FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Kickoff: Around the Corner!

Jan 03, 2023 Written by Kate Pilotte, Senior Kit of Parts Manager, but the work of SO MANY!




In just a few days, we will kick off the 2023 season. Things happen quickly so we want to make sure you are prepared.

Here are some January dates you don’t want to miss:

  • January 7 – FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff presented by Novelis on FIRSTtv! (noon, Eastern)
    • CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas game revealed!
    • Kickoff Kits distributed
    • Encryption key posted & unencrypted game specific content posted
    • Replacement parts system opens
    • FIRST Choice Round 2 opens
    • New Virtual Kit items posted on the Virtual Kit section of the Kit of Parts webpage
  • January 11 – Official Q&A opens (details to be posted shortly after Kickoff)
  • January 13 – Missing/damaged Kickoff Kit item replacement part requests due (noon, Eastern)
  • January 16 – FIRST Choice Round 2 ends, priority lists locked (noon, Eastern)
  • January 19 – Digital Animation Award (due 11:59PM ET)  
  • January 26 – FIRST Choice open ordering opens (noon, Eastern)
  • January 31 – Payment due for additional events

Kickoff Kit – Sizing Info

In addition to finding out 2023 season details on Saturday, each team attending a local Kickoff will also receive this year’s Kickoff Kit items. We’re giving a deliberately vague “heads up” about the sizes and weights to expect so you can make accommodations to get the goods back to your build space. This information is also now published in the “Kickoff Kit” section of the Kit of Parts page.

  • Each team receives a “Season Specific” box (~9 in. x 14 in. x 9 in., 5lbs)
  • Teams that did not opt-out of the Kickoff Kit receive a Black Tote (~12 in. x 27 in. x 17 in., ~32 lbs.)
  • Teams that did not opt-out of the Drive Base Kit receive a box (~7 in. x 7 in. x 33 in., ~28 lbs.)
  • New (“rookie”) teams also receive a Gray Tote (~12 in. x 27 in. x 17 in., ~58 lbs.) and a set of separate items (6 in. x 6 in. x 48 in., ~4 lbs)

Kickoff Kit - What if Something’s Missing or Damaged?

We strongly recommend that one of the first things you do after Kickoff is to inventory your Kickoff Kit. If anything is missing or damaged 1) we’re so sorry! and 2) you need to let us know and we’ll make it right.

The process we use to get information from you is built into the registration system and available from 1pm (Eastern) on January 7 to noon (Eastern) on January 13. This is due FRIDAY THE 13TH, so we recommend you try to get this done by the 12th.

Please know and understand that we will not process requests that don’t use this system for teams who received their Kickoff Kits on or before January 10, 2023. (If you’re a “MySite” team who received your kit after January 10, please email us at within 2 business days of receipt of your Kickoff Kit with any missing/damaged items.)

To report anything missing or damaged:

  1. Your lead mentor 1 or 2 logs in to your team’s account.
  2. Click on the “Payments and Product” drop down menu and select “Order Replacement Parts”

  1. Enter the shipping information for where you’d like the replacement parts sent.
  2. Use the “Subkit Container” filter to navigate to the parts you need to report.
  3. Click the “Add” button for the item that’s missing/damaged.
  4. Specify the quantity missing/damaged, include an explanation, and click “Save.”  The list will auto save when you add an item, so you can come back to it later.
  5. Once your list is complete, hit “Submit Request.” You can only submit once, and you must Submit before noon (Eastern), January 13 for your request to be processed.

FIRST Choice: Round 2

FIRST Choice opens for Round 2 of Priority List orders from January 7-16 (noon Eastern). Emails with what each team is getting will be sent by AndyMark after priority lists are processed. We’ll be employing the same Priority List Process used in Round 1 and issuing additional credits to each team’s account. Any unused credits from Round 1 are carried over. Details on all this are in the FIRST Choice section of the Kit of Parts page.

Pre-Kickoff Downloads

Download encrypted files for the 2023 CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas season before Kickoff then unlock them with the code that will be revealed at the end of the main section of the kickoff. You can find the files you’ll be interested in listed below. Items are likely to automatically download, and large files, greater than 100 MB, are noted. To decrypt encrypted zip files, you will need a dedicated extractor like 7-Zip, PeaZip, UnzipLite, etc. (the extractor built into many operating systems will fail).

Control System

Documentation – For 2023, the official Control System documentation continues to be hosted via Read the Docs and is found at Users can download a copy of the docs for offline use, as either PDF or HTML, using the Read the Docs menu at the bottom left of the page (Direct PDF link). A local version of the docs is also included in the WPILib C++\Java installer. Documentation for other Kit of Parts items will remain on Screensteps for 2023.

Control System Software – Some FIRST Robotics Competition Control System software has been posted (NI LabVIEW for FRC, FRC Radio Programming Tool) and is available unencrypted for download and use. You can find a quick guide to what to grab for installation later here. The remaining software is expected to be available in the next few days (no later than Friday) and will be linked on that page when available.

Good luck this season!

Back to Blog

Add new comment