FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

FIRST Championship Qualification

Dec 01, 2021 Written by Frank Merrick, Director FIRST Robotics Competition




Edited 12/1/2021 to correct probability a District team is added to the Priority Waitlist.

As we noted in this blog about the change to FIRST Championship for 2022, eligibility for FIRST Championship must change, given the reduced capacity.

In making decisions in eligibility changes, we kept in mind these guiding principles, in no order:

  • Represent District and non-District teams in roughly the same percentage as they are in FIRST Robotics Competition as a whole
  • Balance representation between field performance and cultural award advancement
  • Prioritize teams who earned their way to FIRST Championship during the 2022 season
  • Minimize changes to traditional eligibility
  • Maximize the chances of a full FIRST Championship

Here are the changes:

  • Pre-qualified teams are limited to Hall of Fame teams that earned their FIRST Championship Chairman’s Award in the last ten years
    • If a Chairman’s Award winner from the last ten years is not able to attend, another Hall of Fame team can be selected as a replacement
  • Regionals initially qualify the Chairman’s Award winner, Engineering Inspiration Award winner, Captain of the winning alliance, and first pick of the winning alliance. There is no automatic wildcard.
  • Regional Rookie-All-Star Award winners, winning alliance second picks, and winning alliance backup teams (if a backup team joined the winning alliance) are placed on a Priority Waitlist.
  • Open FIRST Championship slots are filled using the Priority Waitlist until it is exhausted. At that point, slots are filled using the normal open Waitlist
    • The process for selecting teams from the Priority Waitlist is yet to be finalized.
    • Invitations from the Priority Waitlist will begin early in the competition season.
    • Please note that the Priority Waitlist may not be exhausted depending on Championship invitation acceptance rates.
  • A wildcard is generated if a team that has already qualified for the FIRST Championship qualifies again at a Regional event. Wildcards are issued in this order:
    • Winning alliance second pick
    • Rookie All-Star Award winner
    • Winning alliance backup robot (if participating)
    • Finalist alliance captain
    • Finalist alliance first pick
    • Finalist alliance second pick
    • Finalist alliance backup robot (if participating)
  • FIRST Championship allocations for Districts are determined by the formula in Section 11.9.2 of the 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition Game Manual, however, the waitlist allowance percentage drops from 10% to 0%
    • This allowance accounted for the fact that Districts have guaranteed slots at the FIRST Championship but can also send teams from the Waitlist. As the Priority Waitlist does not likely include District teams, and the normal Waitlist may not be used, eliminating this allowance increases the initial District allocation and prioritizes qualifying teams.
  • Districts send the following teams that are traditionally sent to FIRST Championship:
    • District Championship-level
      • Chairman’s Award winners,
      • Engineering Inspiration Award winners,
      • Rookie All-Star Award winners,
      • all members of the winning alliance, and
    • as many teams in District-points total order to fill the allocation.

Important Note: A District that has their Championship the weekend before the FIRST Championship may make modifications to this advancement plan to accommodate their teams in a way they feel is best. Changes, if any, have not yet been finalized and will be communicated later.

I’m looking forward to a full and fun FIRST Championship in April 2022!


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In order to enable regional\district teams assess their chances:

1. Does FIRST still intend to host 450 teams in Houston CMP ?

2. What is the global total number of event ready (paid) teams ?

1. Yes! 

2. There are ~3,060 paid teams globally so far for the 2022 FRC season, with more on the way!

Thank you !
In that case, what is the deadline for teams to pay and secure their participation for 2022,
and will you post the final global number after that date ?

The official payment deadline for 2022 was November 15, 2021, however we continue to work with teams that find funding as much as possible. We don't usually post 'final' numbers. To get an idea for how many teams are event-ready, you can visit the “All Teams” page on our frc-events site. Eventually, the number of event-ready teams will equal the number of paid teams.

Are teams that won 2019 championship pre-qualified for this year's championship (as in the last two years there isn't any actual competition happening) ?

You can see all details about qualifying for the 2022 FIRST Championship on this Eligibility page. Note that performance at the 2019 FIRST Championship does not result in prequalification for the 2022 FIRST Championship.

Hi! When will the FIRST going to anounce when/if the Rookie All Star award winners possibility for attending Championship?

You can see all details about qualifying for the 2022 FIRST Championship on this Eligibility page.

As a rookie team, my team has qualified for the District Championship to interview for the Rookie All-Star Award. Is there a limit or recommended number of participants for this interview? Our robot will not be competing in this competition. Thank you!

Congratulations! We won't answer awards related questions in blog comments; the best place to get formal, official response to your question is the Q&A system. You can learn about the Q&A system in Section 1.10 of this year's game manual

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