Posted on the FIRST Inspire Blog, 3/10/21: https://www.firstinspires.org/community/inspire/2021-first-championship-update
2021 FIRST Championship Update
We’re sharing an update on the 2021 FIRST Championship events
Mar 10, 2021 | Written by FIRST Staff
Dear FIRST ® Community,
This season, we have explored new and exciting ways to deliver our programs with your safety and wellbeing as our top priority while ensuring all students can participate in meaningful ways. What has remained constant is our mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators. We are grateful to our entire community for their flexibility and patience as new information becomes available and we adapt to changing conditions.
Previously, we announced an extension of the FIRST ® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change season to provide additional time and flexibility for build seasons and local and remote events. As part of that extension, we hoped to move our season-culminating 2021 FIRST Championship events from April to a July/August timeframe.
These past few months, we have continued to evaluate the scale and viability of hosting 2021 FIRST Championship events that meet health, safety, and international travel guidelines. Due to conditions created by the ongoing pandemic, we are unable to host the events as planned and have made the decision to cancel the 2021 FIRST Championship events in Houston and Detroit. We share in your deep disappointment that we will not be gathering as a global community in person this season. However, the safety of our community is our overarching priority.
Fortunately, the FIRST GAME CHANGERS season continues. Around the world, many teams are still working diligently on their robots and projects as they prepare for judged FIRST activities. Additionally, we are still planning remote global celebrations to recognize the amazing accomplishments of FIRST teams this season, such as showcasing our teams’ innovative, real-world solutions on June 28-30, 2021, at the 2021 FIRST Global Innovation Awards powered by Star Wars: Force for Change. Stay tuned for details about additional season-culminating celebrations.
For more information on the 2021 FIRST Championship events cancellation, read our FAQ.
We are all eager to get back on the field again when it is safe for us to be together. Please visit our COVID-19 impact page and subscribe to the FIRST Newsletter for the latest updates as we continue our FIRST GAME CHANGERS season and prepare for an exciting new season of FIRST kicking off later this year.
Your friends at FIRST HQ
What is FIRST Championship?
Hosted by FIRST, FIRST Championship is the culmination of our youth robotics competition season and our annual celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for the FIRST community. It brings together students, mentors/coaches, educators, volunteers, sponsors, and supporters from around the world who are dedicated to the FIRST mission. Prior to the pandemic, the 2019 FIRST Championship was attended by over 75,000 people in Houston and Detroit.
Was there consideration for having a scaled down version of FIRST Championship?
We carefully examined options for gathering our community for FIRST Championship including hosting a smaller event or a hybrid event. However, due to the ongoing conditions and uncertainty created by the pandemic as well as requirements to meet all health, safety and international travel guidelines, we have determined that it was not feasible to host FIRST Championship.
When is the end of the current season?
As previously discussed, the 2020-2021 FIRST GAME CHANGERS season will conclude at the end of June.
Will there be any virtual/remote alternatives to the 2021 FIRST Championship?
We are exploring different ways to celebrate the accomplishments of our Teams and will share more details with our community as they become available.
Is there any FIRST Championship pre-qualification carrying over to 2022?
We have not yet determined pre-qualification for future FIRST Championships.
What is known about the ability to hold offseason FIRST ® Robotics Competition events?
We are evaluating the possibility of offseason FIRST ® Robotics Competition events and will provide further guidance in April.
My organization is interested in sponsoring FIRST Championship in spring of 2022, who can I contact?
Please contact Mark Giordono, VP of Development, at [email protected] or +1.603.206.2417 for more information about sponsoring FIRST Championship or supporting FIRST financially in other ways this year.