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The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) community can come here for (at least) weekly musings on the FRC program, news, community highlights, science and technology shout-outs, and more directly from FIRST Headquarters! Comments are welcome, but they must embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversations civil and productive.

Posted On:
Thu, 01/02/2014 - 10:38


I hope everyone is as excited for Kickoff as I am! We’ve got a snowstorm going on right now here in New Hampshire – roads are slippery and many schools are closed – but we’re not letting that slow us down! Final preparations are going smoothly. I’m really looking forward to talking to the teams that come to the Kickoff in Manchester to get their impressions of the game after it’s revealed. And I hope everyone is catching up on their sleep.

White House Film Festival

I’m late to the party on this one, but I just saw this referenced on CD:...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:35

Watching the Kickoff Broadcast

If you’re not attending a local Kickoff and want to watch the broadcast, it can be found at The stream may be up and down for the next week or so as various formats and options are tested.  You can click on the "Webcast Flash Backup Stream" if you get a "Playlist could not be loaded" error from the Primary Stream.  NASA is currently streaming the NASA-TV Education satellite feed to that encoder.


Posted On:
Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:11

From Kate and Collin, the Kit of Parts Team

A team of dedicated, smart people from AndyMark, FIRST IT, and the FRC community have been working to revise the FIRST Choice site so that it’s robust for when we launch. We’re excited to tell you that our ongoing testing is confirming that the site is greatly improved, and we’ve decided to schedule the FIRST Choice launch for this Sunday, 12/29/13, at 3pm Eastern.  You will be able to visit the ...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/20/2013 - 16:08

Here you go!

8234/57, 61126/1963, 62326/15806

Have a great weekend!


Posted On:
Thu, 12/19/2013 - 10:10

The awards section of the manual has been posted.  You can find it here.

You’ll see we’ve added a FIRST 3D Printing Award, sponsored by America Makes and ORNL, to be presented at Championship, to go along with the 3D printers we’re making available through FIRST Choice – once FIRST Choice is up and running. As you’ve seen from their recent updates, our Kit of Parts team, Kate and Collin, has been working very hard with our friends at AndyMark to fix the...

Posted On:
Wed, 12/18/2013 - 15:37

A note from our Kit of Parts team, Kate & Collin:

We’ve had some calls expressing anxiety that we’ll issue the first round of credits in the midst of Christmas celebrations, so we’re going to take this opportunity to give you a general sense of where FIRST Choice is…

AndyMark has been restructuring the FIRST Choice site to one that can meet their standards, our standards, and your standards. That, to us, would be the hat trick. The new framework should be in place at the end of this week, which...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/16/2013 - 16:40

From our Kit of Parts Team, Kate Pilotte & Collin Fultz:

Well, that was a doozy of a weekend. We will leave the technical details regarding the cause and remedies to the experts once this is all over (they’re pretty busy right now).

We’re working on nailing the root cause and a solution to the website issue now (while the number of users may have been an issue, it wasn’t dramatically...

Posted On:
Sat, 12/14/2013 - 13:58

UPDATE 12/16/13: The FIRST Choice site is still under construction and is not yet ready for traffic. We're so sorry for this massive inconvenience. We'll post the new opening time with at least 24 hours of notice.

From our Kit of Parts Team, Kate Pilotte & Collin Fultz:

As many of you are already aware, there was a critical technical issue with the FIRST Choice site today that crashed the site. The result was that all...

Posted On:
Tue, 12/10/2013 - 13:36

District Award Allocations

Folks have asked what the allocations will be for awards at District Championships.

The Districts will have flexibility in how they allocate their awards, within boundaries.  This gives Districts the ability to tailor the award package available at their Championships to local conditions – team capacity at their Championship, number of rookie teams in their District, leadership preference, etc – while making sure the meaning of each award does not vary too greatly between Districts. 

For the 2014 season, allocation...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/09/2013 - 15:55

FIRST Choice Update

The following information is from our Kit of Parts team, Kate and Collin:

One of the benefits of allowing Teams to see what is in FIRST Choice prior to ordering is that we can receive feedback and adjust part information and credit values for certain parts. We want to tell you that we’ve decided to make adjustments to the FIRST Choice site, as needed, before the ordering phase starts.

Rest assured, we won’t increase the number of credits required for...

Posted On:
Wed, 11/27/2013 - 14:34

Here's some more information from Kate and Collin, our Kit of Parts team:

One of the many fun things that happens at the FIRST Championship is the opportunity to talk directly with teams and get their input… on everything. Last year, we had the pleasure of being invited to a meeting with Team 1983 about a tool they discovered that helped them play effectively and competitively. They wanted to share this tool with the rest of the FRC community, so they worked with the company that makes the tool, introduced them to FIRST, and as a result, got that tool in the...

Posted On:
Tue, 11/26/2013 - 14:46

Sections 1 through 5 of the 2014 Administrative Manual have been posted.  Section 6, Awards, is still in work but will be posted shortly. 

You can find these sections here:

Something New – Robot Displays

I’ll admit the FRC Administrative Manual isn’t much of a page-turner, but it’s packed with information you need to know, along with many helpful tips.  Even if you’re a veteran team with many years under your belt, you should read it through completely.


Posted On:
Mon, 11/25/2013 - 10:51

Over the weekend, Dean, Woodie and Don did some taping of their portion of the Kickoff video.  Check out this photo:

2014 Kickoff Filming

(Photo credit: Kate Straus, Events Inc.)


Posted On:
Fri, 11/22/2013 - 17:41

It’s true. 3D printers will be available in FIRST Choice. See the information below from Kate and Collin, our Kit of Parts team:

Hopefully you’re all aware that FIRST Choice opens up for window shopping this Monday, 11/25! Our objective is to fortify the FIRST Choice inventory more and more every year so that it adds value to Teams in ways we never could have with the Kickoff Kit model of distribution alone.

This year, we’re very excited to announce that an impressive group of representatives from Oak Ridge National...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:27

The FRC Engineering staff had a great idea. Instead of the FRC staff wearing traditional FRC shirts-and-khakis for the Kickoff videos they’ll be filming, how about if we ask teams to send in their t-shirts for the staff to wear?

Sounds good to me! Here’s the deal: if you're interested, please send us your team t-shirts. We need Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-Larger sizes, with more of the larger sizes being needed than smaller ones. We will randomly pick from those we receive and wear those for the Kickoff taping we’ll be doing soon. If you send in a wider variety of sizes...