Lettering Plan

I have heard multiple times of FRC teams getting their programs recognized by their schools with varsity letters similar to athletic letters. I am attempting to do the same thing, but have run into a stumbling block. What I need most is how other teams accomplished this. Since it’s been done, I don’t want to re-invent the wheel.

Any/all help is appreciated!

Frank Hobart

What is your stumbling block? We can’t help unless we know what the problem is :slight_smile:

Our team is currently discussing the possibility of lettering with out school administrators. For us anyway it looks to be straight forward.

Your school will probably have a policy on lettering criteria. For us you have to be registered as a competitive team rather that a club. Then you will need performance criteria for what is required to earn a letter. That is really between the team & school to decide. Here is ours. It is a mix of participation of the various facets of our team. We run almost year round so you don’t have to do this just during the build/competition season

"In order to letter this year, students must have:
• 250 hours of participation
• 70 hours of community outreach/service
• 1 business event
• 1 computer cleaning
• Safety Training
• 4 other training sessions
• Attendance at at least one regional competition
• Recommendation from the team coach

Typically, schools want to see a couple of specific things for lettering:

  • Comparable time/effort investment as existing lettering activities
  • A competition environment
  • Clearly defined criteria for lettering

We got our program recognized through defining our own lettering criteria. The criteria basically goes through all of the items that a student needs in order to prove that they’re not only an active member of the team but also giving back to the team and helping it grow. This includes attendance numbers at meetings, attendance at competitions and other required team activities, taking on a leadership role, and having been involved with the team for 2 or more years.

After we did all that, MN got robotics officially recognized by the MN State High School League, which has helped teams across the state get letter recognition from their schools.

You’re going to have to start by talking with your school administration to find out what they want to see from a lettering program. Be sure to emphasize the time commitment, learning, and leadership required for a successful team!

Here’s my main obstacle: Our school (pop. approximately 1000) has an athletics/activities director who really doesn’t want to do any more work that he absolutely has to. His other stated opposition is that if we are granted lettering status, every other club/organization will follow suit, thus causing a cascade.

I guess what I’m looking for is a way to sell the concept…

How did you (those who have pulled this off) sell it to your administration?

Um. So. If your team is granted letterman status, then other organizations will want letters, then students will get involved in extracurricular activities, then students will receive a more well rounded education, teachers will be viewed as coaches and mentors, school spirit and buy-in will rise dramatically, students will find intrinsic motivation, graduation rates and test scores will rise …
I fail to see the problem here.

If it helps, here’s our lettering policy. It’s been live since 2007. It is in some ways more restrictive and difficult to achieve than athletic or band letters.


Thinking about Varsity letters for your robotics team? has some links to teams who have done this.

We fought for this at Prior Lake High School in MN for years. What we couldn’t wrap our heads around is how a self funded program as competitive and exciting as this could not letter yet a band member could. The program is “seasonal” (I use that term loosely) and had all the requirements above. When the MN State High School League recognized FIRST that was a big help.

I agree with your sentiment, but I am fighting indolence.

So your athletics director has full control of who gets letters? Is it possible to go to the person who gave him that authority in the first place?

Though, I would recommend talking to the director first with some of the things mentioned in this thread before going over his head.

When we got ours passed, I presented it to the entire Administrative Council. I was able to talk not only with the AD, but the rest of them as well, at the same time. There was a bit of happy pressure there to accept the proposal.