How does your school categorized your FIRST team?


Sometimes it feels that way… :frowning:


We’re an extracurricular club, originally coached by a faculty member, but now ran by non-faculty volunteers. Because of the coach stipend required by the state of Michigan grant, job openings are posted on the Intermediate School District website. For this reason, I had to apply and interview for Lead Mentor 1 while I was LM2.

Despite having a dedicated classroom and full building access, I have to apply for building use through the athletic department every time we hold meetings. This would not be required if I were a faculty member.


We are an extra-curricular club. In our district, that means that we get no real support from the district except for use of school facilities. It also means, since we are technically a “part-year” club, that I receive no extra pay as team mentor/club advisor. My school, parents, and principal are as supportive as they can be within that framework. We have a (small) dedicated workspace for the team and are treated in much the same way as the sports teams are when it comes to publicizing our work and accomplishments. But we still don’t get the monetary support that the sports teams do, since that’s not in the school’s power to do. I’ve tried to convince the district that our team (and the other team also in our relatively small district) should be designated as a varsity sport, but have never gotten traction for the idea. Given that I have more active team members than any of our sports teams, raise thousands of dollars in donations and grants, and have been raising the team’s profile and success at competitions, you’d think that would be enough, but apparently not.


Team 4276 is officially an Academic Curricular Club. This is because we are doing things related to the courses students take. It allows us our own financial account in the school system.

Unofficially we’re the club that is always making a mess in the 200 hallway.


Thank you to everyone that has responded! This has been very helpful. I have taken notes on your responses and will use this to help us understand how we should approach school categorization.


Winter Sport, two coaches paid (winter schedule C - so the same as Wrestling, Basketball, Hockey). However, they let us keep our registration fees so long as we don’t ask for money and all of the tools purchased/donated stay with the school.

Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.


We operate as a high school club. One faculty advisor (required by the school) gets a small stipend. The biggest benefit is that our space is in the shop wing where we have open access to all the tools and machinery. Our advisor is the primary “Manufacturing Tech” instructor. The rest of the mentors have to go through school district volunteer background checks, and if we want to drive students an insurance verification.

The downside this year is that the metals shop is being re-decorated as part of a lease arrangement with the local community college. The administration forgot that we use it. The new gear for the empty space is expected around the beginning of 2019 competitions…

2020 may be really nice if everone’s trained on the new CNC’s.


We’ve got a bit of unique categorization. We’re classified a club but fall under Texas University Interscholastic regulations. This is both positive and somewhat negative. The UIL sponsors a State Championship annually. This gives teams the ability to be considered State Champs and ranked within the state. It’s also good for college resumes as it provides another bullet point along with FIRST team participation. One of the negative aspects is that we are restricted as to practice hours and days. I really like the freedom of self action as a non-school supported club (we are not financially supported and do not touch the school operations budget). Our jury’s still out on the benefits of UIL participation. I guess my team members will enjoy the ability to get a letter jacket. :slight_smile:


This is our third year, and our first two years we were labeled as a club, which meant we could not receive any money from our district. However, this year we got 20k approved for our team, which puts us into new territory for our district.


I believe ours is an extra-curricular activity


We are a club, on the same level as super hero club or anime club. Our mentor receives a stipend, although that is the same stipend as any other club adviser. It’s a policy that clubs don’t get school funding so we fund raise everything. As a club we are not allowed to kick anyone out nor charge for entry. The guidance department loves telling students that clubs are low commitment and only a half an hour a week. I guess it’s our fault for not effectively getting the message across that that’s not true when we recruit but that’s a different story. Also very few realize that we’re a club of 3 teams, and that’s sorta hard to explain to people on the fly.


My team has been considered a club officially by our school for a long time now, however we are looking at either getting ourselves considered as a team or even being a separate non-profit. Being a team in the TDSB would allow us to charge an entrance fee (To cover registration, robot and get members a shirt). We are also looking at becoming a registered non-profit so that we could “rent” our work space so that we could have other adults supervise us and give our current lead mentor and only real teacher mentor a break as he needs to be there whenever any of us are in the shop.


Team 8 used to be considered a club but we ran into issues with people comparing it to lunchtime clubs and not understanding the commitment. We stopped going to club day… no one really knows what we are officially classified as but I think the most accurate description is extracurricular team or non-atheletic team. Our coach gets paid a stipend similar to sports, but the supervision rules we have to follow are those applied to clubs and extracurriculars.


We have it listed maimly as club but some requirements are similar to sports.

It is a club. All clubs are extracurricular.

Sport. Must have grades above passing to be allowed to go to competitions.

Also invisible to my school. They dont care about a single thing except nosiness when we want to go to a competition. They took away our storage room for old robots to store stuff for the afterschool program so now we have to take apart a robot from 2 years before- every year. Mentor had to built our own little storage room for Robotics tools, etc. Barely gives us anything to spend.

Mentors- mainly 2 technology teachers, 1 from Junior High, 1 from Senior High. We’ve got a teacher down at the elementary school, she does animation. Gonna be our first time in a long time.


Recognizes us as a varsity sport due to the time we put in. We put in almost the same time if not more than sports team vs a usual extracurricular such as key club. So we do get all the perks that the sports teams do. Just not transportation unless it’s FiM State Champs or worlds since it’s only 45 minutes away.


Our team combines two different schools in two different districts, so both of them try to pretend the other has responsibility haha. But we are just considered a normal club at both schools and nobody looks any harder than that. The fact we meet off campus with no official mentors who work for either school just gets swept under the rug.


I just looked on my team’s district sports page, on 1/3 schools, we’re listed as an activity. The other 2 we aren’t mentioned at all.


5980 is a club sport, or an outside funded athletic team. We share that title with the water polo team.


Thank you everyone for the information! It has been very useful!


We are officially under clubs for our school district. I’m the tech teacher and lead mentor in which I get a stipend. I have two co-advisors that split a stipend. For being the tech teacher I have to be at every meeting so the kids can use the tools and machines. We are very lucky in that our district has a full woods shop, full metals shop and welding shop. We can do everything in house.

We fund raise a majority of our money. We do have generous sponsors that help out and we also write grants to our local education foundation. Our “club” has the highest budget each year and we are accordingly audited each year, oh joy… The last four times we have made worlds our district has chipped in for hotel rooms for the kids. We do not charge any student for hotels or travel for competitions.

We have been acknowledged as a varsity sport and the students do receive a varsity letter. Although my stipend is not acknowledged as varsity pay as we are a club… which equates to thousands in difference even though I have more contact time with students that equates to hundreds of hours difference