Championship Eligibility Criteria Aug. 22 2023| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST Robotics Competition
Tags: Championship, Events, Game/Challenge, Team

In order to compete at the 2023 FIRST® Championship, a 2023 registered FIRST® Robotics Competition team must be eligible.

Teams are eligible to register for the FIRST Championship if they are:

  • a Pre-Qualifying Team,
  • a Merit-Based Qualifying Team,
  • invited from the Priority Waitlist, or
  • invited from the Open Waitlist.

Pre-Qualifying Teams

The following teams will be pre-qualified for the 2023 FIRST Championship based on their performance at the 2022 FIRST Championship:

  • 2022 FIRST Championship Winners: 1619, 254, 3175, 6672
  • 2022 Chairman’s Award Finalists: 1511, 2438, 2468, 6429, 6652
  • 2022 Engineering Inspiration Award Winners: 2096, 2341, 2905, 3928, 4329, 5985
  • 2022 Chairman’s Award Winner: 1629

The FIRST Impact Award, formerly the Chairman’s Award, is the most prestigious award in the program and is the only way FIRST Robotics Competition teams can enter the Hall of Fame. To honor this achievement, Hall of Fame teams that earned their Chairman’s Award at the last ten FIRST Championships prior to 2022 are also pre-qualified teams. These teams are: 27, 359, 503, 597, 987, 1114, 1311, 1538, 1816, 1902, 2614, 2834, 3132, and 4613.

Merit-Based Qualifying Teams

Merit-Based Qualifying slots are issued based on a team's performance during the season. Eligible teams are automatically given the opportunity to register for the FIRST Championship at the time of their win at either a Regional Event or at their District Championship. Beginning with the 2023 FIRST Robotics Competition season, teams who compete in District areas will not be able to advance to the FIRST Championship from Regional events. Teams from Districts that are Regional Winners will generate Wild cards at that event. Teams from Districts are also still not eligible to win the FIRST Impact Award, Engineering Inspiration, or Rookie All-Star award at Regional events.

District Model

Each District determines the number of Dean’s List Finalists, FIRST Impact Awards, Rookie All Star Awards, and Engineering Inspiration Awards to present at their District Championship, within a range established by FIRST. The team counts are based on the team representation of the respective District at the Championship. For the awards, ranges are developed by using ratios agreed upon by FIRST and District Leadership. These ranges allow each District to represent their own community as they see fit.

  • For the FIRST Impact Award, the ratios range from one FIRST Impact Award team for every 18 Championship District teams to one FIRST Impact Award team for every nine Championship District teams.
  • For the Dean’s List Finalist Award, the ratios range from one Dean’s List Finalist for every nine Championship District teams to one Dean’s List Finalist for every six Championship District teams.
  • All Districts, regardless of FIRST Championship Slot allocation, may award one or two Engineering Inspiration and Rookie All-Star Awards.

The following teams competing in the District model earn a Merit-Based Qualifying slot:

  • District Championship 
    • FIRST Impact Award Winners
    • Engineering Inspiration Award Winners
    • Rookie All-Star Winners (the District can decide if they present this award or not)
    • Winning Alliance members
  • as many teams in District-points total order to fill the Allocated FIRST Championship slots granted per the table below. 

Districts receive the percentage of 'available slots' at FIRST Championship, rounded up to the nearest whole slot, equal to the percentage of teams they have in their District compared to the total of all FIRST Robotics Competition teams. 'Available slots' are calculated by taking the total number of slots at FIRST Championship and subtracting the number of pre-qualified teams. This overall calculation uses a ‘snapshot’ of teams that have registered and paid as of three weeks after initial season payment was due.

District Allocated FIRST Championship Slots FIRST Impact Award Winners Dean's List Finalists Engineering Inspiration Award Winners Rookie All-Star Award Winners Woodie Flowers Award Finalists
FIRST Chesapeake 19 2 3 2 1 2
FIRST in Michigan 82 5 14 1 2 3
FIRST Mid-Atlantic 23 2 4 2 1 2
FIRST Indiana Robotics 10 1 2 1 1 1
NE FIRST 32 4 5 2 1 2
Ontario 23 3 4 1 1 2
FIRST in Texas 30 3 5 2 2 2
FIRST Israel 11 1 2 1 1 1
FIRST North Carolina 14 1 2 2 2 1
Pacific Northwest 22 2 4 2 1 2
Peachtree 17 2 3 2 2 1

Regional Model

The following teams earn a Merit-Based Qualifying slot:

  • FIRST Impact Award Winners
  • Engineering Inspiration Award Winners
  • Winning Alliance: Captains
  • Winning Alliance: 1st Picks
  • Winning Alliance: 2nd Picks
  • Wild Card recipients

Wild Cards

If a team at a Regional earned a FIRST Championship spot prior to the Regional and then wins the FIRST Impact Award, Engineering Inspiration Award, or is the Winning Alliance's Captain, 1st Pick, or 2nd Pick at that Regional or is already a Pre-Qualifying team, it generates a Wild Card, i.e. a FIRST Championship Merit-Based slot that is offered to another team. Teams that receive a FIRST Championship slot via a Priority or Open Waitlist do not generate Wild Cards.

Any team earning 2 qualifying spots at a single Regional generates 1 Wild Card.

Wild Cards are distributed in the following order:

  1. Rookie All-Star Award Winner,
  2. Winning Alliance backup team (if applicable),
  3. Finalist Alliance Captain,
  4. Finalist Alliance 1st pick,
  5. Finalist Alliance 2nd pick,
  6. Finalist Alliance backup team (if applicable).


Wild Cards are distributed until either all Wild Card slots generated at that event are consumed or the Finalist Alliance is out of Teams, whichever comes first. If a Wild Card eligible team already earned a spot at the FIRST Championship, they are skipped, and the next member next eligible team is given the available Wild Card. A team may decline a Wild Card, but this does not pass the Wild Card to the next team, instead, the Wild Card goes unused. Unused Wild Card slots are not back-filled or replaced.

Priority Waitlist

The remaining Hall of Fame teams who were not pre-qualified and the Original and Sustaining teams are automatically placed on a Priority Waitlist. Each week, Regional Rookie-All-Star Award winners and Winning Alliance Backup teams (if applicable) are also added. The process and selection criteria for pulling from the Priority Waitlist are described in this Feb 16, 2022 blog. The only change is that teams qualifying during the season are given a higher chance than pre-qualifying teams. FIRST Championship slots not consumed by Pre-Qualifying and Merit-Based Qualifying teams are filled using the Priority Waitlist until it is exhausted.

Open Waitlist

Teams may join the FIRST Championship Open Waitlist to fill slots not consumed by Pre-Qualifying, Merit-Based Qualifying, or Priority Waitlist teams. 

Teams sign up for the Open Waitlist through the Dashboard. To do so, a team’s Lead Mentor 1 or 2 must

  1. log in to the Dashboard,
  2. in the Team Events section, click the “Event Options” drop-down menu,
  3. select View Team Events,
  4. click the Find An Event button,
  5. locate the FIRST Championship Event ;in the event list, and
  6. click the Waitlist button.