FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Online Non-Medical Incident Reporting

Feb 28, 2020 Written by Fiona Hanlon, Program Specialist, FIRST Robotics Competition.




Last year, we announced that we had created an online non-medical reporting process. We will continue to support this form with help from our Youth Protection Department, and we have made some updates to make the process easier on the reporting end as well as the response end. Use of this form is not restricted to incidents that occur at events. It can be used to report issues during any FIRST-related activity.

We have also added some wording to better highlight how this is used. Below are some examples of what you should report as well as a few things that are not reportable.

Youth Protection Concerns that you should report:

  • Any violations of the FIRST Code of Conduct
  • Concerns of sexual or physical assault
  • Concerns of bullying, hazing, and/or harassment

Volunteer Role Concerns that you should report:

  •  Any violations of the FIRST Code of Conduct
  •  Any instance of volunteer misconduct or rude behavior

Other Event Related Concerns that you should report:

  • Non-urgent concerns that may arise at an event including safety hazards and concerns regarding parking, bathrooms, lack of seating, wiring issues, etc.

Event Related Concerns you should not report using the online form:

  • Feedback about game play, rule changes, or award descriptions, etc,.These should instead be reported by sending an email to Please note that match results and award results are final, and that we will not review match videos.
  • Concerns that are more urgent and can only be addressed at the event, such as immediate safety issues or event rules violations like seat saving

The paper forms will still be available for use at events, if you happen to be at an event and if you feel that would be the best way to report an incident. Using the online form ensures the information is sent directly to someone at FIRST HQ faster than the paper form, as paper forms must be collected by hand and mailed to FIRST. That being said, online forms are not monitored continuously, and they may not be reviewed until several days after the report.

If you have an event-related issue that needs resolution in the short term, the best way is through a conversation. If a team or individual is engaging in problematic behavior, try to have a friendly conversation with does not immediately solve the problem. It’s very possible they are not aware of the rule being violated. If the issue is not related to an individual or a team, go to pit admin and ask to speak to event management for assistance. However, please keep us informed by filling out an incident report after the fact and letting us know if the incident was resolved to your satisfaction.

FIRST strives to maintain a culture where concerns can be raised and addressed. If anyone feels threatened or uncomfortable because of verbal abuse, inappropriate contact, or other negative behaviors that are not following the FIRST Code of Conduct or event rules of FIRST, we ask that you complete a Non-Medical Incident Report. FIRST cannot do anything about a situation if we are unaware and we want to make sure all of our students, mentors, parents, spectators, and volunteers have a way to be heard.

Please help us make sure all participants feel welcome and let us know if any issues occur. Good luck this season!

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Will submitters of NMIR using the online form be sent a copy or have a way to keep their report for their records?

Hi Allen,
The platform currently does not have an option for sending a copy of the report. Users can create a summary of what they submit.  We are investigating getting a new case management system that will allow an email to be sent out to all users after they have submitted but we will not have that set up until after FIRST Championship.
- Fiona Hanlon
FRC Program Specialist

On Friday while school are trying to put together their robots, moving from practice field to the pits, a team was wheeling their chasis back to the pits. it was merely a frame and electronics. A young team member from another school asked another seasoned member who that team was. The older student laughed and replied "that's our competition". With so many team working diligently not only on their robots but helping others in their pits this single comment stood out and was very disturbing. There were other similar comments made by both mentors, coaches, and students in the pits and in the stands. Gracious professionalism was not an agenda for several teams. There needs to be some form or system developed that will allow individual to point out these behavior and a way for FIRST to address them to the offenders in the form of point reductions, district point reduction etc. Behavior can only be changed if the unwanted behavior is acknowledged and then addressed. Warnings can follow the team like flagged penalties continued behavior could result in disqualification for this event and lead to school suspensions for continued behaviors. 


We encourage all of our teams to be Gracious Professionals and encourage them to embrace this principle. We recognize that at events you may run into a few members who are not. We also encourage our participants to speak up in the moment to remind each other that this behavior isn’t acceptable. As noted in the universal violation of the Event Manual, “Teams should note that egregious and repeated violations may be shared with the Judge Advisor which could lead to disqualification from awards Teams who exhibit negative behavior risk their behavior affecting the awards outcome” as well as Rule E2. You can find the Event Manual here.


Jamee Luce

Team Advocate, FIRST Robotics Competition


While in queue for Match 35 on the Newton Field at the World Championship in Houston, a volunteer robot inspector can up to our robot and started touching it and the wiring and asked "do you want me to check your wiring?".  Our team replied no and had to endure an over bearing story how he saved another team by finding an issue at some event. We went into the match and the robot was dead on the field as soon as auton started. It turned out to be a loose battery connection and we lost the match. We cannot definitely say that the volunteer caused it, but it is an awful coincident since we had not had any problems to this point or the week before at the State Championship. 

This was the same inspector that had inspected our robot for the event, it was an experience that I would not want to subject my students to ever again  He was very overbearing and kept trying to find some issue with our robot and then would go into stories how he saved other robots from certain doom.  He also informed me of what team he was associated with, which is a local competitor of ours back home.

I went to the pit of his team and spoke with a mentor there and asked him to please tell the guy to not touch a robot without permission.  He spoke with another mentor and they came to our pit to apologize and recommended that we file this report because it was not the first time they had heard this same complaint.

I also spoke with the Lead Robot Inspector on the Newton field and informed him, he also stated that this was not the first he had heard of the complaint.  

Please inform your volunteers that they should keep there hands and stories to themselves unless permission is given. It is uncertain what really happened with the connection, but I have a team full of students that feel slighted by this event.

Thank you,


Clint Messing

During qualifying match 26 of the Peachtree district competition, a robot hit our robot's(3490) intake as our robot was going to pick up a game piece, damaging it. This was called fair game by the head ref, who stated as long as a piece of the robot is outside the chassis it was fair game to bash. Is this supported by First or is this something we can challenge?

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