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

Tom, time to get a head start on Beach Blitz planning.

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Is that the predicted game of 2021?

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Beach Blitz is an offseason event


Can’t speak for everyone but I really mean more calling to check on people, etc. I tried to put things in terms of remotely reaching out. We need to take care of each other now. Just looking at CD the past week has shown how much grief the community is going through right now (I even allowed myself to cry a little last night, and I’m just a volunteer). Yes, we need to take care of each other and do so in a safe manner.

And yes, students also need to focus on school and testing :wink:

I think the term is IRI


Assistant Pittsburgh Western & Central Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Ohio Regional Director email in full. (reformatting & emphasis mine)

Hi Teams,
What a week. I’m so proud of each and every one of you and your teams and what they have accomplished during this season. I know that everyone has questions and wants to make plans. I’ve just been on a FIRST call where they are talking about the recent events. Below is the information I got-
They are talking about suspension- not cancellation, of the season: but the cancellation of both of the championships in Houston and Detroit. The suspension of events is right now scheduled through April. After that there is uncertainty- but they are continuing to plan for the future.

Suspension: does it mean canceled or postponed? The answer is neither- it is a pause while they try to figure out what is going to happen. The event listings part of the FIRST website will be updated soon- it will be updated to show events either as under review, canceled, or they will list an actual postponed date.

Cost: are we getting refunds?

  • Championship registration fees are going to be refunded.
  • For Regionals- they are evaluating it- it is going to take time.
    o The official FIRST policy is there is no refunds-but this is a terribly complex system so they are looking into all parts.
    o They are hoping to have some of these events at a later date.
    o They make deposits at venues and services that are not refundable.
    o The experience of FIRST is more than just the events.
    o After all these are looked at they will let us know

Will rookie teams get to keep rookie status for next season: They don’t have an answer for that- but are looking at all the impacts.

Should you continue to meet now? It is a factor of what is happening in your school, community and families. Use these factors to decide. Things are going to evolve over time.

New season theme: Everything is now in the air- they are going to have look at what the plan is, both in logistics and timing.

Deans list: they don’t have an answer right now- they would like some of the awards of the season to continue – but they don’t have any answers right now- but hope to have a plan very very soon.

Seniors: will they be able to participate at an event after they graduate? They are looking at all the options to recognize the seniors and will be trying to figure that out in the coming weeks.
So what does that mean for us in WOW?

  • We are hoping to have a good offseason – we wont be having a WOW championship- but have been talking about doing CORI, MVRC, Curiosity and WVRox offseasons. Right now we don’t have dates for CORI and MVRC but are working on it.
  • All of our offseasons (except WVRox) use a field we get from FIRST after Detroit. Right now we are unsure of the availability of the game elements or how we will get them for using in our offseasons. FIRST is very busy right now and not ready to talk to us about this- but hopefully soon.

So really – we need to get through this time- let things calm down a bit and then we will work really hard to get each of your teams a play, each of them a chance to show the amazing things they have done, each of them to be able to have a sense of competition. I know this has been a traumatic week- especially for you who were at the venues when things cancelled. I’ll continue to update you with information as I get it.

Katie Dunn
Assistant Regional Director
FIRST Robotics Competition/FIRST Tech Challenge


This is a really informative email. Thank you for sharing it, and thanks to Katie for making it really clear and well-written.


Excuse my ignorance: is IRI an offseason event? Because I meant a serious honest-to-goodness season event. Thanks for the clarification!

Yes, IRI is an offseason. It is the place where only the best of the best of the best teams play. The playing field is so deep that the regular serpentine draft could potentially put the 8th alliance in a better spot than the 1st.
Clarification- IRI Draft is 1-8, 1-8, 8-1 to better even out the playing field

I remember talks early in the season about some top in season events, but am currenly unable to recall them.

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“As our population grows, we must grow intelligently, and plan well for prosperity”
– Mark Hammil, FIRST Rise Reveal video

It will be okay. No matter how ironic and unfortunate this season has been going, FIRST is still amazing.


You see, now you have time to go on Chief Delphi during class.

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My school just cancelled for 4 weeks, soo I’ll have some time.

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My Chromebook is wailing in agony, because now I have time for The Blue Alliance, Chief Delphi, and three different personal CAD projects.


This is not what I had in mind when they said no stop build


IRI does not follow a serpentine draft. I guess I need to get Paul C. to explain this to you. :slight_smile:

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That’s @Aaron_Li’s point, I think - I read it as him referencing directly that IRI has such high caliber teams that picking #15 & #16 immediately after each other can be more valuable than picking #2 - it’s an odd way to make the point that it’s an invitational event for top ranking teams, so I can see why it would be a little confusing to read.

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This would make sense.
I read it as you pick 8 and 9 in a serpentine draft, because that would be a much bigger advantage at this event.

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If a regional were to get rescheduled - does anyone have a rough guess at the lead time that would require? Basically assume the venue schedule is wide open - what is the shortest amount of time after the all clear is given could an event reasonably be rescheduled? (IE How long does the recruiting volunteers, getting a field to the event, etc type of stuff take?)

Note - I assume regionals and districts have different answers here due to the logistics of getting a field to the venue.

Volunteers already signed up months ago, I don’t see a huge recruitment drive needed assuming the volunteer is still available. If Montreal May 27-30 (huge grain salt) is any indication of an event reschedule, it seems lead time might be around seven weeks based on that event plan (maybe less since there is still the virus rules in place)

That’s a pretty bold assumption. Many of us schedule our time around FIRST events. When the events change dates, we might no longer be available.