FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Update on Unofficial Score Reporting

Mar 19, 2021 Written by Frank Merrick, Director FIRST Robotics Competition




As we said in this blog, we are developing a way for teams who missed the March 5th opt-in deadline to still submit their INFINITE RECHARGE At Home Skills Competition scores. Teams submitting this way will not be interviewed and will not be eligible for awards, but they will still be able to share their accomplishments with the broader community.

Development of the system continues. Teams in this situation will be listed in their own group here, in the ‘Samarium’ group , in keeping with our practice of naming groups after elements. All teams in this situation will be in this same group, regardless of the how many teams there are. The Samarium Group will also show in the individual team pages.

Most importantly, the deadline for "Submitting & Locking" these scores, regardless of if a team met the March 5th deadline or not, is the same: April 8th at 3 PM Eastern Time.

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We will have many more details, including instructions, next week! Have a great weekend!


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Found out this weekend that we are in this boat.   I did not check the opt in  box so we are not able to participate in the official skills at home challenge, even though we made sure to do the judging half.  Sounds like we are not alone being there had to be a solution created.   My kid, who is a product design major at a big ten university, tells me if I can't open a door it is not my fault, it is the designs fault.   So if this is a big problem maybe look at your door. I do not totally buy it, I have plenty of stink on me.  It is in the rules after all.   

So my question.  How is it easier more efficient to create a separate section for all us poor schlubs than to just let us in to the official regional?  I understand the need to set up interviews and make schedules ahead of time for the other sections,  but that does not apply here.   That is where I scratch my head. Thanks

Thanks for your question. The reason we required signing up for INFINITE RECHARGE At Home skills at the same time as judging is that teams that are doing 'judging only' are placed in separate competition groups from those doing 'judging and skills.' We knew many teams would not be able to get to their robots or otherwise would be resource-limited and would not be able to do the skills challenges, but we still wanted them to be eligible for awards and talk to judges. We also felt that teams doing the skills challenge might have a natural advantage against those who could not in the judging portion of the event and wanted them in separate groups. To make this work, we needed to know who was doing what at the start of the grouping process.


So, in your situation, you are currently in a 'judging only' group. If we allowed you to officially submit skills in that group, you might be the only team in the skills portion. We feel like allowing you to submit in the unofficial group and still compare your team's scores with others in the same situation is a fair middle-of-the-road position.

I am just finding out today that our team did not get into the skill competition because I selected "Submit" instead of "Lock and Submit". I am not even sure why it is set up that way in the first place.

With the level of craziness this year,especially juggling the new issues facing me as a teacher, it feels less then gracious to hold us from competing because of one small technical error in a new and complicated opt-in/entry system. I am ultimately responsible but it seems a bit inflexible in not having a work around that lets kids compete who did the work of making a proper submission and even "submitted" on time but are held back because of one small technical error from an overworked mentor. 

Still love FRC and can't wait for "normal" next year but I am disappointed that my students have to deal with one more big disappointment from such an nominal submission error on my part.

I think you may be referring to the ‘Save’ buttons that were part of the submission system? The purpose of those was to allow teams to save partially completed submissions so they could return and pick back up where they started. A team could ‘save’ and many times as they wished, but they needed to hit the ‘Submit and Lock’ button to tell the system (and FIRST) that their submission was complete and confirm that they did want to be interviewed and fully compete in the challenge.  


I agree this year is crazy and we tried to be as flexible as we could, but there are so many moving parts to the judging process we needed to get started on the dates we established. I’m sorry for the frustration. I hope your team still decides to participate in the Samarium group. 

With only 14 days before the April 8 hard stop date, is there any idea when the Opt-in button/function will be opened again? 

I am assuming you are trying to opt-in to the Samarium group. You can find details on how to do this, along with a Quick-Start Guide and instructions on how to make sure you have completed all the necessary steps, on the March 26 blog entitled Big Chairman’s Award Announcement & Unofficial Score Reporting Details.

As an alumna, I must say that what happend with these teams is the The embodiment of injustice. All these teams have been registerd for this season, making efforts and challenge themselves. They have been working hard and deserve a chance to be awarded for that, even if they missed a deadline that apeared in one update and wasn't clear to them. They have been registered to compete. The basic assumption should be that they want to do so, I don't understand why you can not make an exeption of your rules and especially this year- when all the teams are having a hard time to build a robot, to meet, and enjoy ghe way they would have if it wasn't for this pandemic. I think you should re-condier their patisipation. N, a dissapointed alumna.

Thanks for the feedback. This year, in addition to submitting for traditional awards such as Chairman’s Award, teams could choose to do any of the three at home challenges, in any combination, or none at allWe didn’t want to assume all teams wanted to do the INFINITE RECHARGE at Home challenge because we knew all would not be able to or want to even if they could (for example, they might have no access to their robot for the Skills Competition or too few team members this season). Also, if we had assumed everyone wanted to participate in the Skills Competition, we would have needed to plan for far more judging groups and judges than we would eventually end up using.


While we communicated the nature of the 4-week sign-up window several times in every way we could (manual, blogs, social media, and email blasts), we understand some teams still missed the requirements, and we know that’s frustrating. As I said in a response above, we tried to be as flexible as we could, but with all that had to go into the judging process this year, we needed to get started when we said we would.  

Really ? A push of a button deadline ?
Have you considered how "detracting" not competing against all teams who wished to participate would be for teams who pushed the button ?
Also - how "detracting" would it be to see an unofficial result better than the one you win with ?

I understand the frustration with this, and I'm sorry people are experiencing it. I think every solution to this concern would have downsides, including the ones you indicate, but I still believe the path we are taking is the best one overall. 

"Teams submitting this way will not be interviewed and will not be eligible for awards"
Will the unofficial results still be reviewed by judges for basic validity ?

I would hope that First learned something from this mess. Most of these teams didn't miss any deadline, they they thought they were signed up until they didn't show up in any groups. The comment above about the design of the door being the problem is dead on. It would be nice if someone at first admitted they understood this. 

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