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The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) community can come here for (at least) weekly musings on the FRC program, news, community highlights, science and technology shout-outs, and more directly from FIRST Headquarters! Comments are welcome, but they must embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversations civil and productive.

Posted On:
Mon, 04/20/2015 - 19:51

I walked through the Championship venue this afternoon to see how things were coming along. This is going to be one big show, for sure. There’s something about seeing it in person that makes it much more real than just seeing it on paper. I can’t wait for the teams to arrive! I hope FIRST has some insurance, because we’re going to be blowing the doors off this place.


Posted On:
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 20:24

Please find below the preliminary qualification round schedules for each subdivision at Championship. I hope I’m not being too subtle about this, but these schedules are preliminary, so they are subject to change. With 608 FRC Teams (Yowza!) planning to come to Championship, there is a chance some teams may not make it, despite their best intentions. If this happens, or if for any reason a team isn’t able to compete, we will be creating a new schedule for the subdivision to which they were assigned. We don’t want to leave a team that isn’t available to compete in the schedule for...
Posted On:
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:55

Practice on Wednesday

We got the message that teams really want to be able to practice on the practice fields in the pits on Wednesday. So, we’re making a change to what we announced earlier. See the updated practice field policy here. Teams that have passed inspection will be able to practice, only in tethered mode, from 5PM – 8PM...

Posted On:
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 09:06

Today we have the second of two blogs focusing on 2015 FIRST Championship logistics from Toby Clarke, FRC Program Manager.

We are committed to make the Championship a great event for all involved. Part of this is a smooth move in which I covered in my previous blog. Equally well, we also need to help create a smooth and safe move out. With the updated schedule this year including qualifying matches finishing on Friday night and Alliance...

Posted On:
Thu, 04/16/2015 - 15:07

Championship Roadmap Information Session

As I said in my last blog, we’re going to be having a meeting with teams at Championship about the move to two Championships starting in 2017. FIRST will be providing some additional information at the start of the session, then we’ll be moving on to questions from the audience. The session will be 12:30PM to 1:30PM on Thursday, April 23rd, in the Ferrara Theater within...

Posted On:
Tue, 04/14/2015 - 14:07

Today we have the first of two blogs focusing on the 2015 FIRST Championship from Toby Clarke, FRC Program Manager.

We can’t wait to see all the teams headed to St. Louis in just a few days. This blog is intended to help make your access to the facility as smooth and easy as possible.

If your team arrives in St. Louis early, please have a team representative go the America's Center lobby Registration starting at noon...

Posted On:
Fri, 04/10/2015 - 13:46

One of the many things I love about FIRST is the amount of passion so many of our community members have. I love it because it shows FIRST is meaningful to you, and you care about its future. I know that for many of us, FIRST isn’t just something that you do, it’s something that you are, and that fact can drive intense emotion when you see something happen with which you disagree. With yesterday’s announcement about FIRST going to two Championships starting in 2017...

Posted On:
Thu, 04/09/2015 - 11:08

We’ve got big news! Hear from FIRST President Don Bossi about how we plan to deliver the FIRST Championship experience to thousands more young people worldwide – starting in 2017.

Posted On:
Thu, 04/09/2015 - 09:20

New Audience Screens

Check out the new ‘Match Preview’ screens below. These screens will be available for field personnel to display between matches starting with this weekend’s events and continuing to Championship. This is an optional screen for events this weekend, so you may or may not see it, but you will certainly be seeing it at Championship. Now would be a great time to make sure the ‘Team Nickname’ field in your TIMS account is up to date! That’s the field from which the system will pull the team name. We will have no ability to edit the name at events...

Posted On:
Wed, 04/08/2015 - 13:25

Last weekend, at the San Diego Regional, during the finals, red card violations of G18, that likely should have been called, were not. As I’ve noted before in this blog, I believe it’s the responsibility of FIRST HQ to ensure our volunteers are properly trained, and I also believe it’s the responsibility of FIRST HQ to ensure the rules are clear enough so that both our volunteers and our teams can easily understand them.

In the case of G18, we provided added clarity in Q223 in the Q&A in January, but did not reflect that added clarity back in the manual...

Posted On:
Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:19

Week 6

I can’t believe it’s Week 6 already!  Along with 16 other events, we’ve got two District Championships on tap for this weekend, Pacific Northwest and Indiana, at which I expect we’ll see some fantastic Recycle Rush action.  I’m heading to Indiana myself to see their first-ever District Championship. 

Last weekend I was at the Greater DC Regional, at which I had the pleasure of witnessing the #8 Alliance, captained by the 13th (!) ranked team at the event, Team 5243, Centreville Robotics, from Centreville, Virginia, USA, make an epic run...

Posted On:
Thu, 03/26/2015 - 16:46

Today's blog post is from FRC Logistics Manager, Krista Pratt.

We are very excited to have 600 FRC teams attending the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO. One expanded logistical challenge is robot return shipments from St. Louis.

Thanks to the very generous support of FedEx, all FRC teams attending the FIRST Championship have their robots shipped to St. Louis and are able to have their robot shipped home to them at no charge. Please be aware that the return of robots after the...

Posted On:
Wed, 03/25/2015 - 10:35

We learned Monday that we made an error with the awards at the UNH District event last weekend. Per Section of the FRC Admin manual, teams are only able to win the Chairman’s Award, Engineering Inspiration Award, and Rookie All Star Award once per season at the District event level. However, Team 811, The Cardinals, from Nashua, New Hampshire, USA, was presented with the Engineering Inspiration Award for the second time this season, having already been presented with the same award at their Week 1 event. They should not have been considered for the Engineering...

Posted On:
Fri, 03/20/2015 - 09:32


Check out this great TV show from Michigan about FRC.

The show is produced by the State Champs! Network, which is dedicated to High School sports in Michigan, and is broadcast on several local TV channels as well as made available on the web. Weekly shows throughout the season are planned.

Enhanced Chairman’s Award Resources


Posted On:
Thu, 03/19/2015 - 14:48

I have a great job. Whenever I go to an event, everyone is smiling (usually) and friendly (almost always), and occasionally people will thank me for some aspect of FRC. I often get constructive feedback as well, which is a primary reason I go to events in the first place. The feedback is always welcome, as that’s what helps us improve, and the thanks are also, although I’ll admit that sometimes I’m somewhat uncomfortable when people direct their thanks to me personally. The success of FRC is built on a broad foundation of Teams, Volunteers, Sponsors, Suppliers, supporters,...