dismissed the team, Coaches may assist with cleanup of bulky or large objects.  (Note: this is not a full exemption from any Coach Involvement concerns.  Excessive setup assistance may result in investigative action from event officials.)

There are three key components to the Project.   To be eligible for Project Awards, Advancement, or Champions Awards, teams must demonstrate the following three components:

  1. Research and Identify a problem
  2. Create an innovative solution to the problem
  3. Share your research and solution outside of the team.  Teams must share before the event day.

Robot Design

The Robot Design judging session evaluates the team's Robot characteristics and performance. Each team must bring their robot(s), any and all manipulators, and a printed copy of code to this session.  If a team has multiple robots, all robots must be present during the session. To assist the judges in deliberations, also upload a picture of your robot to the Team Judging Profile on MyCVR.

After the Innovation Project portion of the Judging session the team will have 5 minutes to explain their Robot Design. Then, there will be a five minute Q&A session with the team asking how the robot was built, where the design originated, what are the unique characteristics of the robot, etc.  This will allow the judges to make sure they have gotten all the answers they needed from the team.

Core Values

The Core Values portion evaluates the unity and teamwork skills of each team.

The judges will reflect with each team for three minutes. They will ask the team about their season and their experiences working as a team. They also will look at how effective a team is at getting other teams and individuals excited about science and technology while gaining awareness and understanding about the world and themselves. Also, judges will look at how the team applies the Core Values throughout the whole season. Finally, the judges will evaluate the team's understanding of Gracious Professionalism™ and the Core Values.

Core Values Poster

The Challenge Guide details a tool called the Core Values Poster for the Core Values Judging Session.  Central Valley Robotics does not use the Core Values Poster, and we recommend teams do not prepare a poster for judging sessions in our area

Global Innovation Award

The following Global Innovation Award information applies to last season only. Please check back later in the current season for more details about the Global Innovation Award. 

The  FIRST  LEGO League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE is designed to encourage and assist teams to further develop their innovative solutions to real-world problems. For many teams, their innovative solutions created through the Project have led to some amazing opportunities, like receiving national media attention, meeting government leaders, and seeing their invention go to market. Some team inventions have changed lives.  Central Valley Robotics has implemented a regional variation to the Global Innovation Award process.  This process includes a nomination at the qualifying level and a separate judging process at the Championship.  This allows all teams in the region to compete for the Global Innovation Award Regional Nomination and compete for chance to win the Global Innovation Award.  

Judging at the Qualifier Level

Project Judges at each qualifying event in Central California will select one team to be the Global Innovation Award Regional Nominee for Central California based on a team’s Research Project for this year’s Challenge. These decisions will be based on the criteria in the Innovative Solution section on the Project Judging Rubric as well as the criteria for the Global Innovation Award. 

Rubrics and Resources