FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

The 2016 Season, by the Numbers

May 13, 2016 Written by Frank Merrick.


The 2016 Season, by the Numbers

Hope everyone had as much fun this season as I did!* The staff here took about one week to recover after the FIRST Championship, then started hammering away on the 2017 game. And, good news, our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, a Gold-level Supplier to FRC, will be lending their creativity and expertise once again to the process!

Here are some FIRST STRONGHOLD season numbers you may find interesting. 


The number of times the FIRST STRONGHOLD game animation, produced by our friends at Automation Direct, also Gold-level suppliers to FRC, has been viewed on the FRC YouTube channel as of this writing.



The total number of registered attendees we had for the FIRST Championship



The total number of team-affiliated attendees we had registered for the FIRST Championship. For the students on these teams, that’s many thousands of young people potentially leaving St. Louis with an expanded sense of their own potential. They leave ‘bigger’ than they arrived, and not because of the BBQ at Pappy’s. 



Total number of official qualifying and playoff matches played this season



The number of different field set-ups used in those 13,303 matches



Total FRC teams registered this season



Total Rookie FRC teams registered this season



More of a range of numbers here, but some folks in our community seem to enjoy comparing how good they thought the FRC games have been over the years. So, I thought we’d do a data dump. To my knowledge, we’ve only asked a ‘so, what did you think of the game?’ question systematically on team surveys for the last four years, so that’s as far as these numbers go back.

A few notes on this info:

  • This is not a scientific survey. It’s an aggregation of responses to the post-event surveys we’ve sent out over the years. All registered teams should get one of these surveys for every event they attend, but the surveys are just sent to the two main contacts, and those contacts may or may not respond and may or may not forward along the survey to other team members and ask them to respond also. Also, since a survey goes out for every event attended, teams attending multiple events get to ‘vote’ multiple times. So, no one should assume this information precisely represents the opinion of the FRC community as a whole, though it may give some rough pointers.
  • You will note a shift in the original wording of the question we used in 2013 from asking about the quality of the game concept to just asking about the quality of the game in later years. We did this when we realized a game concept might be great, but the execution awful, and we really just wanted to know what folks think of the games overall.  We realize ‘quality’ might be a loaded term also, though. Maybe next year we’ll just go with the ultra-concise ‘Game?’ as the complete question. Or no words, just a question mark. That would do it.
  • The survey for Championship attendees for 2016, in which we also ask the game quality question, has not yet closed. While I wouldn’t expect the percentages for this year’s game to change much when those results are finalized later, they may shift a bit, and the response count will rise. 

You can find the data here.




Number of sea containers we needed to get all those boulders we used in FIRST STRONGHOLD from Sweden to the United States for distribution to teams and events

Photo credit




Prettiest Princess Award. Check out the 2016 FIRST Bad Lip Reading video here, and thanks to all the folks that helped put this together!


*For the record, the amount of fun I had this season can be objectively quantified as ‘mondo’

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