Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, the FIRST Robotics Competition is a unique sport where every kid who plays can "turn pro." High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have."
Volunteer mentors lend their time and professional talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship. The “official season” begins early in January when the season’s challenge is announced at a Kickoff ceremony.
Regional competition events start in late February and continue through April. Teams that qualify are invited to the FIRST World Championship, held at the end of April.
Under strict rules and limited time and resources, teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” and master teamwork skills. Teams design, build, and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors.
High school students:
- Mentored by professional engineers
- Build and compete with a robot of their own design
- Learn and use sophisticated hardware and software
- Are exposed to design, project management, programming, teamwork, strategic thinking and "Coopertition"
- Compete to earn a place in the World Championships
- Qualify for over $80 million in college scholarships
5 Things You Need to Know:
- Coaches should have technical skills, with a knowledge of computer programming. Each team requires at least two adult coaches and mentors
- All skill levels are welcomed and needed, technical or non-technical
- Teams meet at least twice each week for a duration of 2-3 hours
- Competitions are held in March and April
- The annual fees for team registration, a robot kit of parts, and event participation are approximately $5,000 - $6,000. Additional costs for travel, food, team shirts and other optional items will vary. Grants and sponsorships are available
FIRST Robotics Competition Season Changes:
Season Kickoff : FRC Kickoff is slated for Saturday, January 9, 2021
Season Info: FIRST Robotics Competition Infinite Recharge
Registration: Team registration for the 2021 season opens October 6, 2020. Log in to or set up your account at www.firstinspires.org to get started.
Veteran teams: $2,000
Rookie teams: $3,000
Teams are encouraged to explore grants on the FIRST Inspires website.
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:
- The Game Design Challenge will allow registered teams to design their own FIRST Robotics Competition game using real-world, virtual, or hybrid design elements, and compete for judged awards. Winning concepts will be considered for use in future official games.
- In the Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm, registered teams will identify a real-world problem related to this season’s theme, FIRST GAME CHANGERS powered by Star Wars: Force for Change, design a solution, build a business model and deliver a pitch to compete with other FIRST Robotics Competition teams for judged awards. This new challenge will have an advancement track, culminating in the Global Innovation Awards, a multi-day experience where students showcase their innovations, participate in workshops, and receive mentorship from experts, and compete for awards.
- INFINITE RECHARGE at Home brings components of events to you in two ways:
- 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
- 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.
Please visit The Blue Alliance for more information about teams throughout the season