FIRST Tech Challenge Events

Use the links below to learn more about the FTC tournament structure, advancement, and award eligibility at tournaments.

Find an Event  Super-Regional Championships
Season Dates  World Championship
Event Types  Advancement and Criteria
Frequently Asked Questions   World Championship Hall of Fame
FIRST Tech Challenge Awards  

2015-16 Season Dates

May 15 - Registration Opens

September 12, 2015 - Kickoff/Game Reveal

October - March - Regular Season and State/Regional Championships (varies by region)

Late February - early April - Super-Regionals  (varies by region)

April 27-30 - World Championship

Event Types

Workshop - These events can cover a variety of FTC and robotics-related topics. They are often hosted by vendors, Affiliate Partners or teams.

Kickoff - Held each September, this event is when the new season’s game is revealed. Kickoff offers the opportunity to see the game reveal live, network with other FTC teams and strategize about the new season.

Scrimmage - A small event run by volunteers, usually a team or Affiliate Partner, good for practice and playing experience. These events can have anywhere from three to 20 teams and may not include judging and awards.  These events do not qualify teams for championship tournaments. May also be called a Practice Day.

Leagues/Meets - Meets are similar to a traditional sporting event. Teams compete in smaller, more frequent competitions to gain points that will advance them to the next level tournament play.  Leagues/Meets are currently in several regions and experiences may vary based on the region. Contact your local FTC representative with questions regarding these events.

Qualifying Tournament - These events are held in areas with a large number of teams.  In these events, teams compete for positions at Championship Tournaments. Qualifying Tournaments adhere to FIRST standards in format, judging and awards.

Super-Qualifying Tournament - These events are held in regions with a large number of teams and/or Leagues. In these regions, teams advance from either a League Championship or Qualifying Tournament to a Super-Qualifying Tournament, and then to the regional or state Championship. Super-Qualifying Tournaments adhere to FIRST standards in format, judging, and awards.

Championship Tournament - A regional- or state-level event. U.S. Teams compete for a chance to advance to one of four Super-Regional Tournaments. Championship Tournaments may require teams to advance through a Qualifying Tournament structure. Championship Tournaments adhere to FIRST standards in format, judging and awards. For the 2013-2014 season, international Championship Tournaments do not yet have Super-Regionals and advance directly to the FTC World Championship.

Super-Regional Championship Tournament - Teams in the U.S. advance from regional- or state-level Championship Tournaments to compete at one of four Super-Regional Tournaments. Teams advance from a Super-Regional to the FTC World Championship. For information on the four U.S. regions, visit the Super-Regionals FAQ page. Super-Regionals are FIRST-endorsed events and adhere to FIRST standards for format, judging and awards.

World Championship - This national-level event is the culmination of the season. To compete in this event, U.S. teams must advance from a Super-Regional Tournament, while international events advance teams from their respective Championship Tournaments. 

FTC tournament organizers reserve the right to limit the numbers of teams attending any of these tournaments. Neither FIRST nor the local organizer can guarantee a tournament in your area, even if you have registered with FIRST.

Advancement and Criteria

Depending on the event structure within the region, teams may advance through different methods. For example, some regions go from Qualifying Tournaments to Regional/State Championships, while others go from League Meets to League Championship to Regional/State Championship. See the chart below for possible avenues of advancement.

FTC Tournament Structure

Teams will advance to the next level of competition in the order indicated below according to the number of spots available. The advancement criteria will be applied to teams advancing from Qualifying Tournaments to Championship Tournaments; from Championship Tournaments to Super-Regional Championship Tournaments; from Super-Regional Championship Tournaments to the FTC World Championship.

In the event that the team listed has already advanced or there is no team fitting that description (as in 2nd team selected at smaller events), the advancement will continue in order.

Team Advancement Criteria

Tournament Q&A

Q. What are the tournaments like?
A.  Tournaments consist of opening and closing ceremonies, complete with trophies, awards, and recognition. Tournaments are exciting, fun competitions packed with volunteers and spectators that celebrate learning about science, technology, engineering and math

Q. Does our team registration include participation at an event?
A. No, tournament application is a separate process. Event organizers determine the tournament fee, and the cost to attend varies. The registration fee for a Championship Tournament can range from $0-$300(US).

Q. Where can we find out about the tournaments?
A. Click here to check events in your area. 

Q. How is a tournament run?
A. FTC Affiliate Partners, Tournament Partners, and many volunteers plan, coordinate, and run tournaments. Teams attending Qualifying and Championship Tournaments compete in the robot game and go before a panel of judges who assess the team's technical knowledge and understanding, as well as team interaction and spirit. 

Q. If we pay the $275 team registration fee, will our team definitely be able to participate in a tournament?
A. You will most likely be able to participate in a tournament, but there is no guarantee that there will be enough tournaments, volunteers, or space to accommodate all teams in all locations, or that there will be a tournament available in your area. The FTC Affiliate Partners do everything they can to provide all teams with an event, which could mean teams traveling a little farther for a competition. In the event that more teams apply to a tournament than can be accommodated at the event, the organizers have the right to limit teams on a first-come, first-served or other basis. In some areas with a large number of teams, local events sometimes serve as Qualifying Tournaments for team advancement to a Championship Tournament in that state or province.

Q. How do I register for a tournament?

A.  The tournament registration process is completed through the event organizer. To register for an event, visit the “What Teams & Events are in my Area? page: Next, select the FIRST Tech Challenge and your desired state from the drop-down menus. On the next screen, you will find a list of events in your area. To learn more about a particular event, click on the event’s name. Please note, we update this page regularly as we receive event information from our tournament organizers. 

Q. Can I schedule a local event, or do I need to work through FTC?
A. Teams can run their own local events. Contact the FTC Affiliate Partner in your area and let him/her know about your local event. If they authorize the event as an official scrimmage, they may assist with promotion and team awareness for your event.

Q. Do teams need to bring their computers to a tournament?
A. If your team attends a Qualifying Tournament or Championship Tournament, it is recommended that you bring a computer for the day of the competition. You may need to modify your robot's programs to accommodate the specific conditions of the tournament setting and to improve robot performance.

Q. Do I need to bring a team roster and consent and release forms to my team’s event(s)?

A. Yes, you will need to supply your team roster, along with any paper-copy Consent and Release forms when you check in at your event.

Q. What types of awards can teams win?
A.  Award information can be found here

Q. What are the criteria for award judging?
A. Please check the Mentor Guide for judging information.  You will find judging criteria as well as suggestions for considerations in the awards process.

Q. How does a team win an award?
A. Judges will be observing and interviewing teams throughout the day, both on the field and off. At the end of the day they will recognize the most remarkable teams with awards in various categories.