FTC League Play FAQ (2015-2016 season)

Last updated: 2015.10.28

Overview of this document

This page attempts to document what is known (and not known) about League Play and Qualifying Tournaments in the North Texas FTC Region for the 2015-2016 season.  This page is not an official document; the statements below are simply opinions and citations from various sources, and they do not represent official rulings from the regional organizers.  Where possible, we will attempt to link to or cite official sources for each of the answers below.

Patrick Michaud (Pm) is the primary maintainer for this page.  If you have further questions, suggestions, additions, corrections, or alterations for this page, please send them to pmichaud@pobox.com or post them to the NorthTexasFTC Google Group. (more…)

Portable FLL Table

In 2013 the Republic of Pi came up with a portable FLL table that is relatively lightweight, sturdy, and can be disassembled for transportation to other sites (e.g., for demonstrations).  The video below shows the table we created.  We hope to be publishing plans for building a table like this one soon — stay tuned.



FTC 2015 Season Kickoff

2015-09-19 @ 9:00am - 12:00pm, Fellowship Christian Academy

Slides from Kickoff Presentation

FTC  #7172 (“Technical Difficulties”) is hosting a Kickoff event on September 19th for the 2015-2016 FIRST Tech Challenge season. The purpose of the kickoff is to share details about the upcoming season, including game rules, league and qualifier play, the new Android Technology Platform, and more. At the Kickoff we will have an official FTC competition field (complete with game elements) and some example robots using the new technology platform. We intend for this event to also be an opportunity for teams to network, discuss game strategy, and share robot design ideas.

The Kickoff will be held 9:00a-12:00p at Fellowship Christian Academy, 1821 W. Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX 75232.

We will also have stations, equipment, and people on hand to help teams convert batteries and wires to use Anderson Powerpole connectors.  If you have any older batteries, charge them up and bring them with you, as we will also be providing “battery health checks”.  These are the same checks that are performed at the World Championship, they let teams know in advance which batteries are having difficulty supplying power or holding a charge.


UTD Clinic – CAD and 3D modeling for FTC with PTC Creo

2015-09-26 @ 1:00pm - 4:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

Clinic handouts: Handout 1 – PTC Creo assembliesHandout 2  – PTC Creo Parts and 3D-printing

This will be a three-hour clinic introducing the use of PTC Creo Parametric for FTC teams.  The first part of the clinic will focus on assemblies in PTC Creo using the TETRIX parts libraries.  The second part of the clinic will cover 3D modeling in Creo, leading up to designing custom parts and an intro to 3D printing.

Because of limited space, we’re asking teams to preregister for this event and to limit attendance to six people per team (coaches and/or team members).  If we determine more space will be available, we will send out an announcement to registered teams and update this page.

The event will be held in the Science Learning Center building, room SLC 1.102.  Attendees may park in any GREEN space on campus (see map), the closest GREEN parking is in Lot H.  We will also email parking permits for the parking garage (PS3, north of SLC) to people who preregister for the event.

To register for the event, send email to pmichaud@pobox.com with the following information:
1. Your name
2. Your team number and team name
3. How many people from your team will be attending
4. An email contact address, if different from the reply address

At the clinic we expect to have time for some “hands on” exercises, and we will have a few laptops available for registered teams to use to try out the exercises.  If you can, bring a USB flash drive with you to save copies of your work.

If you would like to bring your own computer, you’ll want the following done before the clinic starts:

  1. Install PTC Creo 3.0 — available from http://www.ptc.com/communities/academic-program/k12/students/first/software.
    1. Follow the “Download software” links to get to the product registration page.
    2. After registering for the software, click “Standard Standalone Install” in the Step 2 section to get the instructions for downloading and installing your copy of PTC Creo 3.0.
    3. Note that the size of the software download is 4 gigabytes.
  2. Download the FTC TETRIX “kit of parts” library — available from http://apps.ptc.com/schools/FIRST/FTC_TETRIX_KOP-2015.zip .  We will unzip this file as part of setting up the exercises.
  3. Have a three-button mouse or pointing device available — PTC Creo Parametric makes frequent use of the middle mouse button.  On many mouse models the scroll wheel is also a middle mouse button.

More details will be sent out to registered participants prior to the event.

FIRST Tech Challenge 2015-2016 season plan

(reprinted with permission)

From: Dr. Carter Tiernan
Subject: FIRST Tech Challenge 2015-2016 season plan
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 17:00:23 CDT

Dear coaches,

I hope your school year is starting off very well.  This message will give you an overview of the plan for the FIRST Tech Challenge season in North Texas including the structure, a few dates, and some future year plans as well.

As most of you know, US FIRST is moving the FTC competition structure from the previous format of qualifier competitions only to a format of league play.  We had hoped to start large-scale implementation of leagues this season.  However, there is a state-level effort in Texas that is expected to have a big impact on teams and participation in FTC starting this year and this effort has changed our planning regarding league implementation.

Therefore, for the 2015-2016 FTC season we in North Texas we will be using a blended format of both qualifiers and leagues.  As the default, we will be continuing to implement FTC with first level qualifier tournaments that will have space for all teams to compete in.  The Southwest Regional Championship at UT Arlington is scheduled for February 20, 2016.  The qualifier tournaments are expected to be held in December and January.  Dates and details will be given as they become available.  Teams that compete in qualifiers will advance from a qualifier tournament to the Southwest Regional Championship.


About Roboplex

Roboplex.org is dedicated to furthering competitive robotics, especially in the North Texas area.  The site is a collaborative workspace where robotics groups can share tips, events, guides, and other information.

If you would like to be a contributor to the site, register for an account and email us at roboplex@roboplex.org to ask for authorship and editing privileges.


2015 FTC Team Workshop for Android (Plano)

2015-08-29 @ 9:00am - 3:00pm, QD Academy

FLYSET.org and affiliated FTC team 8565 (TechnicBots) are hosting an FTC team workshop to help local FTC teams get acquainted with the new Android Technology platform and create an environment for FTC teams to share and learn. The workshop is going to be held on August 29, just in time before the next season Challenge to be released on September 12.

There will also be a station available in the afternoon where crimping tool and Anderson Connectors are provided for the teams to make their DC motor and legacy controller power wires compatible with Anderson connectors so they can be connected to the new motor controllers and power distribution module.

Sponsored by FIRST in Texas and the Texas Workforce Commission.

Slides from the workshop:






WebEx recordings (Both recordings missed the first few minutes of the sessions because of the late start on recording)

Morning Sessions

Afternoon Sessions