Friday, February 15, 2019

Rules Reminders for Championship

Hey Championship teams, 
We hope you're all crazy excited for the AZ & NM Championship event next week in Flagstaff! As we get closer, we'd like to remind you of a few rules to help you have a great event. 

Be sure to come to the field with a charged battery. If we're waiting for a battery to be replaced while a robot is being placed on the field, a delay of game penalty will be called. 

Be sure that when you place your robot in the latched position that it easily clears the 4" required to be considered latched. We saw some teams riding a razor thin margin a few times. If your robot doesn't meet the 4" margin right away, you will have one chance to correct it. After that, the match will be played and the team will not get points for deploying in autonomous. 

We gave 4 yellow cards for violations of rule S2, robot arm extensions outside the field perimeter. Please keep your robot under control and our field crew safe!

Remember to play the game to the best of your team's ability, and not try to play a strategy that exploits the game rules. Teams have been doing a great job of this so far this season - Keep It Up!

If there is a question about a call on the field, remember that only ONE team member may stand in the question box to address the Head Referee. We will not review photos or videos or matches. 

It's a good idea to review both Game Manuals and the Rules Updates prior to the competition, especially if your team qualified early and hasn't played recently. 

This should go without saying, but remember that each team only gets one robot. Many schools have multiple teams, and some teams may be moving forward to the Championship while others are not. Each team must bring the robot that played and qualified to the Championship. Teams may not swap their robot out for another team's. While we expect that modifications will be made to the robot throughout the season, showing up with an entirely different robot is grounds for disqualification. See Rule T7 in Game Manuel Part 1 for more details.  

Gracious Professionalism is about more than just your interactions on the field or in the judging room, it's about how your team interacts with EVERYONE, including everyone within your team. We have over 100 volunteers coming to make this event special for you. If a team member, coach, mentor or parent is rude to any volunteer or to another team, it will be reported to the Judge Advisor. We can and will disqualify teams from awards for poor behavior on or off the playing field...we've done it before, and will do it again if necessary.

We remind you of this so that ALL teams, volunteers, and spectators have the best possible experience, and come away inspired, no matter the outcome of the tournament. Remember, whether your team wins an award or finishes first or last, making it to the Championship is worth celebrating! If you're coming to the Championship with the mindset of providing a great experience for the hardworking students, then we welcome you! 

Please take some time with your team to review Gracious Professionalism and the FIRST Core Values prior to the competition. We highly recommend page 7 of Game Manual Part 1 and the video by Dr. Woodie Flowers explaining GP.


Duel at the Qualifier Live Stream

Good Luck to all the teams competing at our last Qualifier this weekend, the Duel at the Qualifier! Find out who the last teams to qualify for the AZ & NM Championship will be!

Thank you to the Cactus High School media team for providing the live stream! Check out all the action on here!


Air Force Leadership Experience & West Valley Results

Eighth Annual U.S. Air Force/FIRST Leadership Experience for
FIRST Teachers and Mentors
For the eighth year, the U.S. Air Force is offering a unique three-day leadership program providing FIRST mentors with hands-on leadership training taught by Air Force personnel. Throughout the three-day experience, mentors will attend lectures, take part in team building exercises, and tour a local Air Force Base. The Air Force will select a group of 24 teachers and mentors from FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST® Robotics Competition teams who are helping inspire today’s youth to become the technical leaders of tomorrow.
When:  July 14 – 18, 2019. Dates could be subject to change based on Air Force operational missions/priorities.
Where:  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Who is Eligible: FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition mentors who are K-12 teachers and live within the continental United States.
How to Apply:
  • Complete the online application. 
  • Applications must be submitted by Friday, May 10, 2019.
  • As part of your application, you will have the opportunity to describe in 300 words or less how you have found a better way to get students excited about science and technology, and what innovative techniques you use to help kids learn and stay motivated. 
  • Chosen applicants will be named by Friday, May 24, 2019.
For questions, please contact Brittany Keegan at

***Christine: "I got to do last year's training and it was AMAZING!!!! Some of the best and most interesting professional development I've ever done - I highly recommend applying!!!"***

FIRST Tech Challenge HQ Engineering Internship Opportunity

Calling all graduating high school seniors or university level students! FIRST Tech Challenge has an engineering internship opportunity at our headquarters in Manchester, NH! Check it out here. We'd love to hire a FIRST Alum, so help us spread the word!

West Valley Event Results
Congrats to all the teams that competed in Chandler, and thank you to FTC Team 14624 Cat-astrophic Byte for putting on such an awesome event!

Inspire Award: 3666, Hawks Robotics
Winning Alliance: 8995, Jaegers & 12568, Vibrant Robotics & 2844, Valley X
Finalist Alliance: 7156, Wolves Robotics 2 & 6174, Automatons & 11980, Team Viper
Think Award: 6174, Automatons
Connect Award: 10523, Dragons
Collins Aerospace Innovate Award: 12889, Wyverns
Design Award: 8995, Jaegers
Motivate Award: 13517, CPR
Control Award: 10369, Robosapiens
Judges Award: 8784, Sprockets

Teams Advancing to the Championship: 
13517, CPR
7156, Wolves Robotics 2
12889, Wyverns
10369, Robosapiens
12841, +3 Robotics
14624, Cat-astrophic Byte

Friday, February 8, 2019

West Valley Live Stream & ONE LAST CHANCE!!!


There are two spots available at the February 16 Duel at the Qualifying Tournament at Cactus High School in Glendale. Contact Christine directly and quickly if you are interested. Priority will be given to teams that haven't played 3 events yet, and that haven't qualified for the AZ & NM Championship. 

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

Thank you to the CocoNuts FIRST Robotics Team for providing the live stream! Check out all the action on here!


Monday, February 4, 2019

Name the Championship Field!!!

Name the AZ & NM Championship Field!!!
Thanks to the support of our amazing tournament directors, we will have a new, never-been-played-on Rover Ruckus field for the winning alliances from the Grand Canyon & Enchantment Divisions to face off on for the Championship! 

Your team can help us name the field! Submit your ideas here! The winning name will be announced at the Championship. Nominations will close February 16. 

FIRST® Tech Challenge World Championship Waitlist
The FIRST Tech Challenge Championship wait list is open! The deadline to apply is February 14, 2019. Learn more about the details of our lottery system and notifications in the blog post from FIRST.

FIRST Tech Challenge Jump Start
Looking to add a 2nd team at your school? Is another school in your district excited to start at team for next season? Spread the word about the FIRST Tech Challenge Jump Start program! Jump Start allows teams to register for the 2019/2020 season and get a robot kit now, and have their registration fee waived when the season opens in May. See more details here. 

Rules Reminders for Championship

Hey Championship teams,  We hope you're all crazy excited for the AZ & NM Championship event next week in Flagstaff! As we get clos...