FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) engages youth in hands-on STEM exploration. This guided program for ages 4 through 14 is often the first spark igniting a love for robotics and a passion for STEM.

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FLL is built around theme-based challenges to engage youth in research, problem solving, coding, and engineering. The foundation of the program is the FIRST Core Values, which emphasizes teamwork, discovery, and innovation, while providing a constructive and exciting environment.

Combining entry-level coding robots with LEGO-constructed game fields, FLL is an exciting and intriguing way to encourage youth to get involved in STEM.  Participants learn how to strategize, design, code and build their robots, but STEM and robotics education are just a portion of the benefits that students receive from participation in FLL. 

FLL participants develop valuable life skills including critical thinking, time management, collaboration, communication and often develop higher levels of self-confidence.  As FLL games are built to address real-world challenges, participants not only learn about solutions, but have fun while becoming contributing members of their local communities.

FLL Resources

If your team hasn't registered for an event yet, please reach out to our FLL Program Manager, Rawlins to get you started!

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Event FAQs

Where are FLL events hosted?
Qualifiers and the Semi-Final are hosted in schools that are either partners of NYCFIRST, host FTC or FRC teams (the programs that immediately follow FLL), or have graciously volunteered their space.

The location of the Championship is decided on after Kick-Off.

How big are FLL events?
FLL events in New York City are HUGE! As many as 24 teams can register for any qualifying event, with the Semi-Final hosting as many as 48 teams and the Championship hosting as many as 51 teams.
Who staffs the event?
FLL events are staffed by volunteers of all different backgrounds: parents, alumni, retirees, and even other FTC and FRC teams.Please remember to be patient and kind to our volunteers as they are happily giving of their own time to help put our events together.

If there is an incident with a volunteer, please tell the head referee, the head judge, or the FLL program delivery partner at your event.

What are events like?
FIRST LEGO League events are designed to celebrate your team’s hard work and dedication to their season. Teams are encouraged to be themselves by dressing up, coming up with chants.

Sample Schedule
Please note that your event’s timing may vary depending on a variety of factors, including the number of teams registered, but the schedule below gives an accurate approximation.

Get excited for the SUPERPOWERED season! Below is this year's game information and general resources/links from FIRST.
Official FIRST Site
Official FIRST FLL Site
FIRST Resource Library
Official FIRST YouTube

Season Schedule

Coaches are able to register their team for the season as early as May.

Each August, LEGO Education releases the official mission kits and materials for purchase to registered teams.

In October, NYCFIRST hosts a Kick-Off event for coaches to learn more about the game and what will be happening locally that season. Only registered teams will be eligible for our mailing list, so please register before early October when possible.

The dates of Qualifier events are also revealed at Kick-Off, along with registration information. 

Qualifiers run from January through mid-February, with advancing teams competing at Semi-Finals and Championships respectively (these events run late February and early March).

Please note there is an additional fee, separate from the team registration fee, to register for Qualifier events. There are no additional fees for the Semi-Final or NYC region Championship.

The top placing teams at Championship earn invitations to various post season events, including the World Championship in Houston, TX.

Judging Information

Each team will see a panel of 2 - 3 judges for their judging session. Judges are volunteers, typically, with a STEM background, an education background, or are involved parents.

A judging queueer will escort teams from the pit area to their judging session at their assigned time. Only ONE  coach from the team is allowed to sit in for the judging session. The coach must sit out of view of their team. Any signaling or coaching assistance given to the team during their judging session may result in a disqualification.

Judging has three sections: the Innovation Project presentation, the Robot Design presentation, and the Core Values presentation. Judges will fill out rubrics for each presentation.

Robot Game Information

The team works together to design and build a LEGO® robot and then program it to complete a series of missions autonomously to score points in a 2.5-minute robot game match. ​​The team will have three official matches, but only their highest score will count.

The team launches their robot from one of the two launch areas, and it moves around the field attempting to complete the missions in the order chosen by the team. The robot is programmed to return to either home area at any time. The team can modify it while it is in a home area before launching again to try other missions.

During a match, only the robot can move objects from one home area to another. Teams may not pass anything from one home area to another. When a robot is interrupted completely outside of a home area, it may be returned to either area.

Mission requirements must be visible at the end of the match to score unless otherwise stated in the mission.

Coaches are not allowed to speak to the referees. If the team has an issue with a referee ruling, the team captain should make the issue known to the referee BEFORE they sign off on their score sheet. If necessary, the issue can be escalated to the head referee. The head referee's ruling is FINAL.

Here are some resources to help you with your innovation project! If your team had resources they would like to share, please email

Judging Session Flowchart
FIRST's Innovation Resources

Each year hundreds of individuals give their time, energy, and creativity to help bring the NYC FIRST experience to thousands of youth across the city. Volunteers, like you, are essential to making our programs possible. Our volunteers have the unique opportunity, either as a judge or referee, to watch our young participants learn, invent, and compete, all while having a lot of fun at the competitions! 

To get started with your volunteer journey, sign up on the FIRST website and follow the directions for Event Volunteering (search NYC in the ‘Event, City or Venue’ box to see the list of our events). If you need any assistance in signing up, please Contact Us.

Learn More about Volunteering with NYC FIRST