What to Expect In Atlanta

Hey guys, I am a rookie on my team this year. Even though our team has been to the championship in Atlanta 4 out of its 5 years of existence, I am still having trouble grasping what the experience will be like. I have an ever growing amount of questions on almost all topics. I was wondering if anyone could give me a better idea as to how it is in comparrison with regionals and what, if anything, I need to be ready for so I don’t pass out.

All comments will be helpful

Thank You.

What are your questions?! Post em up.

First things first is there are four divisions, of the top teams in the world competing. there’s four, slightly large regionals running simultaneously. It’s hard to grasp until you see it. The winners of these divisions will play on Einstein, to become world champions.

The biggest difference though, in my opinion, is the pits are a half mile away from the arena. It’s quite a hike for every match =)

There is no comparison between regional and the Championships. The pits are massive. It is a 5-10 minute walk between the pits in the convention center and the field in the Dome. The experience is one of the best I have had in FIRST

4 extra-large regionals in one venue. Stand clear of the doors when they open, because you’ll have tens of thousands of people heading for their pits/the fields simultaneously.

Oh, and throw in FLL and FTC teams for good measure.

When Championships were in Houston, there were two sets of ramps into the pit area. A volunteer reported that he got to the middle of the pits and then the door opened at one set. There was an immediate river of people.

You’ll see a lot of copied, ahem, similar uniforms in Atlanta.

Looks like 1730 and 11 will be matching this year. :stuck_out_tongue:

you will never forget the first time you come through the tunnel into the arena.

Is there a difference between the divisions beyond names or is it just random?

It’s all random :slight_smile:

Some basics for you

there are four divisons of randomly grouped teams, based on team number. the mix provides a similar level of experience levels in each division. the only difference between the divisions is their name - there is not one that is intentionally better than another.

in the dome, there are 5 fields. the four division fields and einstein.

each division will have about 70 - 75 teams, and you only play teams in your division, unless you get to einstein. you will probably have practice time on thursday, and then about 7 matches friday day and saturday morning. Then, the top 8 select partners, and there is an elimination tourney for each division, with division winners. the divison winners, with one alternate backup, then play in 2 2 team brackets to determine the world champs. these matches are on einstein.

in the pits, teams are arranged by division, and there are two practices fields, two divisions share each one. There are large video screens in the pits so you can watch the action on the field and see rankings.

there is no audio queing - you have to pay attention to match times and the video screens.

it is about a 10 minute walk with the robot to from the pits to the field. make sure you have a cart. only the drive team can go on the robot path, everyone else goes a different way from the pits to the fields.

there are also presentations from FIRST teams and mentors, Autodesk, lus companies and colleges there with materials on display.

and, the hall of fame, with previous years championship Chairmans Award winners and some awesome displays about their teams and their programs.

opening ceremony is Friday morning, awards are mixed in with the final tourney matches on Einstein. There are no awards or closing program on Friday night.

saturday after awards is the closing finale.

hopefully this helps!

It is an awesome time - have fun!

As helpful as all comments may be, I am sure you will have trouble grasping what the Championship will be like until you get there and see for yourself. It is breathtaking- thousands of thousands of students in colorful and wacky garb with a passion for engineering will pour down the escalators, flood the pits, and fill the stands. The excitement levels are even greater than your regional competition, if you can believe it. People are louder, competition is tougher, and impossibly, it is even more fun. Four giant, competitive regionals going on simultaneously. Hundreds of teams. Thousands of students. Countless memories. Infinite fun. You’ll love it, I promise you that.

If you have any specific questions, I’m sure all of us who have experienced the magic that is the FIRST Championship would love to answer.

You should expect everything!

It’s a little scary at first how big it is, the 10 minute walk, the number of people in the stands. But it’s just like 3 days of constant energy. And it’s amazing the kinds of people you can meet there. :smiley:

Oh and there’s a rockin party on Saturday night hosted by FIRST. It makes the team socials from regional events look so sad…

One thing that is different from some regionals is that because the dome is so far from the pits if you’re spending most of your day in the stands scouting matches/cheering you probably won’t see your drive team or pit crew much at all during the day.

Hi Team Driven friend, we, the Broncobots, team 1987, went to Nationals last year and its huge and busy. Imagine a regional times 7. There are sooo many pits and many things going on at once. The pits are detached from the actual field, so get ready to walk if you need something. Also, be prepared to meet lots of new people! It is so much fun.
Here is the area between the pits and the fields.

See ya there!


Plus one more field for FTC called da Vinci, and the last time I went ('06) Einstein was used for FLL on Thursday and Friday.

DaVinci has two FTC fields on it, and Einstein is still used for FLL.

The two FTC fields are Da Vinci and Franklin. They are used only Thursday and Friday.

And to be technical, the Einstein field is only put up on Saturday. The space where the Einstein field used for FLL on Friday and Saturday (and maybe Thursday? I don’t remember).

Attached is a photo form 2005 of the dome floor. (Kudos to whoever crawled up and took this - it wasn’t me!). You can see the six field locations and get a sense of the enormous space.

And don’t forget the robot conferences, programming seminars, FIRST store, etc. As rookies you should particularly check out the conferences - lots of good information there. (And not just because I’m helping with one of them).



The one thing not mentioned in all of this, is not only are there nearly hundreds of teams and thousands of teams but they’re not just from the US. They are from schools around the globe that compete in FIRST that will be there… Someone correct me if I’m wrong but close to 2 dozen countries will be competing for FRC Champ. Gold, FTC Champ. Gold and FLL Champ. Gold.

Breathtaking is hardly the word to describe it. I guarantee that if there’s an event you will leave crying from this will be it… Many new friends formed, many new things learned, many new experiences in general and 3 days is not even enough to really take in all of it. All you can do is try =). The saddest part for me isn’t packing the field back up but the wrap party which always symbolizes a year well done in every aspect.

You will truly have a good time and no matter how prepared we try and make you, you will still pass out b/c it’s unbelieavable. As a volunteer we have 1-2 days to set it all up and 3 days to put on one of the most unforgettable shows for all Championship Event Attendees. The only reward we accept is a smile on each and every attendees face =].

What too bring to champoinships:

  1. water
  2. water
  3. energy drink of your choice
    hydration is even more important here than at a regional, you’ll end up walking more than most marathon runners do in the weekend, be ready for it
  4. Money, so you can buy cool FIRST brand stuff at the store, i’m not sure who runs it but it’s really cool and from what I’ve seen it’s the only place to get non team FIRST clothing.
  5. Your post-high school aspirations, in between the pits and the dome there will be a maze of tables from all of the universitys that offer FIRST scholarships, take a stroll down the tables, find out who wants to give you money.
  6. really comfy shoes, for the aforementioned walking
  7. A camera is always good too.

Atlanta always manages to stand out in my memory every year. You will never forget the feeling you get as your cheering your head off along with 50,000 other FIRSTers all together in one stadium, crammed into seats all trying to get a good view of the final matches of the year on Einstein. This will be the event you will remember for the rest of you life, enjoy it.

15 days and counting

The company that runs the store has been Logo-Loc (if that has changed I do not know)… they park a trailer full of hot presses off one of the docks and press almost all of the logos for the fabric products on site.

I recommend not “putting off” going down there if you want to buy something… as they usually get backed-up on orders as the event goes on. [Which increases the chance of them loosing/not completing your order on site and you having to wait for it to be mailed to you.]

To be technical, the field border is up all three days. However, anything in the middle, other than carpet, typically is replaced by about 3-6 FLL tables Thursday and Friday, and then put in Saturday morning, if I remember the timeline I’ve seen in action.

Make sure you take time to walk through the FLL and FTC pits. It is truely a WORLD championship. In FLL you will see teams from all over the world and they bring all kinds of treats from their countries. They are just as excited to talk to you as you are to them. Some of the displays in the FTC pits last year were really impressive as well. Sometimes teams get so wrapped up in FRC that they forget about the other two competitions.

Convince your team to get a team pass to the conferences. You can send several different team members to different seminars. Parents can go to. You can learn all sorts of things there.