FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

The Woodie Flowers Award and Two FRC Championships

Jun 02, 2016 Today's Guest Blog Post is written by Dr. Earl Scime on behalf of the Woodie Flowers Awardees.


With FRC expanding to two championships in 2017, the issue of awards has been on everyone’s minds – including the Woodie Flowers Awardees. FIRST has announced that there will be a Chairman’s winner at each championship and clearly there will also be a winning alliance from each event. The Woodie Flowers Award (WFA) is a unique award because there is no “competition” for the award by the teams attending championships. The WFA is given to a single mentor chosen from the pool of all of that year’s regional and district WFFA (Woodie Flowers Finalist Award) recipients as well as renominations from previous years. It is only by incredible luck that the WFA recipient has happened to be attending Championships the past few years. We note that even with two Championships, there is no guarantee that an awardee will be in attendance at either event. Therefore, Dr. Murphy (the award’s founder) and the Woodie Flowers Awardees have decided to maintain the uniqueness of the Woodie Flowers Award and continue to select a single worldwide recipient each year. Because the selection process is sequential, in other words, awardees must first be recognized at regional or district championship events, there is very little time before Championships to organize travel for the WFA recipient. In fact, in the entire history of the WFA award, the recipient has never known they were selected until the announcement at Championships. The WFAs will continue to try to maintain the surprise of the announcement while working with FIRST on a strategy to get the recipient to at least one of the championship events for the presentation. We also note that the WFAs themselves are also unlikely to be attending both championships, so the award ceremony will also have to evolve. The WFA and WFFA are deeply cherished by all those honored to have been so recognized and the WFAs look forward to maintaining the singular nature of the Woodie Flowers Award while working with FIRST to make the presentation of the award a memorable experience for the teams and mentors. 

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