Greetings Florida FTC Teams, Volunteers, and Sponsors:

Please Read this update carefully and completely!

The following topics are covered in version #8 of the Florida FTC Newsletter:

1.            Important Game Manual Update – Changes to Autonomous to TeleOp Transition

2.            Finalizing State Championship Plans

3.            League Event Updates

4.            Balancing Stone – Sharp Edges (FIRST Repeat Announcement)

5.            Minimum Requirement Software Version Update (FIRST Repeat Announcement)

6.            FIRST Parody Contest  (FIRST Repeat Announcement)


Newsletter Details:

1.    Important Game Manual Update – Changes to Autonomous to TeleOp Transition – Game Manual Part 1 and Part 2 were updated on October 3, 2017 (  There is a very important update to Part 2 section 1.5.3 that I would like to bring to everyone’s attention.  The following text was added to the beginning of this section:“Directly following the end of the Autonomous Period, Drive Teams have five (5) seconds to pick up their Driver Stations. This is followed by a 3-2-1 countdown which signals the beginning of the two-minute Driver-Controlled Period.”

The scoring software will now automatically start the Driver-Controlled Period clock.  The implications of this rule change is that we will no longer be doing the wiggle test after autonomous, robots will no longer be placed back on their drive-train, and any entanglement issues will not be fixed. The referees and FTA’s will no longer be entering the field after the completion of the autonomous period. Driver must be prepared to pick-up their controllers immediately after the end of the autonomous period

2.    Finalizing State Championship Plans – We are hoping to finalize the date and location of the state championship in the coming weeks. We will then also announce how many teams will be attending the state championship from each league.  The current plan is that we will be using the number of teams that have completed the FIRST registration process by October 22, 2017 to determine the number of teams each league will be sending to the state championship.  Therefore, I encourage teams to complete the registration process as soon as possible to ensure your league gets the maximum number of invitations to the state championship.

3.    League Event Updates – Additional league events have been added to the web page. Events were added for the Tesla and OneClay league.  You can now register to attend these events by going to the following web page:  You will need your team passcode to complete the event registration process. The team passcode is emailed to the team coaches once you complete your FIRST team registration process. I encourage teams to visit the events page on a regular basis as I do expect additional events to be added in the coming weeks.

Volunteers – These events have also been added to VIMS and I encourage everyone to sign-up as a volunteer a soon as possible. Once you register as a volunteer, you will be given access to the appropriate volunteer training available on the Schoology website.

  1. Balancing Stone – Sharp Edges (FIRST Repeat Announcement) As robots interact with the Balancing Stones, there is a potential for the edges to wear, which can create sharp edges. This is a safety hazard for teams or volunteers when transporting the Balancing Stones. To help prevent this, we recommend using 2-inch gaffer tape to protect against robots damaging the edges and to protect anyone lifting/transporting the pieces. The Field Setup Guide will be updated to reflect this recommendation on October 11th. This will also be posted in our Official Game Q&A Forum..
  2. Minimum Requirement Software Version Update (FIRST Repeat Announcement) -- The minimally required software for the 2017-2018 season officially changed from 3.1 to 3.3 on October 3rd, 2017. This means that the Robot Controller app, Driver Station app, and the development tool used (Blocks Programming Tool, OnBot Java Programming Tool, Android Studio, App Inventor, or Java Native Interface & Android Native Development Kit) must be upgraded to at least version 3.3. Beta and release versions of the software above version 3.3 are allowed at official tournaments, but you are required to use at least version 3.3. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.
  3. FIRST Parody Contest  (FIRST Repeat Announcement) FIRST is holding our third annual FIRST Parody contest. Join the fun and submit a video by your FIRST Tech Challenge team! All are welcome to enter including teams, alumni, volunteers, mentors, and coaches! The deadline is November 1, 2017. Learn more about this contest here.

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Florida FTC Twitter page:   #FLFTCRocks

Florida FTC Forum:

FIRST Tech Challenge Blog:

Visit FIRST in Florida at for more information and resources about FIRST statewide.


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