Largest team?

I was just wondering what the largest frc team was by student number and how it is organized. Also what do you guys thing the highest number of students a team should have and why?

The largest team has to be (at least in NJ) is team 75. I think they have about 72 members (last year) although my team has gone up to about 50 or so members for the time being.

It depends on what the team does. If all your team does is build robots then you will need less people than a team that does any Business related things or the animations. I think a team should be around 20-25 kids. If you have to many then you will have kids just hanging out becoming dead weight. It also is best to have a smaller number when it comes to traveling to regionals that are farther away.

234 had a team in the 70s a few years back.
That’s a lot of proud grandmas.

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Team 1002 had 130 students a few years ago and team 180 SPAM is also pretty large. I think about a hundred kids.
I have no idea what all those kids do.

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I believe team 3138 has about 200 kids in their program…I think. The school is the “science and math” school in the county, so they draw the general student population that expresses interest in robotics.

With that said, I think with 200 kids in the robotics program, only about 20ish are involved in FRC.

I can’t guarantee the numbers above, but I know they have a hella large program.

“Also what do you guys thing the highest number of students a team should have and why?”

A team’s size should be dependent on two things: student interest and student engagement.

First, student interest: Only students who are interested and want to gain something from the program should be there. There’s no sense in “forcing” people to join just to have a bigger team, if those people aren’t interested enough to be active participants.

Second, student engagement: You want to make sure all members of the team are engaged and have something to do. If you can only fit 20 people in your workspace, it doesn’t make sense to have 50 people show up and 30 of them sit in the hall. I’m a firm believer, however, that there is enough to do with FIRST and on a team that the team would have to be ridiculously huge before you run out of things to do. Community engagement, fund raising, PR, etc are aspects that are often neglected by smaller teams, so their time can be spent building a robot to work.

There is one very important thing to remember in all of this: The larger the team, the more planning needs to be done to ensure everyone is engaged and active. Very large teams may not all meet at the same time or location every time - they may have groups that meet on different nights to complete specific tasks, or those involved with building the robot may be in a different physical location than those working on PR and fund raising.

I completely agree, I’m only asking because we have around 80 kids interested in being on the team (this includes returning and new members). As far as space goes, we have enough room to hold that many kids, I’m just wondering if there’s enough for 80 kids on an FRC team to do. We fully intend to do things such as fund raising and community outreach, but still that’s a lot of students.

I know Team 1002 covered a lot of volunteer spots at Peachtree Regional (and did a good job). The rest of the year? I’m with Ed.

Also, the larger the team, the more mentors you need. Plus, the amount of internal team communication goes up - or should go up - rapidly.

  • Steve

“adding manpower to a late software project makes it later” -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks’s_law

“If anything can go wrong, it will.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy’s_Law

Remember those: too much people = bad.

It can be even thought of as a
People vs Work done chart.
It would be a parabola, you need to find the balance

Too many people working on one project could potentially be an issue, but I wouldn’t say that having a large team is inherently bad.

At 76 members, our team this year is the biggest it has ever been. Having a dedicated leadership team and having frequent communication allows the team to run smoothly.

I believe team 3138 has about 200 kids in their program…I think. The school is the “science and math” school in the county, so they draw the general student population that expresses interest in robotics.

With that said, I think with 200 kids in the robotics program, only about 20ish are involved in FRC.

I can’t guarantee the numbers above, but I know they have a hella large program

Not to offend you in any way, but the students on our team had a good laugh after reading this.

We actually have about 20 students on the FRC team now, but during the FRC season we had 10-12 students. We also are not in any way from a “science and math” school; we are not even school supported. We started our own non-profit organization that supports our team. The organization also supports around 9 FLL teams, 6 of which we started and funded, and we will be mentoring 2 FTC teams. If all of the students from the FLL and FTC teams are taken into consideration, we have just over 100 students involved. We also do demonstrations to thousands of students each year.

So depending on how you look at it, we could be considered large, but we feel that we are not even close to one of the largest teams, even if all the students that we mentor are accounted for.

One of the other teams from dayton, Deca Robotics (3186), has had a lot of students join their team lately and it is still growing, and they are from a specialized school. Maybe you were thinking of them?

I’m pretty sure team 20 is up there. I don’t know the specifics but think they’ve got upwards of 70 students last year.

Just because things are called ‘laws’ doesn’t mean they are true. Large corporations show that having a ton of people can lead to a ton of productivity.

I don’t know about the largest team, maybe 103 The Cybersonics. I seem to recall a time ('01 or '02) where one of their pit ambassadors told me their whole school was on the team. Don’t know if they all did much with the robot, but that’s just what I vaguely remember.


With the Miracle Workerz, the largest number of students we’ve ever fielded in the FRC program was around 50 students (my rookie year) We’ve never had that many students since, as there was just not enough work to go around.

35-40 seems to be the best range of students for our program based on experience in prior seasons, what sub-teams/activities we run (for example, we don’t always field an animation team), how we break into sub-teams, how many mentors we have, and available work/meeting space.


We’ve been able to help reach more students (while not over-filling the team) by starting an FTC team for Freshman and any older students that can’t/don’t want to meet the more intensive attendance expectations that the FRC team requires. [Especially come build season] Those student then have some training, and a leg-up over new students wanting to join MOE; when they return as Sophomores.

our team has about 12 people who actuary work on the robot.

Wow reading this gives me the chills. Our robotics team (Whci Robotics 1514) only has 8 people… with 3 of them being teachers LOL 1 contruction 1 organizer and the other mentor. I’ll have to say that the bigger the more responsibility and more organizing to do, but if you have to less (8 people) that is just ridiculous. I think the teams with 20 people are very organized and their school is very involved. I sure hope a lot more people come out in the robotics this year. or we will be not done in enough time as usual.

team 1514

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Last year 1676 had 52 students who stayed through build season. This year we have about 42 returning and 50 (!) freshmen. We expect that 30 of those 50 will drop out before kickoff (our “Pi-Tech” requires some commitment) and a few more during the season, so we’ll probably end up with about 55 active students.

Not everyone builds the robot. We have active non-tech teams as well - awards & business, for example.

We are organized in teams and subteams, mechanical usually being the largest with three subteams, drivetrain, chassis and manipulator. Late year we had 5 mechanical subteams (3 manipulators: Kick, Ball Handler and hook/winch), electrical, pneumatic, programming, and probably 3 or 4 non-tech subteams. The subteam leaders keep people productive (mostly).

That may be true, but you have to consider the scale of their job, its international, it requires that many people. You got to think, they also have to balance their number of employees… Now if they hire too many, they would eventually start losing money through salary and other expenses for the employees. They also lose productivity along the line. Too little amount of people makes it harder for teh employees to do the work.

No, that quote comes from a book called The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks. It deals specifically with teams of programmers working on one project. It comes from when you are behind on a project and management decides to bring in “fresh blood” to help speed up the project. This actually slows down the project due to training and organizational overhead involved in managing new programmers.*

For a FRC team, training should be taken care of during the off season and a plan for managing the number of students should already be in place and taken into account when making your schedule for the year. In short, Brooks’ law should not apply to a FRC team with good leadership and organization.

*Not my opinion, this was a discussion from my course on Software Engineering.

Team 2337 has about 20-25 student members, then 10-12 mentors. The majority of the students tend to work on the robot - non-robot manpower is mostly a couple of people.

The team is split up into three main areas: Mechanical, Electrical/Programming, and Off-Robot (not the official name). Mechanical has four sections: Chassis, Above Chassis (our hanging mechanism this year), CAD, and End Effector (our kicker and ball magnet). Electrical also has four sections - Electrical Wiring, Autonomous, Programming/Sensors, and Operator Interface. The Off-Robot has a bunch of different subsections mostly serviced by two or three people - Photography, Safety, Community Connections, Scouting, Chairman’s, and Sponsorships.

Each main area has a student and mentor leader, and then each section also has a student and mentor leader.