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All comments should embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversation civil and productive.

Posted On:
Fri, 11/16/2012 - 11:16

FIRST Choice

In case you missed it, FIRST Choice opened for a little pre-holiday window shopping on Monday.  Check it out:

And don’t forget to look at the 2013 FIRST Choice Ordering Rules:

Remember one of the changes this year – teams will be able to place orders...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/15/2012 - 13:08

Check out the short film linked to below, Produced and Directed by Paul Lazarus, member of the FRC Game Design Committee.  This wonderful film features Dean and his Slingshot water purification device and has been entered in the Focus Forward Film Competition.  If this film doesn’t inspire you to become a scientist or engineer so you can make the world a better place, I don’t know what will.     

The film is currently a semifinalist in the competition, and FIRST folks can push it over the top to be named an ‘Audience Favorite’ by voting for it...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:12

The FIRST Future Innovator Award (FFIA) opens today at Noon, EST.  Entries must be submitted via the FFIA portal, .  More information regarding the FIRST Future Innovator Award can be found at  Dean personally chooses the winner from the top submissions.  We had lots of great submissions last year, we hope to see more of the same for 2013!

More later


Posted On:
Fri, 11/02/2012 - 13:58

Team Counts

We’re currently at 2,328 teams registered for events, and several dozen waitlisted for events.  This means we’ve already exceeded our total team count from last year!  It’s shaping up to be an exciting season.

KoP Early Option – More Details

Some commenters have asked good questions on my post regarding the Early Option.  Here are a few more details:

- Teams will be able to place multiple orders in FIRST Choice, limited only by how many FIRST Credits they have available and component availability.  So, a team...

Posted On:
Thu, 10/25/2012 - 15:21

I’ve got some news I think many teams will be happy with.

As more Kit of Parts items shift from the Kickoff Kit to FIRST® Choice and the Virtual Kit (e.g. Product Donation Vouchers, PDVs), teams will receive fewer items in the Kickoff Kit each year, but have a wider variety and volume of items from which to choose that may meet their specific needs better. However, the added flexibility of FIRST Choice and PDV’s mean that teams may need to plan a little extra time for part selection and shipping.

To help teams plan and prepare for the season, FIRST Choice...

Posted On:
Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:53

Team Counts

As of 10AM EST on Monday, 10/22, we had 2,166 teams registered or waitlisted for events.  That’s a little more than 18% greater than where we were last season at this point in the registration process.  Note that 2,166 is a larger number than is showing on our ‘What Events and Teams Are In My Area?’ page on website right now, because this page only shows teams registered for events, not those waitlisted.

Kit of Parts Drive System Option

689 veteran teams took advantage of the option to receive an AndyMark...

Posted On:
Thu, 10/18/2012 - 13:37

A good number of veteran teams contacted us after the Noon EST deadline to ask to be included in the Kit of Parts Drive System/Product Donation Voucher option.  So many, that we’ve decided to extend this offer to midnight tonight, October 18th.  If you are a veteran team and would like to receive the Product Donation Voucher from AndyMark instead of the standard Kit of Parts Drive System in your kit, email your request to – you will not be able to use TIMS in this case.  Get those emails in before the...

Posted On:
Thu, 10/18/2012 - 09:55

Veteran teams’ ability to choose a Product Donation Voucher (PDV) over the standard Kit of Parts Drive System closes today at Noon EST!  If you are a veteran team, and want that PDV, make your choice in TIMS now!  More details here:

More soon


Posted On:
Thu, 10/11/2012 - 13:12

Second District Event Registration

Something I forgot to mention in my earlier blog.  Second District Event Registration opens today, 10/11.  Note this is for District (Michigan and MAR) teams only.  Non-District teams will be able to register for a second Regional on 10/25, as indicated on the FRC Calendar of Events here:

Posted On:
Thu, 10/11/2012 - 11:08

Mentor Recognition

Show your team mentors you care!  And get them plugged in to the FRC email blast at the same time, if they want that.  Main and Alternate team contacts in TIMS can invite other mentors to sign up right within TIMS.  Mentors registered in TIMS by Friday, 12/14/12 will receive a recognition certificate and pin during National Mentor Month in January.  They also get the option to receive the FRC Email Blast directly.   

Recruiting posters

Working to get more team members?  Check out these great...

Posted On:
Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:11

Motor Controllers

You may have noticed that traditional retailers of the Jaguar motor controller have either stopped selling Jaguar or have limited inventory. This blog post is to explain why and what you can expect going forward.

First, what I think you are most interested in knowing: the Jaguar will continue to be an available and legal motor controller for the 2013 FRC season.  Please understand that full, detailed rules will not be disclosed until Kickoff, and supersede all other documentation – like blog posts.  However, you can be assured that Jags will...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/28/2012 - 09:47
brain in a vat

Team Counts

As of midnight last night, we had 1,289 FRC teams registered or waitlisted for events, up from 959 at midnight the first day of initial event registration last season.  That’s a 34% increase.  Is this the start of a trend?  We’ll see.  Also, our first rookie team number this year is 4450.  If you’re at an event, and see a team number equal to or greater than that number, it’s rookie team.  Go up and say hi!


Kit of Parts Drive System Reminder

Remember that veteran teams will have an option regarding...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/26/2012 - 09:52

Registration Opening

Initial Event Registration opens tomorrow, that’s Thursday, September 27th, At Noon EST.  Still time to lube up those internet connections to get ready!


Bag and Tag

For the 2013 season, all FRC events (including District Events) in the USA and Canada are once again “Bag and Tag”, except Championship.

“Bag and Tag” means teams bring their robots to event venues themselves, rolling them in through the venue doors, sealed in a large bag with a security tag attached.  Bags and tags...

Posted On:
Mon, 09/24/2012 - 14:57

Wild Card Slots II

My post Friday generated a relatively large number of comments.  Rather than answer them individually, let me provide a little more insight here.

The purpose of the new system is to provide broader distribution of merit-based slots in situations where single teams win more than one Championship qualifying award over the course of several Regionals. 

With the limited number of slots we have for Championship, we had to make some difficult decisions regarding how many specific situations we could cover while still notifying teams...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/21/2012 - 12:30

I think this is an exciting one.

We have many veteran teams in FRC who work extraordinarily hard year round to put themselves in a position of being able to attend several Regionals each season.  These teams sometimes also do well when it comes to awards, occasionally earning Championship qualifying awards at more than one Regional.   These teams absolutely deserve all the accolades they receive, and are rightly looked up to and respected.  However, when a single team wins more than one Championship qualifying award over the course of several regionals, it does...