Remote Events for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge

Jul 16, 2020




Dear FIRST® Community,

You already know FIRST is more than an organization – it’s a family, a movement, a culture for participants, volunteers and supporters. More than a million people around the world engage with our programs each year, including nearly 700,000 young people who, through FIRST, find a place to belong. FIRST participants form lifelong friendships and gain the experience and support system they need to be successful, no matter what path they follow after graduating high school.

That’s why, in these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to deliver the life-changing experience of FIRST to young people around the world. And as schools do their best to figure out how to reopen, we know you are eager to understand how you’ll participate in the 2020/2021 season. As an organization that teaches young people how to solve problems and innovate, we are doing the same in order to ensure we are fulfilling our mission and enabling our community to stay engaged with FIRST programs in the challenging year ahead.

Remote Events for FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® Tech Challenge
We have been working on solutions for the 2020/2021 season and would like to share our current plans with you. For regions that continue to be disrupted by COVID-19 and require social distancing, we are planning to offer remote event options for FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® Tech Challenge around the world for the 2020/2021 FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change season. While our goal is to make the experience as close as possible to a traditional FIRST program event, modifications will be made as we transition to a remote environment.

To help transition to remote events, we are developing the FIRST Remote Event Hub to provide a comprehensive remote experience for teams and volunteers, inclusive of the following*:

  • Remote robot performance and match scoring
  • Award submission, evaluation, and feedback
  • Video conferencing scheduling for remote judging

*Capabilities vary by program and division

Prior to participating in events, teams will meet in-person or virtually in small groups to build their robot and work on their projects and award applications. We strongly encourage teams to follow social distancing guidance as determined by their local authorities.

Teams will register for events with their local Program Delivery Partner, and the Partner will determine whether the event will be hosted in-person or remotely. If the event is remote, Partners will work with teams and event volunteers to register with the FIRST Remote Event Hub, and provide further instructions for participation.

Additional information will be shared through FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge team blasts regarding remote options for teams.


Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: Answers are subject to change as we continue to build the remote event experience for the fall.

How will remote robot game play work for FIRST LEGO League?
For FIRST LEGO League Challenge, teams will provide video with three, 2.5-minute pre-recorded robot rounds, time stamped within a single day. Team must secure a non-biased monitor (e.g., school principal, FIRST® Robotics Competition team members, other volunteer) to mark start and stop time for recording. More guidance will be provided in the coming weeks.

How will remote robot game play work for FIRST Tech Challenge?
For FIRST Tech Challenge, teams will play the season game, ULTIMATE GOALSM presented by Qualcomm, in their robot lab/area using a half field. Teams will not join alliances or compete directly against other teams in this remote environment. Scores and standings will be based on how many points the team scores in the traditional 30 second autonomous and 2 minute teleoperated periods. Registered teams will be given access to the official, cloud-based, FTC Scoring System to be used either in practice mode at anytime, or to record “official matches” within the window of their official event(s). Teams will be responsible for honestly and accurately scoring their official matches. More guidance will be provided in the coming weeks.

How do I register for an event?
Event registration remains unchanged. Teams should register with their local FIRST partner, and the partner will provide guidance as to whether your event is in-person or remote based on social distancing requirements.

How will I know if my event is in-person or remote?
Partners in your region will decide remote or in-person based on regional guidelines for social distancing. Please contact your local partner.

Will FIRST still need volunteers with remote events?
Yes! Volunteers continue to be critical to the success of the FIRST experience. Remote events still require judging for awards in FIRST Tech Challenge and awards and robot game play in FIRST LEGO League Challenge and for reviewing projects in FIRST LEGO League Explore.

How are we ensuring youth protection on the FIRST Remote Event Hub?
Youth protection remains a critical focus for FIRST. We are working with several experts, including our partners at The LEGO Group, to ensure our processes and tools are secure for all individuals, including teams. In addition, coaches/mentors will be responsible for interacting on behalf of their team with the FIRST Remote Event Hub; minors will not be creating profiles or utilizing this application.

Is the in-person event experience changing?
If your event is in-person, there may be event capacity limitations, remote elements, or other modifications to comply with local health and safety guidelines. Please contact your local partner for more information

How do remote events apply to FIRST Robotics Competition?
We are continuing to develop plans for FIRST Robotics Competition events and will be sharing more information about the 2021 season prior to opening of team registration in September.


Your friends at FIRST HQ

Back to Blog