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Leagues and Meets


Pennsylvania was one of three locations in the US to pilot the Meet concept during the 2012-2013 Season.  Teams in Philadelphia participated in Meets during the 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 seasons. Their feedback, along with feedback from the other pilot locations, helped shape the Leagues and Meets concept FIRST is using this season.

This season Pennsylvania will operate in a Hybrid Qualifier / League format.  Philadelphia area teams (Philadelphia and select teams from Delaware County) will participate in the Philadelphia Area League.  The rest of the state will continue to participate in our Regional Qualifiers.  Philadelphia Area League teams may also participate in Regional Qualifiers, although only the matches played in Meets will count towards their League ranking.

The Philadelphia Area League is sponsored in part through the generosity of Temple University.

League and Meet Details

This section describes the FIRST FTC League and Meet model plus any Pennsylvania-specific implementation details.  

Why Leagues and Meets?
The primary reason for implementing Leagues and Meets is to create more opportunities for more Teams to compete. In addition Leagues and Meets also reinforce the rapid prototype and design of the FTC program. It also becomes easier for kids and schools to participate, as the events require less of a time commitment and can be run after school (more affordable with busing) and are generally closer geographically. Meets provide a unique learning opportunity – having all those Teams there is a chance to highlight or educate on a skill while they are a captive audience. Lastly, Leagues and Meets promote community: Teams interact more and develop closer ties while Volunteers have more ownership and investment in the events.

What is a League?
A League is a group of 10-24 Teams that compete together in a series of League Meets. A League may be locally or regionally grouped. Each League must provide at least three Meets a season (see What is a Meet? section below for more information). The Philadelphia Area League is limited to teams from Philadelphia and select teams from Delaware County. There will be 4 Meets and a League Championship Tournament. See 2015-2016 Season for the complete League schedule.

What is a Meet?
A Meet is a one-field competition with modified Judging (see How Does Judging Work? section below) that uses the same field and game as other events. Teams may choose to participate in as few or many Meets as they choose but must play in at least 2 Meets to be eligible to compete in the League Championship Tournament. Participating in more Meets/matches may improve their League Ranking (see How do League Rankings Work? section below). A Meet is 3-1/2  hours long, and includes: set-up, inspections, approximately 4 Matches per Team, Judge Reviews and feedback, and tear down. There are no Alliance Selections, Semi-Finals, Final Matches, or Awards. The Philadelphia Area League Meets are held as an after-school event, running from 3:00 pm through 6:30 pm (see the Philadelphia Area League Meets Agenda). Teams should arrive at the Meets on time, be prepared for inspections, and be ready to compete.

How Do Meets Fit Into the Tournament Structure?
Meets add another tier to the competition structure. The Meet season culminates in the League Championship, which every League Team participates in; League Championships are comparable to Qualifying Tournaments. Regions may execute League Play in a Hybrid or region-wide Full Implementation format; both paths lead to the Regional/State Championship. See chart for examples. Inter-league Championships are allowed (i.e.: 2 Leagues with a combined Championship Tournament), but event organizers must follow the guidelines regarding event size that apply to other events.

Pennsylvania FTC: Pennsylvania FTC is operating the model on the left, a combination of Qualifying Tournaments and a League.

How Do League Rankings Work?
Teams receive Qualifying Points and Ranking Points for each Match that they participate in. Their top 8 values for Qualifying Points and the top 8 values for Ranking Points for each Team will determine the starting Qualifying Points and Ranking Points for each Team at the League Championship (all other Match scores are discarded). Teams advance from the League Championship using the advancement criteria outlined for official FTC events.

How Does Judging Work?
Judging will be a combination of Judge interviews on Championship day plus the feedback from the Judge Team Reviewers at the Meets per section Judging & Award Criteria of Game Manual 1.  At the Meets Judge Team Reviewers will walk around observing and interviewing Teams and will provide feedback to League Championship Judges to augment their live interviews. Meets provide a unique opportunity for students to share their information with Judges.

League Championship
All League teams who play in at least 2 Meets will be able to participate in the League Championship.  Their top 8 Match scores from the Meets plus the 5 Championship Matches will determine overall Elimination Round Team Rankings.  The top 4 teams will pick their Alliance Partners and they will advance to the playoff rounds per Elimination Matches in Game Manual 1.  Advancement to the PA FTC State Championship Tournament will be determined by Judge Awards and Field performance per section Advancement Criteria of Game Manual 1.