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Robot Meets

In the PHILADELPHIA CITY SCHOOLS ONLY, Pennsylvania FTC will be part of FIRST FTC pilot to test an alternative format to the standard day-long tournaments. The goal of this format is to better match with other successful interscholastic activities including track, swim, wrestling, and other meet structures.

The Meet Format

Meets will last about 3 hours and can include from 6 to 12 teams.

The meets will start with a basic robot safety and sizing inspection at each teams’ assigned pit area. The competition itself should take place within 30 minutes of teams’ arrival at the meet. Meets can be held by any group including school, volunteer organization, or team.

In order to participate in an FTC robotics meet teams must register with FIRST, and have a robot built using parts approved by FTC. Those holding meets may also have an event registration fee, TBD by the organizer.

Robot meets consist of 2 vs. 2 alliance competitions with teams randomly paired with different teams for each match. Through the course of the meet teams will compete with and against most teams at the meet. Time between matches will be based on number of teams at the event and number of playing fields available. A typical meet will have a single field.

Teams will compete 2 vs. 2, randomly paired, and collect both Qualifying and Ranking Points as are presently awarded. Each team will compete in a minimum of 5 matches under this format. At the end of the series of matches teams will be ranked based first on Qualifying Points won, and if there are ties, Ranking Points will serve as tie breakers. The points earned under this format determine the competition winner and standings at that particular meet.

In order to qualify for Regional Championship selection, teams must compete in a minimum of 3 meets. Teams’ will keep their scores (both qualifying and Ranking Points) from each meet. The average of these two scores (total points earned in each category/number of meets attended) will be weighted 50% toward team selection to Regional Championships.

Judging will continue to be a key component in the meet format and will have significant weight (50%) in the selection criteria for Regional Championships. Judging will take place in two distinct steps. The first is at the meets themselves. At each meet one or two judges will be assigned to speak informally to each team at some point over the course of the event. The judge(s) will complete a brief single page “report card” for each team, grading them 1-10 against each of the seven award criteria. These scores will be reported to the league organizing committee (or FIRST). These scores will be averaged based on how many meets each team competes. The aggregate average score (total scores/number of meets attended) will count 25% toward teams selection for Regional Championships.

Teams will be required to submit a video to FIRST as part of the competition structure. Each team must submit their video, outlining their work toward the seven existing awards, to FIRST prior to the halfway point of their respective league’s season.

These videos will be judged by a central group. Each will be graded based on content (not production values) on a scale of 1-10 in total (not necessarily toward any single award). Those scores will count 25% toward Regional Championship selection criteria.

If possible, videos will be shown at meets during “down times” and/or check in and inspection times. The intent is to show other teams and the audience what FIRST and teams do beyond the competition. Past year videos may be substituted as viable.

Finally, teams will be required to keep a hard copy engineering notebook documenting their journey through the FTC experience. This notebook should be used similar to a “real world” engineering notebook and document the teams’ ideas, progress, learning, and results. The engineering notebook is a requirement for teams who earn their way to their Regional Championships.

Progression to State/Regional Championships

  • 25% - Judged Video Submission (submitted by mid-point of the season or January 8th) 
  • 25% - Average scores of award criteria scored judged at each meet (accumulated scores/number of meets)
  • 50% - Point based performance at meet (accumulated points won over course of meets/number of meets attended)