FTC Season kick-off is only 2 ½ weeks from today and we do have a number of kick-off event scheduled throughout the state. I encourage all teams to attend an event as we will be giving away game scoring elements to the first teams that arrive at those events.  You can find out more about our kick-off event locations by visiting the following web page: http://ftc.flfirst.org/index.php/season/events

The following are the topics covered this Florida FTC newsletter:

1.                  Important 2019-20 Season Rule Changes

2.                  Registering for Events

3.                  Contribute to our Kick-off Event Workshops (Repeat)

 

Newsletter Details:

  • 2019-20 Season Rule Changes – Game Manual Part 1 was published on the FIRST website on July 10, 2019 and can be found on the following web page: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/game-and-season-info   I hope that everyone has taking the time to review Part 1 of the game manual as there are a number of very important rule changes.  The following are three important rule changes that I want to bring to everyone’s attention:
    • RG06 Alliance Marker – The rule on the bottom of page 28 highlights the fact that tournament hosts will no longer be providing the blue and red alliance flags that robots use during match play. It is now the team’s responsibility to provide a Red and Blue Alliance Marker. Please read the rule carefully to ensure your team created the correct alliance markers
    • Section 3.3, rule <T8> -- There is a new type of player that will be joining the drive team at the field.  A Human Player has been added to the drive team description this season and I am sure that we will learn more about the purpose for the Human Player when Part 2 of the Game Manual is published on September 7, 2019.
    • Section 4.8.1 Calculating Ranking – The scoring software provides a team ranking at each of our events and influences which teams become captains during the alliance matches at the league championship, state championship, and world championship.  The general approach to this ranking process has been relatively consistent over the last 13 years with just a few very minor changes to the calculation. However, the Ranking Point and now TieBreaker Points calculation has changes. Therefore, I encourage teams to review this section to better understand how team rankers are determined at events.

 

  • Register for Events – As described above, league and state wide events are published on the www.flfirst.org website and can be found on the following page: http://ftc.flfirst.org/index.php/season/events.  It is important that teams register to attend league and state events to help the event organizers prepare the venue for the number of teams that will be attending. If your team would like to attend an event, you must register for the event by going to the following web page: http://ftc.flfirst.org/index.php/season/event-registration. You will need a six digit passcode to register for events. Within a week of you completing your FIRST team registration process, you will receive an automated email from the first.flfirst.org website with your passcode. Please keep this email in safe place as you will use the same passcode throughout the 2019-20 season to register for events.  If you do not receive the passcode email, I suggest you first check through your SPAM folder and if you still not able to locate the email you can request the code by visiting the following web page: https://ftc.flfirst.org/Registration_System/resend_passcode.phpTeams, if you are planning to attend one of the kick-off events, please complete the event registration process to help organizers be properly prepared for the attendance. The first step in this process is to complete your FIRST team registration process.

 

 

  • Contribute to our Kick-off Event Workshops (Repeat) – There are lots of benefits to attending one of the Florida FTC kick-off events on September 7th that includes early access to a field and ability to meet and talk to other teams. If you are a veteran team that would be willing to conduct a training workshop, this can also give you a jumpstart on building out your engineering notebook by demonstrating your willingness to help other FTC teams.  Helping other FTC teams makes a good impression on our judges.  Teams that conduct a workshop at a kick-off event will also receive a $50 reduction on the league fee.  If your team is interested in conducting a 30 minute workshop at one of our kick-off events, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a summary of the topic you will cover and the kick-off event location you are able to attend.The goal for the Florida FTC kick-off workshops is to conduct hands-on training sessions on specific topics that can help either students/coaches that are new to FTC or event more experienced teams.  The workshops must be structured as a hands-on activity with a limited number of PowerPoint slides. The focus should be on practical help to the teams. The following are several example topic areas that would be good kick-off training workshops:
    • Understanding TeleOp programming – This would be a walk-thru of a teleop program and a demonstration with a working robot.
    • Understanding autonomous programming – This would be a walk-thru of an example autonomous program with a working robot.
    • How to use the OnBot Java development
    • Rookie teams and coaches – Understanding the FIRST and Florida team administration functions – register team members in TIMS, printing your roster for events, registering for events on the www.flfirst.org website, etc.
    • Understanding FTC Events – Review the event day and what teams should expect. How to prepare to attend an event.
    • Designing a Reliable Robot – Show examples of good robot design principles that reduce the chances of field failures.  Review good wiring procedures, how to mount your phone, etc.
    • How to use a linear slide – Explain and demonstrate an example of implementing a linear slide on an FTC robot.
    • Drive train best practices

 

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