Start an FRC Team
What is FRC?
The FIRST Robotics Competition provides the opportunity for high school students and their mentors to work together to solve a common problem. They will have six weeks to design and build a robot using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Each year the challenge is designed by Dean Kamen, FRC staff, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.
FIRST redefines winning for these students by rewarding teams for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, Gracious Professionalism, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring points is a secondary goal- winning means building partnerships that last.
You'll need adult mentors with technical expertise, high school aged students, sponsorship, a meeting place, space to design and build a robot, access to tools, and the ability to donate your time during the build and competition season. A general introduction and season overview are available in the How to Start a Team Flyer.
The official FRC season starts with team and event registration in the fall. This is followed by Kickoff in early January, where teams are introduced to the new challenge. Teams then have six weeks to design and build a robot, until the "Stop Build Day" deadline in late February. The Regional and District events occur late February through early April, culminating at the FIRST Championship. The current season schedule can be found on the FRC Calendar.
FRC Team Structure
There is very little FIRST mandated team structure. Each is required team to assign adults to the official team roles of Main, Alternate and Shipping Contact. In order to fulfill Youth Protection Program Requirements, the Main and Alternate Contacts must successfully pass screening in order to register for an official event. In FRC you are given the opportunity to structure your team as best suits you! Most teams comprise 25 students (there is no maximum) and can be made up of one or more high schools or youth organizations. We also have home-schooled teams that compete.
Cost to Participate
- Pricing information
- Grant information
Rookie Team Grants Now Available! If you have never participated in FRC before, you are eligible for the FRC Rookie Team Grant to help cover the costs of starting a team. Please note that funding is limited and all grants are awarded through a need-based application process. Click here to apply for a Rookie Team Grant.
Team Support at Headquarters
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact FRC Team Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-871-8326, ext. 0. Someone is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (ET).
Ready to get your team going?
Step One: Register your information on-line in our Team Information Management System (TIMS).
By registering your information, you will become a part of the FRC Community and begin receiving communications from FIRST. You will also receive a temporary team number in preparation of event registration in the fall. Please note that completing this stage of the process does not commit you to becoming a team. You are only considered a registered team after your team has selected an event (during the fall registration period). You may withdraw and receive a refund bfore the First Event Registration Payment Deadline (this date is posted to the FRC Calendar).
Step Two: Find your local Regional Director or FIRST Senior Mentor
The Regional Directors know the teams, schools and businesses in your area. He or she can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area. You can also reach out to the FIRST Senior Mentor in your area for similar types of assistance. Visit the Regional Contacts page to connect with local resources.
Step Three: Familiarize yourself with FIRST Resources
Here are some important FRC resources, that you may want to bookmark:
- FRC Calendar: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/calendar
- FRC Blog: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog
- FIRST Fundraising Toolkit: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/first-fundraising-toolkit
- Kit of Parts: www.usfirst.org/frc/kitofparts
- Technical Resources: www.usfirst.org/frc/technicalresources
- General FRC Resources: http://www.usfirst.org/frc/resources
- Registration Information: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/registration
- FIRST Youth Protection Program: http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/youth-protection-program)
- FRC Safety: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/safety-video-and-manual
- Behind the Lines: (http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/behind-the-lines)
- FIRST Forum: (http://forums.usfirst.org/forum.php)
- Team Information Management System (TIMS): https://my.usfirst.org/frc/tims/site.lasso
- Youth Team Member Registration (STIMS): https://my.usfirst.org/stims/
- FRC Grant Information: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/available-frc-grants
- FIRST Scholarship Program: http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/scholarships
Step Four: Familiarize yourself with these Community ResourcesDisclaimer: The community resource links listed below lead to external web sites that are not endorsed or controlled by FIRST and which may contain outdated or inacurate information about FIRST programs.
- Team RUSH Toolkit - FRC Team 27 (RUSH) created a toolkit for new FRC Teams
- Team in a Box - FRC Team 341 (Miss Daisy) created a how-to DVD for new FRC teams
- Non-Engineering Mentor Organization (NEMO) - a "support group and information exchange" for non-engineers.