FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Let the Kit of Parts Roll

Nov 17, 2021 Written by Kate Pilotte, Sr. Kit of Parts Manager




‘Tis the season for the Kit of Parts Team. In addition to the warehouse prepping Kickoff Kits, FIRST Choice product pages are being reviewed, and voucher codes are being uploaded. What does that mean to you? Here’s the breakdown…

FIRST Choice

FIRST Choice is a program in which teams use credits issued as part of FIRST Robotics Competition experience to select items they’d like. It’s hosted by AndyMark as a donated service to FIRST (thank you, AndyMark!) and rolls out in three phases:

Round 1

Who: Anyone can see the available items. Teams that are registered for at least one event or have secured season registration fee payment with FIRST can populate their priority list (the team’s password is visible to their Lead Mentors 1 and 2 with the voucher codes as described in this blog’s Virtual Kit section). Note: for a priority list to be included in processing once Round 1 ends, the team must have secured payment by noon eastern time, December 2, 2021.

What: Each team populates their priority list to communicate the items and quantities they most desire. Lists are then processed to determine which items get put in a team’s order, and items ship to teams (teams are responsible for shipping and any other related charges like duties and taxes).

When: November 18, 2021 (noon, eastern) to December 2, 2021 (noon, eastern). Season registration fee payment must be secured by December 2, 2021 (noon, eastern) for list to be included in processing.

Why: The two big reasons…

  • the priority list system allows us to distribute the limited inventory available more fairly (vs rewarding teams with the available team members, robust connections, and quick reaction times needed to “do well” as soon as a first-come, first-serve model opens). This method was developed by a member of the FIRST community, and we continue to feel gratitude for this great idea.
  • a round before Kickoff lets teams spend time on their priority lists before the rush of build season and means that those teams get some helpful parts before Kickoff.

How: Watch How to FIRST Choice for more on setting up a Priority List.

Round 2

Who: See Round 1

What: See Round 1

When: January 8, 2022 (noon, eastern) to January 20, 2022 (noon, eastern). Registration fee payment must be secured by January 20, 2022 (noon, eastern) for list to be included in processing.

Why: In addition to the first point from Round 1…

  • a Kickoff round allows us to include game specific items or items that didn’t arrive in time to be included in Round 1.

How: See Round 1

Open Ordering

Who: Anyone can see the available items. Teams that have secured registration fee payment with FIRST can place orders.

What: Orders are placed much like a traditional online ordering process.

When: January 28, 2022 (noon, eastern) – April 15, 2022 (noon, eastern)

Why: Teams may realize they needed something they missed earlier and have credits remaining. There’s no reason to not continue to make remaining inventory available.

How: Pick a part, add to cart, check out. There is a time limit for the cart as parts are reserved when added to your cart (like buying concert tickets – remember concerts?).

Virtual Kit

The Virtual Kit is a collection of tools that are shared with teams directly from the Supplier and are in the form of software downloads or vouchers good for US dollars or specific items. Anyone can see what’s in the Virtual Kit on the Kit of Parts webpage. Some Virtual Kit items require a password or code to redeem; once a team has secured registration fee payment with FIRST, any codes or passwords appear in the dashboards of their Lead Mentors 1 and 2.

There are two Virtual Kit releases. The first one is tomorrow! The second one is on Kickoff Day.

Good luck, and let the good times Kit of Parts roll.


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