FTC Season Information

Use the links below to learn more about the FTC tournament structure, advancement and awards teams are eligible for at tournaments.

FTC Event Types

Workshop - These events can cover a variety of FTC and robotics-related topics.  They are often hosted by vendors, Affiliate Partners or teams.

Kickoff - Held each September, this event is when the new season’s game is revealed.  Kickoff offers the opportunity to see the game reveal live, network with other FTC teams and strategize about the new season.

Scrimmage - A small event run by volunteers, usually a team or Affiliate Partner, good for practice and playing experience.  These events can have anywhere from three to 20 teams and may not include judging and awards.  These events do not qualify teams for championship tournaments.  May also be called a Practice Day

Qualifying Tournament - These events are held in areas with a large number of teams.  In these events, teams compete for positions at Championship Tournaments.  Qualifying Tournaments adhere to FIRST standards in format, judging and awards.

Leagues/Meets - (currently only available in pilot regions) - Meets are similar to a traditional sporting event.  Teams compete in smaller, more frequent competitions to gain points that will advance them to the next level tournament play.  Leagues/Meets are currently being piloted in several regions and experiences may vary based on the region.  Contact the local Affiliate Partner with questions regarding these events.

Championship Tournament - A regional- or state-level event.  U.S. Teams compete for a chance to advance to one of four Super-Regional Tournaments.  Championship Tournaments may require teams to advance through a Qualifying Tournament structure.  Championship Tournaments adhere to FIRST standards in format, judging and awards.  For the 2013-2014 season, international Championship Tournaments do not yet have Super-Regionals and advance directly to the FTC World Championship.

Super-Regional Championship Tournament New for 2013-2014 - Teams in the U.S. will advance from regional- or state-level Championship Tournaments to compete at one of four Super-Regional Tournaments.  Teams will advance from a Super-Regional to the FTC World Championship.  For information on the four U.S. regions, visit the Super-Regionals FAQ page.  Super-Regionals are FIRST-endorsed events and adhere to FIRST standards for format, judging and awards.

World Championship - This event is the culmination of the season.  To compete in this event, U.S. teams must advance from a Super-Regional Tournament, while international events advance teams from their respective Championship Tournaments. 

FTC Affiliate Partners reserve the right to limit the numbers of teams attending any of these tournaments. Neither FIRST nor the local FTC Affiliate Partner can guarantee a tournament in your area, even if you have registered with FIRST.


Advancement Criteria

Teams will advance to the next level of competition in the order indicated below according to the number of spots available. The advancement criteria will be applied to teams advancing from Qualifying Tournaments to Championship Tournaments; from Championship Tournaments to Super-Regional Championship Tournaments; from Super-Regional Championship Tournaments to the FTC World Championship.

In the event that the team listed has already advanced or there is no team fitting that description (as in 2nd team selected at smaller events), the advancement will continue in order.

  1. Qualifier Host Team (NOTE: Assuming that the team competes at one other tournament within the region and has met the criteria set forth by the Affiliate Partner in the agreement.  This applies to qualifying tournaments only.)
  2. Inspire Award Winner
  3. Winning Alliance Captain
  4. Inspire Award 2nd place
  5. Winning Alliance, 1st team selected
  6. Inspire Award 3rd place
  7. Winning Alliance, 2nd team selected
  8. Think Award Winner
  9. Finalist Alliance Captain
  10. Connect Award Winner
  11. Finalist Alliance, 1st team selected
  12. Rockwell Collins Innovate Award Winner
  13. Finalist Alliance, 2nd team selected
  14. PTC Design Award Winner
  15. Highest Ranked Team not previously advanced
  16. Motivate Award Winner
  17. Highest Ranked Team not previously advanced

For advancement criteria from Super-Regional Championships and certain two-division Championship events, please reference the following:

  1. Inspire Award Winner
  2. Winning Alliance Captain
  3. Inspire Award 2nd place
  4. Winning Alliance, 1st team selected
  5. Inspire Award 3rd place
  6. Winning Alliance, 2nd team selected
  7. Think Award Winner
  8. Finalist Alliance Captain
  9. Connect Award Winner
  10. Finalist Alliance, 1st team selected
  11. Rockwell Collins Innovate Award Winner
  12. Finalist Alliance, 2nd team selected
  13. PTC Design Award Winner
  14. Motivate Award Winner
  15. Division Finalist Alliance Captain of the Winning Division 
  16. Division Finalist Alliance Captain of the Finalist Division
  17. Division Finalist Alliance 1st team selected of the Winning 
  18. Division Finalist Alliance 1st team selected of the Finalist Division 
  19. Division Finalist Alliance 2nd team selected of the Winning Division
  20. Division Finalist Alliance 2nd team selected of the Finalist Division
  21. Division Semi-Finalist Highest Seeded Alliance Captain of the Winning Division
  22. Division Semi-Finalist Highest Seeded Alliance Captain of the Finalist Division
  23. Division Semi-Finalist Highest Seeded Alliance 1st team selected of the Winning Division
  24. Division Semi-Finalist Highest Seeded Alliance 1st team selected of the Finalist Division 
  25. Division Semi-Finalist Highest Seeded Alliance 2nd team selected of the Winning Division 
  26. Division Semi-Finalist Highest Seeded Alliance 2nd team selected of the Finalist Division 
  27. Division Semi-Finalist Not Yet Advanced Alliance Captain of the Winning Division
  28. Division Semi-Finalist Not Yet Advanced Alliance Captain of the Finalist Division
  29. Division Semi-Finalist Not Yet Advanced Ranked Alliance 1st team selected of the Winning Division 
  30. Division Semi-Finalist Not Yet Advanced Alliance 1st team selected of the Finalist Division 
  31. Division Semi-Finalist Not Yet Advanced Alliance 2nd team selected of the Winning Division
  32. Division Semi-Finalist Not Yet Advanced Alliance 2nd team selected of the Finalist Division 
  33. Highest Ranked Team not previously advanced until all spaces are filled, beginning with the Winning Division and alternating to the Finalist Division team of equal rank, until all spots are filled.

Tournament Q&A

Q. What are the tournaments like?
A.  Tournaments consist of opening and closing ceremonies, complete with trophies, awards, and recognition.  Tournaments are exciting, fun competitions packed with volunteers and spectators that celebrate learning about science, technology, engineering and math

Q. Does our team registration include participation at an event?
A. No, tournament application is a separate process. Event organizers determine the tournament fee, and the cost to attend varies.  The registration fee for a Championship Tournament can range from $0-$300(US).

Q. Where can we find out about the tournaments?
A. Click here to check events in your area. 

Q. How is a tournament run?
A. FTC Affiliate Partners, Tournament Partners, and many volunteers plan, coordinate, and run tournaments. Teams attending Qualifying and Championship Tournaments compete in the robot game and go before a panel of judges who assess the team's technical knowledge and understanding, as well as team interaction and spirit. 

Q. If we pay the $275 team registration fee, will our team definitely be able to participate in a tournament?
A. You will most likely be able to participate in a tournament, but there is no guarantee that there will be enough tournaments, volunteers, or space to accommodate all teams in all locations, or that there will be a tournament available in your area. The FTC Affiliate Partners do everything they can to provide all teams with an event, which could mean teams traveling a little farther for a competition. In the event that more teams apply to a tournament than can be accommodated at the event, the organizers have the right to limit teams on a first-come, first-served or other basis. In some areas with a large number of teams, local events sometimes serve as Qualifying Tournaments for team advancement to a Championship Tournament in that state or province.

Q. Can I schedule a local event, or do I need to work through FTC?
A. Teams can run their own local events. Contact the FTC Affiliate Partner in your area and let him/her know about your local event. If they authorize the event as an official scrimmage, they may assist with promotion and team awareness for your event.

Q. Do teams need to bring their computers to a tournament?
A. If your team attends a Qualifying Tournament or Championship Tournament, it is recommended that you bring a computer for the day of the competition. You may need to modify your robot's programs to accommodate the specific conditions of the tournament setting and to improve robot performance.

Q. What types of awards can teams win?
A.  Award information can be found here

Q. What are the criteria for award judging?
A. Please check the Mentor Guide for judging information.  You will find judging criteria as well as suggestions for considerations in the awards process.

Q. How does a team win an award?
A. Judges will be observing and interviewing teams throughout the day, both on the field and off. At the end of the day they will recognize the most remarkable teams with awards in various categories.