Posted on the FIRST Inspire Blog, 9/8/2020: https://www.firstinspires.org/community/inspire/2020-2021-season-extended
Dear FIRST® Community,
With the recent season kickoff of FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change , the FIRST community has rallied to support our student participants. This season, we set out to redefine the game and revolutionize the way we play and move, and that’s happening in more ways than one. Everyone at FIRST is working hard to anticipate and navigate this uncertain time to ensure we’ll be able to provide every student participant a valuable, enjoyable experience, regardless of learning environment this season.
Many of us – including educators, teams, mentors/coaches, volunteers, and partners – need additional time and flexibility to start build seasons and prepare for local and remote events. To accommodate those needs, FIRST is extending our 2020-2021 event season for all programs through the end of June 2021 and moving the 2021 FIRST Championship from April 2021 to later in the year. The new timelines for the 2021 FIRST Championship are:
- Mid-July: Houston, Texas
- Early-August: Detroit, Michigan
As always, we’re keeping the safety and wellbeing of our community as our top priority and will continue to evaluate the scale and viability of FIRST Championship events in the months ahead. As a result, we may need to make further adjustments to FIRST Championship, including adjusting invitation and attendance criteria to allow for event scaling. We will share more details on the 2021 FIRST Championship, including specific dates, as they become available. Read frequently asked questions about 2021 FIRST Championship.
In certain areas, FIRST Program Delivery Partners may schedule events, both remote and in-person, later in the season than a typical year as part of our season extension. Contact your local FIRST Partner for the latest information about FIRST programs in your region.
As previously announced, we’re excited to launch the FIRST Remote Event Hub this fall as an event option for FIRST® LEGO ® League and FIRST® Tech Challenge. It will make the experience as close as possible to a traditional FIRST program event for teams and volunteers, with the necessary modifications to accommodate a remote environment. Registration for those programs is open, and teams can get into the game at firstinspires.org or by contacting their local FIRST Partner. More information about the FIRST ® Robotics Competition season will be available when registration opens.
We hope that you will join us as we explore new and exciting ways to deliver our programs with your safety and wellbeing as our top priority.
Your friends at FIRST HQ
Frequently Asked Questions: 2021 FIRST Championship
What is FIRST Championship?
FIRST Championship is a culminating event hosted by FIRST for our youth robotics competition season and our annual celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for the FIRST community. It brings together many of the students, mentors/coaches, educators, volunteers, sponsors, and supporters from around the world who are dedicated to the FIRST mission.
What are the new dates for the 2021 FIRST Championship?
The 2021 FIRST Championship has been rescheduled to be held in Houston, Texas in mid-July 2021 and Detroit, Michigan in early August 2021. We will share more details on the 2021 FIRST Championship, including specific dates, as they become available.
Why are the 2021 FIRST Championship dates moving?
Rescheduling FIRST Championship for later in the year allows us to extend the FIRST season and give us additional flexibility for scheduling local and remote events over a longer period of time.
What does the extended season mean for FIRST teams in each program in terms of qualifying to attend FIRST Championship?
We are in the process of evaluating the criteria for invitations to FIRST Championship for each FIRST program, to account for a potential reduction in the scale of the event. After we have additional clarity on the scope and scale of FIRST Championship, we will communicate the qualification parameters for attending the event. More information will be shared later this season.
What does the extended season mean for FIRST teams in terms of season timeline and the scheduling of other events?
This season, FIRST Program Delivery Partners may schedule local and remote FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge events to take place later than usual. Contact your local FIRST Partner for the latest information about FIRST programs in your region.
Extending the season also provides additional options for scheduling FIRST Robotics Competition events, and more information on the season schedule will be made available prior to Event Preferencing.
How many teams will be able to participate in the 2021 FIRST Championship?
The number of spots for teams for each program is dependent on many COVID-19-driven factors, including travel conditions and local regulations in place at our Championship locations next year. Due to these uncertainties, it is possible that these plans will not be finalized until a few months before the event.
What does the extended season mean for the 2021-2022 season?
We currently expect to launch the 2021-2022 season in a similar timeframe as this season.
Will the 2021 FIRST Championship be a remote event?
We do not yet know the full impact of COVID-19 on the scope and scale of FIRST Championship in 2021. We will be evaluating options for additional modifications to the event, including remote participation, as needed.
Will I still be eligible to participate if FIRST Championship or other events take place after I graduate in 2021 or my 2020-2021 school year ends?
Yes, participant eligibility will carry over to the end of August 2021 for events that occur after graduation or the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
My organization is interested in sponsoring FIRST Championship, who can I contact?
Please contact Mark Giordono, VP of Development at email@example.com or +1.603.206.2417 for more information about sponsoring FIRST Championship or supporting FIRST financially in other ways this year.