Congratulations FIRST!!

We have reached the team number 4000!!!
Can you believe it!??

To Celebrate, I am wondering which teams have come from your FRC team or yourself? Describe your journey to making a new team and some challenges that you had to over come. And any other information you would like to share.

Ya, just saw 2 4000 teams sign up for Lake Superior today

Congratulations, FIRST!!
It’s incredible how rapidly the program grows. To be honest, its no wonder all events are BagNTag this year.
How many teams are there now??


I’d rather see the numbers 1-1000 filled completely with their originally numbered teams…

Maybe I’m just being a wet blanket but I just want to remind people that we should not be looking for rapid growth. Instead we should be looking for sustainable growth.

Sorry for being negative.

I am happy to see us go over 4000 but I have to agree. I find it very sad to think of a school or other group that had the oppurtunities FIRST offers and then looses it.

4000 Is quite an accomplishment, But I say keep going because its still not in every high school yet!

Not every school can afford to have a team. It is sad that some have not been sustained. It is great to see veteran teams and learn from their experiences. Lee’s Summit has been lucky to have teams in all 3 of our schools. If and when we get a 4th, I can only hope we can help it to achieve a FIRST FRC team and keep it. The only problem I forsee is sponsorship for multiple teams in one community.

Furthermore, even if every team could afford a team there simply isn’t the infrastructure in place to handle it. The following is from a thought experiment I did a few years back assuming every school district in the state of Michigan had a team. Some minor things have changed (there were ~170 teams in MI last year, season changed to 7 weeks, and a few other minor things) but I think the overall conclusion is still the same.

I think it is great that we have as many teams as we do, I think that every student should have access to FRC. But we really need to realize that this isn’t a simple problem to solve and there is no silver bullet.

There are 143 teams in Michigan now.

There are 549 school districts in Michigan, assume every district gets ONE team.

FiM events are capped at 40 teams to get the 12 matches.

Every team gets two events.

549 * 2 / 40 = 28 Events

There is a 6 week competition season.

Week 6 is reserved for the State Championship

That means 7 events per week (28/5 ~ 7)

That means FiM needs at least 8 fields (Backup field) Realistically it means more fields.

It takes 6 inspectors per event. This equates to 42 inspectors per week.

It takes 1 head ref, 1 LRI, 1 FTA, and 1 Judge Coordinator per event.

It takes 20-25 Judges per event. This equates to 158 judges per week

State Championship can hold 64-70 teams. This is 11% of the teams. To get the 50% number that is being shot for we need an event with over 250 teams. The World Championship in Atlanta has hovered around 380 for the last couple years. This is the equivalent of 4 State Championships.

MSC costs the most to put on of any FiM event.

Finding venues that can host an MSC type event is difficult and expensive.

MSC is currently space limited not match limited. Practice matches at MSC are optional as all teams have had 2 events already.

20% of Michigan teams attended the World Championship in Atlanta in 2010. 20% of 549 is 110 teams.

Possible Places to Hold Super Championship (3x - 4x size of current MSC)
Ford Field
Cobo Hall
Detroit Metro (In the hangars)
Private Industries?
Possibly old factories could be retrofit to be a combination build area, competition area, and training ground for students/ engineers.

Edit: For anyone who wants to run the numbers for each SCHOOL… there are 687 high schools in the state of Michigan. It really doesn’t help the numbers at all…

I think the secret to strong support for multiple teams would be to funnel all sponsorship fundraising through an umbrella organization that would then give grants to the teams themselves.


Understandable just a goal though.

Agreed. Passing 4000 isn’t nearly as impressive when one considers how many empty numbers there are.

Not even close.

Using Ontario as a (perhaps unfair) example: [since Ontario has 3 FRC regionals, while the remainder of Canada prior to the 2012 season had none; Ontario has a disproportionately high percentage of the Canadian teams.]

Ontario has 911 publicly funded secondary schools (read Public+Catholic school boards combined), as of the 2009-2010 school year.

Ontario had 65 FRC teams in the 2011 season. 7 or so of these teams are at private schools that are not part of the 911 above. That means that only 6.3% of students in Ontario are even EXPOSED to the program, let alone get to participate.

Keep in mind: The highest numbered 2011 rookie was 3883. Rookies for 2012 started at 3925.

As of 2011 of the 3883 teams that have ever received a number, only 2065 of them played in 2011. That means that in 20 seasons, we’ve lost 48.6% of the teams that have played.

Also, only teams that existed since 1997 have a permanent number. Teams that folded prior to 1997 have been lost to history in a way we can’t track, due to re-issuing numbers each year prior to that.

I remember as a kid thinking how high a team number like 834 was. Lol

Agreed. Teams in Indiana are collaborating to create an umbrella organization, IndianaFIRST, that will (among other things) generate funding sources, media relations, community support, interteam communications, and general knowledge. We’re hoping to make a system that works that other states, regions, and areas can emulate and improve.

To go back to the OP, here’s our FRC “family tree”:
Our mentor team was 234.
We mentored 3176 (2010 BMR RAS)
3176 mentored 3487 (2011 BMR RAS)

What’s also interesting is the growth rate based on some known checkpoints.

1992: <30 teams (28 IIRC)
1997: <200 teams (192)
2003: <800 teams (highest rookie was 1238, 787 attended events)
2006: <1200 teams (1978 highest rookie, 1133 attended events)
2009: <1700 teams (3122 highest rookie, 1677 attended events)
2011: <2100 teams (3883 highest rookie, 2065 attended events)

Seems to me like somewhere between 2003 and 2006 we had a huge leap in teams dumping the program, going from around 30% to around 45%

This list of all FRC teams ever might help your analysis

It’ll tell you how many numbers were never assigned at all. There are 663 non-team holes.
Also, be aware that a number of teams have possessed multiple team numbers, so those defunct team numbers do not represent lost teams.
The pre-number teams are included in that list above along with later reincarnations, so they are counted too.

We’re at 45% school district FRC participation on Long Island and we’ve lost about 11% of past district FRC teams, although some still come & go.
That also doesn’t mean the school districts lost to FRC aren’t doing FLL or FTC/Vex or some other STEM robotics program still.

I still have team 38’s robot at home from 2000 with the IFI control system, where the Operator Interface has only 3 digits to display the team number, channel, and battery voltage. I remember when rookies were in the 500s, and team numbers over 1000 were just a far off dream.


I’d be much happier to see 10 sub-1000 numbered teams return than see 100 4000+ numbered teams join.

We have some of those laying around somewhere too! Such great memories. :smiley: