North Texas FTC Regional Championship

2019-02-23, Wylie East High School

The Regional FTC Championship for North Texas will be held on February 23, 2019, at Wylie East High School in Wylie, Texas. Forty-eight teams will be competing for awards and a chance to attend the FTC World Championship in Houston, Texas in April 2019.

Teams invited to the Regional Championship

(as of Dec 11, 2018)
5970 The Ambassadors, Bethesda Christian School, Fort Worth
6566 Circuit Breakers, Aledo High School, Aledo
6832 Iron Reign, School of Science and Engineering, Dallas
7172 Technical Difficulties, Technical Difficulties, Plano
8114 Fighting Farmers, Lewisville High School, Lewisville
9010 Robotic Rangers, Prince of Peace Christian School, Carrollton
9045 Motorhead, Greenhill School, Addison
11366 The Smarty Party, Hendrick Middle School, Plano
12503 POPBOTICS!, Prince of Peace Christian School, Plano
12977 Rust In Peace, Plano West Senior High School, Plano
13472 The Dork Side, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Fort Worth
14786 Desert Camels, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound

Quick notes

– REMEMBER: Gracious Professionalism (remind your teams!)
– REQUIRED: Arrange payment of team’s registration fees
– REQUIRED: Remember your team roster, consent/release forms for additional members
– REQUIRED: Bring safety glasses for everyone in pit areas and competition area
– REQUIRED: Engineering notebook
– REQUIRED: Robot (and batteries, controllers, etc.)
– RECOMMENDED: Self-inspect robots prior to Saturday (see forms)

Tournament notes

Overall, keep in mind that this is a championship-level tournament which means that teams will be performing at a higher-level throughout the day and potentially at a faster pace than qualifying tournaments. We expect teams to know where they should be and when, to proactively and promptly appear for judging, robot inspection, and matches so as to keep things moving smoothly, and to exhibit Gracious Professionalism throughout the entire event with other teams, volunteers, event officials, and spectators.

Our previous message to teams contained specific notes regarding robots and inspection — be sure to review and address any issues prior to arriving on Saturday. We never like to have a robot fail inspection, but the size and time constraints of this event means we may not have as much flexibility to “hold” inspections open as is sometimes done at earlier-season events.

With respect to judging, we encourage all teams to re-review the Award Descriptions in Game Manual Part I, section 10 — especially those bolded sections regarding the required elements of the Engineering Notebook (section 10.2.4). Judges will be following these requirements closely, and will be looking for clear examples of Engineering Design Process via the Notebook.

Also, a note for veteran teams: Note that the distinctions between Connect and Motivate are now better delineated than in previous seasons. Some activities that teams have previously identified as applying towards the Connect Award are now more closely aligned with the Motivate Award. The judges have also asked us to advise teams with multi-year or multi-team coordinated efforts to clearly differentiate the work of this year’s team from past team efforts or those of partner teams.

For robot and field inspection, robot inspection is likely to be more rigorous than what you may have experienced at a qualifier. Robots that are unable to pass inspection by the end of the inspection period will be unable to participate in qualification matches. And the fact that an inspector passed (or overlooked) a robot at a previous event doesn’t mean it will pass at the Championship.

 

Events with 3 advancing teams

Last updated: 2019.12.07

An event with only three advancing teams can arise with from small events.  It’s tempting to look at advancements in terms of percentages (3 teams from a 15-team event is a 20% advancement rate), but that masks the reality of what happens at a 3-team advancing event.

The 3-team advancement outcome

As in another article I wrote a couple of years ago, this analysis is based on the official FTC advancement criteria as given in Game Manual Part I. An FTC event with a 3-team advancement ends up looking like:

* The Inspire Award Winner, Inspire Award 2nd place, and Winning Alliance Captain all advance.

* The Winning Alliance 1st team selected advances only if the Winning Alliance Captain also receives Inspire 1st or Inspire 2nd. It happens, but it’s by no means certain.

* The Inspire 3rd team advances only if both of the Winning Alliance teams received Inspire 1st and Inspire 2nd. Count your lucky stars if this ends up being you.

* None of the other awards advance.

Yes, a 3-advancing team event means that a team can be on the Winning Alliance — even undefeated through all matches — and still not advance.

Impact on Alliance Selection

An event where only three teams advance can have a very definite impact on Alliance Selection.

If your team is in line to be an Alliance Captain (i.e., it is one of the top four ranked teams), and a higher-ranked team asks you to join their alliance, you may very well want to consider declining the invitation so you can become the captain of your own alliance.

If you accept the other team’s invitation and they don’t win Inspire 1st or Inspire 2nd, then you don’t advance even if your alliance ends up winning the tournament.

If you think by declining and forming your own alliance you may beat whatever alliances they and other higher-ranked teams come up with (remember, they all get to pick before you do), then being (Winning) Alliance Captain means you get to advance.

If you’re not in line to be an Alliance Captain when Alliance Selection rolls around, then your only path to advancement is to win the Inspire Award or Inspire 2nd place, or lobby/hope to end up on the Winning Alliance with an Alliance Captain that does win one of those awards.

The bottom line

Advancement opportunities are extremely limited in an event advancing only three teams.  At first glance advancing 3 teams from a 10-team event may seem better “percentage-wise” (30%), but a 20-team event advancing 5 teams (25%) or even just 4 teams (20%) has many many more opportunities for advancement.

Volunteers wanted for FTC 2018 events

We are always looking for volunteers for FIRST Tech Challenge events in the North Texas Region.  Volunteers can take a variety of roles, including Judges, Referees, Score Trackers, Inspectors, Hospitality, and more.

Judges select team award recipients through interaction with teams. Documentation regarding team background information is provided to familiarize judges with teams. • Interview and observe teams in the judging rooms, the pit, and on the playing field.  Judging is generally an all-day commitment; the morning is spent interviewing teams and after that the judges deliberate and visit individually with teams to determine event winners.

Robot Inspectors and Field Inspectors are responsible to ensure every robot follows the guidelines outlined in FIRST Tech Challenge Game Manual Part 1 and are ready to compete on the field. The inspection process involves filling out a checklist for every robot and placing a label or other unique tag on the robot after it passes inspection.   Inspections generally take place in the early morning and are finished before matches begin (usually around 10:30am), which means that Inspectors can also volunteer to be Referees or Score Trackers.

Referees observe team matches, identifies rule violations, and “call” them. Referees help the competitors to avoid breaking the rules of the Game. Referees participate in deliberations regarding contested calls, working directly through the Head Referee.  Referees are needed when matches start (usually around 10:30am) and for the remainder of the event.  Referees can also volunteer as Inspectors.

There are many more roles available, including Announcers, Queuers, Runners, Registration / Checkin, Hospitalit, and more.

To volunteer at a North Texas FTC event, see the guide at https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/volunteer/volunteer-registration-step-by-step-guide.pdf .  Essentially the steps are to create a FIRST account at https://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer/event-volunteers.

For convenience, you can directly apply for an event by following one of the links below

 

 

 

FCA FLL INTO ORBIT Robot Games Scrimmage

November 3 @ 12:00pm - 5:00pm, Fellowship Christian Academy

FCA will be hosting an FLL INTO ORBIT Robot Games scrimmage on Saturday, November 3rd. A maximum of 20 teams will be allowed to participate in the scrimmage. Sign-up for the scrimmage is first-come, first served.  Admission is free and non-participating teams and other spectators are welcome to come and watch as well.

Visit the FCA Robotics website for more details.

FTC Qualifier pre-registration opens

September 28 @ 11:00am

Pre-registration for North Texas FTC Qualifying Tournaments will open on September 28 at 11:00am CDT.  When pre-registration opens, teams will be able to fill out an online form to indicate their preferences for qualifier events in the season.  Completing the form does not register a team for any events, it simply establishes a team’s priority claim for available event slots.  No payment for event fees is needed for pre-registration, and events will be generally assigned to teams based on the order of form responses and availability of preferred event slots.

Even though teams are not required to pay event registration fees to pre-register, teams are required to pay their $275 national registration fee with FIRST (via the firstinspires.org Dashboard) before being assigned an event.  This national registration is separate from tournament entry fees; for 2018-2019 we expect qualifier tournament fees to again be $175 per team per event.  (Teams that have received a Texas Workforce Commission grant from FIRST in Texas will be assumed to have paid their national fees, even if the funding hasn’t officially been sent yet.)

January/February Qualifiers:  In order to provide all teams with an opportunity to compete in a January or February event, pre-registration will give each team a reservation for ONE qualifier taking place after January 1st based on their preferences.  In mid-December we will then open up waitlists and registrations for any events with unclaimed registration spots.

November/December Qualifiers:  Teams that wish to compete at a November or December event can also use the pre-registration form to indicate their preferences.  Teams have the option to choose a second Nov/Dec event instead of a Jan/Feb one.

As event assignments are made the team contacts will receive “reservation tickets” for their assigned events; the reservation tickets will contain instructions about completing registration and payment options for the events.  Unclaimed reservations will expire a few weeks prior to the event date and the spots released to other teams on waitlists or that request additional events.

Teams intending to compete in a league (Waco or El Dorado) should contact the League Coordinator for registration details, or email Patrick Michaud at patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu.

 

FTC 2018 Qualifying Tournaments Information

Note:  This information is for FIRST TECH Challenge (FTC) teams in North Texas.  FIRST LEGO League teams should get qualifier information from the Perot Museum FLL website .

Event preregistration has closed.  We are now allowing teams to waitlist for any event spots that become available.

2018 Qualifying Tournaments

Qualifier Event Waitlist

If you would like to get additional events for your team (or if your team hasn’t received any events yet), you can fill out the form at http://roboplex.org/ftc/waitlist to request to be added to waitlists for remaining events.

As the season progresses, we will periodically re-evaluate team cancellations, changes in registration status, and event capacities to see if additional competition spots are available for teams.  Any available competition spots will generally be given to teams according to the following priority:

  1. Teams without any events
  2. League teams wanting a “second chance” qualifier
  3. Teams having only one event
  4. Teams having two events
  5. All other teams

Within each priority group, any available spots will be allocated by lottery.

In general, teams getting an event invitation from the waitlist will need to either accept the invitation quickly (usually within a 2-3 days) or we will pass the invitation on to the next team.  We will make our best effort to notify teams as soon as possible that an event spot has opened up, but sometimes spots open up at the “last minute” and so you may receive an invitation to an event on short notice.  If you get a event invitation from the waitlist and end up declining it, your team will still be considered for available spots at other events.

Current published registration stats:

Qualifier Event Pre-registration and Registration

Pre-registration for North Texas FTC Qualifying Tournaments will open on September 28 at 11:00am CDT.  When pre-registration opens, teams will be able to fill out an online form to indicate their preferences for qualifier events in the season.  Completing the form does not register a team for any events, it simply establishes a team’s priority claim for available event slots.  No payment for event fees is needed for pre-registration, and events will be generally assigned to teams based on the order of form responses and availability of preferred event slots.

Even though teams are not required to pay event registration fees to pre-register, teams must pay their $275 national registration fee with FIRST (via the firstinspires.org Dashboard) before they will be assigned an event.  The national registration cost is separate from tournament entry fees; for 2018-2019 we expect qualifier tournament fees to again be $175 per team per event. (Teams that have received a Texas Workforce Commission grant from FIRST in Texas will be assumed to have paid their national fees, even if the funding hasn’t officially been sent yet.)

January/February Qualifiers:  In order to provide all teams with an opportunity to compete in a January or February event, pre-registration will give each team a reservation for ONE qualifier taking place after January 1st based on their preferences.  In December we will then open up waitlists and registrations for any events with unclaimed registration spots.

November/December Qualifiers:  Teams that wish to compete at a November or December event can also use the pre-registration form to indicate their preferences.  Teams have the option to choose a second Nov/Dec event instead of a Jan/Feb one.

As event assignments are made the team contacts will receive “reservation tickets” for their assigned events; the reservation tickets will contain instructions about completing registration and payment options for the events.  Unclaimed reservations will expire a few weeks prior to the event date and the spots released to other teams on waitlists or that request additional events.

Teams intending to compete in a league (Waco or El Dorado) should contact the League Coordinator for registration details, or email Patrick Michaud at patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu.

 

For more information about qualifier registration, contact patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu .

FTC Qualifier at Hedrick Middle School

2019-02-02, Hedrick Middle School

This is a North Texas FTC Qualifying Tournament scheduled for Hedrick Middle School in Lewisville, Texas.

To volunteer at this event, see https://my.firstinspires.org/Volunteers/Wizard/Search/2?EventId=39822 .

Teams can (pre)register or waitlist for this event at http://roboplex.org/ftc/registration .

Registered teams

(as of 2018-12-13)
5598 The PIT Crew, Parish Episcopal, Dallas
8514 BA GREEN: Robotonics, Bryan Adams Leadership Academy, Dallas
10526 BA WHITE: µicroBotixs, Bryan Adams Leadership Academy, Dallas
10573 Garza Robotics, Garza Early College HS, Dallas
11164 Disruptive Technologies, Spring Hill HS, Longview
11341 ViBoTs, Vines High School, Plano
12791 Junior Jags, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
12919 TechnoWarriors, , IRVING
13376 Cyberwolves, Robert M Shoemaker HS, Killeen
13644 Bobcat Robotics, Hallsville High School, Hallsville HS
14359 Disco Ducks, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
14523 Free of Charge, Plano West Senior High School, Plano
14694 Brook HilL Guard, The Brook Hill School, Bullard
14883 VORTEX, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
15048 JaguarFTC8, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
15524 Cardinalbots, John Paul II High School, Plano
15556 Gold Diggers, Forestwood Middle School, Flower Mound
15878 Braswell Engineering Robotics Team, Braswell HS, Aubrey Tx

FTC Ferris “Brickyard” Qualifier

2019-01-26, Ferris High School

This is a North Texas FTC Qualifying Tournament scheduled for Ferris, Texas on January 26, 2019.

To volunteer at this event, see https://my.firstinspires.org/Volunteers/Wizard/Search/2?EventId=39820 .

Teams can (pre)register or waitlist for this event at http://roboplex.org/ftc/registration .

Registered teams

(as of 2018-12-13)
8204 Mint++++, Wylie East HS, Wylie
8811 RoboBison Amistad, Sunset HS, Dallas
9256 RoboBison Esfuerzo, Sunset HS, Dallas
11629 Todoians, Robo Campus, Plano
14904 Bionicles AKA Lakehill Robotics, Lakehill Preparatory School, Dallas
15373 Iron Core, School of Science and Engineering, Dallas
15375 Iron Star, School of Science and Engineering, Dallas
15648 Wonder Pets, Alcuin School, Dallas

FTC Qualifier at Bethesda Christian School

2019-01-26, Bethesda Christian School

This is a North Texas FTC Qualifying Tournament scheduled for Bethesda Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas.

To volunteer at this event, see https://my.firstinspires.org/Volunteers/Wizard/Search/2?EventId=39820 .

Teams can (pre)register or waitlist for this event at http://roboplex.org/ftc/registration .

Registered teams

(as of 2018-12-13)
4705 Adamas Robotics, Diamond Hill Jarvis H.S, Fort Worth
6728 Frostbyte, Bill R. Johnson CTEC, Crowley
8242 Steerminatorz, North Side High School, Fort Worth
8346 LOROTECH Los Pericos, Polytechnic High School, Fort Worth
9054 Viridian, Greenhill School, Addison
9886 MESH, Homeschool, Hudson Oaks
11030 Metal Jackets, Arlington Heights High School, Fort Worth
12139 Mini Adamas, Diamond Hill Jarvis H.S, Fort Worth
12874 LOROTECH Puns N’ Rovers, Polytechnic High School, Fort Worth
13509 LOROTECH Takuaches, Polytechnic High School, Fort Worth
13537 RoboChargers – Lightning, Conrad HS, Dallas
13539 RoboChargers – Thunder, Conrad High School, Dallas
13552 RoboChargers – Terremoto, Conrad HS, Dallas
13662 Cougar Robotics, Western Hills High School, Fort Worth
13780 Steer Clear, North Side High School, Fort Worth
14242 Tarrant County 4-H, 4-H, Fort Worth
14307 Rock it on mars, Nelson Middle School, Frisco
14357 Jaguar FTC2, FMHS Tech CLub, Flower Mound
15414 IHS Voyagers, Independence High School, Frisco
15574 RoboChargers – Monsoon, Conrad High School, Dallas