FIRST Tech Challenge Louisiana 2017-18 Email #2

Louisiana FIRST Tech Challenge Coaches,

Welcome to our eight rookie teams!

Topics in this message:

  1. Qualifier registration (deadline Oct 13)
  2. Qualifier tournament fees
  3. Volunteer registration
  4. Scrimmages
  5. Youth member registration at FIRST
  6. Dean’s List Award nominations
  7. Outreach!


13 Oct – Submit qualifier preference

14 Oct – Scrimmage hosted by Dark Matter

15 Oct – Dean’s List nominations due for the 04 Nov Qualifier

31 Oct – Tournament fees due

04 Nov – New Orleans Area Qualifier
15 Nov – Dean’s List nominations due for the 09 Dec Qualifier

09 Dec – Baton Rouge Area Qualifier
15 Dec – Dean’s List nominations due for the 20 Jan Qualifier

20 Jan – Northshore Qualifier

03 Feb – LA Regional Championship

08 Mar – South Super Regional


  1. Qualifier registration

With 27 teams registered and three qualifiers, we expect to be able to offer two qualifier spots per team.  We’re asking teams to indicate their preference order for the qualifier events on this Google form by next Friday, October 13:

In brief: *If* Quals slots are a limited resource, we’ll assign them as fairly as we can.

Less brief and hopefully correct:  We will assign a random draw number to each team.  Qualifier spots will be filled with priority for geography for teams arranging long distance travel, then the draw order up to qualifier capacity – so teams may not get their first choice if there’s a lot of demand.  Then, teams will be placed a waitlist for the second qualifier spot in reverse order.  Schools with multiple teams will be placed together when their last number is up unless the coach says otherwise.

The target qualifier capacity is 16 teams to keep events a comfortable size, but we will probably have to add spots to accommodate special needs (late rookies, long distance).

  1. Qualifier tournament fees

Tournament fees are $200 to pay for two qualifier spots.  For teams that want a third play if space is available, the third quals fee will be $100.

We will email out invoices with a payment deadline of October 31.

  1. Volunteer registration

We absolutely need volunteers to run these events, especially judges and refs if the event gets large, so we are asking each team to recruit one adult volunteer for each event.

Louisiana 2017-2018 events are now scheduled and posted on the FIRST website.  The volunteer registration is now processed through a login at rather than the old VIMS site.  FIRST prepared a guide to the new volunteer registration process, and there is a copy here:  You can apply to volunteer at events from your account under Dashboard->Volunteer Registration->Event Volunteering by specifying FIRST Tech Challenge and Louisiana.

Some roles require an hour or two of training ahead of the event, and there are monthly calls for key volunteer roles to exchange info (Refs, Judges, Scorekeepers, FTAs).

  1. Scrimmages
  • There is a scrimmage scheduled for October 14 in Mandeville.  I will forward details when I get them.  I encourage rookie and veteran teams to attend even if they don’t have a working robot.  There will be lots of help available for build and programming work there.
  • If another team wants to host a scrimmage, even later in the season, we can lend a field perimeter and field set, and provide help (or at least advise) on anything else.  Let me know!

  1. Youth member registration at FIRST

This is a reminder that team members need to be on your team roster at FIRST to compete, and need to have consent-and-release forms completed (by parents for minors) either electronically, or submitted on paper at each event where the member participates.

The youth member registration system (formerly STIMS) has changed for this year.  FIRST has direction on the process here:

  1. Dean’s List Award nominations

In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding FIRST Tech Challenge students, the Kamen family sponsors an Award for selected top students known as the FIRST Dean’s List. Each FIRST Tech Challenge Team is invited to select up to two (2) students who are in the 10th or 11th grade (sophomores or juniors).

The deadline to make a submission is the 15th of the month prior to the event in which the student will be interviewed – the Qualifying Tournaments.

  • November 4 Qualifier – deadline October 15
  • December 9 Qualifier – deadline November 15
  • January 20 Qualifier – deadline December 15

Note that a student may be interviewed at a Qualifier even if the team is not competing – your semi-finalists may interview at any of the Qualifiers.

For more information about the Dean’s List nomination, please review the Dean’s List Submission Guide on the FIRST website:’s-list-submission-guide.pdf

  1. Outreach!
  • If your team is interested in demoing at some or all of the Girl Scouts of Louisiana East B.I.G. (Believe In Girls) Event from 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday October 21 at the University of New Orleans – please let me know this week.
  • If your team is participating in an outreach event, or you know of one, please let me know – together with the other FIRST programs we’re trying to gather data on our activity level in the state.  Thanks!

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