Judges Awards


Spirit of TAPPS

This judged award is given to the team that embodies the Spirit of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.  The team that receives this award is committed to cultivating leadership, nurturing fellowship, encouraging fair play, and displaying good sportsmanship on and off the playing field.  This Spirit of TAPPS Award winner demonstrates Competition with Honor. 

  • Leadership
    • Does the team cultivate leadership within their own team?
    • Do the team members demonstrate small behaviors that make the difference in their overall achievement?
    • Does the team create conditions for others to perform?
  • Fellowship
    • Do the team members nurture camaraderie with all those they encounter?
    • Does the team cheer on their teammates and alliance members during robot matches?
    • Does the team show support and efforts to build relationships with other teams?
  • Fair Play & Sportsmanship
    • Do team members demonstrate a positive and friendly attitude throughout the competition to everyone they encounter?
    • Does the team encourage other teams, including their opponents, to do their best?
    • Does the team help other teams such as (but not limited to) lending of parts and assisting with robot repair?

Strategic Thinking

This judged award is given to the Team that best reflects the journey taken as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season removing obstacles through creative and strategic thinking. The team that receives this award is able to describe underlying science, mathematics, and game strategies to show their understanding of the engineering design process.  

  • Understanding: 
    • In the building stages, does the team show clear understanding of the underlying science &  mathematics of their Robot design?
  • Strategy: 
    • Does the team identify their goals and take steps to reach them?
    • Does the team recount the journey, experience and lessons learned throughout the season?
    • Does the team have a plan for when improvements need to be made through design, redesign, and success and improvements?
  • Overcoming Obstacles
    • Do team members spend time in the creative thinking stages to develop a strategy to overcome obstacles?

Robot Design

This judged award recognizes design elements of the Robot that are both functional and aesthetic.  It ispresented to the Team that best incorporates industrial design elements into their solutions. This award winner demonstrates the industrial design principles, striking a balance between form, function, and aesthetics. 

  • Form
    • Team creates custom components that enhance functionality. 
    • Components were crafted by the team: created by hand, machined, 3D printed, etc.
    • Components were designed using engineering tools: drafting, CAD, etc. 
  • Function
    • Robot is reliable on the field
    • Robot remains operational throughout the game.
    • Does the Robot maximize functionality to achieve multiple game elements
  • Aesthetics
    • Aesthetic design does not compromise the practical operation but complements its purpose.
    • Is this robot decorative in nature, have a clean look, or does it express the creativity of the Team?


This judged award celebrates a team that has brought great ideas from concept to reality.   This team thinks outside the box and has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life. This award may address the whole robot or a specific component.  The Innovative Component may be either physical element or software element such as a control algorithm. The creative component must work consistently, but the Robot does not have to work all the time during Matches to be considered for this award. 

  • Concept
    • Team can describe how they came up with the innovative element. 
    • Team can think out of the box to create an innovative solution to the game. 
  • Reality
    • Team shows how their inventiveness brought their design to reality. 
    • Innovative components are stable, robust and consistently performs. 
  • Component
    • Innovative components are unique in design.
    • Innovative component adds functionality to the Robot.

Rockstar Rookie

This judged award celebrates a team that has competed for less than 2 seasons.  Judges will look for unique efforts, performance or dynamics which merit recognition for rookie teams.  Team identifies their future goals, fundraising goals & sustainability goals.