Rookie Competitions - we need help

We are a Rookie team…none of our team members have even BEEN to a Regional and we would like to be competitive in any rookie award competitions. We would sincerely appreciate any ideas or helpful hints regarding how a Rookie team can distinguish itself both to the judges and to the other teams.

What types of Rookie competitions are there? We are not afraid of hard work but we need to know what to do.

Again, any suggestions would be sincerely appreciated.

Hi Bob

Welcome to the wonderful world of F.I.R.S.T.
2000 was our rookie year. We went to two regionals and took Rookie All-Star at both.
Here are some things that should help you:

  1. Documentation; We had a full set of drawings of our robot. We
    made part and assembly drawings in AutoCAD and had them
    put into a nice portfolio.
  2. Knowledge; Be sure the students can tell the judges about
    their robot. It doesn’t have to be down to the exact details but
    they should be able to tell them what it does.
  3. Pit area; Have a nice pit and keep it clean. In 2000 we had an
    Easy-Up decked out as a Tiki hut and we all wore Hawaiian

Hope this helps and good luck.

Wayne Doenges


I’m a member of team 383, The Brazilian Machine. 2000 was our rookie year, but 2002 was mine in the team. In this three years, we won two regionals and two awards.

Participating of FIRST is a fantastic experience! We learn a lot!

I don’t think I have many tips for you… Just choose well your operators… it’s very important! :smiley: You should practice a lot and be able to change your estrategy in the middle of the game: many times it’s necessary, and you have to think fast!

We’re going to the Philadelphia Regional. What about you?
Do you have sponsors?
What are you planning to do?

Keep in touch!


this is my 3rd year in first and ive noticed that it seems quite random how the rookie awards are picked.

but in general, all teams should strive for good documentation, clean pit area, nice metalwork/machining. etc… design is probably the least important. we have seen some crappy but nice looking designs win awards .

Strategy is KEY.

Know your robot’s capabilities. Be honest when your allies ask what you can and can’t do. Exagerating doesn’t help anyone.

Scout your opponents. Keep some sort of log on the different robots and their capabilities (and autonomous modes). If you don’t feel your up for this, find a veteran team with a scouting database, and ask if you can use it. Most teams will be happy to help out a rookie.

Before each match you will learn who your two opponents and your partner are. Make sure you go over and meet with your ally to discuss strategies for the match.

Make sure you have a charged battery for every match.

I’ll repeat, make sure you have a charged battery for every match.

Maybe try to attend another regional before yours. See how the game plays out. Sit in on some pre-match planning.

Team’s that act professionally, and know what they need to do in a match, and do it will do well. Even a mediocre bot can triumph if used properly.

Good Luck.
If any rookie team’s are going to UTC, 229 will be glad to help out with any questions/problems.
We’ll also have veterans scouting BAE who will be glad to help.

couldn’t have said it better, john

especially the charged battery…just ask heatwave…eh jared :smiley:

[quote]*Originally posted by Bob Steele *
helpful hints regarding how a Rookie team can distinguish itself both to the judges and to the other teams.


I would like to offer the following ideas and I hope they are helpful.

  1. Watch the teams with low team numbers. They are veteran teams and have solved most of the rookie problems.

  2. Be able to comunicate what your robot can and cannot do. You will have two minutes to plan before your competition with your alliance partner. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner what your robot cannot do.

  3. Follow the agreed upon plan or die trying. During the match plans change. Be sure the coaches communicate with each other.

  4. Do not be afraid to ask for help. FIRST is all about helping each other. If you need a part, ask for it. Someone will no doubt have it.

  5. Be gracious in winning as well as losing.

  6. Visit the other robots in the pits. Every regional will be a learning experience. If you do not understand something, do not be afraid to ask. We all love to brag about our robots.

  7. Check the weight of your robot before you ship it. Losing weight is the same as going on a diet…IT AIN’T EASY!

  8. Most of all kick back…keep your eyes wide open…soak in what will probably be one of the greatest experiences in your life.

Ken Loyd
Team 64 :cool:[/quote]