Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering your time and energy at a FIRST® Tech Challenge event. Without volunteers like yourself, we would be unable to provide a high quality robotics program to students. This section is designed to help you find FTC volunteer opportunities near you. View the tournament day volunteer positions and volunteer for an event today!


Volunteering for an Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Event

We use the FIRST Event Volunteer Registration system for all of our events. Volunteering for an event is one of the options on your personal FIRST Dashboard on the http://www.firstinspires.org website.

To access the FIRST Event Volunteer Registration system:
  • Browse to http://www.firstinspires.org
  • Click Log In in the upper right hand corner
    • If you already have a FIRST account, enter your FIRST username and password, and click LOG IN
    • If you do not have a FIRST account, click Register in the upper right hand corner, then fill out the account form
  • Once on your personal DASHBOARD, select VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION and then EVENT VOLUNTEERING
To narrow the available events to Pennsylvania FTC events, under Event Filters select FTCUnited States, Pennsylvania, optionally enter dates and/or event name information, and then click APPLY FILTERS. Select an event on the right hand side and click Volunteer. Follow the prompts to select the roles you are interested in.

https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/volunteer/general-volunteer-resources has several good resources, including a Volunteer Registration Step by Step Guide if you have further questions about the Volunteer Registration system.



Youth Protection

Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics strives to provide a safe environment for students at our events. As part of this effort, volunteers are required to follow both Pennsylvania Child Protection laws and FIRST's Youth Protection policies. See our Youth Protection page for full details. If you have any questions, please contact us at ftc.volunteers@pennfirst.org



Roles

There's a fun job for everyone!  Review the roles here and then go to the FIRST Volunteer Registration system and volunteer! 

Below is a brief description of the common roles we use at our events. See https://www.firstinspires.org/node/5146 for more details on Volunteer Roles. The roles required will vary by event and the ones available will be listed on the event page within the Volunteer Registration system.

Control System Advisor: The Control System Advisor (CSA) role is to assist Teams with Robot Control System related issues. The CSA works in collaboration with the Field Technical Advisor (FTA) and/or Robot Inspectors, who may direct teams experiencing issues on the field or in the pits to the CSA for assistance. This position requires a high level of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills, and can affect the quality of the event. 

Dean’s List Interviewer: Responsible for interviewing the Dean’s List Semi-finalist and writes notes for each student. This will be a 5-7 minute interview that will happen at the event. Interviewers spend time reviewing the student’s nomination prior to the interview taking place. Certification is required.

Dean’s List Reviewer: Responsible for reviewing Dean’s List nominations and Interviewer notes to determine which 2 students from a region will move to the next level of Dean’s List Finalist. Certification is required.

Disc Jockey: Plays high-energy, appropriate music throughout the Competition. Monitors the energy of the crowd and increases or decreases musical selections based on crowd enthusiasm. Works with the Emcee and technical director to coordinate music and the awards ceremony.

EmceePrimary individual responsible for setting the tone of the competition. Create and sustain an exciting and fun atmosphere throughout the event. Most visible presence at the Event; embodies the spirit of FIRST and is the consummate FIRST ambassador. Play a critical role in ensuring smooth flow of match play and maintaining the pace of the event.

Field InspectorThe Field Inspection process is in place to ensure that every robot can successfully connect and compete in a match. The Field Inspector must also go through the Field Inspection Checklist which includes verifying settings on the team’s Android device to reminding the teams to stay on time for each match.

Field ManagerParticipate in field set-up and maintenance, directs activity on the field to ensure smooth execution of the matches. Plays a critical role in ensuring smooth flow of match play and maintaining the pace of the event.

Field ResetRepair and reset playing field after each team match. Plays a critical role in ensuring smooth flow of match play and maintaining pace of the event. 

Field Technical Advisor: The Field Technical Advisor (FTA) and Field Manager work together to keep the areas in and around the robot playing fields running smoothly. The FTA concentrates on the technical issues (robots, Scoring Software, etc.) and the FM is responsible for operational activities (team queuing, playing field reset, etc.). Certification is required.

Floater: Volunteer floaters provide assistance in various areas. Frequently help with last-minute tasks identified by event staff and fill volunteer positions for volunteers who were assigned a specific position prior to the event, but could not attend the event.

FTA Assistant: The Field Technical Advisor Assistant’s role is to provide support to the FTA in the playing area during the competition, to complete tasks as assigned by the FTA, and to act as the FTA if/when the FTA needs to leave the playing area to handle a robot problem, although any major decisions will be made by the FTA. 

Game Announcer: The Game Announcer’s role is vital to a successful event. The Game Announcer’s role is working with the Emcee to introduce teams, provide play-by-play commentary, and report the scores.

Head Referee: Refereeing at FIRST competitions is different from a traditional sporting event in that the Referees help the competitors to avoid breaking the rules of the Game.  Referees observe matches, identify rule violations, and “call” them. Head Referees play a critical role in ensuring smooth flow of match play and maintaining the pace of the event. The Referees work under the direction of the Head Referee and may be required to participate in deliberations regarding contested Referee calls by teams. Certification is required.

JudgeJudges select team award recipients through interaction with teams. Documentation regarding team background information is provided to familiarize judges with teams. They interview and observe teams in the judging rooms, the pit, and on the playing field, review team introduction sheet, and participate on Judge panel to decide team award recipients. Certification is required.

Judge AdvisorThe Judge Advisor coordinates the judging process, including training Judges, scheduling the judging interviews, facilitating group deliberation sessions, ensuring the award decisions are made, and the awards script is written. The Judges, Judge Assistant, and Judge Match Observers look to the Judge Advisor for training materials, schedules, and other general questions throughout the event. Certification is required.

Judge Advisor AssistantThe Judge Assistant is not a Judge, does not interview teams, or participate in awards recipient selection process. The Judge Advisor Assistant assists the Judge Advisor to keep Judge panel on schedule and performs other duties as assigned by the Judge Advisor, provides clerical assistance, i.e., type awards scripts on laptop, organizes and ensure all materials and supplies needed are available, and correctly placed on tables.

Judge Match ObserverMost of the Judges will be involved in the Judge interviews, and will not have much time to see the robots in action. Two or three Judges should be asked to serve as Judge Match Observers. Their role is to watch the action on the field, and collect data on the quality of the robot performance. Certification is required.

Lead Field InspectorField Inspectors perform mandatory Field Inspections to ensure that every robot can successfully connect and compete in a match. Lead Field Inspectors supervise the Field Inspectors and act as a resource to the Field Inspectors performing the inspections. Certification is required.

Lead QueuerLead Queuers manage the flow of teams to and from the Competition Area. Queuers will work with the Event Director and the Field Tech Advisor (FTA) to create unrestricted paths to and from the pit area to the competition area. Creating and managing a safe, orderly flow of robots/teams to and from the competition will assist on keeping all the matches running on time. Lead Queuers will also properly stage alliances in holding areas, while ensuring that the proper numbers of teams are in the queue. The Lead Queuer is an important part of the event management team, working directly with the Event Director, Field Tech Advisor, and the Queuing Staff. 

Lead Robot InspectorRobot Inspectors perform mandatory Robot Inspections to ensure compliance with robot construction rules. Lead Robot Inspectors supervise the Robot Inspectors and act as a resource to the Robot Inspectors performing the Inspections. Certification is required.

Lead ScorekeeperThe Lead Scorekeeper is the person responsible for making sure that the Scoring System is handled correctly and that match scores are entered accurately. The Scorekeeper helps the flow of the event and provides information to the teams and to the audience. Certification is required.

Load-In/LoadOut CrewThese volunteers are responsible for either setting up the event before the competition or tearing down the event after the competition. 

Photographer: This person captures the Competition on film and/or video for archival and future publicity.   

Queuer: Responsible for managing team traffic to and from the playing field. Stage and position teams in preparation for the start of matches. Play a critical role in ensuring smooth flow of match play and maintaining the pace of the event. The Queuer escorts teams from the pit to the queuing area, stages and positions teams for matches, restricts access to field for unauthorized individuals, maintain an uninterrupted flow of teams to the playing fields, and direct teams to fields, and facilitate team departure from field.

Referee: Observes team matches, identifies rule violations, and "calls" them. Referees help the competitors to avoid breaking the rules of the Game.  Referees participate in deliberations regarding contested calls, working directly through the Head Referee. Referees report to the Head Referee. Play a critical role in ensuring smooth flow of match play, and maintaining the pace of the event. Certification is required.

Robot Inspector: Robot Inspectors are responsible to ensure every robot follows the guidelines outlined in FIRST Tech Challenge Game Manual Part 1 and are ready to compete on the field. The inspection process involves filling out a checklist for every robot and placing a label or other unique tag on the robot after it passes inspection. Certification is required.

Scorekeeper: Manage and operate the scoring system. Communicate scores. Play a critical role in ensuring smooth flow of match play and maintaining the pace of the event. Certification is required.

Score Tracker: Score Trackers monitor the status of the game and scoring elements during match play. Score Trackers may track the status of the field on paper, using Score Sheets. For events that use live scoring, the Score Tracker will use an app installed on either a phone or tablet to track the status of the field. 

Team Check-in: This person is responsible for checking teams in at the start of the event, ensuring they have submitted a complete team roster, and providing the teams with their event day registration materials. 

Volunteer Check-In: This person is responsible for checking volunteers in at the start of the event, ensuring they sign consent and release forms, conflict of interest and disclosure statements, and providing the volunteers with their event day registration materials. 

Wi-Fi Technical Advisor: The Wi-Fi Technical Advisor (WTA) is also responsible for monitoring the wireless spectrum and troubleshooting wireless issues at large and/or critical FIRST Tech Challenge events.