Rookie Team Attendance at Events

I noticed that a huge number of rookie teams will be attending the Arkansas Rock City Regional. 18 of 61 attending teams are rookies. An additional 9 are second year teams. These numbers are significantly higher than what I’m used to and I was wondering if any other events have a comparable number of young teams in attendance. The events my team has attended in the past few years have typically had 3 to 5 rookie teams and I’ve never seen such a young event before. Is this abnormal? Was there a particular spike in team growth around the Midwest this year? It’s exciting to get to compete with so many young teams and show them what FIRST is all about.

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I ran a quick TBA scraping script to get the percent of rookie teams at each event all the way back to 2002 (the earliest reliable data). The results are too long to embed in this post, so you can find them here.

At 30% rookies, 2019arli comes in at 85th place (out of 1729 total events). It’s the second highest event of 2019, with 2019tuis2 (Bosphorus Regional) in 10th place overall at 53% rookies. As might be expected, the highest ranking events are generally in the first year of a local regional and/or international events.

Disclaimer: I wrote the scraping script in about 5 minutes, so there may be some small bugs in the data.


İstanbul has 12 rookies, and 15 2nd year teams, out of a total of 36.

Bosphorus has 16 Rookies, and 5 2nd year teams, out of a total of 31 teams.

In Turkey - we have a lot of new teams, and there’s a lot of teams from other places coming, but only one of them is older than 2 years.

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It’s great that there’s so much growth in that region but I would imagine that its difficult to support so many rookies with very few veteran teams in the area. In a few years this hopefully won’t be an issue. Thanks for the info!

We have 17 Arkansas rookies and 1 from Brazil. I finally got large state agency support to grow teams. It is multi-year, so they won’t get dumped next year. And, yes, supporting all these young teams is quite the challenge. We received another large grant and used it to incentives veterans to mentor the rookies and that is working well.



That’s all great to hear! Awesome things can happen when teams, especially rookies, receive significant support from local and state governments.

I noticed you’re affiliated with Team 323 and I was wondering why your team has no visible history on FIRST Inspires and TBA prior to 2017 despite such a low number. Was the number redistributed after the original team ceased to operate? Thanks for providing some insight into the rookie situation and enlightening me on your team’s situation. I can’t wait to compete with so many new teams in Arkansas.

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Correct me if I am wrong but, I believe they are a split from team 16.

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Correct, you are not wrong. FIRST has criteria for Rookie team status that 323 was quite far from meeting when they formed couple years ago. They are more like a sustaining team, IMO.

It is really great to see AR supporting team development this way. Back to the OP: Rock City has historically been a very competitive event and I am confident it will continue so. Rookies down there will just have to get competitive, quick. They will get a lot of help with that.

So we have ~50 veterans, but ~25 of them are in their second year, and the other 25 are only a little older - and 30 of our teams are competing abroad (mostly the veterans). It is a ton of work to support so many rookies, we’re bringing in way extra volunteers from abroad this year because ~24 rookies at our off-season made us realize they need a little extra help. We’ve been holding workshops and trainings and various things, and we shall see how it goes. We’re really excited for our back-to-back regionals over here. They’re gonna be epic robot dance parties!

We’ve been working really hard to bring in new teams for four years, and it’s really starting to take off, hopefully the economy doesn’t keep sinking. If the economy was as it was in 2015 when I moved here I imagine there’s a chance we’d have 130 teams this year and not just 80, but registration has been skyrocketing (currency exchange rate), and it has been getting harder every year to fundraise for teams because the economy has been falling apart. (Example - Inflation on vegetables is so high that the government opened its own vegetable stands to keep the prices to be only like 100% worse than last year, rather than 200%.)


I ran a quick TBA scraping script to get the percent of rookie teams at each event all the way back to 2002 (the earliest reliable data). The results are too long to embed in this post…

And on the list of “why I love CD”… it’s not only awesome that this data is available, but that it gets processed into information. Hat tip to @AriMB for throwing this together. Where’s the “rep” button gone???


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