Final Pre-Event Email

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Final Pre-Event Email

We’re excited for another wonderful FIRST® Tech Challenge West Super-Regional Championship. This event is about team members, coaches, mentors, and volunteers coming together to create a tournament where everyone involved employs Gracious ProfessionalismTM and CoopertitionTM not as buzz words but in meaningful actions. Our actions in helping each other and our positive attitude that this is OUR event can be the tone we set for all future FTC Super Regional competitions.


  1. Event Communication
  2. Venue Updates
  3. Shipping Information
  4. Team Load-In
  5. Packing Checklist & What Not To Bring
  6. Team Check-In
  7. Overview of Friday (Judging/Inspections/Photo)
    1. List of Scheduling Blocks (morning/afternoon)
  8. Pit – General Information
  9. Gracious Professionalism
  10. Getting Your Robot Ready to Compete
  11. Ceremonies
  12. Team Socials


Please have at least one representative from your team sign up to receive text message and/or email updates during the event (and we encourage all participants and spectators to sign up!). We will be using this system only when we have information that needs to be pushed out to all teams.

  • Sign up here:
    • Or just send a text with the message “FTCWEST” to 84483



  • Canopies are allowed!! Thanks to Adrienne, event director extraordinaire, for following up with the venue and having this rule reversed.
  • Outside food is still not allowed. Teams can eat food from outside vendors outside of the building and/or in the parking garage (if it’s raining). Teams are encouraged to bring your own refillable water bottles to stay hydrated during the event (without needing to buy bottled water at the venue). Please note that the payment deadline for lunch boxes is today. The pre-order deadline for lunches has already passed. There are restaurants nearby within walking distance. The Grill inside the venue has a wide variety of items so that something should be available to cover the various exceptions we heard about – vegetarian and gluten free. Read more about food options here:



Just in! Teams can ship things directly to the venue. To do that, you must fill out an online form and follow the procedure listed there carefully. The venue charges to receive packages. It is $10.00/box, $50.00/pallet. FIRST Washington will pay the venue and then bill the individual teams for the shipping cost. The shipping does not have to be paid for before the event but FIRSTWA will ask that you do pay within 24 hrs of receiving an invoice from them.

  • Link to sign up:



Team load in is recommended from 4:00 – 6:00pm on Thursday the 8th, though we understand that some teams will be loading in on Friday. On Thursday, teams will be allowed to enter the pits for the purpose of bringing in and setting up their pit area only.  This is not intended to be time to work on the robot. Teams have two options to get to the pits.


  • Option 1: Use the Broadway entrance to the parking garage, and enter on the third floor. Take the elevator to the fifth floor pit area. Parking for this option is based on the daily rates for the parking garage. (There is also some street and other offsite parking available in downtown Tacoma)


  • Option 2 (recommended for buses): Off load at the loading dock off of Market Street – Fifth floor entrance. Volunteers will be stationed at the loading dock area to direct traffic. Vehicles will only be allowed to pull in and download onto the loading dock. Teams are responsible for securing their equipment and moving it into the building. Vehicles will depart the dock area once unloaded and move to other parking areas.



  • Team Roster (see Team Check-In section for details)
  • [Highly Recommended] Emergency contact / medical permission form for each student
  • Label all team equipment and belongings with your team number
  • Team Robot (that meets all rules as described on the ‘Robot Inspection Checklist) and all necessary equipment (batteries, sensors, etc)’
  • Safety Glasses – (must be worn by everyone entering the pit – visitors included!) Rose, blue, and amber tints are ok. Reflective lenses are not. Regular corrective vision glasses may be polycarbonate/plastic material with attached safety side shields or covered with safety goggles.
  • Close-toed shoes (must be worn by everyone entering the pit – visitors included!)
  • Spare fuses for external battery pack
  • [Recommended] Rolling cart to transport robot and other equipment
  • Written/Electronic Checklists
    • Pre-match robot check
    • Robot match setup
    • Post-match robot check
  • Engineering Notebook – to be turned in at your judging session
  • Control Award submission form (optional) – to be turned in at your judging session
  • Power strip to plug into outlet in your pit
  • Laptop computer with power cable, programming software, and programming cable (all labeled with your team number)
  • Simple hand tools for robot repair and modifications – review list from Robot Doctor!
  • Extra batteries for your robot (labeled with team #)
  • A backup of your programs on CD or memory stick
  • Extra TETRIXTM or MATRIXTM parts and expanded tool kit
  • Note paper and pencil/pen
  • Other recommended items
    • Things t promote FTC and your team
    • Recommended: Extra folding chairs/stool for your pit
    • Your plan to spread the owrd about FTC in your community
    • Camera to docuemtn your experience!
    • Trinkets to share with other teams (buttons, etc)
    • Pit decorations



Please note: FIRST is not responsible for lost or stolen items!

  • Routers or personal wifi, myfi, or internet hot spot equipment
  • Please don’t bring items of value (jewelry, video games, iPods, etc)




Check-in Times

  • 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Thursday – open to all teams
  • 9:00 AM Friday – Teams in the morning scheduling block (see attached list)
  • 10:30 AM Friday – Teams in the afternoon scheduling block (see attached list)


What teams need to bring:

  • One coach from your team (please just send one person!)
  • Your complete team roster
    • Rosters can be printed from your firstinspires
    • If roster is blank or not fully correct, write in all coach/mentor and team member names
    • For any coach or mentor names added to printed roster, please bring signed FIRST Consent and Release Forms
    • For any team members added to the printer roster, please bring a filled out and signed Youth Team Member from:
    • You are welcome to strike through any names listed on your roster for anyone not attending the West Super-Regional


What teams will receive:

  • Program Book
  • Detailed schedule with judging/inspection/photo times
  • Drivers & Coach buttons (team specific – do not lose these!!)
    • We recommend you find a safe place to keep these in your pit. Do not bring them to your hotel at the end of the day!
    • Pins should be worn on the front of your shirt near the left shoulder so referees, judges, and queuers can see it. Only members with visible buttons will have access to the playing fields.



Pits Open @ 8:00 AM (we will not let you in early! Please have safety glasses on when entering the pits)

Judging (first session at 10 AM)

  • Structure: Teams will have 20-minute interviews with the Judges.
    • A formal prepared presentation is not required
    • Recommendation from our Judge Advisors: Team presentations should be 5-10 minutes (no more than 10 minutes)
  • Engineering notebooks and control award submissions should be handed in at your judging session.
  • Please wait at your pit for your judging session. Teams will be escorted to judging session by queuers from your pits. Please wait at your pit table for your judging session 15-minutes prior to your scheduled start. The queuer will be there 5-15 minutes before your session. If they are late, it means that judging is running late.


Team Photos

  • Thanks to Richard Hetzler for taking photos again and making them available to teams for free!
  • Team photo times are scheduled. Please show up at the photo booth at your scheduled time. We will have volunteers to keep a list of who is present and keep the line moving.



  • Teams should report directly to the inspection tables at your scheduled time.
  • Be sure to bring your pre-filled inspection sheet
  • Any team not passing inspection by 4:30 on Friday will not be included in match play.


Driver’s Meeting

  • Please wear your buttons.
  • Only one coach and two drivers per team can attend
  • If available, one match list per team will be handed out at this meeting (if match lists are not available by the driver’s meeting, they will be handed out at pit admin as soon as they are ready. A text will be sent regarding distribution.)



  • Allotted area for each pit is 10’x10’x10’. You will provided with work space and electrical access.
    • Pit decorations must fit within your allotted area and not spill into your neighbor’s pit space, or into the walkways
  • 2 chairs and 1 96”x30” table will be supplied and can be configured in any way your team desires
  • Teams should have a representative in their pit at all times (other than opening, closing, and alliance ceremonies)
  • Please do not pack up your pit area prior to 3:00 PM on Sunday
  • Do not hang anything on any wall.
  • No amplified music.
  • Aisles must be clear for robot movement, safety, and queueing reasons. We recommend that team members watch matches and cheer on teams instead of overflowing pit stations into the aisles.
  • No advance placement requests or pit locations switches will be considered.
  • PRACTICE FIELDS: We will have 3 practice fields set up in the pit. Please take turns responsibly and use your gracious professionalism when using the fields.
  • Lost & Found items should be turned into Pit Admin
  • Pit Schedule: Please be respectful of volunteers by observing the opening and closing time of the pits each day.
    • Thursday, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Load-in and set up only. No robot work allowed at this time.
    • Friday, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    • Saturday, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    • Sunday, 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM (please do not clean up before 3:00 PM)



A FIRST core value is to remember to treat your fellow team members, competing teams, and tournament volunteers with respect and Gracious Professionalism (GP). Remember, GP doesn’t only involved behavior on the playing field or in the pit. It can (and should) happen anywhere!



  • USB cables are secure on your robot and driver station devices.
  • For ZTE speed phones: The FC Wi-FI Direct Channel Changing App is installed on the Robot Controller
  • Robot is not connected to any local networks
  • The Robot Controller is set to airplane mode, and Bluetooth is turned off
  • The FTC controller app is the default application, the application launches and no other messages pop up
  • Robot Controller Android device is named with the official Team number followed by –RC / Driver station android device named with official Team number followed by -DS



Everyone is expected to attend the opening, closing, and alliance selection ceremonies. No team members, mentors, or spectators will be allowed to remain in the pits during these times.



  • Party on Friday from 7:00 – 10:00 PM
    • @ LeMay Car Museum @$10/person buy tickets (vs $15/person at door)
  • Game Night on Saturday from 7:30 – 10:00 PM @ the Conference Center
    • Bring-Your-Own Game in Ballroom A
    • Nerf-Zone in Ballroom B (remember to bring your safety glasses)
  • Relax @ Team lounge in 3rd floor


Safe travels & we’ll see you in Tacoma!