Thursday, October 19, 2023

Qualifiers Start in 4 weeks....Tips from the Head Referees & Scrimmages!

One month until Qualifiers begin! 

Follow this checklist to be sure you are ready to take CENTERSTAGE

  • FIRST Registration
    • Your team CAN NOT compete without being registered and paid for the 2023/2024 season. 
    • Every team must also have two adult coaches registered and cleared through YPP prior to competing. 
    • Be sure to update your team information, including any changes to your team name before you compete. The scoring system pulls team and school information from the registration system and it cannot be changed once the tournament has started. 
  • Pay your qualifying tournament registration fees by November 17
    • This is paid to Coconino High School Robotics - NOT FIRST
    • Instructions are on the Invoice that was sent to each team
    • If you haven't received an invoice yet, please contact Christine ASAP
  • Register your youth team members with your team
  • Begin prepping your engineering portfolio and judging presentation
  • Read, reread, and read again both game manual 1 and 2!
  • Check out the Team Management Resources for information on getting ready for competition. 
  • Raise your Right Hand...and promise to bring your team to the competition even if you "aren't ready." We promise, they will learn more in that one day than they had the whole season leading up to the event!!! Volunteers and other teams are great resources to help you get your robot to the next level, even at the competition. 
  • Speaking of getting your robot ready....

Scrimmage Opportunities in AZ

Several teams are offering scrimmage or work day opportunities to help you get ready to compete. 

  • Trunk or Treat
    • October 28, 5-7 PM
    • 3225 N Washington St. Chandler, AZ 85225
    • Contact Camila Trevino (
  • 1st Look Scrimmage
    • November 4, 10 AM - 4 PM
    • EVIT East Campus - 6625 S Power Rd,  Mesa, AZ 85212
  • Trivium Scrimmage
    • November 4, 11 AM - 4 PM
    • Trivium Preparatory Academy - 2001 N Bullard Ave, Goodyear
  • Northern AZ Scrimmage & Help Session
    • November 6, 4 - 8 PM
    • Coconino High School Cafeteria, 2801 N. Izabel St. Flagstaff, AZ 86004
    • Contact Christine at to RSVP by Nov. 5


Hi Teams,

We hope your pre-season planning and build is going well!  Here are a couple of tidbits of news that we want to share with you, so please take note and incorporate into your plans and game plan training.

Please download and note the new updates in the Game Manuals.  There are a couple of new rules / clarifications that could be important.

Remember that the surface in the Landing Zone may vary event to event.  This is one of those variations in the gameplay that teams can expect to deal with during the season!

In the same theme of variation in the competition areas, we may experience different “weather patterns” that may affect the Landing Zone operations, e.g. a gust of air caused by a door opening, a person passing in front of the landing zone quickly so as not to disturb sight lines of the audience, etc.

Please remember your GP throughout the tournament!  Especially with respect to the Drones.  If you rebuild your drone, put a different drone in play (except if all your drones are identical in design and makeup) or are told by a Head Referee that the Drone needs to be re-inspected, please be proactive and graciously get your drone re-inspected as soon as possible. 

Finally, this season we will be looking for all drive teams to actually press “Stop” on your drive controllers at the end of the match.  The wording in GM 2 “Parked” definition and rule <G20> do not state that you have to press the Stop button, but this is a safety practice due to the nature of the game this season with hanging robots and possible movement when removing the robots.  So, we will be reminding all teams to hit Stop at the end of the match.

We are looking forward to seeing you out there on the CENTERSTAGE and can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

Best wishes, be safe and follow the FTC Q&A and Game Manuals!

Ref Rich -

Remote Professional Development Sessions (Global)

FIRST® will be hosting several remote Professional Development sessions through February 2024 for FIRST® LEGO® League Discover, Explore, Challenge, and FIRST® Tech Challenge. These professional development opportunities are great for new coaches and teachers. More information can be found on our website and registration is through Eventbrite. If you have questions, email

Tech Tip of the Week

Have you ever asked, “How does that get connected?” when working with FIRST® Tech Challenge control system components? This Tech Tip of the Week highlights Stefen Acepcion of FIRST® Robotics Competition Team 3161 - he has graciously compiled several connection diagrams that demonstrate different ways that common components can be connected within the FIRST Tech Challenge control system.

Driver Station connection diagrams (both Driver Hub and Android Smartphone configurations) and Robot Controller connection diagrams (both Control Hub and Android Smartphone configurations) can be found on ftc-docs. Stefen has contributed additional diagrams this season, including a new Advanced REV Control Hub connection diagram and a new Advanced Smartphone connection diagram. These diagrams are chock-full of helpful tips, connection techniques, and information you otherwise can’t find in one place - check them out! 

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