Starting in 2002 BAE Systems are the sponsors of the New Hampshire State FLL tournament. The 2002 tournament was simply fantastic. It was hosted at Nashua's new high school. This facility was perfect for such an event. A huge gym with bleechers for the performance rounds and an adjacent normal sized gym for the pits. Various classrooms where used for the interviews. A large cafeteria gave teams a place to eat and relax.
Teams where given a schedule in the morning as to where to be at what times. As luck would have it, they stayed mostly on time the whole day. Teams were scheduled for their performance rounds, various interviews, and even a sitting with a professional photographer.
The performance rounds were performed on a stage. Professional music, lighting, and wide screen TV provided the audience with a great show. Each round was televised from several remote camera operators. An MC gave a running comentary at all times.
The televised performance rounds where also on wide screen TV in the pit area. This gave teams something to do, while they were put on deck and briefed before they where marched out to the stage. A PA system in the pits also alerted the teams to any delays and an early warning for performance rounds.
Of course the day was make possible by the work of some 50 volunteers. FIRST students, BAE System employees, and educators put in vast amount of time. Linda Lavoie of BAE systems must be commended for her super human effort in pulling of what was likely to have been one of the best FLL tournament ever.