FIRST Tech Challenge Louisiana 2018-19 Email #2

Louisiana FIRST Tech Challenge Coaches,

Welcome to our rookie teams!  I try to keep these broadcast messages posted online in a more-or-less timely way.

Topics in this message:

  1. Qualifier registration (deadline Oct 26)
  2. Qualifier tournament fees
  3. Volunteer registration
  4. Scrimmages
  5. Youth member registration at FIRST
  6. Dean’s List Award nominations
  7. Outreach!

If you see I made a mistake with the dates or links in this email, just let me know….

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Calendar:

26 Oct – Submit qualifier preference
27 Oct – Scrimmage hosted by Dark Matter
14 Nov – Tournament fees due
15 Nov – Dean’s List nominations due for the 01 Dec Qualifier
01 Dec – New Orleans Area Qualifier – Destrehan
15 Dec – Dean’s List nominations due for the 12 Jan Qualifier
12 Jan – Baton Rouge Area Qualifier – Baton Rouge
15 Jan – Dean’s List nominations due for the 02 Feb Qualifier
02 Feb – New Orleans/Northshore Area Qualifier
16 Mar – LA Regional Championship

– The February Qualifier venue is still TBD, but it will be in New Orleans or on the Northshore.

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  1. Qualifier registration

With 31+ teams registered right now, 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 26:

https://goo.gl/forms/45VixsMsRXHYKdwx1

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 20 teams to get everyone to two plays, but we will probably have to add spots to accommodate special needs (late rookies, long distance).

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  1. Qualifier tournament fees

Tournament fees are unchanged this year, at $200 to pay for two qualifier spots.  If somehow space opens to allow for 3rd plays, the third quals fee will be another $100.

We will email out invoices with a payment deadline of November 14.  This year we should have a PayPal option if you can’t mail a check, but we’ll ask teams who use it to cover the PayPal fee, so it will cost about $5 more (sorry).

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  1. Volunteer registration

We absolutely need volunteers to run the larger events we expect this year, especially judges and refs, so we are asking each team to provide one adult volunteer at each event they attend.  We need at least five refs and nine judges for a 20-team event.

Louisiana 2018-2019 events are now scheduled and posted on the FIRST website.  The volunteer registration is processed through a login at firstinspires.orgFIRST prepared a guide to the new volunteer registration process, and there is a copy here: http://bit.ly/2flDDqH.  You can apply to volunteer at events from your firstinspires.org 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).

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  1. Scrimmages
  • The Dark Matter Halloween Screammage is next week, October 27 in Slidell.   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.  Register here.
  • 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!

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  1. Youth member registration at FIRST

This is a reminder that team members need to have consent-and-release forms completed (by parents for minors) either electronically, or submitted on paper at each official event where the member participates (the Qualifiers, not the scrimmage).

FIRST has direction on the process here:

https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/youth-team-member-consent-and-release-form

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  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.  This deadline is imposed on the Dean’s List submission website, not locally.

  • December 1 Qualifier – deadline November 15
  • January 5 Qualifier – deadline December 15
  • February 2 Qualifier – deadline January 15

Note that a student will be interviewed only at a Qualifier where your team is competing.

For more information about the Dean’s List nomination, please review the Dean’s List Submission Guide on the FIRST website:

https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/ftc/dean’s-list-nomination-guide-us.pdf

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  1. Outreach!
  • 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!

Make sure you’ve updated your software versions and your Rev firmware as needed!

Clark Rowley
Louisiana FIRST Tech Challenge Partner Representative
985-285-8455
ftclouisiana@gmail.com

ftclouisiana.org