Frequently Asked Questions

FIRST LEGO League 2021 Season: FAQs

How will FIRST LEGO League events be run this year?

All FIRST LEGO League Challenge events will be run remotely this year. This includes all qualifying events, the NYC Championship, as well as events that are not part of the official competition, such as scrimmages and workshops.

What does the Team Registration fee cover?

The 2020 - 2021 team registration fee for FIRST LEGO League Challenge Season is $225 and includes:

The Team Registration fee does not include shipping and handling, the Challenge Set ($75), or registration to FIRST LEGO League Challenge events.

How much is the Event Registration Fee this year?

The event registration fee will be $75 per team, per event.

Where will competitions be held this season?

Competitions will be held remotely through FIRST’s Remote Event Hub and Zoom. Robot Game runs will be submitted as video recordings to the Remote Event Hub and judging presentations will be held live over Zoom.

When will competitions be held this season?

FIRST LEGO League Challenge qualifiers will be held the week of April 12th, April 19th, and April 26th in 2021. Coaches will receive more information about the qualifiers through email.

Will competitions be a one-day event?

We do not expect competitions to be a one-day event. Your live judging session and the deadline to submit your robot games may be on different days. We also expect awards ceremonies to be held on a separate day after all submissions are received and reviewed.

How will I be able to run an official Robot Game if I don’t have a competition table at home/school?

NYC FIRST is exploring options to open up an official Robot Game table that teams can use to record their runs. More details will be sent out to coaches once the space, equipment, and procedures are confirmed.

Where can I find official COVID-19 guidelines for running a FIRST LEGO League team?

You can find FIRST's official FLL guidance for COVID-19 interruptionshere.

Where can I find information about sanitizing LEGO equipment?

You can find LEGO Education’s Hygiene Guidehere.

FIRST Tech Challenge 2021 Season: FAQs

How will FIRST Tech Challenge events be run this year?

NYC FIRST will hold its FTC season remotely for the 2020-21 season. We are designing these FTC remote events to be as close to traditional competitions as possible. That means that each team will still build a robot and compete on an FTC field, and each team will present by video to panels of judges. We know that some teams might have difficulty building their robots, and NYC FIRST will be happy to share ideas with you as to how to make the physical building possible. During this remote season, the official Playing Field has also been adapted to allow Teams to play as a single team on a single field.

What does Team Registration fee include?

The 2020 - 2021 FTC team registration fee is $275 and includes:

How many qualifiers does the event registration fee cover?

Event registration fees cover up to two official qualifying events. There are a total of four remote qualifiers.

Do teams need to purchase a full field or half a field?

Remote teams may order an official half-version of this season's field or compete using a modified version of the field. Teams may also opt to build a DIY field.

What is the Innovation Challenge?

The Innovation Challenge is an optional program element offered for this season (and is included with team registration). Participating teams will identify a real-world problem or opportunity related to our season theme, design a solution, build a business model, and deliver a remote pitch to compete for advancement.

What is the Innovation Challenge theme?

The Innovation Challenge theme relates to our FIRST GAME CHANGERS season theme, challenging us to revolutionize the traditional world of sports and fitness, innovating the way we play and moving for us to reach our individual physical and mental health goals.

Are teams required to participate in the Innovation Challenge?

Participation in the Innovation Challenge is optional for all FTC teams.

Can participation in the Innovation Challenge be entirely remote?

Yes, the Innovation Challenge can be entirely remote through the use of online collaboration and design tools. To ensure equity of experience, judging will be 100% remote (even if regions have physical events).

How long will teams have to complete the Innovation Challenge?

Teams will have a minimum of 6 weeks to complete the Innovation Challenge.

What are the Global Innovation Awards?

The Global Innovation Awards showcase the real-world, innovative solutions created by FIRST teams from around the world as part of the annual themed challenge. Demonstrating originality, creativity, potential impact, and value, finalist teams are recognized for their inventions, receive assistance to further develop solutions, and are evaluated to determine an overall winning team and runners-up from each participating FIRST program.

The Global Innovation Awards were initially introduced 10 years ago for FLL We are thrilled to offer this unique experience to FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams as a cross-program event. Inspired to be the next generation of innovators, many teams go on to meet government leaders, garner national press coverage, receive patents, bring their inventions to market, and become entrepreneurs.

Can a team still participate in the Awards Ceremony if they do not build a physical robot?

A team registered for the 2021 season can compete for some of the awards without participating in the entire competition. Teams do not need a physical robot to participate in judging.

Teams can also opt to participate in the Innovation Challenge, allowing them to be candidates in the  the awards that fall under the Innovation Challenge.

The following awards highlight the categories in which teams without a physical robot can participate in:

The Team Attribute Awards

(Motivate & Connect) are easily judged without a robot.


The Machine Creativity & Innovation Awards

(Design & Innovate) can be judged based on the design work a team does, even if there is no robot.


The Think Award and Inspire Award can be judged based on all of the above.


FIRST Robotics Competition 2021 Season: FAQs

How will FIRST Robotics Competition events be run this year?

In recognizing the ongoing challenges for teams with remote and hybrid learning, limited access to building spaces, tools, and robots, as well as uncertainty for traveling to and attending in-person events, FIRST has introduced these new opportunities for our teams to participate this season:

  1. Option 1: Teams show off what their robots and drivers can do in a skills challenge based on the 2020 INFINITE RECHARGE game. Scores are posted, and teams virtually compete against each other for the Skills Challenge Awards
  2. Option 2: Teams illustrate their robot’s technical qualities by sharing information with judges remotely in competition for traditional robot-based awards. Teams can participate with or without access to their robot.


What does the registration fee include?

Team registration includes:

What does the Kit of Parts Include?

FRC teams will receive a Kit of Parts that includes, the Kickoff Kit, the Virtual Kit, and FIRST Choice. New rookie teams will receive Kickoff Kit items comparable to those shipped in the 2020 rookie Kickoff Kits.  The Veteran Kickoff Kits will be limited in breadth and quantity of items while still helping support teams this season.

Additional details can be found on FIRST blog.

Are team grants available to help with the registration fee for this year? 

For updated grant information, visit the FIRST Robotics Competition Grants page. The following grants are available and open now.

NASA Grant

New Team Grant

Equity and Access Grant

Can the 2020 gameplay voucher be applied to the 2021 registration fee?

Teams who received a $1000 voucher due to no gameplay in 2020 may apply this voucher towards the 2021 registration fee. (This voucher can be applied to 2022 if not used for the 2021 season).

Do 2020 rookie teams retain rookie status for 2021 season?

2020 rookie teams will pay the lower veteran registration fee of $2000 for the 2021 season, but they will be eligible for rookie-designated awards and district points (if applicable). 2020 rookies will not be eligible for the 2021 Chairman’s Award.

Will there be in-person gameplay this season?

FIRST has targeted January for the first re-evaluation for in-person gameplay.

Without in-person gameplay, what does this mean for judged awards?

To accommodate the virtual gameplay, some of the awards are being modified based on challenge criteria to align with INFINITE RECHARGE at Home, the Innovation Challenge, and the Game Design Challenge. FIRST may also include new awards. Further details will be made available as we get closer to kickoff. 

Will awards be judged remotely or in-person?

All FRC awards will be judged remotely. Detailed information will be provided closer to kickoff.

Will only one set of awards be given out for each of the new challenges?

Several sets of awards will be given out, one for each group of teams. Teams will be grouped in numbers roughly equal to the number of teams present at traditional FRC events.