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

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.

As I read Sean’s post, you answered your own question. Here in Michigan the change could have a significant impact, both on the points cut-off for States and on how teams near that cut-off are ranked. Teams that are 2nd-pick semifinalists or win awards will move into DCMP-qualifying positions that might have gone to teams that were classified as Rookies under the old rules.

As Jim Z. has often pointed out, any qualifying rules for DCMP will do a decent job of finding the top teams – the tougher task is correctly deciding which teams should make and miss the cut-off. I think the new system, by increasing the relative importance of alliance selection order and judged awards in that decision, is a good change for FRC because it puts students, whose actions directly affect what scouts and Judges see, more in control of whether their team advances.

I just find it weird and somewhat off-putting that [hypothetical situation] if me (an FRC mentor of many yrs) and my best friend (an FRC mentor on-and-off during that same time) went and started up a team at one of the two public high schools in our area that doesn’t have a team anymore (both schools’ teams have been defunct for well over 4yrs), that team wouldn’t be considered a rookie because of the two of us.

Isn’t FRC supposed to be about “community” and “for the kids” and all that jazz?
How does this promote these objectives? 100% of the kids are all rookies.


This has been my issue with the rule change.
For example, if I (college student who is going into their second year of technically being a mentor (according to TIMS)) and a friend of mine, in a similar boat, started a team, that should be a rookie team. Neither of us would have that much FRC mentoring experience, much less any experience with the hassles/logistics of starting a team.
This rule change, IMO, disincentivizes FRC alumni from working with friends/peers to start new teams. As the FRC alumni community grows, this will become a worsening problem if the rule stays the same as it is now.
Just my $0.02.

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I did not follow the rookie team discussion very closely when it first came up so I’m unsure if this question of mine has already been answered. Anyways, here goes.

If a rookie team started up with a single experienced FRC mentor at the start of the season, but partway through picked up a second FRC mentor, would they forfeit the requirements of being a “rookie team”? The reason I ask this is I’ve seen in many times where a mentor with FRC experience joins a team partway through build season or competition season.

How about the “weekend warrior” mentors who come out only a handful of times a season?(Example: A parent of the main FRC mentor who shows up on two weekends in a season.)


I demand the creation of the NRNFFASOCAS Award.

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Here are some specific times that the Rookie/Non-Rookie evaluation could occur!

  • at the moment of team formation
  • at the time of initial registration with FIRST
  • when a temporary team number is assigned
  • at the initial registration payment due date
  • when the reg payment is actually made
  • at the Kickoff
  • at the anniversary of bag day
  • at the team’s first competition
  • at each competition the team attends

That is indeed what I meant.

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