Friday, November 30, 2018

Glendale Live Stream!

Good Luck to all the teams competing at the Glendale Qualifier this weekend!

Thank you to the Cactus High School Media Crew for providing the live stream! Check out all the action on here:


Monday, November 26, 2018

Gilbert Results; Advice from FTAs

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! We're so grateful for all you do for our teams!!!

Tips from Head FTA Eric
A reminder to FTC Teams that this year's game rules require that your robot have version 4.0 or above for both the Diver Station and Robot Controller Apps. The Driver Station and Robot Controller apps must have the same version number. 

For Blocks and OnBot Java programmers,  you can download the latest apps from the Google Play store. 

Also, we highly recommend that you install the latest Firmware update, version 1.8.2, for the REV Expansion Hub. Information on updating the firmware and improvements can be found here.

Gilbert Event Results
Congrats to all the teams that competed in the first two-field event of the season! 
Thank you to Team 8081 Knights of the Lab Table for putting on such an awesome event!

Inspire Award: 12767, Catholic Master Builders (CMB)
Winning Alliance: 12767, CMB & 3666, Hawks Robotics & 7840 Hawks Robotics
Finalist Alliance: 13082, Omnics & 10348, Gear Masters & 5661, Wolves Robotics
Think Award: 13968, Herberger Howlers
Connect Award: 10348, Gear Masters
Rockwell Collins Innovate Award: 10111, Herberger Javelinas
Design Award: 3666, Hawks Robotics
Motivate Award: 7840, Hawks Robotics
Control Award: 5661, Wolves Robotics
Judges Award: 12604, Tiger Blue

Teams Advancing to the Championship: 
12767, Catholic Master Builders
10111, Herberger Javelinas
3666, Hawks Robotics
13099, San Carlos Braves
8081, Knights of the Lab Table

Reason #12,241 for double checking your electronics prior to competition! Be safe everyone! 


Friday, November 16, 2018

Gilbert Qualifier Live Stream!

Gilbert Qualifier will be LIVE!

The Gilbert Tournament will play on Saturday November 17 starting around 10 am! Check out all the Rover Ruckus action by tuning into the Live Stream here: 

Thank you to the CocoNuts for providing the stream and to the Knights of the Lab Table for Hosting! 
Good luck to all the teams competing this weekend! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Reminders, Game Play, White Mountain Results

Payment for your qualifiers is due by FRIDAY!!! By Friday your team must have done one of the following, or risk being dropped from your events:
  • Mailed a check to Coconino High School 
    • Address is on your invoice
    • Please send an email to letting us know when the check was mailed
  • Paid with a credit card to Carrie in the CHS bookstore
    • Directions for paying by credit card are on your invoice
  • Sent a copy of your PO request to
Please remember to include your team number with all email and phone correspondence. 

Dean's List Nominations for Glendale, Tucson, and Phoenix are due by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Thursday. See the Dean's List page for more details on how to nominate students. 

Your Team Name that is registered with FIRST is the one that the scoring system will use for displays and matches. We DO NOT have a way to change this manually in the scoring computer. Please check your team information on your dashboard at least 1 week prior to your event and confirm your name is spelled exactly how you want it displayed at the event!

Important Game Play Information from your Head Referees
Congratulations to all teams completing this past weekend in the White Mountain Qualifier!  I wish I could have joined in the fun, and am looking forward to the rest of the season! Here a few items of note that we would like to pass along to teams as the competition season gets rolling along…

Latching and Deployed Situations:  
If a team has any questions or is not sure about what constitutes Deployed or Latched for this year’s challenge, please review the following:

Game Manual II, Section 1.4 – Game Definitions for “Deployed” and “Latched”  Note there is specific wording on what constitutes a “Latched” robot – “completely supported…”  “and is not in contact…” is key to the sentence in the definition.

Game Manual II, Section 1.5.1 Pre-Match – 1 “Latched to the Lander” – This is very clearly worded on pre-match starting condition for a latched robot.

Game Manual II, Section 1.5.4 End Game – 1  “Robots Latched” – Note that the first sentence specifies “…Deployed during pre-match setup or in the course of game play…”  see definition of “Deployed”   (i.e. a robot starting the match on the field in the alliance landing zone under the bracket is deployed and eligible for the endgame latching score, and a Robot starting in a latched configuration, that deploys during Driver Controlled period is eligible for the end game latching score, but a robot starting in a latched configuration that does not move or cannot deploy due to some issue is NOT eligible for the end game latching score.

Game Manual II, Section 1.6.3 Game-Specific Rules -  Remember there are specific rules affecting blocking , interfering and latching  see <GS5>, <GS6> and <GS7>.

FTC Forum Q&A:  There are a number of good scenario questions, so make sure to stay updated on the forum posting, but specific to this topic, I would direct attention to the forum Game Rules – End Game Q&A #4 dated 11-05-18 with Subject “Latched Robot - <GS5> Blocking Access to Scoring in the Lander and <GS6> Interfering with Scoring at the Lander”  There is some good feedback on how situations will be called in this post.  Please take time to read through it.

Landing Situation:
Note Game Manual II Section 1.5.2 Autonomous Period – 1.  Landing.  
Specifically, to score a landing, contact with the lander support bracket is a critical piece of the score.  Team need to make sure it is clear to the referees that there is “no contact” with the bracket.  Since we do not enter the field to check scoring conditions, we must rely on what we can see from outside the playing field.  If it “looks” like the robot is touching a bracket to a referee, chances are the landing for autonomous points will not count.

I hope this helps clarify some of the questions that may be in your minds as the qualifiers begin. 

Questions/clarification And as always, please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.  When you are at a tournament, please remember that if you have a question about a call or an issue that arises during the tournament there is a protocol for addressing your concern – send a youth team member to the Question Box to discuss the issue with the Head Referee.  Please do not seek out the Tournament Director or the Affiliate Partner to discuss game rule interpretations, remember they are very busy with the tournament operations at the Big Picture Level, and will send you to the Question Box...

I look forward to seeing teams at Gilbert this weekend and wish all safe travels and a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Best to all,
“Ref Rich”
Rich Gomez

Now that Qualifying Tournaments are underway, a running list of event results and the roster for the Championship is posted under Quick Links to the right. 

White Mountain Event Results
Congrats to all the teams that competed in the first event of the season! 
Thank you to Team 8995 Jaegers Robotics for putting on such an awesome event!

Inspire Award: 10984, Beep Patrol
Winning Alliance: 8081, Knights of the Lab Table & 10984 Beep Patrol
Finalist Alliance: 13517, CPR & 10369 Robosapiens
Think Award: 14571, The Marvels
Connect Award: 12892, Juggerbots
Rockwell Collins Innovate Award: 13517, CPR
Design Award: 12241, Paragon Panthers
Motivate Award: 14436, Roaring Robotics
Control Award: 8081, Knights of the Lab Table
Judges Award: 15158, Rambots

Teams Advancing to the Championship: 
10984, Beep Patrol
12241, Paragon Panthers
12892, Juggerbots

Good Luck to all the teams competing at the Gilbert Qualifier this weekend! 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

White Mountain Qualifier Live Stream!

White Mountain Qualifier is LIVE!

The White Mountain Tournament is underway out in Heber! Check out all the Rover Ruckus action by tuning into the Live Stream here: 

Thank you to the CocoNuts for providing the stream! 
Good luck to all the teams competing this weekend! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Hey Arizona & New Mexico...IT'S TIME TO RUCKUS!!!

Competition season is finally here!!!! We can't wait to see what all you amazing teams have come up with for the Rover Ruckus game! Good luck to the teams competing at our first qualifier this weekend at White Mountain. 

After each event, we'll post the results here on the blog, and add to a running list under Quick Links to the right. We'll also include a list of the teams that are advancing to the Arizona & New Mexico Championship in February. GO TEAMS!

  • Payment for all events is due next Friday, November 16! Please be sure to send in your payments. If your school will need more time than that to cut a check, please submit a copy of your purchase order to by the deadline. 
  • The nomination deadline for Dean's List for December tournaments is midnight eastern time on Thursday, November 15. Nominations must be in by this time for teams wishing to nominate students at the Glendale, Tucson, and Phoenix tournaments. Information on the Dean's List submission process can be found under Quick Links, Team Resources, and the Kickoff Presentations to the right.
  • Update your team information in your dashboard. The new scoring system can pull information directly from the FIRST database, so double check and be sure your team name, school information, and sponsor information are correct with FIRST

Competition Packing List
  • TEAM ROSTERS! FIRST forms must be signed electronically for each team member and adult mentor. You must print this roster to be turned in at registration at every event to participate! If you have students on your team who have not completed the online form, you must bring a paper consent form to the event. See information on registering youth below.
  • SAFETY GLASSES for every team member, mentor, parent.
  • ENGINEERING NOTEBOOK - remember, most of the judged awards require a notebook for your team to be considered. 
  • Robot, spare parts, battery chargers, phone chargers, spare batteries. Be sure to label everything with your team number!
  • Power strip and extension cord. Each team will be provided with one table and two chairs in the pit area.
  • Robot Programs backed up on a flash drive
  • Laptop for programming and password for the computer
  • Judging presentation materials, handouts, costumes, etc. No computers or projectors will be provided in project rooms! 
  • Money for lunch or lunch plans: tournament directors will communicate with you directly about options at their event. 
  • Team spirit, pit display and give away items: have fun and flaunt your team spirit, but make sure your pit will fit in the size constraints for the event you're attending.  
  • Be sure to check the latest rules updates and Q&A on the FTC website often. Our referees will be scoring according to the latest rulings by the game design committee. 
  • Family and friends! All FIRST Robotics events are free and open to the public.

Judging Information
Each team will have 10 minutes to present to a panel of 2-3 judges prior to the start of qualification matches about your robot, team, and community activities. Per the current season FIRST Tech Challenge game and volunteer manuals, the following rules will be in place for all Arizona and New Mexico qualifiers and the Championship: 
  • FIRST Tech Challenge teams are comprised of up to 15 pre-college students. The whole team is encouraged to attend the judging session with the robot. 
  • Teams are encouraged to prepare what they will say in the judging session so that they don't forget any information that the judges may like to know.
  • Each team will be allowed ONE adult mentor as a silent observer in the judging room during the presentation. 
  • Adult mentors may not say anything, answer questions, or take any video recordings during the presentation.
  • Adults may take notes in the judging session to be used for coaching the team for future events. 
  • Adults who speak during the judging presentation may put their teams in jeopardy for awards, as this can be interpreted as the students not doing the work. 
  • Teams may choose to send in a mentor or not. The judging panel will not keep track of which teams send mentors in or not, unless that mentor speaks during the judging session. 
  • Judges will not provide students or mentors with written or verbal feedback or rubrics from the judging session. Instead, all teams are encouraged to fill out the Team Self-Reflection which will be provided to each team at registration at each event. 
  • The judge advisor will ask other volunteers for feedback on team Gracious Professionalism, both positive and negative. Teams that display poor GP during the competition may put their chances of earning an award in jeopardy. The volunteers will consider ALL members of your team, including adults. 
  • The judges' decisions for award winners is final. 
  • Please read Game Manuel Part 1 for more information on advancement, and see the earlier blog posts for information on the number of teams advancing from each event. 

Youth Team Member Registration - A Message from FIRST
Coaches and mentors serve a critical, guiding role on FIRST® teams. We thank you for giving your time, resources, and energy to making the team experience an amazing one for your youth team members.

We can help you keep your parents and your team members “in the know” and make sure they don’t miss out on any of the news and valuable information coming from FIRST.

Help improve our communication to FIRST youth team members and their parents by registering your team members in our system and guiding parents to complete the registration.

Why is this so important?
By registering your youth team members, you:

  • Allow us to keep in touch with students about scholarships, internships and career opportunities
  • Help us contact parents in case of emergencies
  • Make it easier to create a team roster needed for events
  • Provide FIRST with demographic data to help improve and grow our programs*
  • Provide your team members with the ability to apply for some team awards

*FIRST uses youth information to understand who our programs are serving – ensuring that they are accessible to all. We also utilize aggregate information to meet sponsor requirements, such as the total number of team members and the percentage of boys and girls. Private information is not shared.

Get started today and learn more about registering youth team members:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Bonus Blog - Meet the Field Day

Happy Meet the Field Day Teams! 
Now posted under quick links - Information on several of the Meet the Field Day events, including parking instructions, hours, and food information. 

Don't forget to RSVP by Friday morning so your host can prepare for your arrival. 

Packing List for Meet the Field Day - Please make sure everything is labeled with your team number!

  • Robot & Kit (even if your robot is still a box of parts!)
  • Laptop with programming software
  • Charging cables for phones and computer
  • Safety glasses
  • Tools to work on your robot - please don't bring your whole pit, just the essentials. Many host sites will have tools available for you to borrow. 
  • Students who are excited to learn and work
  • Lunches or money and a plan for lunch

And now, a Thursday Throwback to the last few days before Kickoff! Enjoy Rover Ruckus!