Starting a rookie team

Hello FTC community.
I am starting up a new FTC in my home town. Our frc help us by do a demo for the our middle school get interrested kids to sign up. the problem is it worked too well we had over 70 kids sign up and I know we can only have 15 kids on a team and right now starting more teams is not in the budget. So what’s are some of fairest way to get our numbers down to 15. I look forward to your feed back.

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I didn’t think there was a max. Just a max recommendation size to get the best experience. Though 70 is a bit much.

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  • You could do a raffle - put everyone who signed up’s names in a hat and pull 15
  • You could have kids apply, and choose 15 based on criteria you come up with. Maybe grade the applications based on a rubric, to make it a little more objective.
  • You could have kids apply, and do a raffle out of the pool of kids who cared enough to fill out an application
  • You could do a raffle out of the pool of kids who show up for 100% of the meetings in the first month
  • You could do some kind of tryouts at the beginning of the year, and choose 15 based on that

and I’m sure there are more methods than that. A pure raffle is the most fair in the sense of being completely objective and unbiased, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing to base team membership on semi-subjective criteria (such as demonstrating dedication). It all depends on your priorities.

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The game manual actually does say that an FTC team can consist of no more than 15 members, but I don’t know how strictly that’s followed or enforced.

Maybe if you have enough interest, you could create multiple teams under the umbrella of a single robotics program at your school. Normally through the course of the season your attendance will drop way off from the start. So maybe you can start the team and once you figure out how many people stick around they can be “official members” or you can determine how many teams you would need at that point.

EDIT: sorry I didn’t see that starting multiple teams isn’t in the budget. I still think your attendance will probably go down throughout the year and you should be able to choose which people are most dedicated to become actual members.

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We recently started an FTC team, team 15096.

First, there is no cap, just a recommendation.

We also had 70+ kids show interest and want to sign up. However only twenty or so actually came.

We are putting in place a few requirements, including a gpa minimum, letter of recommendation from a stem teacher, etc.

Its going to be stressful. Alot of kids don’t know how to use a ruler or wrench. I encourage finding more mentors, especially FRC students.

There are a lot of great resources, and I’d love to help you. We are based in Holland, MI.

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My team has been looking at starting an FTC team for next year as well to provide some more action for our FRC team during the offseason.

We’re having a bit of trouble finding resources for FTC - there doesn’t seem to be a CD equivalent for it. More specifically, we’re at a bit of a loss regarding material and build rules and don’t know where to start reading up on what is legal and what is not. Do you (or anyone else) know of any resources to this effect?

FTC is pretty fragmented, perhaps due to the local-heavy nature of it and the low barriers to entry. There are official forums through FIRST, there’s r/FTC (which does have pretty decent substance mixed in with the memes), and then there’s scatterings elsewhere (like here!).

When it comes to build rules, they’ve been pretty stable the last few years. Look at this year’s for a decent taste of where their ruleset is. I would be surprised if much changed for next year, though traditionally what is legal for a robot is spelled out in Game Manual Part I, which comes out in advance of Kickoff.

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New FTC in your hometown? You Canadian?

No. I’m from South haven michigan.

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The only real resources I was able to find was on the FIRST website, and other teams.

That link has a great many resources.

The one big difference between FTC and FRC is that FTC is very engineering notebook heavy. Being able to document the engineering process and pretty much write a convincing proposal as to why your robot is unique and successful is how the judges determine awards.

There is also a major difference in FTC in Michigan versus other states and around the world. If you are in Michigan, utilize the other teams around you, a lot of middle schools have them now. Get in contact with other mentors, both FTC and FRC, they are often the most helpful people. What really helped us was another local FTC team and when we went to competition we knew quite a few judges, the FTA, and other volunteers who were able to give us suggestions and help us figure everything out.

EDIT: When it comes to building the robot the game manuals are the best and really only place to find robot rules. I would also view the kit of parts and see what they have in there since those are obviously legal.

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