Judge Advisor

Position Summary - Nominated by the Planning Committee and approved by FIRST Headquarters
Key Volunteer Position

Judge Advisors are responsible for training the Judge panel pre-event, leading the Judge Panel on-site, facilitating award decisions, clarifying award guidelines and ensuring the overall consistency of the awards process in accordance to FIRST policy and guidelines. Judge Advisors do not vote on awards but rather facilitate that process.

Judge Advisors are expected to communicate with their group of Judges prior to their event. This may include email or phone communication starting at least one month before and leading up to the event. Post-event, Judge Advisors will be expected to supply FIRST HQ with Judge evaluation forms.

The Judge Advisor is nominated by the Planning Committee. To be considered for this position, the individual must have a minimum of two years of prior judging experience (exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by FIRST HQ). Once nominated, the individual must be approved through FIRST; including the Director of the FIRST Robotics Competition and the Chief Judge Advisors. Once approved the candidate will be contacted and assigned by FIRST HQ.

Rookie (new) Judge Advisors must attend a Judge Advisor training session held in January, conducted by the Chief Judge Advisors and FIRST HQ, prior to serving in the role. Veteran Judge Advisors must attend this training session at least once every two years in order to remain qualified to serve as a Judge Advisor (exceptions may be approved through FIRST).

OPTIONAL: Judge Advisors may be asked to recruit, or help recruit Judges. In addition, some Planning Committees may recruit a Judge Manager, who will be responsible for Judge recruitment, assignment and communication with the Judges pre-event. Judge Advisors should work with their Planning Committee and Volunteer Coordinator to understand who will be doing the Judge recruiting.

Position Overview

  • Opportunity to contribute to the successful execution of the competition
  • Direct impact on the quality of the event
  • Community exposure
  • High profile role
  • Interesting and varied responsibilities
  • Networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to cultivate support for FIRST programs
  • Pre and Post-Event Time Commitment


  • See Position Summary Above

Experience and Skills Needed

  • Minimum of two years as a Judge at the regional and/or championship level (exceptions may be granted by FIRST HQ).
  • Understand the FIRST mission
  • STEM education or experience preferred but not required
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills required

Time Commitment

  • Commitment: Pre-event administrative work starting about one month prior to the event; attendance at the January JA training session; two to three-day commitment on-site at the event; on-site Judge Dinner training (if applicable); and attendance at the Volunteer Orientation (if applicable).
  • Approximate times:

Day                                                                         Times

Practice Day (the day before the competition)       8am – End of Day

Day One of the Competition                                   8am – End of Day

Day Two of the Competition                                   8am – End of Day

Note 1: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to your Volunteer  Coordinator,  for detailed information on when you are expected to arrive.

NOTE: Volunteers should arrive on site 15-20 minutes prior to start of every shift in order to allow time to check in at the Volunteer Registration desk.


Pre-Event Training by Chief Judge Advisors and FIRST HQ, post-training follow-up call and weekly conference calls and email blasts throughout the season.

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

Support by Planning Committee, FIRST HQ, Chief Judge Advisors, and Veteran Judge Advisors if desired.


Volunteers are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses and arrangements for attending a FIRST event.

*Please Note: some events will conduct a pre-event evening Volunteer Orientation and Training.