FLL teams participate in four equally weighted phases of competition:
- Performance – Robots have 2 minutes and 30 seconds to complete missions on a 4′ x 8′ playing field. Teams earn points based on the robots performance in each of these missions.
- Robot Design Judging – Team members interact with judges to explain robot design and programming approaches. Judges ask questions to determine team member roles and their individual understanding of the technical process.
- Project Judging – A presentation topic is announced that ties to the Challenge theme. Teams perform research and prepare a presentation to present creatively in front of a team of judges. Judges ask a variety of questions to determine their understanding of the research topic.
- Teamwork Judging – Teams are also judged on their teamwork skills and interactions. Communication, respect, responsibility, and problem solving skills are part of this competition