Most teams are associated with high schools and follow the academic calendar, similar to a year-round sport with team meetings after school.
Although recruiting is open year-round, most teams focus recruiting efforts when school resumes after summer break. Team meetings typically start in the fall as occasional or weekly meetings. Business concepts, build practice and orientation occur at this time. Teams also work on award submissions.
The new game is released during a kickoff event in early January and teams begin to build in earnest. Teams meet multiple times weekly working on the robot build, programming, strategy and business plan. This period lasts about 10 weeks or until the team’s first regional competition.
The annual registration fee includes participation in one official regional competition. Teams can attend additional regional competitions ($4,000). Kansas City FIRST organizes three regional competitions to give all teams the opportunity to compete in their home region. Although many teams travel out of state to attend additional regionals, we encourage every team to compete in at least one local event. Local regionals occur in March and early April, with about six teams advancing from each to attend the FIRST Championship in Houston in late April.
Regional competitions in the FIRST Kansas City area provide a full tournament experience complete with the official FIRST field, Student Ambassadors, Scholarship and Sponsorship Row, opening and closing ceremonies, high-octane lights, professional DJ and more.
Teams also may participate in off-season events to strategize, hone their skills, learn new technology, meet other teams, and have fun! These unofficial competitions usually cost around $300 per team and do not include judges awards.