What guidelines do you want in place for Covid-19 off seasons?

Assume off-seasons are going to happen, and you can’t stop them(because they are, and you can’t). Maybe they’re late spring, over the summer, or maybe in the fall. Mentors are likely mostly vaccinated, but not students. In this world what does it take to safely* run an infinite recharge offseason? I’ll start with a few floor items

Mandatory masks
Pits are 6 feet apart
Symptom screening before entering
Limiting teams to the general area of the offseason (no California teams going to a Massachusetts event)
Signed statement saying you and your immediate family haven’t been in contact with anyone who tested positive of Covid-19, or participated in any high risk activities in the last 2 weeks
Limiting team size
Allowing 2021 seniors to compete in fall offseasons (is this self serving? Yes. Do I care? No)

What else?

*safely is obviously a subjective term and different for everyone. Maybe your team won’t compete in any offseasons, but there will be teams who do. Having a floor to protect those who choose to host and or compete is important.


Very true (heck if there are NE events you can bet I will be there in my Zebra stripes, maybe even Yellow if they let me)

I feel this one specifically would be the hardest to impliment. I can’t remember an on Season event, let alone an off season event, that has the room for 6ft between the pits, and still hold the same number of teams. Now reduced team capacity is an option, but I feel halving the number of teams would be to much.

The only other reasonable thing I can think of is not having a spectator section and the replacment being a lot more cameras and hopefully having some good internet and streaming multiple views of the field


Here in ISR we’re having an offseason next week!
I don’t remember what the exact guidelines are, but something like this:

  • 12 teams
  • 15 people per team, all vaccinated (most people over 16 are)
  • two from each team are volunteers (I assume field reset/queuing).
  • mandatory masks
  • larger pits, up to 4 people in the pit at a given time

I don’t remember the rest, perhaps someone from 1690 can give some insight?


We’re still ironing out all the details, but it’s going to be something like that. When everything is set in stone we’ll make an official announcement on the forums, I’ll be sure to link everything in this thread


True. I did think about this, but if we can’t even have distance BETWEEN teams, I think that’s an indication there’s too many teams for the venue to hold it safely. Maybe if there’s no spectators, some of the stands could be transformed into pits? It depends on the venue.

Interesting. Does this mean only students 16 up can attend? And what is the vaccine availability like in Israel? I imagine much better than the US if you guys are talking about having an off-season next week. I’d love to hear about how it goes, and get any tips for when the US decides to attempt our own off-seasons.

Everyone over the age of 16 can get vaccinated, no shortage for now (over half of the population vaccinated already)


Showing the rest of the world how it’s done. Looking forward to watching your teams play again, I think you’ve earned it.


Our high school is closed for at least this week because of an outbreak. The article says that a couple of large social gatherings are the cause.

We don’t know all the details yet, but my guess is that students who have been tested negative up to 72 hours prior will also be able to attend, as is the procedure for most places in Israel now.


That’s awesome that you guys have the infrastructure for all this! We’ve been ramping up vaccinations, and testing is better than it was early on, but we’re far from the level you guys are at. It’ll likely be June at the earliest that we’ll see any sort of events start cropping up. I’ll definitely be watching you guys this weekend if there’s a stream.

This is similar to the procedure we are using for our (outdoor) wedding at the end of June. We are also fortunate that our state has rapid testing very easily available, and all elderly family members have been vaccinated.

If the weather stays nice in a warm area, an outdoor FRC event would be rad.


I’ve thought about that tbh. It’d be an interesting idea. We could have an outdoor BattleCry on WPI’s garage/sportball field :stuck_out_tongue:. I think we’d have to be careful of wind blowing around power cells too much, and lighting for vision tracking, but honestly I think that’d be a lot of fun if the weather allowed it.

Assuming the event is held in a school building, I have a strategy to mitigate both spectators and pit space.
Each team gets a classroom; the event is shown on monitors (TV, computer screen, smartboard, whatever is there) in each classroom via a live YouTube or Twitch feed; offer radios or some other type of two-way communication device for queueing and announcements.
There would be a lot of front-end work on this type of system, and it assumes there are classrooms both close to and on the same level as the playing field.


Some of the pits could be outside next week, we’ll see

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In Louisiana only 70+ are vaccinated and special populations (teachers, emergency/essential workers, certain health conditions etc) so NONE of our student population has been vaccinated. That would eliminate us from competition. Maybe only 8-10 per team to reduce numbers, adults must be vaccinated?

In the US, all the covid vaccines are under emergency authorization. Which means that in general you cannot require vaccinations. I not sure if this applies to something that is essentially voluntary. Currently the Pfizer is the only one authorized for 16s. The others are all over 18s. So most of the participants will not be vaccinated regardless.

Which shows the difficulty with a global organization like First making global rules regarding health.

I see the required precautions changing rapidly. By the fall, if the schools are open with no restrictions, it will not make sense to have restrictions on a local event.

Hats off to Israel in making vaccinations a priority.


Considering many schools across the country are trying to get rid of restrictions now while we’re very much still in the middle of things, I don’t know if schools having or not having restrictions is the best indication of what we should do as a community. Particularly if vaccines aren’t open to school children by the time we’re looking to have events. That said, the level of restrictions certainly will differ.


All of this sounds like we need to bring Epcot champs back…


The covid precautions are a subset of risk management. So what you should be thinking about is how much the precautions reduce risk and what is just safety theater.

Currently, Even some state goverments have declared their states fully open (Taken a little bit out of context) But they are not really. Precautions are still in place at a lower level, and the infection rate is still at a high level.

In the fall (Maybe, my crystal ball is foggy): Infection rate is lower. Precautions like social distancing and mask wearing, remote school, and no mass gatherings are not being enforced. Having an event really doesn’t change the risk level. Making every one wear a mask at the event when they are generally don’t doesn’t really change the risk. Doesn’t make it non zero. (Generally no such thing as zero risk) Or we might have a mutation that changes everything.

BTW I wear a mask, practice social distancing, and avoid mass gatherings, In the current situation, it is the smart thing to do.

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I attended a FTC event this past weekend which had 13 teams attending. Here’s the webcast archive: Twitch

Some of the safety precautions that took place/I observed:

*Liability waiver signed for all personnel entering the facility.
*Everyone wears a mask while indoors (eating exception in pits below)
*Hand sanitizer stations all around the facility
*Max 8 students / 2 mentors per team
*Temperature check & exposure questionnaire when arriving
*No general public spectators
*Plexiglass dividers between each drivers and human player station that were about 3 feet in width and 6 feet tall
*Human players who were handling game pieces (rings) were required to wear disposable gloves that were provided prior to the match starting.
*Teams were required to each lunch outside or in their pit.
*Judges were remote and presented the awards over zoom which was piped into the webfeed/house AV.
*Referees, event staff, inspector(s), emcee/GA were on site.
(there may be a couple more I am missing).