Hosting Offseason Events- Tips?

Hi. I’m definitely looking into hosting a offseason event for FTC, and even FRC. I got alot of questions and I need alot of help.

• What’s a decent size for a venue to host a FRC offseason?
• What’s a decent size for a venue to host a FTC offseason?
• What’s a good way to find FTC/FRC fields?
• If you wanted to provide lunch for the whole competition (say it’s included the registration fee) is catering the way to go?
• Does offseasons usually have a full FMS? If so, what does it take to run a FMS?

Thanks :cowboy_hat_face:

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This page is a good starting point:

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Our team doesn’t host any offseason comps, but we host the FTC MSC and an FRC District and I’ve been to several FTC events as both a team member and a mentor, so maybe I can help.

For our FRC district we have a gym that is probably about 115 ft x 115 ft with no bleachers, about 75 ft x 115 ft with the bleachers, which we use for the comp field. We have a smaller gym that is probably about 100 ft x 100 ft that we use for pits. Keep in mind that this is for a regular district event with 40 teams.

Most of the FTC events I have been to could fit into the 75 ft x 115 ft configuration of our main gym. Again, keep in mind that this is for a standard FTC event with like 35-40 teams.

I would say catering is probably the a way to go, but there is another option. At the FTC events I have been to, there has been an option for the teams to order pizzas and pay for them, but they can bring their own food if they want. All of the FRC events have been bring your own food, but catering is an option we have used for our VIP sponsor event that we host at our FRC district.

IDK about FMS, sorry

Hope this helps!

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AndyMark can supply field electronics with the field rental. However, they note that you’ll need a certified FTA to run it, so you’ll need to hire AM’s if you can’t get a local one.

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Thank you!

What’s usually the venue requirements? Do we need to rent a generator? Etc

For our event (ROBO-CON in MI), we have a festival going (STEM activities, all robotics fields & other) on at the same time, so ours spreads between 3 rooms - cafeteria, main gym and aux gym. Even if we did not have the added activities of the festival going on, we’d still use all 3 rooms just for the FRC off season event. The aux gym is right off the main and used for pits. Figure the area you need for how many teams you’d invite.
Sorry I don’t have measurements, but 2 full size gyms and a large eating area work pretty well for us even with all the added stuff going on.

Can’t help with FTC, haven’t done one of those.

Being in a District, we ask for the field from them. FiM has several fields and they loan them out for off season events. Possibly TX may have this now having the District system? Worth a shot to ask whomever leads that.

I can’t see doing this personally, but I think that has to do with the expense part. If we did, I’d try to get them to donate part and be a sponsor of the event. I know you mentioned reg fees covering it, but I still think it may be kind of pricey. You’d need to get a good count of how many people as well. I could see it may be less stressful just to have someone come in an handle lunch though!
We offer concessions and this year will have food trucks on site as well. The concessions is usually a place we find that does it as a sponsor (donation to us and they do profit) and it will be the same for the food trucks.

Yes. When we get the field, everything comes with it. Here in MI you must have a FTA to run your event. Often when you reach out for volunteers most that helped during the season help with off season as well and those are the ones you will need to run things.

A generator…we do use one for the pits. It’s not needed for the field, but we’d short out the school with all that is needed for the teams.

What’s a decent size for a venue to host a FRC offseason?
Dempends on number of teams. If you are planning to run the event like a real FRC event, then you’ll want space for 30-50 teams, and a field. For Beach Blitz we use my high school’s gymnasium (field and ~24 pits) and cafeteria (12 pits). And we need to make sure plenty of bathrooms are open and stocked for the 500 plus people who will attend.

If you want to run one-day events you will probably see fewer teams per day, so a gym alone can work.

What’s a good way to find FTC/FRC fields?
We contact our regional director and formally rent the official FRC field elements (switch/scale/etc for 2018, rockets/cargo ship/HAB for 2019), and an AM field perimeter. This may not be available in your area, so look into asking teams to provide well-made wood field elements.

If you wanted to provide lunch for the whole competition (say it’s included the registration fee) is catering the way to go?
That would be the way to go IF you wanted to add feeding people on top of all the other stresses involved in running an event. I recommend inviting food trucks, or providing a map to local fast food restaurants. We have a lot of volunteers and some years they’ve made runs to Costco to pick up pizzas, and we sell it as part of concessions.

Does offseasons usually have a full FMS? If so, what does it take to run a FMS?
We rent a full set up from other teams (Chezy Arena), but you can use a laptop and FMS lite with a good wifi system.

Depends on what you want to do really?

Here in İstanbul our goal was to introduce FRC to Turkey, so we used the biggest basketball stadium in town and by the fourth year it wasn’t enough.

Probably you’re not doing a 3-day off-season though with the full set up is my guess, so I’d say talk to your regional director about borrowing a field, FMS lite is available online, and for space - the field is 60x30’ roughly, you need like 10’ on one side for some kind of field management, 6’ min on the other side to facilitate moving teams, and like 15’ on each end for circulation and driver stations (so total for the field should be something like 46x90’) Pits (if you choose to offer pit spaces) are usually 10x10’ with a 10’aisle between rows if you have so many. you can do smaller pits, up to you. in a square room that is 80x80’ you can fit 38 teams and some pit management desks, assuming your aisles line up with your entrances. For us we also have a machine shop. depending on how many people you plan to have running the event, you may need a volunteer lounge and to feed the volunteers.

It really depends on what your goal is with your off-season - what is your purpose?/ what do you hope to achieve by running an off-season? :slight_smile:

I want it to basically be as long as a district, with a setup day, but we’re also gonna do like ‘fun’ matches, like maybe a blindfold match that’s like 6 minutes and you bring a DC/2nd student to help you? This is in the very early stages of making this offseason be a reality. (It wont happen til next season too)

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Just seeing this thread - congrats on exploring doing an off-season event! We did a presentation at the Houston Championship a couple of years that might be helpful: https://ffcdi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Power-of-the-Off-Season.pdf

ROBOTICON is in its 7th season now and has grown into a fun event that helps grow teams, and engage more sponsors, mentors and volunteers each year.

Good luck and have fun!