What's the difference between FIRST and NYC FIRST?

FIRST is nonprofit organization based in New Hampshire that creates the FIRST LEGO League challenge every year. Groups can officially register as a FIRST LEGO League team and purchase season-specific equipment through FIRST. NYC FIRST is a separate nonprofit youth organization that supports local FIRST teams and focuses on improving STEM education across the city. NYC FIRST is the Program Delivery Organization of FIRST and teams can sign up for official competitions through NYC FIRST.

Outside of competitions, NYC FIRST also operates two STEM Centers and works with school districts and public libraries to implement FIRST programs.

Can I still use the EV3 in FIRST LEGO League?

Yes, EV3 is still legal in FIRST LEGO League. Rule 01 in the Robot Game Rulebook notes that you're only allowed to use one LEGO controller in your robot, but that controller can be from any LEGO kit. This includes Spike Prime, EV3, NXT, and RCX.

Can I still use the old EV3 programming language/software?

Yes, R02 in the Robot Game Rulebook allows you to "use any software that allows the robot to move autonomously (on its own), run only by programs that are loaded onto the controller or microSD card." You may use the older EV3 programming language (called EV3-G), but the old software no longer runs on updated Windows 10 and MacOS machines.

What should I bring to a competition?

Required materials - your robot and all of its attachments, spare batteries or a charger, and all of your presentation materials.

Optional materials - Snacks, water, a laptop or tablet to fix your robot's code with, your own mat and missions (we can't guarantee that you'll have enough space to set up an entire field), anything festive that you want to bring to show team spirit.

We encourage you to wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes to your competition. Feel free to dress up if you'd like!

Is it possible to win an award without advancing to the semifinals/championship?

Yes, it is possible to win an award without winning either a Golden or Silver Ticket.

How do the new Core Value scores on the Robot Game Scoresheet work?

Teams can score a 2, 3, or 4 on their Core Values while they're at the Robot Game table this year. This score is given after every round by the referee that scored your Robot Game. By default, every team receives a 3. Referees are instructed to drop the score down to a 2 if they witness any behaviors that go against the FIRST Core Values. Behaviors that go above and beyond to show Core Values will raise your score to a 4. We expect to see lots of 4's this year since most teams are kind and courteous to our volunteer referees!

Can I bring a sheet of notes to the Robot Game table?

You can bring as many non-electronic items to the Robot Game table as you like, so long as you don't use or store them on the table itself. We encourage your team to bring a "cheat sheet" if it will help them perform better under pressure. Items such as rulers or spare LEGO pieces may be stored under the table during your match, but cannot be used on the table at any time.

The Robot Game score that my team received at our competition is not what we expected it to be. What should I do?

There are a couple of reasons why your score may be different than what you expected.

Referee error: At the end of every match, the referee will ask the team members to review the scoresheet and sign off on the scoresheet. This is the window of opportunity to catch any referee errors in scoring or rule enforcement. If your team sees any discrepancies, they can ask the referee to review the error or ask the Head Referee to make a call. Please note: the only people who can talk to referees and the Head Referee are the team members themselves. Coaches are not allowed to check the scoresheets for their team or interact with referees. Once team members sign off on their scoresheet, it cannot be changed.

Scorekeeper error: The scorekeeper is the volunteer who calculates scores from the referees' scoresheets. If your team suspects that a score was incorrectly calculated, please have one team member approach the scorekeeper to review their score.

Team error: If a team signed off on a scoresheet that was incorrectly filled in and does not catch the error in time, they will receive a score that's different than what they had expected. In order to keep the event running in a timely fashion, we do not allow scoresheets to be changed after a team signs off on it.

My team encountered a Robot Game rule that was different than what We thought it would be. What should I do?

There are a couple of reasons why the Robot Game rule is enforced differently than your team expected.

Referee error: If your team feels like the referee made a mistake, a team member should ask to speak to the Head Referee, who will review the issue and make a final call. Please note: the only people who can talk to referees and the Head Referee are the team members themselves. Coaches are not allowed to call the Head Referee or interact with the referee on their team's behalf.

Challenge Updates: Every year, the Challenge Updates will clarify the rules and how they apply to specific situations. It is possible that a call that your team thought would score one way is actually scored differently.

Team error: If your team missed a rule while reading the Rulebook, it will still be enforced as it is written in the document. There are rule interactions that may not be obvious from reading the Rulebook the first time and we encourage teams to review the rules together.

The Robot Game Table that my team is assigned to is not flat/tilted/damaged. What should I do?

While we try to keep our tables as level as possible, there are natural imperfections in the wood that we cannot prevent 100% of the time. We encourage you to find programming solutions to help overcome these variations and make your robot more reliable. Sensors are a great place to start!