I’ve always been interested in how FRC teams form and disband. With such a significant cost of entry and resources required to compete, creating a team requires a significant effort from a community and/or a school. Personally, I started LAUNCH TEAM 6352 because I felt the West Valley of Arizona was underserved and in need of the opportunities FIRST provided.
I wanted to learn about the history of FRC in my home state, and to see if there were any notable trends. I went through the data I could find from The Blue Alliance and the FIRST website to create this graph detailing the start and end year of every FRC team in the history of Arizona:
For the purposes of this report, a team is considered active in a year if they competed in an official FIRST event. Each color band represents a series of 1000 teams: Red represents 0-999, Orange the 1000’s, Yellow the 2000’s, Green the 3000’s, etc. This matches with the map of Arizona FRC teams that I and the students of LAUNCH TEAM maintain at bit.ly/AZFRCmap
We can also see from this data the distribution of a team’s lifespan:
This data is going to be skewed to the left, however, because rookie teams have only had one chance to compete, first year veteran teams have only had two years, and so on.
The full spreadsheet and an analysis of team lifespan is available in this document:
AZFRC Team Analysis.pdf (395.3 KB)
I think you can draw some interesting conclusions from this. For example, we can see that 2017 had the most rookie teams started since 2008, but more than a third of them had disbanded in two years. We can also see that the 5000’s teams seem to be declining the most of any group, with only 3 of the original 10 teams still competing. Additionally, of first thousand teams, none of them have disbanded since 2011.
Overall, I think this is an interesting display of how teams rise and fall, especially since we’re wrapping up FIRST’s 30th anniversary and getting ready for INFINITE RECHARGE. Maybe people from other states and regions could make similar graphs to see if there are global trends (e.g. a major rookie grant is introduced or a company stops sponsoring teams)? I’d also like to learn more about team 39, which seems to have competed from 2006-2010 despite being a double digit team, and about teams 1150 and 1181, whose names I can’t find.
*Please note that this is just a casual project and not an official document representing AZFirst. It is possible errors are present in this data. I’m very sorry if I have misrepresented your team and will do my best to correct any mistakes.