FRC Blogged - Administrative manual is out

New update from FRANK on the FRC BLOG…

FRC Blogged - FRC Administrative Manual, Award Notes, KoP Early Ordering, and New York City Regional Dates Shift

Blog Date:
Monday, December 3, 2012 - 14:21
FRC Administrative Manual

The FRC Administrative Manual is now live! You can find it here:

Award Notes

Some of you have been asking for details on the new Digital Media Award. You will find the criteria for the award listed in Section 6 of the 2013 FRC Administrative Manual. Note that this is a Championship-only award for this pilot year of this new award. We may expand the scope of this award for the 2014 season, depending on our experience in 2013. We don’t yet have a submission process in place, but you can be sure the submission process will require you to submit a portfolio of your media work, at minimum. We will update the manual as we finalize the details.

Also, the Team Spirit Award, sponsored by Chrysler, will be presented during the first day of awards, rather than the second day of awards as we have traditionally done. We are trying to bring greater balance between the number of awards presented during each ceremony. Teams winning the Team Spirit Award will be asked to show some of their extraordinary spirit the next day by leading the crowd in a dance, cheer, or other activity during a break in the action. If you win the award and are at a loss for what to do with the crowd, DON’T PANIC! Our MC’s will be specially trained this year to help you make this a great experience for everyone involved!

KoP Early Ordering

Don’t forget, early ordering for KoP items opens December 10th at Noon EST. You can find more details here:

New York City Regional Dates Shift

For folks attending the New York City Regional, please note that the dates for that event have shifted. The new dates for the event are Wednesday, March 6, 2013 – Saturday, March 9, 2013, rather than Thursday, March 7 – Sunday, March 10, 2013. Note that this actually brings the New York City event in line with most traditional FRC events, by running Wednesday through Saturday. For several years, the New York City event has run a Thursday – Sunday schedule.

This schedule change is a direct result of New York City’s attempt to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. Events are being rescheduled to try to make up for time lost during the hurricane and the recovery efforts.

I’ll blog again soon


Somewhat surprising that the Digital Media award is championship only, and that the website award is discontinued altogether, leaving nothing in its place at regionals. I guess that is further motivation to make it to championship!

It’s probably meaningless, but last years Administrative manual outlined practice matches and the filler line whereas this one doesn’t.

It could be that changes were made to last years manual after kickoff as I am looking at the most recent version of the 2012 manual.

Anyone else notice anything different?

It seems that the Autodesk awards, which have been redefined in recent years, are now completely gone. Pity.

It’s a real shame that the website award is gone from the local level. That was the driving force behind a lot of documentation and information that will be forever lost without it.

It doesn’t make much sense either - a cheap plastic Trophy that motivated thousands is now gone because… why?

Of course, many people will say ‘Do it anyway.’ The reality is, a lot of teams did it only because of the award, and right or wrong, it was a great motivator.

I’m fine with replacing the Website award with the Digital Media award (in fact, I think this a great move, and better reflects what my team and many others are doing). But making the Digital Media award Championship-only (at least for this year) and leaving nothing at the regional level makes absolutely no sense.

Check section “4.5.1 Practice Matches”, and its subsections, “ Practice Time Slots” and “ The Filler Line”

Good call, don’t know how I missed that.

So in all of FRC, only one single team (the winner of the Championship Digital Media Award) is going to be explicitly acknowledged for their work in the digital arts?

And teams that aren’t going to Championships don’t even have the opportunity to compete for it?

Dean complains annually about what a crummy job we’ve collectively done of documenting 20+ years of FRC, then they remove one of the only awards (Website) that rewards documentation?

Guess we better work on getting our ~30 media, web, and animation team members cracking on that Digital Media Award, since it’s the only game in town…

I can’t find the part that limits the competition to just teams attending Worlds. I’m hoping they stick with the Website Award approach, regional winners [now everyone] were eligible even if they didn’t attend Champs. It’d also be nice to have honorable mentions and maybe to keep around a “Website Excellence”-type certification.

I understand there’s probably some complexity running regional-level awards that don’t associate with the championship version (i.e. if they kept the website award at the regional level). Still, I hope they reconsider and, if not add something at the regional level, at least open it to non-Worlds teams and offer more recognition options.

Or they can do it for the love of the game?

I’d like to believe there are plenty of things that are done by teams in FRC for their own sake, or for the betterment of the team without any award incentive. I’d like to believe that some things are their own incentive.

…or maybe I’m just naive, and almost everything is being done in pursuit of some shiny bauble?


I’d argue that it’s not the trophy per say, but the emphasis and recognition provided by FIRST’s actual creation of the award. I doubt that most teams are overly attracted to shiny objects (especially Daisy; they’re out of room for them), but knowing that FIRST HQ and the community care about the work that would be put in is a very likely a big incentive. It’s a way FIRST demonstrates which actions it considers important, and it’s important guidance especially to teams working to develop their own such cultures.

The removal of the regional-level award could (I believe incorrectly) be precieved by those teams as a de-emphasis on the part of FIRST. For teams that haven’t already developed a very serious culture of documentation, that perception could be somewhat attenuating. I think that’s what folks here are worried about, at least.

Before we criticize the digital media award(DMA) too much…

A) The manual explicitly states that the digital media award judging panel is “TBD”, which means they are still planning out the award. They could change this in the (near) future.

B) My take on the DMA is that it is open to all teams regardless of weather they are attending champs or not.

6.8.2 Judging Criteria

At the 2013 Championship, the winner of the Digital Media Award will be announced at the awards ceremony.

This only says that the winner will be announced at the CMP, this(IMO) would mean that all teams that submit have an opportunity to win regardless of CMP status. This is similar to the Autodesk visualization award, where you did not need to win the regional to be eligible for the national award. The difference being of course that more teams were recognized for their efforts.

I agree with JVN in that this will not alter teams motivation for creating rich digital media.

If true, this is very good news. I just wish the wording was clearer - after a quick perusal, I interpreted as only teams competing at CMP could participate.

The only constant in FRC is change. Learning to adapt to change in competition is the best way to prepare for change in real life.

I’m disappointed that this award isn’t better received. Here’s why:

1.) When the website award was created, it was a big deal to HAVE a website.
As opposed to when the award started, web presence is the norm. Creating the structure is no longer special. Creating important content that transcends the noise is.

2.) **Championship-only exposure means better judging. No, really. **
From a volunteer coordinator perspective, it was a total pain in the butt to find qualified professionals. Web Evaluator Advisors hated chasing evaluators down to do the judging. Evaluators hated a longer and longer survey. Teams complained for years that the judging was not standardized. Why not call the whole thing off?

So let’s mull around the idea of a CMP only award. Who would judge it? The judges? No, they have enough going on and it doesn’t fit their schedule. Web Evaluators? No, because they don’t exist anymore. A panel of amazing individuals who know their way around the internet? Now you’re talking.

Side note: If I was HQ, I would open the award up to any team participating in FRC, not just the teams at CMP. I would hate to see a team make an amazing piece and not get awarded for it.

Other side note: If you’re looking for people to join your panel, I volunteer as tribute.

3.) **Social Media at its core is a NUMBERS game. **
This is my biggest point: why are a group of ENGINEERS not jumping up and down about something that can now be quantified? My pundit guess is that this award goes to the team that can best show their reach into the world, not the team that spams the most.

At the heart of it, it’s not just creating the content but explaining your results. And guess what? Explaining the results? Adds to your web cred. My top read post on my blog is still that #omgrobots thing. And that’s over a year old.

Bring it on, FRC. I’m so excited to see what comes next.

I’m both excited about what the award offers and disappointed in how it is being offered (this will be tempered slightly if in fact all teams can submit and just be judged at CMP). I guess we can’t have it all - if there aren’t enough volunteers available to judge a higher quality award like this, it can’t be offered at every regional.

I’m glad this award changed to better reflect how the students interact with social media and the web in general, our students are more excited that this is no longer focusing on build a website that “mostly only our team looks at” and has shifted toward “this is how the we reach out to our fellow students and other people across the net.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there no regular season Animation/Design award?

You are correct, the Autodesk awards are gone as of now. :frowning:

Jess- I agree with most of your points except this one. This issue I have is one that Jared eluded to: what do you do with all of the web/animation/design team members on your team? You shift their focus to the new media award.

So now if every team that submitted for a web award, design award or animation award in the past (I’m sure there will be some who don’t submit at all anymore, but just making a point) now submit for the new media award- the judging panel at CMP may be left to sift through 500+(?) submissions. That will take a tremendous feat to accomplish, and unfortunately I think the tradeoff to accomplish such a task will be to have less, for lack of a better term, quality of judging per each submission.

Of course, if less teams submit, it becomes an easier problem to solve, however this seems like it could be quite a task.

I think the new award is a great step in the right direction, I think more teams would’ve liked to see it kicked off at the regional level however.