FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Missing You

Apr 22, 2020 Written by Frank Merrick.


Empty bleachers FIRST Robotics Competition

I’m feeling it, and I’ll bet many of you are feeling it too.

I miss seeing the FIRST community. Well, not so much the FIRST ‘community,’ as in some big group, but the beautiful people that make up that group. And I’m especially feeling it now, around FIRST Championship time.

I miss seeing your faces and sensing your energy. I miss sharing with you the emotional ups and downs of events. And I miss your completely genuine, unrehearsed responses to those ups and downs.

I have known some of you for years, and you are good friends. I love being at an event and unexpectedly seeing you pop around a corner. I instantly smile, and it always brings out a ‘Hey!!!’ and a handshake or a hug, and maybe a brief catching-up.

For many of you, I know your faces but not your names. But it doesn’t matter much. I still enjoy seeing you.

Even if I have never met you before, you lift me from the mundane. There’s something magical about being around the energy of a team working on their robot or getting ready to go into the Chairman’s Award interview room. It’s precious and irreplaceable.

So, I miss, I miss, I miss, and it hurts.

But this I know – we’ll be back together again eventually, and all this missing will make the reunion that much sweeter. Until then, take care and be well! I can’t wait to see all of you again soon!


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Thank you, Frank.  While looking forward to the new normal, that wonderful simplicity that Woodie always told us lies on the other side of complexity, I do miss many parts of the old normal.  Hopefully we get to keep some of them.  Elbow bumps are neat, but handshakes and hugs are better.  I like watching peoples faces light up when talking about their robots, teams, events, and networks.  Don't like waiting for that to restart, but I do know the wait will be worth it.

Hi Frank, I know we all miss you and the staff at FIRST. I personally met you this year at Week 0, I still have your signature and note in my book! I absolutely miss seeing everyone coming together to work as one to make an event the best it could be. While that may not happen in the near future, we'll get through this tough time together, and even help our local communities in the process. Everyone stay safe!

Hello, our two teams 5505 and 5230 paid for tournaments for this season, but they were cancelled. Can we look for a refund from FIRST? We have spent $10,500 and would love to recoup some funds. Please let me know how to proceed. Many thanks and be well! Elly. 989-657-6828

Thank you for your comment. We are sincerely sorry your teams’ events were impacted by the suspension of the 2020 INFINITE RECHARGE season due to COVID-19.


This said, due to the investments made by FIRST and our partners to secure the resources necessary to create and deliver the full FIRST experience for the season, registration and regular season event fees are not refundable due to any events beyond the control of FIRST. For more information on our policy, please click here.


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions by sending an email to

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