Balance between physical and mental exertion within FRC

Hello all, it’s been a while.

For my public speech class at school, I need to write and present a persuasive speech. I have chosen to do my speech about robotics, specifically FRC, on why teams should be just as recognized and appreciated as sports teams are.

If you are/were a member of an FRC team, I encourage you to take a minute and respond to this survey. This will help provide me with real data for my speech, instead of only using generic internet statistics.

Your response is completely anonymous.

You can take the survey here.

Thank you!
~ Kait


Good luck with your speech!

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Thank you!!

I’ve been pondering the “is robotics a sport” question for a while. My opinion is:

If “sports” includes stuff like bowling, billiards, marching band, motorsport, etc then yes robotics fits. If it’s limited to more physical activities then no. IMO all of them are probably better categorized as “activities” but that doesn’t give it the funding/resources that it deserves.

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I like to rephrase the question to “does it have the same outcomes as a (more traditional) sport” - to which I say a resounding yes. And, as a result, it’s at least worthy of consideration for similar levels of funding and attention.


One of my standard comments to the question is often:

If ESPN thinks poker is a sport, and has also shown FRC (back in the day), then there’s a pretty fair case to be made that robotics is, in fact, a sport, at least in the minds of executives at a sports broadcasting company.


FRC is closer to auto racing than it is to poker.


I would disagree. While the total auto racing season is very similar to FRC, the part that is filmed and watched is quite different. Drivers in auto racing need to be in peak physical condition if they want to win races, they have workout regimens and special diets like more standard athletes (soccer, football, baseball). So if a person is defining sport as a physical activity, auto racing falls perfectly into that category. But poker, and FRC, does not. Neither require physical strength or fitness. So not to say that sport have to be physical, I think you could argue in either side of that. But I would say that poker is a better analogy, when discussing if FRC is a sport, because it places little to no importance in physical fitness, the same way FRC does.

If it has a ball and a score, it’s a sport. :wink:


I tracked 12 miles walked at my last FRC event. Not to mention the additional physical requirements to pick up and carry a ~150 lb machine, the manual dexterity needed for pit repairs, the mental acuity necessary for … everything.
And I’m not even a student. They’re the ones who do the real work.


huh…not the case for the auto racing I’ve done over the past 40+ years.

But then, I’ve only been shown racing on motortrend on demand, not on ESPN or other networks.

ESPN broadcasts poker because it gets eyes on screens and makes them money. It really has little to do with “sportiness.”

If they believed FRC would do the same, I’m sure they’d be amenable to broadcasting it. I suspect they do not actually believe such.

When produced the FIRST: Science is Rock n Roll program on ABC nearly ten years ago, it drew 2.17 million viewers.


Yes that is worth noting. However all of those things (excepting the mental activity) have little to no impact on event performance. Sure, if you can’t carry your robot, you can’t compete. But any reasonable level of fitness will be enough to carry the robot. Walking 12 miles is a lot, and does require a certain level of fitness, but it is not integral to competitive success. The point I was making was that physical fitness does little to improve your teams performance on the field. I was not saying FRC requires no physical activity. And as for the mental activity that you mentioned, that was my point. FRC requires a ton of mental activity, that mental activity is to FRC what physical activity is to more standard sports. I wasn’t trying to say FRC is easy, I was saying if a person believes that to be called a sport an activity requires a high level of physical fitness to compete at a high level, then FRC probably does not fit that profile.

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I was making that claim based on articles like this: It was probably a generalization to say that all drivers have this level of fitness, but I had assumed the auto racing being discussed was the high level racing I see on ESPN.

I expect that most folks who participate in sports, do not have a high level of fitness. So, perhaps you’re right that motorsports and other sports do require a high level of fitness at the “high end”. But I still contend that many sports have much greater physical demands, and pretty much require a specific body type to excel. Look at basketball players, football players, swimmers…the top athletes don’t much resemble me, physically!


True, but golf is, literally, a walk in the park.


Walk? Since when do golfers walk?

I thought they drove everywhere on those little white-roofed carts.


I think the walk from the pits to Carver field at Houston Champs is long enough to count as physical exertion.

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Of course you’re right about the part that is filmed and watched. I just don’t see that as the main focus of the sport.

François Castaing might enjoy commenting on whether FRC is more like racing or more like poker. I know for sure he is an expert when it comes to racing, and to FRC. Don’t know whether he likes playing poker or not, but I would bet that he doesn’t watch it.