FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Kickoff Week is Here!

Jan 06, 2021 Written by Frank Merrick, Director FIRST Robotics Competition




Only a few more days until the FIRST Robotics Competition 2021 Season Kickoff, officially sponsored by the United States Air Force! Set your alarm clocks for Noon Eastern Time this Saturday, January 9th and watch the magic happen here! The show should last about an hour or so then you’ll be off and running!

Safety, Safety, Safety

Now is a good time to remind everyone to keep safety at the top of your mind, all the time. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it, nothing you do in FIRST is worth getting hurt over! Check out the updated safety manual here.

Important Dates!

January 9th: Kickoff

  • Documentation encryption key posted
  • Additional unencrypted  content posted
  • FIRST Choice opens for creating Priority Lists  

January 13th: Official Q&A opens (details to be posted shortly after Kickoff)

January 21st: FIRST Choice Priority Lists locked

February 1st: FIRST Choice open ordering begins


Get a jump on the action by downloading documentation you’ll want to review after Kickoff. These files are encrypted and can be opened with the encryption key we’ll reveal at the end of the broadcast (to save a copy to your machine to unencrypt on Saturday, right click and select "Save link as...").

Control System

All Control System documentation has been updated for the 2021 season and can be found on the FRC Docs page. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, this documentation is now available in multiple languages. To change language, click the arrow next to the green “v:stable” text to pop-up an area where you can select alternate languages. This will display translated text where available and currently offers Spanish, French, Hebrew, Turkish, Portuguese, and Chinese (in various degrees of completion).

All core FRC Control System software (NI LabVIEW for FRC, NI FRC Game Tools, WPILib C++\Java, FRC Radio Programming Tool, and Classmate Images) has been posted and is available unencrypted for download and use. You can find a quick guide to available downloads here. NI LabVIEW for FRC, the FRC Radio Programming Tool, and the Classmate Images are identical to the 2020 season and do not need to be re-downloaded or installed if you have an installation from 2020 (LabVIEW does need to be re-licensed using the instructions found here). 

I’m so excited! I can’t wait for Saturday!


Back to Blog


When I navigate to the Archived Game Documentation page, I do not see the documentation for the 2020 game. The newest game documentation I see is for 2019. Is it possible to have the 2020 documentation included so that it can be reviewed before kickoff? Thanks.


Add new comment