FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Inter-District Play for 2017

Aug 02, 2016 Today's Guest Blog Post is written by Miriam Somero, FIRST Robotics Competition Area Manager.


A cross-functional task force, which included volunteers from all nine FIRST Robotic Competition Districts, met to evaluate the 2016 inter district play experience and propose a plan for inter district play for 2017.

In the 2016 season, Districts collaborated with FIRST HQ to fill any “open” district event spots with teams from other districts. An “open district spot” is defined as a spot that remains open after all teams in a district have had the opportunity to sign up for their two events plus any additional plays they desire. In 2016 we had eleven district teams take advantage of this opportunity and play inter district.

In the 2017 season inter-district play will continue in the same manner as 2016.

Teams playing at a district event outside their home district will treat the out-of-district event in a similar way that an in-district team treats an additional district event, meaning no points will be earned.

  1. The event will be considered an “additional event” regardless of when it actually occurs. Example: A team from Mid-Atlantic signs up for its two official Mid-Atlantic district events, one on Week 1 and one on Week 4. Additionally, the team signs up for one of the open spots in New England during Week 3. Even though the New England event is before the team’s second official Mid-Atlantic event, the event will be treated as an additional event and the team would not earn any points at the New England event. We will retain the concept of teams only being able to earn points within their own districts. Several Districts were in favor of allowing teams to earn points outside their own Districts. However, with a change of this significance, FIRST HQ wanted a strong consensus among the Districts in favor of this change before it would be considered, and that threshold was not met. This concept will be reevaluated at the end of the 2017 season.
  2. Additionally, the out-of-district team will not be eligible for the three Culture Changing Awards: Chairman’s Award, Engineering Inspiration Award, or Rookie All Star. These may be earned only at events within their home district. They will be eligible to win all other awards, but again, they will not earn points for these. The task force feels strongly that these most prestigious of all FRC awards should be reserved for in-district and recognized that presenting these awards to teams from outside the districts would lead to complications at the District Championship level. This direction, though, as the one above, will be evaluated at the end of the 2017 season.

The cost to register for an additional play at a district event outside a team’s home district is $1,000. Teams will continue to transport their robots to the event themselves. Each event may decide whether or not to provide drayage facilities for out-of-district teams. Drayage arrangements, if any, will be posted on the event’s website. If no drayage arrangements are available through the district, it will be the out-of-district team’s responsibility, logistically and financially, to make their own arrangements to get their robot to the event.

The registration process will be as follows:

In-District additional play registration will open Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, the same day as unrestricted registration for regionals.

Inter-District registration will begin 1 week later, Thursday, November 10th.

  • All teams registering inter-district will be put onto the waitlist.

 Registration closes November 21st.

Teams will be notified shortly after December 11 as to whether or not a slot is available for them.

Non-district FIRST Robotic Competition teams will continue to not be eligible to participate in events within districts.

These decisions are final for the upcoming season, but as noted above, this system will be reviewed once again at the end of the 2017. Please send feedback on possible changes to inter-district play for the 2018 season to . If you are a District team, be sure also to give your feedback to your District management, as each District has direct representation on the task force making these recommendations.

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