FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Initial Event Registration Update

Sep 23, 2016 Written by Frank Merrick.


While we have eliminated a number of potential causes of yesterday's registration system failure, we have not identified the root cause. Significant system changes may be required to ensure teams have a positive experience in registering for their initial events. Because of this, we will be delaying initial event registration once again to the week of October 3rd. We will be announcing the details no later than Friday, September 30, 2016.


I apologize for this further delay, but we feel this is necessary to give us the best chance at a positive result.


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How does the delay in the first event registration affect the second event registration?  Will that registration also be pushed back a couple of weeks? - Karen Lehman, Rogue Robots 5424

Thanks for the question! We are still working on the new registration schedule. We apologize for the inconvenience! Thanks for your continued patience.


It is shameful of FIRST blindly select a major religious holiday, and this is not the first time this has happened.  As a coach of a team that does everything to embody FIRST and Gracious Professionalism, you are a do as I say, not as I do entity.  You are penalizing teams for their beliefs and practices, making FIRST no different then any other place in the world.  Each year First asks each team to find ways to solve problems that positively impact those around us, yet First does not do this; as I stated before this is not the first time the date has been an issue for many people; last year was a Muslim holiday if I remember correctly.   Everyone wants to register however there are plenty of dates that would not affect schools, teachers, students, and families.  I am ashamed to tell people I am associated with a group that does not practice what they preach.  How can I as a coach advocate for First, when the evidence is so overwhelming.    

I have spoken with First about this in the past and was told to find someone else to register the team.  I have issues with this solution: 1) Per the way your sight is made it must be done by one of two people listed as either the first or second person in charge.  With that in mind, a team cannot register without YPP completed by the two people who are required to register. 2) Would you give access to your email account to a friend?  I would be giving password and account information to someone who is not me.  There is a fine line of ethics here that First has asked me to break.  

Sandy Koufax stood up for his believes and did not pitch in a world series, yet as the coach of a team and educator, as I stand up for my beliefs, it will impact not just myself, but a team comprised of 50+ students who each year put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work.  If we do not register on opening day, it is highly likely that the competitions that we could afford to attend will be filled to capacity, and the 50+ girls and boys will not have a season to compete in.  I implore you and FIRST to make a sacrifice for the students that each year, your coaches and mentors do.  Make the sacrifice and find another day October 6th for instance would be two weeks from the original date and there are no world holidays on this day that I have found.  By First making this change, by falling on their "sword" so to speak means that there is hope.  One does not even have to say anything other then making sure the system is completely ready for registration.  Without this sacrifice 50+ students will not have a season to compete in, students in their senior year will be devastated.

Frank, please step up and fix this, both myself and co-coach can not sacrifice anymore for First as we have nothing else left to give.



Al Woods

(Sent under a pseudonym, as I do not want my team to be judged unfairly at any future date; email address is active)


Dear 'Al', thanks so much for your note.  I'm so sorry for your frustration, but I believe there's been a misunderstanding, which I'd like to clear up.  The message was sent to teams that registration would be 'the week of October 3rd', not 'on October 3rd'.   We could not set an exact time and date at the time the message was sent, but we are aware of the Rosh Hashanah holiday that ends at nightfall on October 4th, and will be working to avoid that period.  It is almost certain registration will happen in the latter part of the week.  Our goal is to be able to tell teams not later than this Friday, September 30th, the exact details of registration.

I'm very sorry again for the frustration, and I truly hope you'll be joining us again for the 2017 season.  It's not always possible for us to avoid every major religious holiday with our activities, as with our growth we have an increasing number of teams of all religions, and many activities that need to fit in a season, but we do attempt to take these holidays into account as reasonably as we can.

I can also tell you that, while I understand your concern about being unfairly judged if you revealed your team number, you need not worry.  I promise you that kind of nonsense will not happen with my knowledge, and if I were to find out about it later, I would do my best put an end to it.


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