Kickoff Overview: Strategies for a Successful Weekend

A little late to the game here, but better late than never:

Over the summer I began compiling slides covering ways teams approach a new game on Kickoff weekend. I got really busy with the new team and just recently got them to a “finished” point. These slides primarily highlight methods I am most familiar with and prefer, but also document several other successful methods from teams.

Quite literally every team is very different, and my intention is not to produce a copy & paste Kickoff approach, but rather to compile a whole bunch of ideas for teams to take pieces of and build on.

Kickoff Overview: Strategies for a Successful Weekend

These are the areas that are covered in the slides:

  1. Before Kickoff
  2. Rule Review
  3. Robot Actions
  4. Robot Archetypes
  5. Game Simulations
  6. High Level Strategy
  7. Priority List
  8. Mechanism Brainstorm

Big thanks to @Connor_H @saikiranra @Karthik and @LukeBronx for helping me get this project to the finish line :slight_smile:


Amazing presentation Shelby! I plan on reviewing this with my team this week, and will compare it to our current kickoff plans.


This is the single best resource for kickoff methodologies I have seen to date. It does an incredible job of not only laying out potential ways you can do things, but also gives really well thought out reasoning behind it all and isn’t just a “one size fits all” guide. We are using parts of this for our kickoff this year and are recommending it to other teams at every chance we can. Thanks Shelby for putting it together, any team that reviews this will be better off than where they started.



Your slideshow game is amazing!


Sending this to my team. Shelby, you’re the GOAT!

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Cannot recommend this resource enough! This has been super helpful on 498, setting us up for success!

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With 2024 Kickoff looming, I wanted to share a copy of the Mock Kickoff slides we recently ran with 581 along with the worksheet we used. This was a ~4 hour Mock Kickoff led by @saikiranra.

We have not used a worksheet in the past, but @Connor_H whipped one up for us to try out. Our worksheet is built on sheets published by the usual players, like 2791, 1678, and 6328. We generally found it useful during the Mock Kickoff and there is not anything particularly unique to ours. There were definitely some likes and dislikes with this specific version of the worksheet, and we will be making several changes for our actual 2024 Kickoff Worksheet. @Connor_H or @saikiranra can provide more details on our desired changes if anyone wants more info.

2023 Mock Kickoff Slides (2017 Game)

2023 Mock Kickoff Worksheet (2017 Game)

Also wanted to quickly remind that FIRST has published a few resources, at the bottom of the linked page, on how to tackle Kickoff (and scouting & strategy!), which is super cool: Linked Here

Additionally, I wanted to note that I have moved away from preferring a full 4 category MoSCoW prioritization list, but I haven’t had time to update the slides to reflect this. This is the example from the slides:

And this is an example of the preferred 3 category list (aka MoCoW :cow: ) that we just made for the 2017 game, which is formatted differently than the slides example but is categorizing the actions in the same way.

M = Must Have
C = Could Have
W = Won’t Have

I find that trying to sort actions between the “Should Have” and “Could Have” categories can have some of the same challenges that I feel a “Wish/Need/Demand” list can have. Long discussions about putting an action into one of two categories that seem only slightly different can burn a bunch of time for decisions that just aren’t really that serious.

Hope everyone has a happy Kickoff!



Big fan of MoCoW :cow: - dropping the S gets you to the W faster.


Double-checking my kickoff slideshow and docs against this. Definitely not copying… just, you know, making sure I didn’t forget anything.