2018 Yellowjacket Blacklight Bug Zapper

April 28 @ 8:00am - 5:00pm, Ferris High School

Ferris High School Robotics (FTC 11242 / FTC 12645) and Ferris Junior High School Robotics (FTC 12650) would like to offer an off-season FTC
blacklight tournament on *Saturday, 28-April-2018* at Ferris High School for the Relic Recovery game.

The tournament will be capped at 24 teams and registration is $100/team.  Teams can register at the following:


Teams must register no later than Friday, 30-March-2018 and payment must be received by Friday, 13-April-2018. The registration costs cover food for all participants, cover other event expenses, and generate some fund-raising revenue for the hosting teams (FTC 11242, FTC 12645, & FTC 12650).

Teams will compete in fast-paced qualification rounds in the morning, followed by alliance selection, and then elimination rounds in the afternoon.

This will give FTC teams an additional chance to compete during the Relic Recovery season in a fun and exciting environment.

The entire tournament will be held in blacklight at Ferris High School – 1025 E. 8th Street, Ferris, TX, 75125.

North Texas FTC Robotics Championship, Feb 10, 2018 – sign up as a Volunteer!

We are currently looking for volunteers for the North Texas FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional Championship. The North Texas Regional Championship will be held on Saturday, February 10th at Wylie East High School in Wylie, Texas. Forty-eight of the top FTC teams in North Texas — around 1,000 participants — will be competing to determine the regional winners and advancing teams to the next level of FTC competition in March.

This is UT-Dallas’ first year as the Affiliate Partner for FIRST Tech Challenge in North Texas, and so we’re looking to make sure this event runs well. This will also be the largest FTC event ever held in North Texas, and for that we need lots of judges, referees, inspectors, queuers, and more in order to provide a successful experience for the teams and students. Don’t worry if you haven’t done this before or feel like you might not be qualified… FIRST Tech Challenge teams are evaluated for their communication, marketing, writing, planning, and teamwork skills just as much as engineering or scientific skills. Online training is provided for most roles so you can feel very prepared for the tasks when you arrive, and we have some top-notch advisors that will be leading you through the process. Short descriptions of the needed roles are below.

To volunteer for the event, please visit https://my.firstinspires.org/Volunteers/Wizard/Search/2?EventId=35315 and select the role(s) you would be willing to serve at the event. FIRST Tech Challenge is some of the “hardest fun you will ever have”!

Our primary need is for judges — there are a lot of teams to be judged in a short period of time. Judges will select team award recipients through interactions with teams; teams give presentations on the morning of the event, and then the remainder of the day is spent interviewing teams in their pit areas, on the field, and throughout the venue. Teams also supply an Engineering Notebook that judges will use to help determine the award winners. Judging is done in panels, so you’ll have others with you to make evaluations, and a set of criteria for each award and our highly-experienced Judge Advisor will facilitate the process.

Referees observe team matches to observe rule violations and “call” them. They may also keep track of which elements have been scored and record these items on scoresheets. It’s not necessary to learn all of the scoring aspects of the game — the scorekeeping software does that — referees and scorers simply count elements on the field at various points in the match and send those counts to the scorekeepers to be entered into the computer. There is online training to become a referee and a certification exam (which usually isn’t very hard). Refereeing also gives you “the best seats in the house” for watching the matches take place. 🙂 Referees can also volunteer as Inspectors (below).

Inspectors meet with teams in the morning to check robot designs for safety and compliance with build rules and restrictions. This involves going through a short checklist of items for each robot, informing teams of any infractions that will prevent the robot from competing or certifying the robots as being compliant with the game requirements. This role also has training materials and a short certification exam for the role. Inspectors can also volunteer as Referees (above).

We also need queuers (people to help manage traffic flow and get teams to their judging sessions and matches), announcers, runners, registration/checkin volunteers, and more.

Again, if you can volunteer for this event, please visit https://my.firstinspires.org/Volunteers/Wizard/Search/2?EventId=35315 and sign up for any roles you would like to have.

If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Michaud at <patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu>. Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.


Volunteers wanted for FTC 2017 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



3rd Annual Grapevine-Colleyville ISD FLL Scrimmage (FULL)

2017-11-04 @ 8:00am - 1:00pm, Grapevine Middle School
Registration for this event is full.


Announcing the 3rd Annual Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Scrimmage

November 4, 2017
Grapevine Middle School
Register here. ( Registration is full, but you may wish to contact the organizers anyway. )

The collective FLL Robotics Teams of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD are hosting a Scrimmage. You can begin reserving spots on October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am.  There will be slots open to 23 FLL Teams outside of the GCISD District teams and a total of 36 teams competing. Registration opens October 21, 2017 at 9 am and closes October 28, 2017 at 5 pm or when all 23 available slots are filled, whichever comes first.

Anyone, including teams and coaches who do not want to compete, but want to see how competitions work and what other teams are doing, is welcome to attend as well. If you would like to attend in this non-competitive capacity, please contact Nate Dunn directly for planning purposes. Additionally, if you have any other questions or concerns, or want to come and observe but not compete, please contact our Scrimmage Site Coordinator: Nate Dunn at nate.dunn@gcisd.net

This will be a Robot Games only Scrimmage– there will be no judging sessions for Project, Core Values, or Robot Design.

2017 FLYSET FLL Hydrodynamics Scrimmage

2017-11-19 @ 2:00pm - 5:45pm, QD Academy

FLYSET.org and affiliated FTC teams 12810 (QuantumX) and 8565 (TechnicBots) are hosting an FLL scrimmage for local FLL teams to test out their robots on playing fields and get hyped for the upcoming FLL qualifiers. The aim of this event is to give FLL teams a taste of what a competition is like and give them a chance to learn from other teams.

The scrimmage will consist of Robot Games only and each team will participate in a minimum of 3 matches. Due to resource limits, a maximum of 16 teams will be allowed to participate in the scrimmage. Sign-up is first come first serve.

Register at http://flyset.org/2017-fll-hydrodynamics-scrimmage/ .  Registration will open on Oct 31 at 9:00am.

Competition fields and mission models will be supplied. We greatly appreciate FLL team 31485 (Lego Maniacs) and FLL team 31452(Terminator) for providing the competition mission models. Teams CAN bring their own fields and/or models in their pit area in addition to their robot kits and their laptops, but space is very limited. One charging station will be setup to charge the robots and laptops (Not cellphones).

All teams should also bring printed team roster page to confirm team members’ online waiver status.


Light Concessions (soda, chips, candy, water etc.) will be available for purchase. Cash only. Please do not eat in the the gym.


2:00 – 2:30 Check-in and Setup in Pit Area

2:30 – 5:30 Robot Games

5:30 – 5:45 Wrap-Up and Pit Area Clean-up


FTC Clinic – Logistics (UME Prep)

2017-10-21 @ 10:00am - 2:00pm, UME Preparatory Academy
This event is intended for FTC mentors and teams.
Attention all FTC teams of North Texas! UME Preparatory Academy’s team 11097 Cyber Surge is hosting a Logistics Clinic on October 21, 2017, from 10am-2pm. Topics covered will include the Engineering Notebook, awards and how to get them, Outreach, and more!
Please RSVP and spread the word using the event flyer. Send any questions to ftc11097ume@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you!

North Texas FTC Regional Championship

February 10, Wylie East High School

The Regional FTC Championship for North Texas will be held on February 10, 2018, at Wylie East High School in Wylie, Texas. Forty-eight teams will be competing for awards and a chance to attend the FTC South Super Regional Championship on March 8-10 Athens, Georgia.

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)
– REQUESTED: Anyone have a practice field they can bring?

Practice field wanted

If anyone has an extra field they can bring on Saturday to be used as practice field, that would be a big help. (We have five fields already — four competition and one practice — but really want a sixth.) Drop me an email note if this can be you.

Alternatively, if anyone can bring a full field of game elements but can’t bring the border walls/tiles, let us know that and I can likely get a set of walls+tiles there to be used.

Event Overview


The teams have been divided into two divisions: “Ruby” and “Sapphire”. Each division contains 24 teams as generated by Dave Davis, our Associate FTC Affiliate Partner for North Texas. A list of team division assignments is here. Each division will run a 24-team tournament with 5 qualification rounds and elimination rounds to produce a Division Winning Alliance, just like at a normal qualifying tournament. The two Division Winning Alliances will then compete to determine the Championship Winning Alliance and Championship Finalist Alliances for the North Texas FTC Regional Championship.

All 48 teams will be competing for the same set of judged awards. Seven teams will advance from this championship to the South Super Regional FTC Championship being held March 8-10 in Athens, Georgia.

Location, parking, schedule

Wylie East High School is at 3000 Wylie East Drive in Wylie, Texas. Maps and parking directions are attached. Doors will open to teams around 7:30am, with judging and inspections starting as early as 8:15am.

When the team arrives, please have a coach or mentor representative come to the primary entrance and go to the team check-in table. All teams are required to bring a completed FIRST roster (available via the FIRST Dashboard) showing that all members have Consent/Release forms on file with FIRST. If there are any members without electronically filed release forms, be sure to bring a printed copy with you (also available via the Dashboard). Anyone not having the Consent/Release form will not be allowed to participate in the competition. At check-in your team representative will receive a packet containing any updates for the day and your team can proceed to one of the pit areas.

Each division will have its own pit-area gymnasium with a practice field. Remember that safety glasses are REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE in the pit areas. All teams can enter and load-in through the primary entrance to the athletics wing; we may also have side doors open for loading/unloading directly equipment into the pit area gyms. The parking map shows the side gymnasium entrances (and parking nearby to those entrances).

We will provide pizza lunch (mix of pepperoni, sausage, cheese pizzas) and bottled water for all teams and coaches. We also expect to have some concessions available for purchase as well. Food and drinks will not be allowed in the pit areas or competition gymnasium.

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.

Some specific issues we have observed throughout the season with respect to inspection include:

– Improper power switch (<RE01>). In particular, the power switch that is built-in to the Modern Robotics Core Power Distribution Module is *not* legal as a power switch in this season’s game and will not be accepted at the championship. The only switches permitted are those from TETRIX, MATRIX, or REV Robotics.
– Incorrect or mismatched software versions (<RS02> and <RS07>). The minimum required software version is 3.3, and the Driver Station and Robot Controller phones must be using the same version of the software.
– Improper Android Devices (<RS03>). The only allowed Android devices are those listed in <RS03>. We are likely to enforce this requirement more strictly, as the use of unapproved devices has been known to be a factor at previous events.
– Wi-Fi Direct Channel Changing App on ZTE Robot Controller phones (<RS09>).
– Improper or missing team numbers on the sides of robots (<RG05>). Team numbers must be 2.5″ high, at least 0.5″ stroke width, a contrasting color from their background, and visible from at least two opposite sides of the Robot.
– No Alliance Flag Holder (<RG04>). Alliance Flag holders must be mounted at the TOP of the robot and the flag clearly visible throughout the match — it cannot be buried inside the middle of the robot.

We highly recommend that teams self-evaluate using the official Robot Inspection and Field Inspection checklists available at the FIRST website before arriving at the competition.

After your FIRST events are done…

For those school teams that are a part of UIL, don’t forget that your season may continue even after this one! The top UIL-eligible teams from this event will be invited to compete at the Texas FTC UIL Robotics State Championship on May 18-19 in Austin. Save the dates.

And for those teams coming from private and parochial schools aligned with TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools), you may similarly be getting an invitation to the FTC TAPPS Championship scheduled for May 12 in Waco. Also save the dates.

So regardless of what happens this Saturday, keep in mind that there may be more statewide championship and off-season events coming up later this year!

Best of luck to everyone at the championship — we look forward to a great tournament!

FTC Qualifier at Williams HS

January 27, Williams High School

This is a North Texas FTC Qualifying Tournament scheduled for Williams High School in Plano, Texas.

Teams scheduled to attend as of 2018-01-17:

5598 The PIT Crew
6635 Panthers
6795 Panthers 3
7172 Technical Difficulties
8204 mint++; (incrimint)
8418 The League of Legendary Scientists
9608 Cyberpride
10914 Team Delta
11164 Electric Boogaloo
11339 Williams Warriors Robotics
11341 ViBoTs
11419 Jasper Jaguar Robotics
11425 Murphy Maverick Robotics
11472 Rice Ravenclaw
11594 FireCats
12061 Buccaneer Engineers
12106 iTRIED
12430 Raider Robotics
12900 Schim Robotics
12925 CowBots
12926 P@NTH∑R5 R0B0T1C5
12927 Dewese’z Reese’z Piece’z
12930 ScitoboRRobotics
12977 Rust in Peace
13213 Psi Fighters
13850 Raider Robotics 2
12688 Bass Noise
12690 Lost Cause
10573 Garza Robotics