Event Participation Policy

Applicability
Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics Managed Events
The Event Participation Policy applies to all Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics Managed FIRST Tech Challenge events, including Kickoffs, Workshops, Scrimmages, Meets, and Tournaments. All FTC events listed on this website are Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics Managed Events unless otherwise noted.

In the event of a conflict between this Policy and other webpages on this site, this Event Participation Policy applies. Certain events may have additional participation criteria as defined on that event webpage.  For example a "rookie tournament" may limit participation to teams newly established this season.

Team Managed Events
The Event Participation Policy does not apply to events marked as "Team Managed Events". Teams and schools hosting Team Managed Events may have their own policies. Please contact the Event Coordinator for full details.


Youth Protection
This section applies to all Coaches, Mentors and other Adults affiliated with a Team participating in Pennsylvania FTC events.

Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law
In 2014, 23 pieces of legislation were enacted including Act 153 of 2014 and Act 15 of 2015, changing how Pennsylvania responds to child abuse. These changes significantly affect the reporting, investigation, assessment, prosecution and judicial handling of child abuse and neglect cases. Beginning August 25, 2015, many adult volunteers are required to obtain background checks, including the Child Abuse History Clearance, issued by the Department of Human Services, and the Criminal History Record Check, issued by the Pennsylvania State Police. More information may be found on the keep kids safe website http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov, including frequently asked questions.

The compliance of these new Pennsylvania laws is the responsibility of each individual team and their School or Organization.


FIRST Youth Protection Program
The FIRST Youth Protection Program is an important part of the protection of our youth. Although the overall goals of the Pennsylvania Child Protection Services Law and the FIRST Youth Protection Program may be similar, the background checks required by each are different and both sets are required.

Adults working with FIRST Teams are required to follow the requirements outlined in FIRST Youth Protection Program.


Consent and Release
Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics requires a completed and signed FIRST Consent and Release Form for each student, coach, and mentor participating at its Workshops, Scrimmages, Meets and Tournaments.

Each student at a Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics event must have a signed FIRST Consent and Release Form completed by a parent or legal guardian. Students, coaches, and mentors cannot participate  in the event without a signed Consent and Release form. These forms can be filled out electronically or by hard copy.
  • Electronically – A printed FIRST Team Roster showing that each students parent or guardian has electronically filled out the Consent and Release form online. This is shown on the roster with a green checkmark.
  • Hard copy – The Coach or Mentor must bring a signed hard copy of the form signed by the student’s parent or legal guardian. 
The FIRST Team Roster from the FIRST Dashboard / Team Registration System MUST be handed in at event check-in, regardless if the coach is handing in hard copies of 
each Consent and Release form. If the Roster from the Team Registration System is blank, the Coach should write in the names of each student competing at the event. 

    Tournament Eligibility

    Qualifying Tournament
    To be eligible to participate in a Pennsylvania FTC Qualifying Tournament:
    1. the team must have participated in less than three Qualifiers across all states/regions
    2. the team must not have already advanced to a Super-Regional Championship or the FIRST Championship Tournament (aka "Worlds").
    Teams may forfeit their Event Registration Fee if they are on the Registered List for a Pennsylvania FTC Qualifying Tournament and they become ineligible to participate in a Pennsylvania FTC Qualifying Tournament.

    Championship Tournament
    To be eligible to participate in the Pennsylvania FTC Championship Tournament:
    1. the team must have advanced from a Pennsylvania FTC Qualifying Tournament
    2. the team must not have already advanced to a Super-Regional Championship or the FIRST Championship Tournament (aka "Worlds").
    Teams may forfeit their Event Registration Fee if they are on the Registered List for the Pennsylvania FTC Championship Tournament and they become ineligible to participate in the Pennsylvania FTC Championship Tournament.

    Exceptions
    Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics may offer an open slot at a Qualifying Tournament or Championship Tournament to a team who is not eligible to compete based on the sections above. This would generally occur after all eligible teams have declined the slot. This team will compete for fun and is not eligible for awards or advancement.


    Events

    Event Registration
    Team coaches enter event registration requests using an online registration system located on the Pennsylvania FTC website, http://www.ftcpenn.org.  Advanced registration is required for all events by the stated deadlines. Pennsylvania FTC at its discretion may accept registration requests after the registration period is closed. Registration for Kickoff events is requested, but not required. Registration for Meets and Qualifying Tournaments opens after the Pennsylvania FTC Kickoff event. Event registration requests for League Championships and the Pennsylvania FTC State Championship is limited to qualified teams. 

    Events have a limited capacity. Teams will be placed on a Registered List or a Wait List based on capacity availability. Only teams on the Registered List may participate in the event. Some events, such as workshops and scrimmages, allocate event space on first come first served basis. Other events, such as Qualifying Tournaments, use a specialized event space allocation process.

    Event Rescheduling and Cancellation
    The decision to reschedule or cancel an event is not undertaken lightly. The situations most likely to cause this include, but are not limited to:
    • Severe weather conditions.
    • Exceptional circumstances including extended power outage, loss of heating/air conditioning, loss of water, fire, natural disaster, etc.
    • Significant illness that might involve the closing of a facility prior to an event.
    The Pennsylvania FTC Affiliate Partner and the Event Host will determine if there will be a delay, early dismissal, rescheduling, or cancellation of the event.  If the event has to be rescheduled or canceled before the event day, teams will be notified by an email sent to the team’s main and alternate contacts as designated in the team’s registration with FIRST and the contact information provided during event registration. The information will also be displayed on the Pennsylvania FTC website, http://www.ftcpenn.org.


    Meets and Tournaments
    This section applies to Meets, League Championships, Qualifying Tournaments, and the Pennsylvania FTC Championship Tournament. In this section these events are collectively referred to as a Tournament.

    Tournament Participation
    Only FTC teams in good standing with FIRST may participate in Pennsylvania Tournaments. Good standing with FIRST does not guarantee participation in a Pennsylvania Tournament. 

    Teams must comply with Tournament registration procedures that include, but are not limited to:
    • Registration request deadlines
    • Tournament registration fee deadlines
    Participants are required to follow all the tournament and game rules specified in the current season’s FTC Game Manual.

    A team may participate in no more than a total of three (3) Pennsylvania Qualifying Tournaments and Pennsylvania League Championship Tournaments in a season per FIRST FTC policy.  A Tournament where a Registered team No Shows or Withdraws will count as if the team had participated in that Tournament.

    Participation in League Championships and the Pennsylvania FTC Championship Tournament is by invitation only, based on advancement requirements.


    Tournament Registration Fees
    Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics must receive the Tournament registration fee as follows:

    Qualifying Tournaments
    The Event Registration Fee is due either three (3) weeks after the event registration confirmation email date or two (2) weeks before the Tournament date, whichever is earlier. If the team is added to the Registered List within two (2) weeks of the Tournament date, the Event Registration fee is due no later then two (2) days before the Tournament date. If the Event Registration Fee is not received by the payment deadline, the team will be removed from the Registered list and the open slot will then be offered to the next eligible team.

    Pennsylvania FTC Championship Tournament
    The Event Registration Fee is due either three (3) weeks after the event registration confirmation email date or two (2) weeks before the Tournament date, whichever is earlier. If the team is added to the Registered List within two (2) weeks of the Tournament date, the Event Registration fee is due no later then one (1) week before the Tournament date. If the Event Registration Fee is not received by the payment deadline, the team will be removed from the Registered list and the slot offered to the next eligible team.


    Tournament Team No-Shows
    No-shows are not in the spirit of Gracious Professionalism and are not permitted. Teams that cannot participate due to circumstances beyond the control of the team (e.g. school closings, severe weather, etc.) will not be considered no-shows if the Pennsylvania FTC Affiliate Partner is notified prior to the start of the Tournament.  Consequences of no-shows include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Loss of eligibility to attend the Pennsylvania FTC Championship Tournament
    • Reduced registration priority for future Tournaments
    • Forfeiture of Tournament registration fees.

    Tournament Team Withdrawals
    Withdrawals are not in the spirit of Gracious Professionalism Professionalism and are generally not permitted. The consequences for withdrawing from a Tournament are the same as for No-Shows, with the exceptions as noted below.  The Pennsylvania FTC Affiliate Partner or delegate reserves the right to review and approve/deny withdrawal requests.  Withdrawal requests must be directed to  ftc.events@pennfirst.org.

    Withdrawal Exceptions:
    • A team on a Tournament Registered List may withdraw from the Tournament without penalty under the following conditions:
    1. A team is permitted one (1) Withdrawal from a Tournament Registered List per season 
    2. The Withdrawal request must be directed to ftc.events@pennfirst.org
    3. The Withdrawal request must be received at least three (3) weeks prior to Tournament date



    Revision History

    9/10/2017 - Clarified Tournament Eligibility section
    9/9/2017 - Added Tournament Eligibility section
    8/27/2017 - Added Consent and Release section
    8/25/2017 - Tournament Registration Fees updated
    11/13/2016 - Defined policy applicability for Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics Hosted Events versus Team Hosted Events.
    8/22/2015 - Original Release for 2015-2016 Season