Your Virtual Chairman’s Chat Questions Answered.

Jan 29, 2021

Learn why the Chairman’s Award should matter to your team.

Each year teams attending the FIRST World Championships have had the opportunity to engage with FIRST Hall of Fame teams and Chairman’s Judges in a panel forum to ask questions about the chairman’s rules, best practices, and judge’s perspectives.

These panels have provided curious teams a rare opportunity to ask about important issues facing their submissions and gain insights from a panel of past winning Hall of Fame teams and experienced judges. However, this event was limited to only the teams and team members able to attend one of the World Championship events.

Due to the COVID-19 challenges of 2020 seasons, teams did not have that opportunity to attend champs and ask those questions.  As much team activity has moved to virtual experiences, so too did the FIRST World Championship Chairman’s Chat panel. This move to the virtual environment also made this event more accessible for all teams and provided even more team members the opportunity to join, learn and ask questions of the panelist. 

During the December 3rd 2020 Virtual Chairman’s Chat venue we documented 74 questions in the chat.  We took those questions and organized them into 14 categories which with the answers spanned 23 pages.

Some of the Questions for the HoF Team Representatives

  • Why does the Chairman’s award matter?
  • How do you decide what to focus on in your submission?
  • How do you write a compelling Chairman’s Essay?
  • How do you nail the presentation?
  • How would you change things for a virtual presentation?

Some of the Questions for the Judges

  • Why is the Chairman’s Award considered the most prestigious award in FIRST?
  • What do you want to learn about the teams from their submission?
  • What makes a Chairman’s Essay memorable?
  • What do you think teams need to do to adapt to virtual presentation?

Topics Covered

The topics covered the various aspects of the submission and the challenges presented in the virtual presenting environment, including:

  • COVID-19
  • Documentation
  • Essay
  • Judging
  • Outreach
  • Presentation
  • Organization

The 2020 panel included team members who were involved in the writing and presenting of their teams’ winning 2019 presentations and experienced judges to offer insights into their decision and planning processes.

The event provided opportunities for team members to ask questions about communicating the special attributes of their team’s strengths and facilitate discussion on how the new virtual submission process and the challenges and opportunities in the new landscape for FIRST Robotics Competition teams submitting for chairman’s this season. 

Many of the questions were answered during the event, but with limited time, we were not able to get to all of the questions during the show.  A group of Hall of Fame teams and Chairman’s Judges worked over the holidays to answer those remaining questions and then FIRST Headquarters’ posted the document on the FIRST Chairman’s Award Resources.

Did you miss the Chairman’s Chat event? 
Check out the video recording link above.

Did you have a question that you did not see an answer for?
Send us an email to

What is the Chairman’s Chat Panel?
An event presented by FIRST World Championships to provide a panel of experienced team members and judges to discuss the Chairman’s submission process and ask questions of the teams participating in the process.

Answers are not representative of FIRST or FIRST team views, but rather the expressed experience and knowledge of the Team members and Judges participating in the process to answer the questions. 

Have questions?  Reach out to us at