FLL Update as of September 24, 2020

  1. FIRST has extended its season. FIRST Championships will be held in July and August 2021. Challenge Team registration will be open beyond October, and in BC we will hold events later than in previous years.
  2. All official events in BC will be planned as “remote” events. FIRST has developed a platform – the “Remote Event Hub” – for planning, scheduling and running such events.
  3. Should COVID restrictions be lifted, some events may be changed from “remote” to “part-remote”.
    • “Part-remote” events may mean that some teams participate remotely, and others participate in person.  Teams will have a choice of how they prefer to participate.
    • “Part-remote” events may also mean that part of the activities, for example the Challenge judging interview, is done remotely, but teams will have an in-person pit table.
  4. Participation at remote events: This will mirror participation at traditional events; new information will be upcoming sometime this month or the next.
  5. Event dates – FLL Challenge:
    • Depending on the number of registered teams we plan to hold up to three qualifying tournaments at the end of February and the beginning of March (Feb 20, Feb 27, March 6). We expect these tournaments to be held remotely.
    • The Championship tournament is planned for Saturday, April 10. Hopefully this can be held as an in-person event (most likely in the Victoria/Vancouver area). As mentioned above, teams which would rather not travel will be able to participate remotely.
    • We will schedule at least one remote scrimmage in January or early February.
    • Depending on provincial and local health regulations, locally organized in-person scrimmages may be possible as well.
    • FLL Challenge Jumpstart, a 3-hour event open to all but aimed especially at new teams and new team members, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17, from 1 to 4 pm online. More info is here: https://firstroboticsbc.org/event/first-lego-league-jumpstart-event/
  6. Event dates – FLL Explore:
    • Festivals are planned for Jan, Feb, Apr and June. The ones in January and February will most likely be held remotely.
  7. Event registration: The deadline for event registration will depend on the event dates. For FLL Challenge qualifying tournaments it will likely be in mid-January.
  8. International events:
    • In previous years, the FLL Challenge Champion advanced to an international event. This year COVID restrictions may mean that fewer teams can advance, and we don’t yet know if the BC champion will be among them.
    • The same restrictions may be in place for FLL Explore.
  9. FLL Challenge tournament changes: There will be one 30-min interview, covering the innovation project, robot design and core values. The interview room will probably NOT have an FLL competition table set up.
  10. Volunteers: All events and all teams need volunteers. FIRST has a description of just about all volunteer roles here: https://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer
  • Remote events:
    • For remote events all volunteers need to be at least 18 years old, and all have to complete their YPP screening and sign their consent forms in advance. There is no “walk-on” possibility for remote events.
    • On the plus side, volunteers in one area of BC can volunteer at an event held far away – no travel is involved!
  • Volunteer roles at events:
    • Reviewers for FLL Explore
    • Judges for FLL Challenge
    • Referees for FLL Challenge
    • Technical helpers (livestreaming / video editing etc.), especially for remote events
    • EmCees / narrators / commentators
    • Monitors for online chats
    • Bloggers, writers, announcers of events in media
    • Helpers at live events – registration, queuers, pit admin, etc.
  • Volunteer roles apart from events:
  • Volunteer training:
    • FIRST provides training for (almost) all volunteer roles. Judges and referees especially need to plan for 2-3 hours of (online) preparation for their roles.
    • Training can be done anytime.
  • Contacts for all volunteer roles: uleslie@firstpartners.org