FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Submission Statistics and Unofficial Score Reporting

Mar 16, 2021 Written by Frank Merrick, Director FIRST Robotics Competition





Submission Statistics

Here are some statistics for submissions the 2021 FIRST Robotics Competition season you might find interesting.

Of the currently registered 3,075 teams:

  • 701 teams applied for the Chairman’s Award
  • 801 teams applied for the FIRST Dean’s List Award
  • 596 teams nominated mentors for the Woodie Flowers Award
  • 1,748 teams submitted for INFINITE RECHARGESM at Home. Of those,
    • 1,561 teams submitted for both judging and skills components
    • 187 chose only the judging component
  • 1,378 teams submitted for the Game Design Challenge
  • 882 teams submitted for the FIRST Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm
  • 502 teams applied for all three of the At Home Challenges
  • and 732 teams submitted for none of the traditionally submitted awards or At Home Challenges.

This last figure is honestly surprising to us, as these teams are essentially not participating in the 2021 season in any official way. While we expected some registered teams to not officially participate because of the variety of difficulties that accompanied this season, we weren’t expecting this high a number. To learn more about what drove this, we sent a survey to teams in this position on Friday. Very early results show a wide variety of reasons why registered teams are not officially participating, but we continue to gather responses.

Unofficial Score Reporting

Both before the survey was sent out and after, we heard mainly from teams that intended to participate in the INFINITE RECHARGE at Home Skills Competition but missed their chance. Either they knew they missed the deadline, they did not submit for the judging component (which is a requirement), or did not realize they needed to opt into the skills competition by March 5th . We believe there are at least 50 of these teams, and likely more, as some teams may not yet realize they have missed the window to confirm participation and have not contacted us.

For many of these teams, their only planned participation this season was in the INFINITE RECHARGE at Home Skills Competition, and we know it's incredibly disappointing for these teams to realize they missed their opportunity. So, we’re developing an alternate means for these teams to still share their work, accomplishments, and successes with all of us, in the 2021 season.

We have many details to work out, but our intent is to create a means for teams that missed the deadline to share their scores on the FIRST website and compare them with other teams in the same situation. These teams will not be interviewed by judges and will not be eligible for FIRST-official awards but will still be able to complete their skills competition challenges and load their results in a system. We believe this approach does not detract from teams who did meet the deadline, as only those teams will get an interview with judges and be eligible for awards, but it still provides a way for teams who missed the deadline to celebrate their efforts publicly.

We are working out the details of this system now and will be sharing as soon as we have more to share.

Good luck to all teams that are starting their interviews!


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FRC needs to understand that high schools across the nation are having a hard time getting kids into extra curricular programs like robotics. With sports and other programs being pushed back from fall to Spring, most students cannot give the time required to compete or facilities are not available. Some schools robotics programs are not year round either, so even though we were allowed to work on the robot in the off season, doesn't mean we could, especially with state, county and school restrictions Regardless of who was able to get submissions in on time, the playing field for this year is not going to be fair. Unfortunately, this is reflected in the attitude of students participating. 

Can you release the submission statistics for the Digital Animation & Safety Animation too please? It would also be interesting to see how many teams completed the three at home challenges, Chairman's, Deans List Woodie Flowers & the two animations

Sure! For the Digital Animation Award sponsored by we had 45 submissions and for the Safety Animation Award sponsored by UL we had 120. Also, we had four teams that were 'all in' with participation this season by submitting in all eight places they possibly could! What an effort that must have taken!

Honestly, It is crazy that even the survey is closed down so early.  We cannot even share our confusion in the survey since there was such a short window for that.  No IDEA that we had to Opt-in!!!!  Very little thought was given to how teams interact with this system.  Why does it take 3 different pages to submit our results?  Why not reach out to teams before the deadline and say, hey we see you haven't signed up?  Why wait until after?  Why does our original sign-up and registration just not count as our opt-in?  How is any of this equitable?    As an educator, my administration would have a serious problem with me if I handled my students this way.  Telling them they were (unofficial).   Just plain wrong. 

We certainly don’t want to disappoint any of our community members, and we’re sorry that our decisions and processes have had that effect on some. A great deal of thought went into the content, deadlines, and tools used for this season, but we understand that it didn’t work for every team. Even though the survey is closed, we strongly encourage you to share your thoughts through


In general I've always had trouble navigating FIRST websites and finding important information. It's never clear what process are...this year there had to be two seperate websites! As a new coach, thank god FIM had some experienced people that helped me out to find due dates, web addresses, and tell me how to navigate the dashboard! 

FRC REALLY needs to imporve how they get information out to us. The website/dashboard is ridiculously hard to navigate, espicially if you're a newer coach like me. If it wasn't for some local people that created cheat sheets and were available, we never would have submitted anything....and this year, there was a second website we even had to use. Very stressful.

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