FIRST Robotics as a sport

My Principal has agreed to support making our robotics program recognized as a sport. This will help us raise it to new levels. I Just need to convince the Board of Education.
I need evidence of other districts that have done this. Can someone please put me on the trail of this information. If all I can get is a list of advisors that get stipends at the coaches level, or actual coaches stipends, that’s ok for a start.
Please advise.

Are there any other threads that discuss the merits of this? If not, should we discuss it here?

Here are some similar threads:

Thread 1
Thread 2
Thread 3
Thread 4
Thread 5

There are many more - just search CD for “varsity”


Do you think your principal will let you start a poker team. They play poker almost everyday on the biggest tv sports network in the world. So poker must be a sport. Also in the early years FIRST Robotics was on ESPN I have been told. LOL

Hey, FIRST was on this year. One of the winners of Championships was on Cold Pizza.

I know that our team had championed for many years to be considered a school ‘team’ and not a ‘club’. Fortunately, a few years back the Board approved such a decision and our coaches now get paid with a stipend on par with that of sports coaches–[may it be noted that not all sports coaches get paid the same albeit :eek: ]

Sport: diversion; recreation; pleasant pastime.

I don’t see why robotics shouldn’t be considered a sport. :smiley:

if nascar is a sport then so is this

Right! Whats so special about a bunch of cars racing around in a circle burning off gas and tires? All that matters is the last lap anyway!

Robots on the other hand… The whole two minutes count, and it changes every time. AND, everyone is involved! And its a learning experience. Much better than driving cars (which we do at least twice a day to get to robotics…)

Jacob Komar

Students gain Teamwork skills among many other abillities that can be applied to later life. Students work hard. We practice, we sweat, we concentrate, we wear ourselves down. We function as one unit to achieve an overall goal, and perhaps even bring home a trophy. Just because we don’t play “home games” I cannot see why FIRST would not be considered a sport.

I asked a friend about this yesterday, and their comment was

If you don’t loose weight or gain muscle playing, its not a sport

I personally don’t care either way, but if Nascar is considered a sport, I would think FIRST is at, or exceeds, its qualification for ‘sport’ status.

ESPN used to have full coverage of nationals when they were back in Disney. I remember digging through some of MORTs old videos and watching the 1999 Nationals with the ESPN graphics and everything (they even showed team numbers and sponsors)…good times

I think your friend might be confusing “sports” with “athletics”.

A sport, like someone said before, is something a person does for personal enjoyment and recreation (including NASCAR racing, poker tournaments, and yes, FIRST Robotics), in a way which is also competitive (although it doesn’t have to be). Athletics are a type of sport, but the sport must involve physical activity/skill to fall under this classification.

So, all athletics are sports, but not all sports are athletics. :rolleyes:

This thread was a discussion regarding stipends that occurred this summer.

My take on it is that we are all over the map in this area with a minority of our school advisors receiving stipends and those that do, vary in amounts paid.

Good luck with this.

EDIT: this is from the FIRST website. and Dean Kamen had some comments to make about FIRST being a part of the 21st century sports culture in his speech at Kick Off as well.

Thanks for all the input.

This sounds like the argument that marching band is a sport. After having done both robotics and marching band, I can say that neither are sports. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but they don’t have that ‘zing’ that sports do. Ya, I’m prepared for flames; whatever, not everyone can agree on everything…flame away.

Just remember, poker is a sport. (Hey, it’s shown on ESPN–so it must be a sport, right?) So is golf. I don’t think those have the “zing” either, but they’re still counted as sports (as are archery, rifle, skeet and trap shooting.)

I don’t necessarily think FIRST needs to be shoehorned into the sports mold that we know. I think it can present new possibilities in its growth and development. Presenting a new game challenge each year gives FIRST a different edge, a different approach to competition(s).

It doesn’t necessarily have to be an argument about sports or not, it can be a discussion about possibilities. Right now in the culture that the schools have, the program that would give teachers a stipend would be the athletics program. It is close to what we do and could be further developed into what we do. I see the purpose of this thread as one seeking help in trying to fund and recognize the teachers who devote so many hours to this program called FIRST through or like the athletics programs in our school districts.

There’s a quote that’s commonly associated with Ernest Hemingway that goes, “There are but three true sports–bullfighting, mountain climbing, and motor-racing. The rest are merely games.” Just a thought.

Also, ESPN stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. So if something is shown on ESPN, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a sport-- it could just be entertainment, per the name.

I am completely behind the idea that FIRST needs to be as culturally significant as professional sports.

If i’m understanding you correctly then i agree. Just because Robotics isn’t generally considered a sport isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People like to categorize things into headings that they can associate with even if they don’t really fit there. For example, robotics is similar to sports in its team-building traits and the time, commitment, and competitive spirit that comes with it. On the other hand, the whole principle of alliances and the constantly shifting game objective separates it into a group all its own.

In my case I really don’t mind robotics not being counted as a sport as our school makes sports cost more than other activities. ^_-

Wissahickon HS gets 1 head coach and 2 assistant coach stipends comparable to sports coaches. We also receive paid time at competitions, full bus service for all competitions, and an annual budget that is nice but needs an increase. The district also pays for staff to open the building on days that the building would normally be closed during build season. We also receive the use of our school for our off-season competition, Ramp Riot.

Even with all of that we are not quite on par with the sports teams. I am working with the district to get reclassified as a sport. They are at least listening to my arguements.

I feel like we have not changed the culture in this country until every school has a FIRST field, a work shop, and a budget that matches other school sports.

Keep pushing! (In a GP way of course) :slight_smile: