Lettering in FIRST

Hi, I’m R.J. our team 2044 is the only in Nebraska and our highschool administration will not allow our so called “team” to letter. This is because they call the Robotics “Team” a CLUB. In fact we are far from being a “club.” In a club do you put in as much time and effort as you do in robotics. Do you have to apply to be on a club. Is a club made up of 14 students. I think not. What do you guys think?

I personally think that the search feature is wonderful. You’d probably find something like this there.

But anyway, lettering in FIRST is rare, despite the long hours. Keep working at it, and eventually you’ll sway them.

the athletic department at my school is in charge of that, and they’re all stuck up about it. we’ve been thinking of getting jakets that look like our school’s and putting robot stuff on them just to p.o. the athletic people.

personaly, i think most school sports are a waste of time. unfortunately, those sports are the popular ones. i’m in Tae Kwon Do all year. i can use what i learn there beyond the mats :stuck_out_tongue:

Number mine
To answer your questions

  1. possibly. I know people how spend weeks working on stuff for TSA or science olympiad, but FIRST does require a greater commitment commitment. but some athletics teams require a 12 month commitment that is more demanding than FIRST.
  2. Sometimes. NHS is a good example of a club with an application and do you have to apply to be on a team?
  3. This number makes no difference. There are teams of 10 (golf or gymnastics) people and teams of 100 (football). As there are clubs of 10 and clubs of 50+

My personal opinion is lettering denotes varsity sport. Since there is no JV and varsity level, members of the robotics team should not get letters. Also, the school can’t consider you a team for insurance and other purposes. Insurance companies (actuaries) view a robotics team differently than a football team. Do i support giving awards to members of robotics team for their efforts? Yes. Should this reward be a varsity letter? No.

your views make no sense
a robotics team is just a dangerous as a football team if that is what you mean by insurance purposes
we use plasma cutters, chop saws, welders, grinders, knives, table saws, miter saws and many other dangerous tools
and in my school our clubs usually contain a multitude of people that is what i was refering to and our teams generally not as many…

It’s a lot easier to get insurance if you register your team as a Learning for Life post through the Boy Scouts. It’s what they used to call the Explorers. I couldn’t imagine working in a shop without insurance.

As far as lettering goes, shoot for an academic letter. We have an academic lettering system at our school so we arranged to set criteria for lettering in robotics. It can be done no matter what your circumstance, you just have to get a whole lot of people behind your cause. Our criteria require a combination of a number of outreach hours, fund-raising credits, meeting attendance, competition attendance and other factors. About 20% of our club members letter each year.

sweet. that is really good advice
if we set up a criteria for getting our letters it should be much easier
i will arrange for an appointment with our schools headmaster as soon as possible

I’m curious about why getting a letter is so important. I liked FIRST because it wasn’t a sport and because my team operated so much differently than a sports team would. Athletes need their varsity letters so they can make themselves feel like beautiful unique snowflakes or what have you. Giving letters in FIRST would force you to enumerate everyone’s indivdual contributions rather than focusing on the robot that the whole team built. When I’m less tired and more coherent I might share with Chief Delphi my strong opinions regarding Dean Kamen’s obsession with having engineers fill the role currently filled by athletes. (Hint: I think that would destroy the field of engineering)

Our team started doing letters last year, but no one on the team seems to get overly excited about it. However, I know a few people on sports teams that find it rather infuriating (What? Robotics isn’t a sport!..). Getting it done wasn’t very difficult, I’m pretty sure most people on the team didn’t know about it until they got theirs.

I personally don’t see what’s so important about getting a letter either, I think the robot and the relationships you build with your team mates, mentors, and the community are a much better reward for your efforts.

Can other “club/teams” in the school get letters? The Debate Team, the Chess Team, Model UN, the Marching Band? If so, then you have a point. If not, well then the athletic department has reserved official school letters for themselves.

There’s nothing to prohibit you from going to the store that sells the “varsity jackets” and ordering yourself one, with whatever FIRST and FRC team logos you want on it.

I’ve got a white paper with our rules for lettering. Within it, there are restrictions for “varsity” and “JV” membership.

I was a member of the State Championship winning Scholastic Bowl team. Despite Scholastic Bowl being part of the VHSL (Virginia High School League), our team being part of the athletics department, and being more successful than any team at our high school in years, we didn’t get anything. Basically, most schools don’t view this type of thing as a sport. Probably because these things aren’t.

Besides, why would you want one anyway? They generally just make you look stupid.

It’s probably not a good thing to mention but I lettered in Marching Band… Still with FIRST robotics being considered a “Club” and not part of “official” school practices, lettering would be difficult.
Hey don’t get me wrong… I love watching a good football game and I think we need athletics… we just need to “re-wire” peoples perceptions so they can see value in robotics and that will take time…


in my opinion First is a sport, last year i spent 167 hours during the build season alone, first off there is no sport i’ve ever played that i’ve dedicated that many hours too. second you sweat, cheer, shout, and basically have the time of your life here… i think we should sign a patician to make first an officially recognized SPORT. i would kill to get a lettermans jacket for First, with like little robots on it, and dates to every competition you’ve gone to, i think it would be pretty sick…

At our school athletics is a big deal. However in the past 10 years - academic “sports” like robotics have also become a big deal. We have students that can letter in Academic Decathelon, Band, and Tutoring; so I will probably pursue Robotics Lettering as well. I do agree with one of the previous comments about “who cares”. So far there is only one student who cares on the team and to be honest they don’t do a whole lot - so my motivation is fairly low right now.

Many schools allow letters for glee club, student congress, orchestra, and school newspaper why not robotics? A wise man once told me that a school that does not celebrate it’s students is not a school. A letter is not a diploma, it is a sign that you were a participant in an extracurricular activity and allows you the pride to wear a sign of your participation. And for my money, students have a better chance of starting on a career or getting a scholarship as a direct result of robotics than a sport.
If your administrators would like to discuss this, I am always open. To start have them contact me via Chief Delphi, there is a choice for PM or email and I will return their message. Fourteen students or just one, need to be recognized.

Our High School considers this to be a Varsity Sport.
With all the long hours you put into it and all of the things you have to do to get prepared it should be counted as.
Plus you play in a competition with other schools. Isnt that what your basketball team does?

We had letters our first year being involved in robotics. Some requierments are putting forth so many hours, going to regional, participating in other events(going to elementry, sponsors etc), doing beyond stuff(t-shirts, buttons, website, etc.)

Team 1023, Bedford Express, is working on getting Varsity Letters. We have submitted a proposal, submitted a persuasive essay, made a video presentation and are hopeful we will have it worked out soon. (Still keeping our fingers crossed for this year’s seniors, as they are amazing!) In the meantime, thanks to all the teams for posting on all of the different threads. You have greatly helped our efforts. It is hard to know where to post this with so many great threads! We also made a slideshow/video of why FIRST members should get a varsity letter. Feel free to use it if it helps you. If you need a better copy than youtubes copy, just let me know.

In our school, sports and the arts programs still reign supreme in the extra curricular activities realm. But with that said, this will be the third year that some members (those with at least two years of solid participation) will receive letters. The letters were actually a by-product of a fundamental change that the school accepted three years ago regarding our team and the other academic teams present in the school. The key word here is teams. Up until this time, our team and the other teams (e.g. speech and debate, mock trial, academic decathalon, mathletes, etc.) were treated as clubs. The status change was the result of a concerted effort to try elevate the “status” of the academic teams in order to compete with sports and arts programs. We’re not quite on par yet. But, we are working on it. So, my suggestion here is it may help you out if you can develop some stategic allies to work with in order to achieve your goal. There is power in numbers.