2020 seniors on 2021 drive teams? [Poll]

Should teams be given the option, for one year only, of bringing back 2020 senior drive team members to serve in a 2021 drive team role?

  • I’m a 2020 Mentor - I vote Yes.
  • I’m a 2020 Mentor - I vote No.
  • I’m a 2020 Student - I vote Yes.
  • I’m a 2020 Student - I vote No.

0 voters

This is a unique situation obviously, which may require a unique solution. One that enables teams to straddle the line between totally shutting out 2020 drive team seniors from a competition experience and delaying the ascension of those who follow in their footsteps.

I imagine many teams would at least like the option of choosing for themselves how to proceed next season.


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I’d say this is only really appropriate for off-seasons. If there is no 2020 off season, then grab an event in the 2021 offseason, I’m sure if you explain they won’t mind.

In season, you’re just passing the buck of a robbed opportunity to the next class of seniors, right?


I would say allow the option, but do not require it


I am a rookie this season. At my regional this year (Palmetto), I helped the drive team with talking to the top teams and asking them to choose us. We ended up being the 2nd place pick. We made it to the finals. After the regional, the driver on our team asked me if I wanted to drive coach the qualification matches at our next regional this season. Then the senior drive coach said he’d step down and let me do it and then he’d drive the finals (if we made it). I was very sad to see that regional get cancelled. However, I would much rather postpone my drive coaching for a year rather than see the current drive coach lose half his last year. Bring back the seniors!

The students on both teams I was involved with would vote no, as would I, and here is why:

The seniors driving in 2020 have likely already gotten the inspiration this program is all about and it’s time to pass the torch. It’s unfortunate that they missed the opportunity to show the world what they are capable of, as well as all of the social, stress management, and leadership skills that come with being on the drive team, but in all honesty those opportunities are likely better suited for other younger students on the team.

I want to publicly commend the seniors on 103 who decided at the onset of the 2019-2020 season that they would not be driving because they wanted to give those opportunities to other students on the team as well as pass on all of the knowledge they have gained in their years driving to the next generation. That was an incredibly proud mentor moment.

In all likelihood students will be moving on with life and continuing their career or studies elsewhere regardless, doing bigger and better things. Remaining on the drive team as, “Super Seniors,” in my opinion, would only hold them back from other opportunities that may benefit them even more.


As drive captain this year and supposed to be next year, I would personally love it if our drivers (which are seniors) could come back.

However, that removes opportunities for the younger drivers that I was training, who really deserve their chance.

The option should be given of course I don’t disagree with that. What I have an issue with is this solution has cons for the opposing side no matter what a team chooses. If 2020 seniors get to be on the drive team, 2021 seniors and other team members who have been training to do this have been robbed of a chance to participate. The same thing can be said for the other way around.

There are additional layers of discussion that aren’t even touched upon in this poll - the most important being replay vs. new. I know for me, the outcome of that particular decision by HQ could have a bearing on how I view this particular poll.

If the 2021 season is cancelled as well, should 2020 seniors be allowed on drive teams in 2022?

EDIT: I’m also not sure why this discussion is limited to only drive team members. What about Chairman’s presenters, pit presenters, pit crews, even scouters? Should current seniors be allowed to resume those roles when FRC is able to return?


On the assumption that the 2021 season is happening, I voted that 2020 seniors should be allowed on drive teams. If events are happening, I assume most 2020 seniors will be away at college during competitions. Many will be too far away or too busy to come back to drive. But those that are available should get the opportunity to compete for a driver position like any current student.

To be a good driver you need an intimate knowledge of how the robot works, and a significant amount of practice with it. That’s not likely something that you can get if you’re no longer actually a team member. That being said, if there are 2020 seniors who have this knowledge and experience, why not let the team decide who’d they’d rather have drive? I doubt many teams will actually take this opportunity, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be offered.


This would presume that every class proceeding through a team is as strong as the ones that came before it in quantity and/or quality. We would like to believe that and in many cases on many teams that is the case, but for many others - especially much smaller and/or struggling teams - you could be doing double harm by denying the 2020 seniors a chance to drive and forcing a brand new crew onto to the field.

What if the outcome of this coronavirus situation prevents a team from recruiting new students in sufficient numbers to even field a viable drive team?
What if the only students they can recruit have absolutely no desire and/or demonstrated skill to perform the role? Perhaps being able to use graduated seniors for a year would be a benefit to them as they try to remain on their feet and get through having to face all of the other, greater upcoming challenges that await? Mentor recruiting and retention. Fundraising. Retaining sponsor support.

Each team’s situation is different and cannot be shoehorned into some utopian grand view of what an ideal FRC team should be. Hence, I advocate providing an OPTION for teams to freely choose. All teams are going to be facing a lot of added stress next year and possibly beyond. Let’s temporarily relax one lower level rule that might actually have a greater impact on some teams than you might think at first glance. And if this change’s only benefit to a team is that it lets them still reward graduated senior(s) for superhuman efforts toward a robot/season that is currently lost, is that really such a travesty? Let the teams choose what best fits their individual situations.

Flexibility begets sustainability.


I definitely see your point, and it’s not a great situation, but I could argue that this situation would be no different than any year prior. Somone has to do the job, and it’s going to be the most qualified person eligible, so I see no reason in not at least allowing these robbed students an opportunity to be eligible again.

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Which should be an eligible student on the team.

It does suck that a lot of drivers are not “getting their chance”, but that happens every year for different reasons. Out sick or hurt, family emergency, team folds their junior year, robot fails completely to no fault of the driver.

I’m totally for letting seniors have a go in off season events, but I’m not going to tell next year’s driver sorry, so and so is better than you and didn’t get to play last year.

People are losing out on a lot bigger things than a chance to drive.


Drive coaches are allowed to be mentors, alumni, etc, so your senior drive coach could still drive coach next year under current rules

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I voted yes, but I wouldn’t expect many seniors to actually be able to do it. I would expect a good number of FRC students to leave home for college, meaning they can’t go back to their old teams. Mentoring your first year of college is also already a bad idea, I can’t imagine how bad being a student in your first year of college would go.

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I’m the only senior on my team, but given that the team is a VERY young team (next oldest is a sophomore this year and about 40% are grade 8) I might be inclined to help out had I not accepted a college in a different country.

This reminds me of something I’ve thought about in the past. In my school district, students who are behind on their graduation requirements can (I’m not sure the exact process or requirements) end up becoming a “Super Senior” and have a fifth year of high school. I’m sure other districts have similar options for students who may need that extra year to graduate. My question is, should “Super Seniors” in their fifth year of high school be considered for drive team, Chairman’s presenters, etc.? I’m not sure there even is one right answer as it could be very situational, but I have pondered that a bit and am curious if anyone else has thoughts on that potential situation. (To be very clear, this isn’t 2021 specific, it is just regarding students in their fifth year of high school).

2/3 of my drive team were seniors this year and 1 a Junior. One of them has been operator for 3 years. I love these guys to death and I’m honored to have been their coach, but it’s time to move on. They’ve already committed to colleges around the country and that should now be their #1 focus. I was a driver on my team for 3 years and if I was in their situation I would pass the torch off.

Does it suck? Absolutely! But sometime you have to play the cards you’ve been dealt.


Rules are drive team members (except coach) are a pre-college student. If the “super senior” is a student, and is not college, it seems like that fits the definition.

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2020 Seniors got a raw deal with winter and spring activities. They will not be returning to play Baseball, Softball, Track… the same should be for student roles on Robotics teams.

Hopefully they got the opportunity to learn great life skills and will be applying them to their post secondary education or any other courses they pursue.

The great thing about robotic is they could have the opportunity to share with other teams next fall mentoring or moving on to other collage or adult members positions. This is not usually true for the other High School activities.