[FRC Blog] New Team Growth Grants, New Stop Build Day Rules, Teaser Teaser

Posted on the FRC Blog, 8/21/2019 https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/blog/2020-new-team-growth-grants-sbd-rules-teaser


Reading between the lines a fair bit (which may or may not be justified), it seems like the update to the rookie criteria are intentional, but won’t impact grant awards. Just rookie award eligibility and district points.


I’m personally not a fan of the new definition of a rookie team. I think this greatly disincentivizes new teams to recruit experienced members of the community to be a mentor for them. I just don’t see how that’s a good thing for sustainability. I can’t see the logic behind this move. The outcome from this will be less eligible teams for Rookie Inspiration and more notably Rookie All Star. Just because teams have 2 alumni mentors doesn’t mean they should be deprived of the recognition from those rookie awards. We have 2 champs for a reason… FIRST obviously recognizes the life changing impact of attending champs. Now we’re taking away one attainable path for new teams to get there.

Conversely I think opening “Rookie Grants” up to more teams is a good thing. This seems like something of a transition of focus from growth to sustainability… which is why the rookie definition baffles me so much.


It’s a more profound change in districts, where first year teams receive +10 points simply for being rookies and second year teams receive +5 points. Judged rookie award count for additional district points beyond that, and RAS at DCMP auto advances to FRC Championship regardless of their points standing (which may impact how many teams from that district advance based on points).


I honestly could take or leave the changes to grant status, what I’m more concerned about is the apparent reflection via this change that having barely more than one mentor is enough to meet the immense technical, emotional, social, and engineering requirements it is to run a FRC team.

I’m very eagerly waiting for their rules on the post-bag era and what implications it may have on my teams season as well as that of those we compete with. Thank goodness they’re releasing them in September and not later…


Same end result with fewer rookie teams going to champs. Not a fan of this for that reason.

You’re missing a lot of the nuance of how it will impact district standings beyond just CMP qualification.

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Cut the poor man some slack, he wont feel the changes for another 30 years when MN finally starts to think about getting districts.


I’m not missing it. I just don’t care. I don’t need to.

How is there less rookie teams going to Champs? We still have 1 rookie all star at each regional/district championship that hasn’t changed.

Or is the argument that with these strict requirements no one will be a rookie so no rookie all star?

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Purposeful or not, I can’t understand the logic of providing a disincentive to teams who are well prepared to enter their rookie season in FRC. It’s hard enough to start a new team with experienced mentors. Why would HQ take away recognition opportunities (and district points) from fledgling programs? Michigan is going to have a tougher time qualifying “rookies” to their state championship now.

Our program was lucky to start with 1 full-time experienced mentor (me), and 3 part-time/weekend mentors with FRC experience. None of the ~30 kids on our team participated in FRC before, and only a small handful previously participated in FLL. I’m not the biggest fan of the awards culture, but coming back with awards did make an impression on our school and administration, and helped justify the time and expense of starting an FRC team. Having those other experienced mentors made a tremendous difference in our ability to take the first steps towards building a sustainable team, and had a huge impact on the student experience.

We should be encouraging new programs to start with a pool of experienced mentors, and ideally experienced students as well. Considering the minimal preparation that new teams get (can’t even get a control system early), it’s a small bone to throw in the grand scheme of things. Making two classes of rookies seems like a needless rule change.


The 2017 Central Illinois Regional did not hand out any Rookie All Star awards. Why? Because no notable rookie teams, and more importantly, no rookie teams period attended the event. Expect that to happen more often if new teams are denied rookie status for going into the season prepared.

Rookie junk aside, are you all reading the second paragraph? To me it implies the “no stop build” rules for 2020 aren’t going to be as lax as anticipated. Or is it intended to just mean compared to previous years?

this is my assumption, since its a fairly large change to how teams will* operate compared to previous years.

*some teams may not change, thats on them.


Was hoping Frank would have a comment about venue selection efforts for 2021 CMP’s. :frowning_face:


Am I missing something? I didn’t see where district points were changed.

Unless you mean that fewer new teams will be considered rookie teams, so they don’t qualify to get district rookie points.

Stop Build Day Rules

With lots of input from the community (and, hey, thanks!), we are in the final stages of crafting the rule changes that go along with the retirement of Stop Build Day for the 2020 season. We are still on track to have the rules released the first week in September. We recognize your season strategy may change based on the new rules, and we want to make sure you have the rules in hand before event preferencing opens.

Oh boy…I can’t wait.

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Oh come on man, FRC just takes 1 mentor and $5000!!! If you can’t do FRC with minimal resources, you’re not trying hard enough!!!1!!!1!!!


To piggyback on some of this chatter; I’m ultra sensitive to the new definitions as this is exactly where the future of FRC is sitting in St Cloud MN. I have a meeting today with the Activities director at Cathedral High School to likely move the team there. Bring with will be One registered " mentor with prior FIRST Robotics Competition experience" and possibly Two returning students. My self will tranfer to more state wide resource as a CSA. This “New” Team will have the power of the members of the Central MN Robotics Hub full of experienced people.

Two thing about the above linked rules that I’m focused on

  1. The links to Combines/Separations Rules are incomplete
  2. Newly formed teams who are assigned team numbers that have never been used: Our current situation is really about SUSTAINABILITY If we are trying to save the team “by that its heritage” . This fall Team 3244 will be Rookie by all definitions other than the Team Number.

Is it worth loosing the Number for a bit of help getting a grant?

Separate Question:
How much is the Rookie Grant?

Maybe all this effort on my behalf to qualify for it with this new chapter of FRC in Central Minnesota is a waist.