FTC PA 2023-24 Season Blast #7 – Coaches Call 2, Wed the 20th plus Game Q&A Forum open and more.

Hello Teams and Volunteers,

This is the seventh in the continuing series of Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics emails. Previous emails can be found on our website in the COMMUNICATION Archives.


Fun Fact – as of today we have 103 registered teams in Pennsylvania with 22 Rookies (that presumably will need veteran team guidance). There are another 8 teams in the process of registering as well. We ultimately expect ~160 or more FTC teams in PA this season. Please see the Team list on our webpage and note that many have provided their websites to FIRST for you to contact directly. We encourage ALL teams to provide a website to FIRST as part of your registration. Please be sure it is up-to-date and works as well.


We will hold the second of 2 Coaches Calls Wednesday, Sep 20thth at 7:30 PM. Details below. We had great attendance in last week’s calls with appropriate questions from the coaches. If you attended last week, you are more than welcome to attend again this week. We also encourage veteran Caches to attend and more importantly contribute to the discussions. You know the ropes and current challenges better than us!

Registration is NOT required. Please access through the following GoToMeeting link. The link is also provided on our EVENTS page.

Coaches Call #2
Sep 20, 2023, 7:30 – 8:30 PM
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
Access Code:
United States:
+1 (872) 240-3311
Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

Great news. The FIRST Tech Challenge Game Q&A Forum opened at 12:00 noon today, Monday Sep 18th. This forum allows teams to ask questions about gameplay, competition rules, judging rules, robot build rules, field setup and team provided element construction. We highly recommend that every team track and contribute to this form on a regular basis for the most up to date changes. Instructions on how to register your team for the forum are attached to this email as well as the provided link.

Please be sure to have you or preferably your students read and comprehend both Game Manual Part 1 and 2 prior to posting questions to the forum.

forum-registration-instructions.pdf (firstinspires.org)

Other important updates on a variety of FTC subjects can be accessed as well in the Blog Post here! Teams should bookmark these important links.

FIRST Tech Challenge Blog

Additionally, and as stated during kickoff, many of the key Resources such as Game Manuals, have been released as of Sep 9th.


Software Development Kit Update – SDK 9.0 contains a default TensorFlow model that can detect the white Pixel used as the default Randomization Object. The sample code built into the SDK uses this default model, so teams can load the sample code and immediately begin testing and understanding the properties of the default model. The TensorFlow for CENTERSTAGE document on ftc-docs is intended to help teams understand the default model, understand the challenges with recognizing objects like the Pixel, and provides tips for teams when choosing their own Team Prop.

TensorFlow for CENTERSTAGE presented by RTX — FIRST Tech Challenge Docs 0.2 documentation (firstinspires.org)

More about the SDK:


Reminder Note: Qualifier Registrations will not open until Sunday, October 1st at 12:00 Noon. In the meantime, please plan the schedule for your team so you are fully prepared when the form opens up. We have 10 Qualifiers and do not plan on adding anymore at this time. If we do, it will be shared with teams in advance of the 1st.


We want to thank those teams that have shown an interest in becoming Tag Team Members as well as desire to hold Team Powered events in their regions. We will be reaching back out to you in the next few days to confirm your desire, provide guidance and hopefully pursue your interest with tangible actions. Our schedule has room for Team Powered scrimmages and workshops please let us know ftc.events@pennfirst.org

Thank you and all the best.

Tom and the FTC PA Team!

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Program Delivery Partner
phone: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org