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FTC Florida News for Teams - August 23, 2013

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FTC Florida News for Teams - August 23, 2013

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:57 am

Hello Teams,

As always, please share this email with everyone on your team.

Topics in this email include:

1. Season Kickoff Celebration
2. Grant Opportunities
3. FIRST Registration
4. What's New in Florida for the 2013-2014 Season

1. Season Kickoff Celebration
The Florida FTC Season Kickoff celebration is on Saturday, September 7th at Middleton High School in Tampa. The kickoff event will include six workshops, the game reveal, time to explore a competition ready playing field, plus a game and season Q&A session. The detailed schedule is as follows:

10:00 a.m. - Doors Open To Teams
10:30 a.m. - Workshop #1: "Why do Robots Stop Operating on the Competition Field" by Hans Wolf
10:30 a.m. - Workshop #2: "FTC Awards and How to Win Them" by Steve Willingham
11:15 a.m. - Workshop #3: "Know Yourself, Know Your Opponent: SunTzu and the Art of FTC Strategy and Scouting" by Paul Bresnan
11:15 a.m. - Workshop #4: "THINK ABOUT IT, The Engineering Notebook Workshop, 2013-14 Notebook Changes and Judging Tips" by Dan Kinzer
12:00 p.m. - Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. - Workshop #5: "Mechanical Design" by Bob Howard
1:00 p.m. - Workshop #6: "The Hitchhiker's Guide to FTC Fundraising: Don't Panic!" by Arun Khatri
1:45 p.m. - Game Reveal
2:30 p.m. - Game and Season Q&A Session
3:00 p.m. - Kickoff Ends

The odd numbered workshops, game reveal, and Q&A session will be held in the auditorium. The even numbered workshops will be held in a large classroom.

Teams may purchase lunch from the Middleton High School Robotics Club.

Teams that register to attend kickoff will receive a sample game element to jump-start their robot design efforts. Rookie teams will also receive one copy of the book: "FTC Robotics: Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Secrets." Instructions for registering for kickoff will be provided in the next Florida FTC team email blast.

2. Grant Opportunities
All rookie teams in North America receive an automatic $500 grant from FIRST that covers the $275 registration fee plus $225 towards the purchase price of the robot kit-of-parts. Information about the grant is located here:

Rockwell Collins is a wonderful partner of the FTC program and they are providing financial support to the Florida FTC program again this season! We haven't worked out the details; however, I expect that the grant will support rookie and veteran teams. Feel free to go ahead and register your team with FIRST and pay your team registration fee. This year, the Florida FTC Affiliate Partner, Geared 2 Learn, is managing the grant. Grant awards will be paid directly to the team's sponsor organization. Paying the team registration fee to FIRST will not disqualify a team from being eligible to receive a grant as it did for the past few seasons.

3. FIRST Registration
Please register your team with FIRST as soon as you are certain you are fielding a team. Leagues need to know their teams so that they can finalize plans for their practice days, meets, and league championship. It will be a big help to us if you are able to register your team with FIRST by August 28th. You don't have to pay your registration fee by August 28th, updating your information in the Team Information Management System (TIMS) is sufficient. The team registration start page is located here:

4. What's New in Florida for the 2013-2014 Season

First of all, there is a new game! - As always, we will have a brand new game to play this season. I have built the playing field and I wish that I could share some relevant information with you. Unfortunately, the best I can do is suggest that you read the past few FTC blog posts. They contain game hints along with a few red herrings.

Part 1 of the Game Manual is available now on the FIRST website ( Part 1of the Game Manual contains the new robot construction rules. Become a robot rule expert prior to kickoff so that you can concentrate on learning the game rules, developing a game strategy, and designing a robot as soon as the game is released.

Meet Tournament Format - The complete details for Meet Tournaments will be described in an upcoming update to the Team Guide to League Play. The key changes to Meets are:

- No formal judging of teams. Judges will be available to interact with teams and provide informal feedback that will help them prepare for judging at a League Championship.
- Engineering Notebooks will be formally judged and a Think Award will be presented to the team with the best notebook.
- Robot hardware and software inspection will be more formal than last season. Teams will be assigned hardware and software inspection appointment times with robot inspectors.
- At the conclusion of the qualification matches, we will hold Fast Finals. The top two ranked teams according to the scoring system will each select one partner team and play finals matches. The top ranked team is not allowed to select the second ranked team during alliance selection and teams that decline an invitation to join an alliance will not be allowed to join a different alliance if asked. The first alliance to win two matches will receive a Winning Alliance award. The second place alliance will receive a Finalist Alliance award.

Judgment Day - One or two leagues will pilot a new type of event called a Judgment Day. In place of formal, scheduled judging during their League Championship tournament, teams will attend a Judgment Day approximately one week prior to their League Championship. Teams will be assigned an arrival time, and over the course of just under an hour, teams will give a formal presentation to judges and demonstrate their robot to judges on a playing field. Teams are free to leave the event after their judge presentation and robot demonstration. Judgment Days will provide a relaxed environment where teams have quality time with judges and demonstrate their robot on a playing field under ideal conditions. Team performance at their Judgment Day will be combined with observations by judges during the League Championship to determine the winners of the standard FTC Judged Awards. Complete details will be available in a soon to be published update to the "Team Guide to Judging and Awards."

Team Created Video - A team created video will be judged and contribute 25% towards the team's state ranking that affects advancement to the Florida Championship. Last season, teams attending the Florida Championship had an opportunity to update this video and it contributed to judging at the tournament. This season, the team created video will not contribute to judging at the state championship.

Season Schedule - Florida's FTC season will be shortened from last season's schedule by approximately 4-weeks in order to give teams sufficient time between the Florida Championship and the South Super-Regional. Florida's League Play season schedule hasn't been finalized; however, we expect it to be something like the following:

Kickoff - September 7, 2013
Practice Events - October 2013
League Meet #1 - November 2013
League Meet #2 - December 2013
League Championship - No later than January 12, 2014
Florida Championship - Late January or early February 2014

To accommodate the shortened season, we reduced the minimum number of qualifying events (Meets and/or League Championships) that teams are required to attend from last season's 3-events to 2-events.

Awards at Meets - The following awards will be presented at Meet tournaments: Think Award, Winning Alliance, and Finalist Alliance.

Awards at League Championships - The following awards will be presented at League Championships. The new awards are in bold type: Inspire, Rockwell Collins Innovate, PTC Design, Connect, Motivate, Think, Control, Finalist Alliance, and Winning Alliance. Leagues have the option of also presenting the Promote, and Compass awards at their League Championship.

Awards at the Florida Championship - The following awards will be presented at the Florida Championship. The new awards are in bold type: Inspire, Rockwell Collins Innovate, PTC Design, Connect, Motivate, Think, Judges', Control, Promote, and Compass, Finalist Alliance, and Winning Alliance.

League Size - League Size will not be restricted this season. We don't expect to have any leagues larger than 20 teams. However, we can't accurately predict the number of teams in a region. It is unlikely, but a possibility that large leagues may only advance their top 20 teams to the League Championship. If this occurs, we will look for opportunities for teams to participate in a neighboring league's championship tournament if they have open capacity.

That's all for now.

Take care,

Michael Coleman
FTC Affiliate Partner for Florida

Join date : 2009-04-06

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