20 years ago at Epcot - Any body remember?

I was At Epcot in 2000 for the championship with a former team and took the attached video. Does anybody have memory of this distant game and competition?


I wasn’t born yet (just like a lot of other high school students)


Very cool. That was 2 years before I started in FIRST. I was digging around the other day and found a VHS labeled ESPN FIRST Nationals 1997. I’m not sure where I got it or why I have it. I should pop it in a player and check it out, and ultimately get it up online.


I encourage you to do so, especially if its different from this one. Most old content is now long gone, so saving anything would be awesome.


I was transferring old VHS to digital and found this video. I found it interesting seeing the people I use to know… I looked around the internet and there is no dedicated website for old FIRST games and videos so I posted it here. I was a mentor on the team then and I still am one. I Like to compare how the game play has changed from than to now. What great memories.

Was not around at that time but I appreciate the enormous RSLs and the distinct lack of safety glasses in the pits :grin:


Man I wish they replayed 2000 with modern components. The matches would be crazy!

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I was about 6 years old but I was there! Fond memories of my childhood from those days.


Back when scissor lifts were a viable option in FRC :>


Yes, I was there! That was team 422’s rookie year, and my junior year of high school. Back when you didn’t need to qualify for Champs, and just had to be able to pay for it. We had a swiss cheesed scissor lift that year.

Twenty years later, I have a kid who is moving from FLL Jr to FLL next year, and is already telling me she has to go to a high school with an FRC team (she’s only in 2nd grade).


Same, but I was 11. Meant that Parent 1 would take me around some of the parks while Parent 2 was with the team, and we’d kind of hang with the team during matches etc.

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I, as well as my now-wife, were there, though I didn’t see us in the video. I don’t have much memory of the game or event, though. (I do have much more memory of how the 1999 game worked, but I assume that’s because it was my first year in FIRST.)

I was trying to look up the rules for 2000 on the Technokats History Project site, but it doesn’t look to be up? Is it still around?

The giant spinny lights doubled as the indicator of which alliance you were on. Useful in the era before they invented bumpers. Also interesting to see people stepping over the guardrail and interacting with robots while they were enabled (though I assume it was a practice match of some sort). Much has changed in FIRST over the past 20 years. (Though somehow I think those are the same team sign LED displays they use today.) They do still use that same match-start sound effect, though.


That was my sophomore year and my first year going to Nationals! playing hacky sack with other teams in Epcot’s parking lot between matches. Those were the good ol’ days!
EDIT: Also, Team 25’s cherrypicker bot will probably always be one of my all-time favorite robots.

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I think I heard something about them changing the signs soon. The new ones have a small display on the back that shows the team number, are RGB, and have a 5th digit for 1XXXX team numbers. Don’t know if any got deployed this year, but I think we’ll be seeing a change in the next few years.

IIRC, that’s a (currently offseason) FMS kit that teams can get from Rockwell. It costs a bit.

That said, I think FIRST has about 2-3 years before they HAVE to have another digit or the ability to use letters. So it wouldn’t surprise me if you’re right.

Ah, and the old pipe-and-4x4 field borders… Cheap, but couldn’t stop a robot escaping without the robot being too tall to go out.

Looks to be down/unavailable, but the Internet Archive is a help: https://web.archive.org/web/20181116051839/http://www.technokats.org/history-project/

I’ve got a short summary (what I’d use to intro the game for a strategy discussion). Here’s the slides.FRC 2000 Summary.pdf (89.7 KB)

Technokats History Project has most of its “stuff” on Google Drive now, linked from their website. I was seeing if I could sneak in there that way but I think I pulled the graphics before they made that change.

I wasn’t alive unfortunately but I recently watched a video on YouTube of some of the matches for a FIRST event that took place at the American Garden Theater at World Showcase in Epcot. I do know that they set up an ampitheater in the parking lot for later events, though.

Mid 1990s Nationals, after they outgrew the gym in NH but before they moved to the Epcot parking lot.

Got a link?

A FIRST competition at Epcot sounds like my dream. One of my favorite things at one of my favorite places.