District & Regional Events Aug. 19 2021| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST Robotics Competition
Tags: Events, Mentor, Team
Event Types:
  • District Events: Events that only District teams can participate in. District teams will compete at two smaller-scale events as part of their registration. Some District teams will earn enough ranking points at these District events to earn their way to the District Championship Event. Each District sends a representative number of teams to the FIRST Championship through the District Championship Event. Please see the Game Manual on the Season Materials webpage for additional details on advancement. 

  • Regional Events: Events that any team can attend (some restrictions apply) for their registration fee. These events are usually larger-scale and teams earn advancement to FIRST Championship directly from an event. District teams are allowed to compete at Regional Events with some restrictions for extra fees.

See the District & Regional Teams webpage for an overview of which areas are in Districts and which are not. 

Official Event RulesEvent Search


Team Updates notify the FIRST Robotics Competition community of content changes to any official season documentation (e.g. the Game & Season Manual, Award deadlines, drawing changes, etc.) or important season news. Team Updates will not highlight typo fixes. Any changes to the following documentation will be highlighted in a Team Update. The dates listed under Updates will be changed to reflect the associated Team Update where any updates are made. This document is considered the authority on Rules & Expectations for FIRST Robotics Competition Events.

Event Tips

This section presents teams with what they can expect at events, important to dos, and recommended items and practices that are likely helpful while competing for participants. This content is not season-specific.

Registering & Preferencing Events

Beginning in May, teams can register their team for the following season. This includes signing Consent and Release forms, updating address and contact information, managing team roster(s), and starting new teams. For more information about the cost and what is included in registration, visit the Cost & Registration webpage.

Starting in September, FIRST opens two rounds to allow teams to preference events they would like to attend. FIRST uses a preference-based system to make event registration fairer and more convenient to reduce the load on our systems. Check out our User Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to preference events and our FAQ for frequently asked questions about the preferencing system.

Keep the following in mind as you weigh your choices:

  • Travel costs: Check on potential travel costs (i.e. hiring a bus, renting cars, planes, trains, hotels, etc.) before preferencing events. FIRST has a reservation system in place for participating Regional and District Events and FIRST Championship. Please see the Housing & Travel page for more details.
  • Shipping and Customs: If you plan to compete internationally, , or are an international team competing at an event that requires your robot to ship, check the shipping and customs requirements well ahead of time, and be sure to comply with the necessary paperwork. FIRST does not supply customs paperwork or pay any duties or taxes on international robot shipments. Back-to-back robot shipping to events is not possible for teams going to international events, because of transit time, potential problems with customs and border crossings, and weather delays.
  • Robot Transportation Exceptions (RTEs): Robot Transportation Exemptions exist to assist teams that are unable to physically transport a robot to an event themselves or unable to pay to transport the robot to an event. When a team can demonstrate that substantial hardship exists, they may apply for a Robot Transportation Exemption. For more details on team eligibility and how to apply, please visit the Robot Transportation page.

What to Expect

Going to an event is one of the most exciting parts of FIRST Robotics Competition. This section outlines some of the major elements that teams should be aware of at events.

Team Pits

At events, each team is provided with a designated pit space marked with their team number, where they can work on their robot. Each team’s pit typically comes with a power outlet and a table, and the pit is typically 10’x10’x10’, but exact size may vary based on the event venue. The team numbers help team members, judges, and visitors find teams easily. Please see the Event Rules for specific rules around the Pit.

Robot Inspection

All teams must go through robot inspection prior to playing in a match. During the robot inspection, inspectors will examine the robot to ensure it aligns with the rules. Check out the Game Manual for the rules and inspection checklist.

Teams are encouraged to start the inspection process as soon as possible. First, go to the inspection station to figure out how the inspection process works at your event. Even if you are not 100% ready, partial inspections, such as height and weight compliance, can be started early to minimize surprises and ensure you get inspected before qualification matches begin.


The Pit Announcer and Team Queuers help maintain the practice and match schedules. Teams should designate a team member to know the team’s match schedule, carefully watch the clock, and alert the team when a match is coming up. Once a team is called, the drive team should report to queuing with their robot.

If a team is in any of the first four matches of any competition day, the team’s robot and drive team must queue prior to the Opening Ceremony.


At the event, all teams will have volunteer judges come by the pit to talk to students about their robot and outreach efforts. Teams should be prepared to speak with judges and can visit the FIRST Robotics Competition Awards Page for a complete description of the awards. Teams may also want to check out the Best Practices for Judged Awards resource and the Inside look at the Judging Process for more details about judging. Some awards require teams to pre-submit information before the event and may require a separate interview. Check out the Submitted Awards page for all the details.

Match Strategy and Scouting

For qualification matches, where teams play with a different set of partners each match, teams typically discuss match strategy before getting out on the field. Some teams visit their partners’ pits up to an hour before the match to get an early start on these strategy discussions, while others will wait until the teams are in the queue line together before the match. Consider who on your team will engage in this discussion; while many teams use the Drive Coach for this role, some teams choose to have a dedicated strategist who then relays the plan to the Drive Coach before the match. Ensure the selected student or mentor that engages in these strategy discussions is apprised of the robot's current status, the team's previous match performances, and the team's desired outcome of the event and upcoming match. For example, does the team want to try to win the match regardless of their role? Or does the team want to play the role they built the robot for?

Another thing teams do to help with match strategy, and later alliance selection, is scout the other robots at the event. Scouting is done by recording information about the other teams at the event and most often consists of team members in the stands recording each action the six robots on the field complete in each match. Teams will often design systems to collect this data using pen and paper, smart devices, or hybrid systems that collect data on paper and then enter it into a computer manually or automatically. Teams can then use this information to assess the strengths and weaknesses of upcoming partners and opponents and, if they become an alliance captain, determine who they may want to play with in the Playoff tournament.

Schedule of Events

Each event publishes a schedule detailing location and timing (including when you can set up your pit area, when matches begin, ceremony timing, etc.), which can be found by clicking on the event on the event search page. Most events will have schedules published by mid-February for the event.

Teams are encouraged to review agendas for each event they will attend and have them available (either hard copy, or soft copy) while on site.

Early Pit Setup

Some events have designated early pit setup times, either the evening before and/or the morning before pits open to all members. A team may use both periods to set up the pit, but, per the Event Rules, must leave once pit set up is complete. Teams may be asked to leave by event personnel if it is noted that their pit set up is complete and they have not yet left the pit area.

Load In

Each event sets specific time frames, published on the event’s agenda, in which teams are invited to load their robots and equipment into their pit areas. Please see the Event Rules for specific rules around Load In.


Event check-in takes place at Pit Administration the evening before and/or the first morning of each event. Upon receipt of your team's consent and release forms, each team may receive the following:

  • Drive Team & Safety Captain Buttons
  • Pit Map
  • Practice Match Schedule, if available
  • Event Team List


There are Opening and Closing Ceremonies at every event to show honor and respect for represented countries, sponsors, teams, mentors, volunteers, professional educators, and award winners. Ceremonies provide everyone with the opportunity to applaud the successes of teams. They also give teams an opportunity to hear from important guests and sponsors involved with the event.

At the Awards Ceremony, FIRST presents trophies and medallions to outstanding teams. We encourage all team members to attend the ceremonies to show appreciation for the event and those involved who volunteer their time and efforts. An exception is if a few team members (up to 5) need to remain in their pit to continue work on their robot during the Opening or Closing Ceremonies, they may.

Event rules specific to ceremonies can be found in the Event Rules.

What to Bring

Depending on a team’s resources and event goals, there are a variety of items that they may find helpful. This section identifies common tools, references, etc. that are strongly recommended and specifies rules, as appropriate.

Required Items

  • Team Roster & Consent and Release Forms - Mentors must turn in a Team Roster at each event they attend when they check-in at Pit Administration.
    FIRST requires all participants, including mentors and students to have the electronic version of the Consent and Release form signed each season. The electronic Consent and Release form covers FIRST participants for the entire season. Participants that are unable to complete the electronic version of the Consent and Release form must complete a hard copy (i.e. printed and signed). These hard copies must be provided at each event attended along with the team roster.
  • Safety Glasses - Safety glasses are required for all participants and any visitors in the pits and by the playing field. Teams are expected to bring safety glasses for all team members and any visitors they invite. Please see the Safety Manual for more details on types of Safety Glasses allowed.
  • Robot, Bumpers, and Batteries
  • Operator Console & Joysticks/controllers

Suggested Items

  • Robot Carts - Most teams use carts to transport their robot throughout an event. Carts are not required but are strongly recommended (to minimize risk of muscle strains, dropped robots, and other hazards). Any team using a robot cart must abide by the rules outlined in the Event Rules.
    In addition to the rules listed above, teams are strongly encouraged to put the team’s number on the cart. Refer to the FIRST Safety Manual for robot lifting techniques, and practice putting the robot on and off the cart to develop a quick, fluid routine.
  • Tools - We recommend teams bring hand tools they used when building their robot such as screwdrivers, allen wrenches, pliers, socket sets, tape measures, etc. Teams may also want to bring drills, soldering irons, etc.
  • Spare Fasteners - We recommend teams bring any spare fasteners they may need for their robot such as bolts, nuts, zip ties, etc.
  • Power Strips/ Extension Cords

Optional Items

  • Machine Tools - Small, bench-top machinery with appropriate guards is permitted in team pits. ‘Small’ machinery is machinery that one person can easily lift. Please adhere to the Pit section of the Event Rules regarding pit safety and tool use.
  • Team-Provided Mobile Machine Shops - FIRST welcomes team-provided mobile machine shop facilities/trailers at events that comply with FIRST and venue requirements.
  • Personal Items - Teams may elect to bring items such as Alcohol Prep Pads/First Aid Tape, Anti-Nausea or Diarrhea Medication, Cough Drops/Sore Throat Medicine, Eye Wash and Drops, Facial Tissues/Cotton Balls/Wet Cloths, Feminine Products, First Aid Kit - Band-Aids/Blister Kit/Ice Pack, Hand Sanitizer/Liquid Soap, OTC Pain Medication; i.e., Aspirin, etc., and a small Sewing Kit
  • Competition Spirit - We ask that you bring attention to your team in ways that are in good taste and in the spirit of the competition.
  • Flags - We encourage teams to bring team flags and/or signs for display in their pits and/or the playing field area. Be sure to reference the Event Rules for rules regarding flags.
  • Mascots and Team Costumes - Many teams display their team and school identity by including their mascot in the event. This is strongly encouraged but consider that awards acceptance often means descending and ascending stairs/bleachers. Mascot and other costumes must be safe and comfortable for the wearer.
  • Team Giveaways - Teams often bring small items to give away to others at the event. This is completely optional but is a great way to promote your team’s identity. The most popular item to give away is a button with your team logo and number.
  • Team Spirit and Imagery - When deciding on a team name or acronym, consider how you can work a theme around it to make your team more fun and recognizable. Part of the pleasure of being a team member or mentor is the way the team stylizes itself. 
    Team numbers provide unique identification for FIRST Robotics Competition teams. We strongly recommend that you include the team number on all team T-shirts, trading buttons, hats, cheers and costumes.

Event Services

Pit Administration

Pit Administration is centrally located in the Pit area. FIRST staff members and/or volunteers run this area to check teams in and help teams and visitors. Come to the Pit Administration to:

  • turn in your team’s roster and any hard copy Consent and Release forms,
  • check-in and receive your check in envelope and badges,
  • get answers to most questions, including machine shop access,
  • ask about lost and found articles, and
  • report an illness, injury, or other incident.

Spare Parts Station

Select robot parts are available at each event, however availability varies from event to event. If a team needs a replacement high-value item, “Loaners” are on hand and must be returned before the end of the event.

Teams are encouraged to bring unused parts to assist and support each other. This kindness can expand your FIRST network of friends as you exchange parts.

Machine Shop

Some events host a machine shop, open during specific hours (see the event’s agenda), to help teams with repair and fabrication of their robots. While the machine shops vary, FIRST strives to have welding and a variety of high-powered tools available at all events.

In most cases, the machine shop is on-site and readily accessible to all teams. If a team attends an event where the Machine Shop is off-site, volunteers are in place to transport the robot or parts to and from the machine shop. In this case, a team fills out a Machine Shop Request Form that travels with the robot or parts, so the machine shop staff and volunteers can follow their directions.

First Aid Station

Each event hosts a First Aid Station to assist with any injury or illness. First Aid Stations are in the pits (refer to the pit map for the exact location), and teams should make sure all team members know where to get First Aid.

Lost and Found

If you find or lose an article, report to Pit Administration to fill out a "Lost Item Report" or to turn in the article you found.


Please do not leave valuable items unattended. Neither the event site nor FIRST is responsible for any theft. Take valuable items with you, or designate a team member to remain with the items in the team Pit or competition areas at all times.

How Do I Get Help at an Event?

This section covers who you can ask for help at an event as well as how to report medical incidents and youth protection concerns.

Who do I ask for...?

Teams may have questions at an event. This section covers who a team may go to when they need help.

  • Robot Control System-related issues? Control Systems Advisors (CSAs) can assist and typically can be found in the pits or by the field and wear bright orange hats.
  • Inspection Questions? Robot Inspectors can assist! They typically can be found in the pits and wear bright yellow hats. If you have a question an inspector cannot answer, be sure to ask for the Lead Robot Inspector. They wear a yellow hat and a black vest.
  • Other questions in the Pit? Start with Pit Admin who can be found at the Pit Admin Station. They typically know the answers or can help track down the correct person.
  • Field related questions? Have a member of the drive team (pre-college student) talk to the FIRST Technical Advisor (FTA) or the Head Ref.

Report Medical Incidents

Coming Soon!

Report Youth Protection Concerns

Coming Soon!