FRC Waitlists for Dummies

Hey FRC Teams!

If you’re anything like the ~700 teams currently on a waitlist (source), you may be asking yourself one of these questions:

“How did I get here?”
“Where am I?”
“What is a ‘waitlist’?”
“Is this like The Upside Down from Stranger Things?”
“How do I get into the event I’m waitlisted for?”
“Who controls the waitlist for my event?”
… or any number of other questions related to the ambiguous and often confusing nature of waitlists.

If this is you, read on! If you’re registered for two events already, I envy you in the most graciously professional sense of the term.

Without further ado, here is my handy, step-by-step guide on what to do if you find yourself waitlisted for an event after round two of preferences:

  1. Go to

  2. Log into your dashboard

  3. Navigate to your event registration page and find out which event you are waitlisted for

  4. Go to this website to find the current posted “capacity” of your event:

  5. Note that this capacity is not the “actual capacity” of the event. There are “reserve spots” for most regionals. This can vary from 5-15 reserve spots that don’t currently show up at the link above. Number of “reserve spots” could be way higher if you are in Minnesota :slight_smile:

  6. Compare the posted “capacity” of your 2018 event to the actual number of registered teams for the same event in 2017. You can find that info on The Blue Alliance. This will give you a better idea of how many “reserve spots” there are.

  7. Go to this website to search for Regional Directors:

  8. Find the contact info for the Regional Director(s) in the same state/area as the event you are waitlisted for.

  9. If you just now had to look up the names/contact info for your Regional Director, you are already at a disadvantage. More on that later.

  10. Chances are, one of the RD’s you’ve identified in the general vicinity to the event you are waitlisted for is the sole individual in charge of managing the event’s waitlist.

  11. Draft an email to all local RD’s, making sure to include the following key items

11a) “How many “reserve spots” are there at the event?”

11b) “What are our chances of getting into the event?”

11c) "We’ll happily provide volunteers for the event if it helps are chances of getting in!”

11d) Make sure to include any pertinent FRC, FTC, FLL or Jr. FLL teams you’ve help start in the last 10 years. Pro Tip: Avoid mentioning the “V” “E” “X” word.

  1. You will receive something similar to the following response: “Thank you for your email. For your information, this is how waitlists are typically handled in terms of teams given priority:
  1. Late-registering, local rookie teams
  2. Teams that are not registered for any other event (aka single event teams)
  3. Other local teams
  4. All other teams

12a) You may also be told that the following team qualities can help your chances:

  • Be a veteran team that is supporting a rookie team already registered at the event
  • Have team mentors/parents that are helping run the event

12b) You may also receive none of the above information. We call this move the “Stonewall Jackson”. Your chances of being stonewalled depends on the RD.

  1. There are a number of factors that the RD won’t list, but can play a role in whether or not you get into the event:
  • You/your team have/has a close relationship with the RD
  • The RD also happens to be a mentor of your team
  • Your team going to the event would make the event more “competitive”
  • Your team has a 10 year history attending the event and the event would not be the same without your team.
  1. Understand that waitlists often won’t clear until close to the November 20th payment deadline.

  2. If you’re looking to move the process along, try steps 16 and 17.

  3. Utilize the recent Equifax hack to find the RD’s home address. Load up “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel onto your boom box, drive to the RD’s home at dusk, and attempt your best John Cusack impersonation from the 1989 cult classic “Say Anything”

  4. If that doesn’t work, follow this Wiki-How article

  5. If you are dissatisfied with your chances of getting into the event you are waitlisted for, repeat Steps 4 through 17 for any other event you might be interested in waitlisting for.

  6. If your team is in a District, you’ll be fine. If your team is not in Districts, familiarize yourself with the Five Stages of Grief:

  7. Share this handy guide on Facebook/Twitter/Slack so all your friends know how to make the most of being on an FRC Waitlist!

Good luck, and we’ll see you at (your only) competition! Go Teams!



I followed step 17 and did not get the best result… then i tried step 18 on the police officer who came and got me…even worse results. Now i’m in the slammer and stuck on the waitlist. This day just keeps getting better and better

Is it a problem that this is the only Peter Gabriel I have on tape?

I know obviously it is problematic to not at least have Solsbury Hill, but I hope I can sway the RD anyhow. It is game-specific.

With not a single ounce of hyperbole, this is now my favourite CD post of all time, just for the reference to one of my favourite movie scenes of all time. #LloydAndDiane

I’m wheezing.

“You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Michael Corsetto again.”

Careful now, you’ll be labeled as not serious and condescending.

  1. Move to Australia. Two regionals, both not yet at capacity.

Tape, not vinyl?

I completely thought this post was serious until I got to the Equifax hack part.

More realistically:

No, just some old Edison rolls. The celluloid is totally cracked though. I think Dean and Woodie would get a kick out of this classic.

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Or… skip all those steps by registering two teams, picking the two regionals you want during this first registration period and build another comp bot during build season. Some teams are getting good at building multiple bots… Next year watch out for team 701/7701!

Also you get that sweet Rookie Grant money. No downside as far as I can tell.

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When every regional event is actually a high demand event. Best of luck to all teams 660 of you on the wait list like we are.

Wait…I’ve been bamboozled…

“We call this move the Stonewall Jackson”

I died.