FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

PreKickoff Kit of Parts Information

Nov 15, 2017 Written by Kate Pilotte, Kit of Parts Manager (but really the product of work by the whole Kit of Parts Team).


Kit of Part Update FIRST Robotics Competition

This is a long one; sorry for that. On the other hand, it’s a one stop shop for pre-Kickoff information about the 2018 Kit of Parts (I promise that by writing that, I’m guaranteeing at least another few updates before Kickoff to the info below, FRC Team 4042 could explain).

The KOP is a term that’s evolved to mean “stuff we get from companies on behalf of, and provide to, FIRST Robotics Competition Teams.” These items then get to you, our customers, via three different methods:

  • the Kickoff Kit: items that we pack in totes (mostly in totes, there are typically exceptions for late or big items) and distributed to Teams at local Kickoff sites. There are two permutations of this – one set of items that goes to all Teams and a second container that goes to 1st year, aka “Rookie,” Teams
  • FIRST Choice: FIRST Choice consists of an online menu of items available to 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition Teams, and it’s hosted by our friends at AndyMark (for free!). Its purpose is to make available a variety of goodies that Suppliers cannot provide in volumes to support all Kickoff Kits. Instead, Teams use a limited number of credits to pick and choose the items they prefer. Because of the limited inventory, we typically run out of popular items, but we’d rather make a variety of items in limited quantities available than none at all.
  • the Virtual Kit: items donated by Suppliers, but don’t actually come to FIRST for redistribution. Custom orders (like Bimba cylinders), software downloads, and Product Donation Vouchers all fit this category.


New FRC Kit of Parts Webpage

We’re migrating the content surrounding the FRC Kit of Parts from its home as a Resource Library page (like the 2017 content here) to a Basic Page on the FIRST website. That doesn’t need to mean anything to you, but hopefully it results in an easier-to-use resource for new and seasoned users. It’ll go live tomorrow at noon (Eastern). Please share your feedback/suggestions via


Virtual Kit – PreKickoff Release

There are various ways to acquire these resources, and details will be included in the Virtual Kit of Parts section of the new Kit of Parts site when it’s posted tomorrow at noon. Some vouchers/licenses will require your team’s code/key/password, which will be visible to your team’s Lead Mentors/Coaches 1 and 2 in their registration accounts at the same time (assuming your team has secured payment).

If you’re not secured by Thursday, don’t worry. As soon as your team’s paid up, the access codes/passwords will become live in your team’s registration account.

We’ll post additional items on Kickoff day, so make sure to check back then.


FIRST Choice

FIRST Choice is back with a very similar rollout to previous years. That detail is now posted in the FIRST Choice section of the Kit of Parts page, so check it out for all the nitty gritty. Based on our experience from previous seasons, we believe that what the Priority List process lacks in simplicity, it makes up for in user experience and satisfaction. The Priority List is optional, and the deadline for Round 1 Priority Lists is noon (Eastern Time) on Monday, December 4, 2017.

Astute lead 1 and 2 mentors/coaches may notice that their team’s FIRST Choice login credentials will be available before Round 1. We plan to include them with the Pre-Kickoff Voucher release on 11/16. So, while you won’t be able to start your priority lists, you’ll be able to use the credentials you see to login to AndyMark’s FIRST Choice site, enter a payment method for shipping only, and add your billing and shipping addresses so you are ready to hit the Round 1 ground running.

A little disclosure: Any motors you see available in Round 1; you can assume they’ll be legal on your robot.

So, the timeline for FIRST Choice is as follows:

Round 1

Noon ET
FIRST Choice login credentials available to lead 1 and 2 mentors/coaches for event-registered or secured (paid) teams. 
Noon ET
Round 1 begins and credit allotments live at
Noon ET
Round 1 Team Priority Lists due (with any unsecured teams' list discarded)
Noon ET
AndyMark notifies each Team of the Round 1 draft results

Traditional Ordering

Noon ET
FIRST Choice opens for traditional live orders 
Noon ET
FIRST Choice closes

Round 2

Noon ET
Round 2 begins, additional credits issued (unused credits do carry over) 
Noon ET
Round 2 Team Priority Lists due
Noon ET
AndyMark notifies each Team of their Round 2 draft results

Traditional Ordering

Noon ET
FIRST Choice opens for traditional live orders 
Noon ET
FIRST Choice closes for the 2018 Season


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank AndyMark for their generosity and commitment to improving the FIRST Choice experience. They donate such a valuable service, and we’re so happy they’ve continued their support.  

If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to ask in the comments below. 

Our thanks to all our Suppliers who make the Kit of Parts happen each year! 

Back to Blog


HI.  I am the purchasing agent for my team but not the #1 or #2 mentor.  I can't look at the parts on the first choise web page.   I need to be able to advise my #1 on what to buy.  Please open the site to everyone and order entry to the #1 & #2.


The parts available in FIRST Choice won't be live until Round 1 begins on 11/20. At that point, everyone will be able to see the items available, their credit value, etc. As you note, only 1/2 will be able to actually build/submit a priority list. Good luck!

Hello. We didn't receive any login credentials on our lead mentor email accounts for logging in to choose our parts for FIRST Choice on 11/16. Where can we find the credentials?


Hello! The login credentials for FIRST Choice can be found on the Lead Coach/Mentor 1 or 2's Dashboard. Click the Payment & Product button, then Passwords/Voucher Codes. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please send an email to or call Team Support at (800) 871-8326. Thanks! Jamee

Hello, I've filled out my priority list. Is there a way for me to submit the list, or will it auto-submit once the first deadline closes?


You should be good. There is no "Submit" step. Your list is saved when you click "Update," and whatever's there when Round 1 closes is what will be used in the part assignment process. So, auto-submit is the answer. You can make changes/adjustments up until it closes. 



How do I find out if I am round 1 or 2 priority?




I'm not sure I totally understand your question. We won't publish which random rank is assigned to which team's lists. All registered or paid teams are eligible for Round 1 and Round 2. If I didn't answer your question, please reach out at

I can't seem to find how many credits are available for round 1.  Where is it listed?  Thanks!

Teams were issued 500 credits for Round 1 (except for international teams that opted to trade some of their credits for an extra set of game pieces with their Kickoff Kits).

How many additional credits will be granted at the beginning of Round 2?

That information hasn't been published yet. Stay tuned closer to Kickoff.

Does anyone know when the voucher for DigiKey is going to be updated?  When you click on the link to Digi Key, the dates on the voucher are only through April 30th 2017.  Thanks


Hi, when are the Round 1 products shipped?

Round 1 orders will start shipping when teams receive notification of what they’re getting, and will likely take 5-8 days to get through all of the orders. If you haven’t seen information about your shipment by 12/15, we recommend you contact

We are a rookie team and have a question about the remaining credits following the second round. If you want something with your remaining credits that is more than your remaining credits can you purchase the remaining credits to get that item?

Hi Colleen, no, FIRST Choice does not work with cash/credit/check/etc. Teams can only get items for which they have the credits (and if there's inventory).

Can you advise if out of stock items will be re-stocked like Sensor Board fc18-006 and Gearmotor With Encoder fr18-010

FIRST Choice items are stocked for Round 1, and new items are added for Round 2, but there's no added inventory added after that. So, if something out of stock, it'll stay that way for the rest of the season (that's not to say it wouldn't be out of stock with its vendor/distributor, for example AndyMark sells the Analog Devices gyro sensors).

Is there a contact for FIRST Choice orders? We received our shipment but it appears go be the wrong items

Yup! Please reach out to with your order number and a description of the issue.

Add new comment