Hello Teams and Volunteers,
This is the eleventh in the continuing series of Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics emails. Hopefully you received the last email #10 highlighting that Registration Status and Scrimmage Added and have taken action to continue to register for Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge events. As always, previous emails can be found on our website in the COMMUNICATION Archives.
As of this morning we now have 140 Teams that are officially Registered with FIRST Inspires for this 2023-2024 CENTERSTAGE Season. That is 13 more than last week! There are an additional 4 potential Rookie teams in the process of registering as well. We expect more teams to Register in the coming weeks and to exceed last season’s PA team total.
Of the 140 teams, only 114 have Registered for one or more of our Pennsylvania events (81%), so there is still time and plenty of space to get your teams into either a workshop, scrimmage or qualification tournament. Remember, Qualification Tournament Season begins Dec 16th and 17th so less than 2 months. Please go to our Event page to view the schedule. As stated in the last email, we have restored full functionality for tracking the team status for each individual event with regards to Registered (P1) and Waitlist status (P2-P6). For the new/rookie teams, Event Registration selection guidance follows later in this email, the same as was communicated last week.
An Additional event – the 2023-11-18 Longhorn Roundup Scrimmage (Kennett Square) was added last week, and we have had a very good response for it. In the next few days, we will be adding one more to be located in Pittsburgh, scheduled for Sunday, Jan 14th, 2024 at the CMU University Center. The host will be the Girls of Steel Robotics℠. Thank you to the organization for arranging this. https://girlsofsteelrobotics.com/ More details forthcoming.
Website Enhancements – Search Capabilities https://www.ftcpenn.org
For those of you who have taken the time to explore our website, you are aware of the many features that it employs and the vast historical and archives Event results from the 18 FTC seasons that Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics (PFR) has cataloged. PFR has proudly been directly responsible for organizing and running the program since the 2011-2012 Bowled Over season, including the 5 FTC East Super-Regional Championships held between 2014 and 2018. The results from the ESR’s are also on the webpage.
Now, thanks to our Webmaster and uber-volunteer Dave Hackett, we’ve made several updates to the search capabilities of our website.
We’ve made several updates to the search capabilities of our website. These include:
- A new Team Search page was added to provide an easy way to search for and filter team registration information of upcoming events, team performance data from past events, and team season registration information.
- The general search (magnifying glass in upper righthand corner of any page) capability was updated to make the results returned more succinct and hopefully more meaningful. Also, numbers with 5 digits or less are now assumed to be team numbers, and will search accordingly.
- The FTC Events and Teams webpages were updated such that team numbers are now hyperlinked. Clicking on them will perform a search on that team number.
To get started with the new Team Search page, in the top-level menus under Teams, select Team Search. Enter your team number in the Team # Search box and click Search Teams (or press enter).
To see just the upcoming events where your team is either Registered or on a Waitlist, enter your team number in the Team # Search box, check the Filter Upcoming / Results Pending (in the Event Status row), and Search Teams (or press enter). You will instantly see your team status (position in the waitlist) and color-coded potential for getting into the event below the Event Results and Awards column! No more individual Event searches necessary. Clicking on the Event Results and Awards column header in the results table should sort the results nicely for you.
For more details on the Team Search page, as well as the other search-related updates, please see the New Team Search Page and Other Search Enhancements announcement on our website.
As always, please Contact Us if you have any questions or comments.
Thank you, Dave and Roslyn Nilson, Alpha/Beta tester!
Event Registration selection guidance:
Use the Team Search engine detailed above to determine how many and which teams already occupy slots. This will provide you guidance to enhance your decisions for which events you may want to join and register. This will also tell you how many slots are available per event; either 18, 24, 30 or 36 teams as indicated.
Approximately four (4) weeks before a particular event, we will invite teams to Register for any open slots for that event, in the exact order indicated in the Waitlist. Please see the attached “Waitlist Invitation Schedule” for invitation dates.
At the bottom of the Event page is an Advancement section. This indicates how many teams we expect to advance from the event to the State Championship. Note that this is subject to change based on how many teams actually compete at the individual event. We expect to hold a 36 team State Championship, location TBD. Dates will be either the weekend of Mar 9th or Mar 16th.
Prior to registering, please carefully read the Event Participation Policy:
For this season it may be possible for Out-of-State teams to compete in PA, however in our registration process, PA teams are given preference and priority over out-of-state teams. Also, per Game Manual 1 section 6.1 Eligibility for Advancement – Teams are only eligible to advance from events within their Home Region. Teams may choose to compete at Tournaments outside of their Home Region, however, do so for the opportunity of additional gameplay and to compete with other teams from outside of their area. Teams may NOT advance from Tournaments outside of their Home Region.
Please read the Processing Event Registration Requests section and let us know if you have any questions.
Then follow the instructions on our Event Registration page and associated form.
Call for Volunteers! – Lots of opportunities for fun and we need YOU to make this season a success for our students. Please go to the email archive “FTC PA 2023-24 Season Blast #8 – Volunteering for FTC PA Season Events” for detailed information on how to participate and join our team.
FIRST® Tech Challenge Game Q&A Forum in open! Every registered FIRST Tech Challenge team is granted one account to ask questions and receive official answers from our game design committee through the game Q&A forum. A code for each team is loaded into the team’s dashboard.
Team Resources, FIRST Tech Challenge Documentation – Invaluable to all teams competing this season. Please see the mountain of detailed documentation that will enhance your field competitiveness!
Key Resources such as Game Manuals, have been updated and released as of Oct 4th (GM1) and Oct 11th (GM2). This was communicated in previous Team Email Blasts from FIRST. The FIRST Tech Challenge Software Development Kit (SDK) has also been released.
That’s all for now. We will be communicating more frequently as the season unfolds.
All the best,
Tom and the FTC PA Team!
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Program Delivery Partner
phone: (302) 383-9925