FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

New Season

May 19, 2022 Written by Frank Merrick, Director FIRST Robotics Competition




The 2023 FIRST Robotics Competition Season opens today!*

Registration is now open for the 2023 FIRST® Robotics Competition season, CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas. Sign into your FIRST Dashboard to get started.

Veteran teams, once your team is ‘event ready,’ you can do your drive-base-or-voucher selection. A team is “event ready” if there are two Youth Protection Program screened mentors and no outstanding tasks on your dashboard. If you are not familiar with this concept or need a refresher, veteran teams can decide to not get the standard drive base in exchange for a $450 AndyMark voucher (available when other pre-Kickoff vouchers are released in November 2022). The drive base kit is designed to allow a team to execute basic elements of 2023 game play and can be assembled by a small team in about six hours. Important note: the default condition is for the drive base is to ship with each Kickoff Kit, so if you’re a rookie team or a veteran team that wants the drive base kit, there’s nothing for you to do. If you want the AndyMark voucher instead, you must take this action by October 20, 2022, at which point the decision is irreversible. We’ll remind folks of this several times before the deadline, but we recommend doing this sooner than later, so you don’t miss the window.

Also, you can help us make the 2023 season the best it can be by giving us feedback on the 2022 season. If you have not already done so, please complete the post-season survey by May 30 and tell us what you thought!

Finally, some of you have seen the news that we will once again have a single FIRST Championship in Houston in 2023 and 2024, during what will be Week 8 of the FIRST Robotics Competition season. Unlike in the 2022 season, though, there will be no events scheduled during Week 7 those years, so we can avoid the extremely short notice of FIRST Championship qualification some teams received. FIRST HQ is working with Districts that traditionally have Week 7 Championships to move those to Week 6 and ensure they have all the resources necessary to successfully execute the competition season. In addition, we will be looking at ways to modify FIRST Championship for FIRST Robotics Competition, including reviewing advancement rules and potentially increasing team capacity. We will release more information when we have it available.


*Wait, Frank, didn’t we just finish the 2022 season? Yep. So, it’s a perfect time to start the new one!


CHARGED UP is part of the 2022-2023 FIRST® ENERGIZESM presented by Qualcomm season. Learn more.

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Does FIRST HQ actually have a commitment to diversity and inclusion, or is it just marketing fluff?

If so: how does this square with the continued choice of Texas for the championship venue?

Does FIRST plan on addressing the community's concern regarding Houston? Geographically it seems like a less than ideal location, but much more importantly choosing to have our only championship even in Texas, appears to fly in the face of FIRST's stated mission of inclusivity, as it is being viewed by some as a tacit acceptance of that states recent moves against the LGBTQ community.

I am extraordinarily disappointed by FIRST's decision to continue hosting its premiere showcase in a place like Texas.  Texas is hostile toward woman and toward LGBTQ+ people -- particularly trans youth -- and does nothing to embody FIRST's core principle of inclusion.

When organizations like FIRST choose to ignore the harm being done to so many of its members and commit to bringing substantial revenue to these places instead, it sends a clear message that its commitment to inclusion and diversity only runs skin deep.  Money talks and there are a lot of us who don't like what you're saying with it.

This is shameful.

Seems to me Texas is VERY welcoming of new born babies of ALL genders/race/creed.

Texas is a large state but its cities and larger towns are just like everywhere else. sure the smaller towns may be hostile, but in a large city with hundreds of thousands of people, you basically have to be inclusive, especially in Houston, which has the highest lgbtq population in tx. they also have the 4th largest pride parade in the nation, so you should think before you speak.

I agree with the other people commenting.  FIRST is not living its value of inclusion by having only one championship and having that championship in Texas.  By having Champs at a distance that requires a flight for vastly more teams, FIRST has made it significantly less accessible to teams that struggle financially.  These are often urban teams with large number of Black and Brown students.  FIRST should be lowering barriers not raising them.  In addition, Texas, by the legislation it has passed, is clearly sending the message that LGBTQ  folks are not welcome.  What laws will they pass in the next two years?  Will teachers and mentors supporting trans students be charged with child abuse?  What would Woodie do?


Thanks so much for the heartfelt comments. I'm going to repeat here what has been shared on our social media channels, as I think it can help. "We plan to remain in Houston for FIRST Championship, due in part to pre-existing contractual commitments. We are aware of the issues at stake in Texas and throughout the country, and remain committed to supporting LGBTQ+ members of our FIRST community wherever they live. We've built a strong relationship with the Houston mayor’s office, which is committed to defending equal rights in Houston and is recognized as one of Texas' strongest advocates for LGBTQ+ rights. We're proud of the work that the administration does to advance LGBTQ+ rights in Houston and appreciate their partnership to ensure that FIRST Championship will continue to be an inclusive experience for all. As we have in previous years and at the 2022 FIRST Championship in Houston, we will maintain a safe and welcoming space for all participants at every one of our future events. Thank you for helping FIRST continue to live up to our ideals of equity, diversity, and inclusion."

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