Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.


FIRST invites luminaries from many fields to be Competition Judges. They serve as role models to the competitors by their actions and through frequent interactions with the competing FIRST teams while on site. Judges do not participate in referee decisions on the playing field. FIRST Judges are role models for the team members.

Judge Responsibility:

When on-site, judges interview FIRST teams in the Pit Area, interview rooms as well as watch the Competition on the playing field.  Judges will receive instructions and trainings and will reconvene throughout the day to discuss teams and award winners. Click here to view more about the role description.


Time Commitment:

  • Pre-event training – reading materials supplied by Judge Advisor approximately 2 weeks before event
  • Judge’s training dinner – night before the first day of the event at the venue.
  • Due to the nature of the judging process, this two-day time commitment is essential. The Judge Panel starting time on both competition days is usually finalized at the evening dinner. Most Judge Advisors ask their Judge Panels to be on site and in the room by 7:30 a.m. on both days of the competition and stay until the end of the competition (anytime between 5-7pm)

*Must sign a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement prior to start of service.  This can be completed in the FIRST Volunteer Portal or in person at the venue.


Experience, Skills and Criteria

  • FIRST experience not required
  • Minimum suggested age: 25 (not be a student, including grad students)
  • Judges must not be “active” mentors (i.e 3 hours or less with their team)
  • Maximum of 4 Judges from one company
  • Judges cannot judge at an event where their child is competition
  • Previous mentors must be separated from their team for 3 years and cannot judge at an event where their previous team is participating
  • Additional details here

To Register as a Judge

Step 1 - Register

Register yourself in the FIRST Volunteer Dashboard. 


Ontario event dates for 2019 will be posted in the fall. Stay tuned for more information!

Once the events are posted on the above link, logon to register to be judge at one of the following events happening in Ontario! 


To see all event listings visit the event page at firstroboticscanada.org/events

Step 2 - Youth Protection Program

Pass the  Youth Protection Program (YPP). Police Record Check. You must pass this step to get a prompt for Judges Certification. It takes about 1 or 2 days and then an email will be sent to you indicating you passed. More information: https://vimeo.com/35696334

Step 3 - Training

Training is provided by the Judge Advisor at the competition.  It is hoped that Judges will take the time to read the manual prior to training.  This training takes place in-person during the judges dinner the night before the first day of competition.  It is important that all judges, especially rookies, attend the training. All Judges will be contacted by the Judge Advisor with additional information.


It is important that Judges are available for the dinner and both days of the event.  It is difficult to plan the judging schedule when judges are not available for the whole event.