FRC "Club" -> High School Varsity Sport

In the case that FRC 1665 is able to become a recognized high school sport and not just a club,
Post anything helpful to convince our BOE? If anyone knows anything about the percentage of US teams that are considered a sport, it would be great.

  • Sports Team
  • Club Team

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My team is considered a club, although we can letter in robotics like a varsity sports team. We have many requirements for that, in fact I actually lettered in a varsity sport before robotics, so it is by no means easier to letter in than a varsity sport. I’m a little off-topic but I figured it was somewhat relevant information to the poll.


There was a bill passed in New jersey a while back encouraging non-sports to be eligible to earn varsity letters. No biters on our board of ed yet though.


Members of Team 342 recieve academic letters. Robotics is considered academic pursuit in our school district.
Becoming an athletic sport will cause the demise of multi-school teams.

In my vernacular club does not equal team and a team doesn’t necessarily imply sports.
In Minnesota Frc is recognized by the State high School league, students can earn a letter. I think sport implies some athletic aspect. Although there is definitely some of that, it is not the main focus of our competition. I don’t refer to our FRC program as a club it is definitely a team.

I would say sports like cross country, track, swimming are less of a " team" then robotics is because individuals can earn awards well they are also competing for team awards.

To clarify, we are not considered a varsity sport by the school, officially we are a club but we refer to ourselves (as do most others not involved with us) the robotics team, not club. I know different schools do lettering differently, but for us there is one letter you get whether you letter in academics, music, a varsity sport, or robotics, the only difference is the pin you get and of course the requirements vary for each thing you can letter in.

I see what you are saying about cross country, track, and swimming being less of a “team” than robotics due to athletes competing individually, however, as a member of my schools track team, I would like to share my thoughts:

Although at a meet, athletes may be competing by themselves (although there are the relays, which require good communication and the members of the relay are a team within the team), we all practice together. Sure the long distance runners will go in a group to do their stuff after warmup, and the field events go to practice, but within those groups everyone sticks together. We all cheer each other on at meets, and after meets anyone who PR’d (got a personal record) is recognized in front of the whole team.

I do not participate in cross country or swim, but at my school, the cross country team is considered a “cult”. They have a giant group chat for communicating/sharing memes (sound familiar to anyone?). I know our swim teams also are really tight and spend much time together, and are very supportive of each other.

Based on my experience and knowledge, cross country, track, and swimming are just as much “teams” as robotics is.

As a member of my school’s cross country team I would say there is a large team aspect. Your team is scored on your top 5 runners placements and so even if you are running as an individual you feel like you need to not let your team down. I don’t think we are as tight of a group as my robotics team is but we are still very much a team

As Snoman said, in Minnesota robotics is a sport recognized by the Minnesota State High School League. You can find a little more information here..

For our team that has meant that the lead mentor gets a stipend like any other coach and reports the the activities (athletic) director. Which has made getting resources and assistance easier. Especially since we have no teachers or staff members as mentors.

Ignorant: Is this the entire state?

Ooh strong quote- “Varsity letters signify sacrifice and accomplishment. They should not be limited to athletes in traditional sports,”

This bill is the entire NJ, but your school hasn’t made official changes, correct?

The way it was passed was that it was encouragement from the state government for schools to make changes for it, not forcing districts in either direction. Our students have attempted to get varsity letters via our Board of Ed. but our district has made no changes surrounding it to the best of my knowledge.

Yes, all 220+ teams

Have you checked out the official documentation of this, yet?

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Well I think most teams are both clubs and sports teams. However what I’ve realized is that most teams start out as clubs and many of the more competitive eventually become teams, and finally sports team, since driving a robot is technically a sport.

A team that is made of multiple school will not be able to continue under most High School League By Laws.

That is one of the sticking points, and something to discuss when looking for recognition. However, it’s not insurmountable. Here in MN, multi school teams and community based teams get the same recognition and access to the State Championship as any other team. I know in some other areas, such teams have been excluded from high school league championships, but still competed in FIRST - they just* lacked the recognition and support that comes with high school league membership.

*Such recognition and support can have a huge impact on teams, I don’t want to diminish that. But being a team without that will not stop participation in FIRST, for a dedicated team.

I ran into a major problem when we had a student from a neighboring district join our team (there wasn’t an FRC team in his school). There is an SC law forbidding students from participating in sports or other programs outside their attendance zoned school. The student was removed from our roster.
There is a team within my district that violates this law - two school combine to form a single team. Since the members attend schools within the same district, a blind eye has be turned.

My question is simple - why is becoming a sport so important?

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