2014 Rookie Team Criteria

The formation of new FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams is critical to FIRST Founder Dean Kamen's vision of changing the culture, and creating the spirit of Gracious Professionalism® that is open and friendly to new participants. We recognize the commitment teams and mentors must make to get a first year team "off the ground" and for this reason FIRST grants qualifying first-year teams "Rookie" team status, with which comes specific incentives and recognition including:

  1. Rookie All-Star Award - to recognize outstanding achievement by a first year team;
  2. Rookie Grants - to help first year teams get financially off the ground.  Some examples of past Rookie grants are NASA, SRT-Nypro, and Community Foundation of Texas.

As FIRST continues to grow and teams expand in existing FIRST areas, it is important for us to have guidelines for qualifying as a "Rookie" team. For the 2014 season, these guidelines are:

1. A new team that starts in a school/organization/alliance that has never run an FRC team before would be considered a Rookie (note: most teams are formed within a single school, but some comprise two or more schools, or are organizations such as Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, home schools, etc.)

2. A returning team that has not been in a competition for three years would be considered a Rookie; that is, going into the 2014 season, the team cannot have competed in seasons 2013, 2012 or 2011. Teams, whose last competition season was 2010 or earlier, can return during the 2014 season as a Rookie with a 2014 Rookie team number, OR, they can continue as a veteran with their original team number. Teams that choose to register as a veteran would not be eligible for the above listed Rookie incentives and recognition.

3. Where multiple schools were combined into a single team, and that team now wants to separate into different teams, or any single team wants to separate into different teams, the new teams do not qualify as Rookies unless the requirements set forth above in 2 are met. These teams will need to register as a "New" team in the Team Information Management System (TIMS) by following the Create/Re-establish a Team link, and follow all steps accordingly. See 2014 Team Combines and Separations for additional details.

4. Where multiple existing teams want to combine into one team, the new team does not qualify as a Rookie unless the requirements set forth above in 2 are met. The team will need to register as a "New" team in TIMS by following the Create/Re-establish a Team link, and follow all steps accordingly. See 2014 Team Combines and Separations for additional details.

5. If a mentor, or teacher, from an existing team leaves and starts a team at a new school, that team does qualify as a Rookie team.

6. If individual students who have been involved in a team leave that school and start a team in their new school that team also is generally considered a Rookie providing it meets condition 1, and does not involve sufficient students to be considered a version of condition 3. As a maximum, the number of students in the new team that have competed in prior teams must not exceed 5.

It is important to remember that these are guidelines only and FIRST will review special situations on a case-by-case basis as they are brought to our attention.  Teams that do not meet the guidelines and wish to submit a petition for Rookie Status may do so by writing to us at frcteams@usfirst.org with a full description of their situation.

We want to thank all FIRST teams and team mentors for your continued support of FIRST, and of our Rookie teams. Without your support we could not make available the FIRST experience to all of the new young people wishing to participate.