Why no water game?

A question we’ve asked time and time again. You know the answer. But why? Obviously FIRST is concerned about mixing robots and water.

But would FIRST be open to having a water THEMED game? I’ve searched and searched to figure out if they would allow that for the Game Design Challenge this year. And there seems to be no answer. Maybe I missed something? A tiny policy on some agreement some year that said no water themed games ever?

I need answers!


There was an FLL game recently called Hydro Dynamics, so I don’t think it’s entirely out the window.


there are water games…you just have to look outside FIRST


Also, 1993 had water on the field.

In some of the game pieces…

On top of that, there’s documented cases of robots (way back when) going through standing water to play. So it’s doable… but don’t tell the gym coaches that, they’ll not respond well.


One year, at EPCOT, it rained so hard that the Pit tent had as much as 4" of water on the entire floor.
Does that count? :grinning:


I think they’re not so much concerned with mixing robots and water, although that could result in problems.

Rather, they are concerned with mixing water and event floors.

Lunacy (2009) had a reference to water (as ice) in the game hints. And they had to use water sprayers to reduce the static electricity buildups.


Steam Works had water imagery; people are never satisfied. Some teams can’t finish a non-water game build. Can’t imagine even if you could have a submarine collegiate race setup, how many would not be anywhere close to ready .

First going to scuba certify kids?

Can you provide a link to this?

EDIT: Upon reading this again I feel like this is being posed as a question. If so, ignore what I just said above lol.

There are some scuba folks that help run the game. The contestants don’t need to get wet.

Lots of fun. Give it a try.

And yes, it’s difficult, and some robots don’t get finished, and some just don’t work. Which is pretty common among robotics competitions.


A water themed game seems like a great idea! It has the potential to have a strong backstory too


Like @GaryVoshol said: it’s not about the robot, it’s about the venue.

The bar to entry in a water is higher than current FRC, so as an organization we will have fewer basically-functional teams (something we should want to avoid). That challenge pales in comparison to the logistical challenge.

Picture this: you’re a HS super/principle. An outside organization asks you to host a competition. You need a pool or a floor capable of sustaining the load of a pool. If there is a mistake made by the volunteer assembling a pool thousands of gallons of water will get dumped into your building. If you already have a pool and robot goes pop underwater and battery chemicals/oils/whatever gets into the water you need to change it. Filling, or changing, pool water usually means trucking in thousands of gallons of water, you can’t just flip on a tap and wait.

All of the participating teams need a pool of their own to test in, which brings along all of the same challenges as a venue, only each team is responsible for their own. This might be fine for the southern states, on the other hand I’d be pissed if I had to go out onto the lake a hack a hole in the ice to test a robot.


somebody PLEASE designs a water game and wins that award


Many years ago at Atlanta CMP, when Bill Miller was FRC chief and FIRST started a new ‘transparency’ kick, one member of the GDC said "For next year we are in the process of designing a water (bottle) game. It’s on video somewhere, but I couldn’t find it. But “bottle” was sotto voce, and it momentarily induced a collective gasp in the audience.

Years later, when they were doing live kickoffs still, I ribbed Frank Merrick to start by saying something like “Welcome to the 2010 season and this years game, ‘Water Game’”. Wait for the worldwide gasp, then “Ahh, just kidding. The game is called xxxx”. He didn’t do it though…


Probably not what was intended by “water game” (and yes, that’s the 2010 field pictured).


This is like going to the beach but you cant go swimming at all. >.<

FIRST Global Challenge loves water-themed games:

2017: H2O Flow

2019: Ocean Opportunities

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Now there is flex tape on firstchoice which is waterproof, so why not FIRST?