Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the coming New year! This is the 12th in the continuing series of Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics emails. If you think you may have missed any of our previous email blasts, they can be found on our website in the COMMUNICATION Archives.
As was stated in our last email blast, we have completed two qualifiers so far in our PA FTC Robotics Season. We also shared information regarding the location and date of our State Championship, the Dean’s List interview schedule, and congratulated the 7 teams who advanced from the Eastern and Red and Black Qualifiers in Coatesville.
This email blast is solely focused on encouraging our teams to assist us with getting VOLUNTEERs for all of our upcoming events, but especially the three coming up in January:
Saturday, Jan. 14th, 2023 Southwestern Pennsylvania Qualifier – North Catholic High School, Cranberry Twp, PA. This is a 24-team event.
Saturday, Jan 21st, 2023 South Central Pennsylvania Qualifier (York) – PSU Campus, York, PA. We just expanded this to a 30-team event.
Sunday, Jan 22nd, 2023 Blue and White Qualifier (York) – PSU Campus, York, PA. This is also a 30-team event.
The most critical roles we must fill to make these events successful for our students are cited below. Please know that these roles are fun, rewarding, and not high-pressure roles, so please do not be intimidated by any of them. Training, as applicable, is provided by OTJ.
Judges:Judges must not have a relationship or conflict of interest with a team competing on that specific day and are preferred to be over the age of 21. Judges 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 sheets, and participate on the Judge panel to decide team award recipients. Certification is required.
Referee: Adult or FTC alumni 18 and above. 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.
Score Trackers: We welcome students in this role! Score Trackers monitor the status of the game and scoring elements during match play. We hold events that use live scoring on tablets, the Score Tracker will use an app to track the status of the field.
Robot Inspector, Field Inspectors, FTA, FTAA’s: Qualified and skilled students welcome. 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 remind the teams to stay on time for each match.
We would love all of you to personally join us and to recruit aggressively and widely to assist us in expanding our reach. Volunteer opportunities abound! See link below. Please find this schedule for all seasonal events on our website. We welcome new volunteers from family, friends, the community and businesses alike. Please know that this is also a great opportunity for coaches, mentors and parents to get an insider’s perspective of how FTC events are conducted in our State and region. The perspectives and guidance gained will also translate into helping your own team and students to be successful. If you are already registered to volunteer, then thank you!
We cited the critical roles, but all are fun filled role and descriptions can be found on our website and on the FIRST website:
Volunteers receive a Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge T-Shirt to wear and keep and are provided a continental breakfast and lunch.
As with past years, 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. General Instructions detailed below.
For guidance on volunteering at a PA FTC Event please go to the following link or see instructions below. https://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer
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 FTC, United States, Pennsylvania; optionally enter dates and/or event name information provided above, and then click Apply Filters. Select an event on the right-hand side (ex. Southwestern Pennsylvania Qualifier) and click Volunteer. Follow the prompts to select the roles you are interested in.
has several good resources, including a Volunteer Registration Step by Step Guide if you have further questions about the Volunteer Registration system.
As with all FIRST and FTC PA events for many years now Youth Protection is paramount and mandatory at all of our events. As such, volunteers are required to comply with Youth Protection protocols as is necessary to assure compliance with Pennsylvania Child Protection Services Laws. Please go to the following link for detailed information and how to ensure your compliance and let us know if you would like additional guidance or instruction. We would be more than happy to assist you!
Thanks to you all for your consideration and let us know if you have any questions. We are so excited for this season and to see all of our teams and friends once again.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions or require additional information.
All the best,
Tom and the FTC PA Team!
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Program Delivery Partner
phone: (302) 383-9925