Event Participation Policy


Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics Hosted Events
The Event Participation Policy applies to all Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics hosted FIRST Tech Challenge events, including Kickoffs, Workshops, Scrimmages, Meets, and Tournaments 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 Hosted Events
The Event Participation Policy does not apply to Team Hosted Events. Teams and schools hosting Team Hosted 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.


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 at least two (2) weeks prior to the Tournament.  Requests for exceptions must be submitted to ftc.events@pennfirst.org

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

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
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