[FRC Blog] Carpet at 2024 Events

Posted on the FRC Blog, 7/19/2023: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/blog/2023-carpet-at-2024-events

Carpet at 2024 Events

2023 JUL 19 | Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST Robotics Competition Senior Program Director

TL/DR – The carpet that will be used for 2024 FIRST ® Robotics Competition events will be the same carpet that was used in 2023 (and prior) seasons.

More Detail:

The carpet historically used at FIRST Robotics Competition events is no longer commercially available. A few teams have already learned this if they tried to recently purchase the carpet.

Due to this unavailability, we tested a new potential carpet at the Maine Summer Heat off-season event in June. (A huge “Thank you!” to the organizers of the event for allowing us to test the carpet there!) While the carpet held up well to the robot action, the gaffer’s tape that we use on the field did not stick.

Can’t use tape? How about paint?

So, we continued to work with our carpet vendor, who agreed to make our old carpet for us to use for the 2024 season.

While teams can still not purchase the official field carpet, teams have two options if they need carpet for a practice field:

  • The first is to work with your Program Delivery Partner to get used carpet after events.
  • The second option is to look at this carpet as the vendor’s recommended alternative. (Note that this carpet comes in 12 ft rolls, not the 15 ft rolls used at events, and is the same carpet tested at the offseason event, meaning tape will not stick well to the carpet.)

We continue to evaluate the future of carpet used at events, with the goal to find a commercially available product that can also be purchased by teams.


What a pain. Fortunately it’s not too hard to find carpet that’s close enough at a local place. Few designs rely on the carpet being perfect (and it hardly ever is at events anyway).

I would say it’s a hard problem for FIRST to solve, but like… they could have tried more than a single carpet at one event. They should have tested the gaff tape thing before ordering a field’s worth. Hindsight 20/20 I suppose but at least they can do it on future research.


So get carpet after the season for the following year’s practice field which might not use the same carpet?

I appreciate the transparency in this post overall, though.


If we had a water game, we wouldn’t have to worry about the carpet choice :rofl:



  • Allow teams to get in on the “old carpet” order
  • In some locales, storage is not that expensive. Post-COVID, there’s a bunch of idle commercial real estate, and I would think a good deal on storage could be found. Maybe buy carpet for 2025 & store it.
  • Both of the above increase volume for the carpet manufacturer. Maybe this is a path to continuing the discontinued carpet?

In fairness, FIRST historically has not been known for “buying ahead” on basically anything. For that matter, even getting aging parts of the field replaced (like the now discontinued Wireless APs they use on the fields) with newer equivalents is like pulling teeth it seems.

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I’m guessing HQ is not buying ahead because they’re still holding out hope that they’ll find a new equivalent before 2025. Having what is essentially now a proprietary carpet is bad for everyone involved (except for maybe the manufacturer, though they don’t seem thrilled either).

To me, this reads “we know it sucks that you can’t buy the carpet, haven’t yet found a suitable replacement, need to start buying stuff for 2024, and are still trying to find a solution for 2025 and beyond.”


Agreed with this interpretation. Collin isn’t some disconnected executive. He and others are likely just as frustrated as I’m sure many teams are.


I vote we switch to 70’s style shag carpeting. Create an entirely new set of challenges for teams. Perhaps this is the year 254 perfects the hoverbot prototype it’s been working on for a decade.


It feels like the current carpet has been getting worn out pretty quickly in recent years with robots zipping every which way and digging holes. Maybe an entirely different surface is just the thing for future games? Some kind of metal grating? plastic? plywood? dirt? corn?


The 2025 game is actually just robots laying down plywood, mortar, tiling, and grouting an entire field.




How about Marston Mat?


easy setup and teardown


Easy to set up, easy to tear down, easy to set down, easy to tear up.


These would get at least as (and probably more) destroyed as the carpet, if the tiles are similar to what VRC uses. If you get the wrong tiles you also have to deal with fun static issues.

Easy mid event replacement if one tile gets destroyed :rofl:
A robot can’t be that much more destructive than a 3 year old…


Three year olds don’t have metal teeth.


As a NC team, these are a big pain if you have the wrong sized casters, or a heavy robot cart or even in the pit area a large tool box. NC teams have started bringing in hardboard to not tear these up or sink into the foam tiles.


Wool or polyester? You don’t want to get it wrong!