FIRST 2020 Season has been Suspended. Championships Cancelled - Official Announcement

One season’s already been affected, we need not affect 2


It may be a problem that my entire team would like it to be run again (yes, excluding seniors)

Additionally, there’s the question of where the fields are now/where they are headed and how/when they would get to their final destinations. California gets game specifics straight from Champs usually. Are fields headed back to HQ for indefinite storage? What about trucks currently en route from their week 2 to week 3 regional or currently sitting in a loading dock at the venue of week 3 events?

Man, I really don’t envy the logistics folks at HQ right about now.

Remember, as disappointed as you are, these people are equally if not more disapointed, and have to continue working to handle all the loose ends.


Here’s my take fwiw.

Nobody can predict a meteorite like a viral pandemic smashing into your plans. But, what was done was done to protect the core of this program - the students, parents, mentors, and volunteers that literally make FIRST what it is. Without all of these people, the program would not exist, so I can think of no better reason to make a hard decision like this.

Many of you will go to college. All of you will go on to some form of career. Disappointment and loss, in a professional sense, is part of those aspects of life.

Before you get it twisted, this is not a “get used to it now” comment.

What defines us as professionals is how we deal with these things. Nobody will have everything go as planned all the time - anyone who has built a robot for this competition knows this as a truth. Your peers will not remember you for what went right, those moments fade from memory. They’ll remember you for how you handled it when it went wrong. This will be true in every relationship you will ever have.

In the professional world, projects can be cancelled for any number of reasons, but that doesn’t mean that we should treat the project as a loss. You built skills and learned along the way, and that is the point of FIRST. It isn’t the competition as much as it is the process and growth that the competition is a vehicle for.

For those of you who did not get to compete, like our team, this is a loss. Grieve. While I stress that the learning and the foundation you’ve built is the bigger picture that will enrich your life, this is a missed opportunity to see a payoff for your efforts. It’s OK to grieve. By yourself, with your teammates, grieve.

Then, improve.

When you’re ready, ask your team, other teams, and yourselves: what didn’t go well? What went well? What could you have improved? What should you adopt as standard practices? What practices should you discard?

Use the time to rework things that didn’t work well, and see if you can’t figure out that system that was giving you a hard time. Use the time to build and strengthen your skills, and therefore your team. Use the time to take pieces of what you did that really worked well, and stick those things in your pockets to carry around for when you get to use them again. Research what other teams did that worked well. Watch matches that took place, and learn what you can from them.

For you seniors out there, use the time to pass on what you know, and improve your teams for the generations that will come after you - the rookies that you once were will appreciate you for it. For you rookies and rookie teams, think of this as a test run, and use the immensity of what you’ve learned to do better in the next season.

How you handle adversity is what will make you powerful in your community, and in the endeavors you find yourselves in through all parts of your life. It is what people will remember about you.

As much as this hurts, the real tragedy would be missing opportunities you have in front of you to grow, learn, and improve.


What’ll first do for Dean’s List? I was nominated this year and it was my last year eligible for it, as well as the other student my team nominated. Teams and mentors have chances for other awards, but people like me don’t. I feel like they should do something.

No one knows for sure, but here’s a thread on it:

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I’m not sure that’s a good idea. This blows for us seniors, but the class of '21 deserves to have their year and their time respected as well.

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Thing is, our district sent out an email canceling every field trip from now until the 03/31. So, we would’ve had to forfeit anyway. We’re hardly the only school district implementing similar restrictions.


Everything at my school is being cancelled, so when I heard this I was disappointed but not surprised. Especially since I just made some cool buttons. Senior year is not going how I expected at all. Can’t wait to graduate over group chat.


The worst part of it was that we didn’t find out until today. We were so busy staying up till 2 am to get it finished in time that we forgot to check our email and had no idea this might happen until 45 minutes before the pits opened. Quite a shock.

Thankfully, my team has no seniors, but this year we built a one of our best robots yet and everyone is upset we cant compete.

My team has over half seniors(including me) and It really sucks

At least we got to go to one competition - I feel so bad for teams that didn’t get to go to any and this could possibly be the end for the seniors


Oh, and this may have been our last year due to lack of funding. And if we can’t get those fees back, it’s all over for my team.

I’m devastated to say the least.


What now happens to rookie teams that raised the money for entry fee and are being told they won’t get it back? Its going to destroy them. I think we will be losing many first teams this year. I’m not saying this is FIRST fault by any means but losing that money with nothing to show for it is going to hurt.


I can’t even fathom how a rookie team feels like right now. I would feel completely burned out as coach—as a rookie coach you have so much uncertainty and anxiety over the build, and now you‘re out $6k and have to answer questions from your frustrated and disappointed team.

If any rookie coach needs to vent, please reach out to me. I wish I could do more, but there’s too many unknowns right now to promise anything.


It’s infinite

Gov. Whitmer of Michigan is about to make a statement concerning the 10 newly announced covid-19 cases in the state. I can only assume this will entail the cancelation of schools statewide. Maybe this is Michigan’s stop build day?


Just want to point out that the letter was originally posted to Facebook on March 6, and things have changed since then.

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Counterpoint: Here’s some data -

The data points to cancelling the season being the right call. Do the math, save the world.