Team Checklist

Updated March 6, 2018

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Congratulations on your advancement to the 2017-2018 FIRST Tech Challenge South Super-Regional Championship!  We know that your team has been working very hard this season, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in Athens, Georgia.

There are several things each team should do in preparation for the event.  This page should be a helpful guide to make sure some of the most important items are taken care of.  Items are listed in the order they should be completed, and links are provided in the text where applicable.  If there is anything that doesn’t make sense or something that needs to be added, please let us know at info@ftcsouth.org.

Before Travelling to the South Super-Regional

  • Register your team for the event. All teams are registered!
  • Send in your event registration payment.  Instructions are provided on the invoice generated by the registration system.  Should you have any special requests for payments, please contact us at info@ftcsouth.org.  If you have a supporting organization covering your registration payment, follow any special instructions given to you by your Affiliate Partner.
  • Find a place to stay.  If you need any help with finding last-minute accommodations, please email Missy Brandt Wilson at the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau (missy@visitathensga.com).
  • Plan your travel.  Whether it be by plane, train, automobile, bus, or wagon train, you’ll need to get your team to the event.  If your robot will be flying with you, click here for a letter from Ken Johnson, Director of FIRST Tech Challenge, that you can attach to your robot package while it is travelling.
  • Design your Pit.  This year, pit sizes have been set at 10’ by 10’.  As you design your space, be aware of the space available.  If you desire to use a canopy tent, a quick internet search for “10’x10’ canopy tent” will show numerous options for tents that can be purchased at stores like Walmart and Target, as well as other locations. Pits cannot exceed 12’ in height at the South Super-Regional.  Be aware that the height restriction at World Championship was 10’ last year, and is likely to be the same.   If you plan to advance, it may be a good idea to design within the 10’ restriction.
  • Pack the Right Stuff.  Make sure to bring everything you will need…
    • Printed version of the Team Roster.
    • Completed FIRST Consent and Release Form for each student or coach/mentor who has not completed the consent forms electronically.
    • Engineering Notebook with your team number and team name on the cover (I can’t stress this enough. Notebooks have been disqualified without this info on the cover).  This will be given to the Judges during the Judging Interview.
    • Safety Glasses for each member of your group.  These are required in the pits and on the competition field.  No exceptions!  Tournament Rule <T15> will be strictly enforced.  It’s also a good idea to bring extras that you can loan to any visitors you may have in your pit.
    • Closed-Toe Shoes for each member of your group.  Sandals and flip-flops are not allowed per Tournament Rule <27>.
    • Power Strip. One outlet is provided per pit.  Please bring your own power strip for multiple outlets.
    • 25′ Extension Cord just in case the power strip isn’t exactly where you want it in the pit.
    • Robot (you’d be surprised that sometimes teams forget this).
  • Set up your shipments.  If you need to ship your robot, tools, or other items to the venue, you can set up that shipment to be received by The Classic Center on the Team Information page.  Make sure to pack your robot carefully so that it doesn’t get broken in shipment.
  • Purchase trailer and small bus parking.  For teams needing to store a trailer while in Athens, The Classic Center can provide all day and overnight parking during the event.  Click here to pre-purchase your towing vehicle & trailer parking for the duration of the event ($45 for 3 days).  The following vehicles may use this service:
    • One (1) towing vehicle with trailer,
    • one (1) Bus,
    • or one (1) RV.
  • Sign up for University and Company Tours.  This year, The University of Georgia College of Engineering and several local companies involved with the development and/or use of automation and smart devices have shown an interest in FIRST Tech Challenge in Athens, GA, and have graciously given their time to provide special tours to members of teams participating in the Championship.  This is their way of saying thank you for joining us in Athens, and a great way for you to show them what FIRST is all about.  Tours are FREE and are first-come, first-served. You can see what is still available and sign up for these early Thursday tours by clicking here.
  • Sign up and pay for the Team Social.  Get a group photo in the photo booth and hang out with new friends playing games in the gaming area.  Non-food option tickets are now available and are $5.50 each until we meet capacity.  Click here to get tickets for members of your team.
  • Complete the Team Attendance Survey.  We are collecting information about each team to help us better understand what and how they are partaking in the event.  Questions about the type of travel and accommodations, as well as team names and emergency numbers will be collected in this survey. Information in this survey will be kept private.  Click here to fill out yours!
  • Complete the Team Social Media Survey.  Additional info is being collected for our game announcers and emcees to use, including other social media outlets.  Much of this information will be made public.  Click here to complete this survey.
  • Invite VIPs to the Event.  If you have a dignitary that will be attending the South Super-Regional, such as a donor, school board member, a member of your city government, business leader, corporation, or similar, invite them to sign up for our VIP tour on Friday, March 9 (sorry, coaches and parents don’t qualify).  More details can be found on our VIP Tour page.
  • Sign up for your Load-In Time Slot.  This year, teams are asked to sign up for their desired Load-In time slot.  Details are given on our Team Schedules page. Make sure to sign up for times where your team will be available.  If there are any concerns with your selected time, please contact us at info@ftcsouth.org and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have.
  • Like our Facebook Page.  As information is updated on the website, we will post notices on our Facebook Page.
  • Like our Facebook Group.  This is a great place to ask questions and connect with other South Super-Regional teams, volunteers, and coaches.

Arrival in Athens

  • If you’ve signed up, Attend your University and Company Tours.  All tours will occur between 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM Thursday, March 8.  Attendees must provide their own transportation to and from the tour.  Addresses are provided on the sign up page.  Be sure to arrive 10-15 minutes before your tour start time.
  • Load-In your robot and equipment and set up your pit.  Because of limited space at the loading dock at the back of the venue, teams will be provided a time slot to load-in your robot and equipment.  Click here for the current load-in procedure describing what to expect.  If you have any special requests concerning load-in, please let us know at info@ftcsouth.org and we will do our best to accommodate your request.  Teams who don’t need the loading dock and plan to carry in their equipment by hand should arrive at their scheduled load-in time as we are limited on the number of people that can be in the venue during load-in.
  • Check-In Your Team.  While you’re dropping off your equipment during load-in, be sure to send one mentor to visit Pit Administration and check your team in.  This lets us know that you’ve arrived, and you’ll receive your team social, trailer parking pass (if purchased), and other important stuff.  You’ll need to submit:

Attending the Championship – Thursday

  • IMPORTANT HEALTH MESSAGE: Due to students attending the event with a sensitivity to strobe and flashing lights that may trigger possible seizures, we are asking all attendees to not use strobe or flashing lights for the duration of the event.  We ask that all name badges, signs, and other lighting elements be set to static, steady, slow changing, or off at all times.
  • Start the FUN!  Teams can wait in the hallway outside the Grand Hall until doors open at 2:00 PM Thursday.  Don’t be late!  Each team will be provided with an event schedule showing all judging and inspection times shown on the Team Schedule page.  If you have any special requests concerning the judging and inspection schedule, please let us know at info@ftcsouth.org and we will do our best to accommodate.
  • Attend your Judging Session.  All judging will occur on Thursday 2:30 PM – 7:00 PM.  Follow the signs and our team of Queuers to your judging session location.
    • Check In with the Queuing Team 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
    • Bring your Team and all Required Stuff.  Your team, Robot, Engineering Notebook (with team name and team number on the front), and Control Award Summary Sheet (if applying for the Control Award) should be in attendance.
    • Partake in the Interview. All interviews are 20 minutes long, which includes a 10 minute presentation period followed by a 10 minute Q&A session. One adult mentor may observe from behind the team. To minimize disruption, please no photography or video recording.
    • Give consideration to the other team Behind the Curtain.  Each judging area is separated from one other judging area by a curtain, so please be aware that sound travels.  When presenting to the judges, we ask that teams be sensitive to the noise level they are making when doing team cheers or doing anything that may be considered loud and disruptive to other teams while in the judging room.  There will be plenty of time to make it loud in the competition area on Friday and Saturday, which we fully expect you to do.
  • Get Inspected.  One of the most important things to do on Thursday is to get your robot inspected.  This year, each team will have their robot inspected in their pit by our Robot Inspectors during their assigned inspection window.  Make sure to be in your pit during your scheduled time.  Don’t worry if your robot isn’t ready, as our inspectors are there to help you focus on what’s important to get through inspection quickly. Additionally, teams will also go to the competition fields at a scheduled time to have their software and robot mobility checked, which includes a practice round.  Finally, teams will have their robots checked for size and have their paperwork filed.  Congratulations on making it through inspections!
  • Enjoy Thursday Night on the Town.  Pits will close at 7:30 PM Thursday for a night with your team on the town.  Plenty of restaurants are available, but be sure to plan your evening early.  Being a college town, costs are low and the food is catered to satisfy many appetites.
  • Sleep.  You’ll need it.

Attending the Championship – Tiara Friday

  • Bring your Tiara!  It’s Tiara Friday!  It’s not all about robots. Everyone is encouraged (but not required) to wear their favorite tiara or crown today.
  • Prepare for Competition.  The pits open at 8:00 AM Friday for last-minute preparations before the Opening Ceremonies.
  • Attend the Driver Meeting.  Scheduled for 9:30 AM on the competition fields, two drivers and one coach (with their buttons worn) shall attend.
  • Receive your Match Schedule. Once all teams have passed inspections, a match schedule will be generated and distributed to all teams. Moments before the Opening Ceremonies begin, teams in the first two matches should place their robot on the competition fields with the power off, and teams in matches 3 and 4 should have their robots in the queuing area.
  • Attend Opening Ceremonies.  Let’s get the competition started!  At Opening Ceremonies, we welcome everyone to the event, and provide any last-minute information for the day.  We complete our ceremony with the National Anthem.  All team members are required to attend.
  • Compete! Qualifying rounds will start immediately following and continue until pits close at 7:00 PM, lunch aside, of course.  Speaking of which…
  • Enjoy an extended Lunch Hour. The lunch period starts at 12:00 PM and runs until 1:30 PM.  This should give teams plenty of time to check out the local restaurant scene or grab a bite from the Chick-fil-a food truck.  Click here for more information.  NOTE: No outside food or drink is allowed in the venue, so please plan accordingly. Chick-fil-a food truck items are allowed to be brought back into the venue.
  • Watch for Judges in the Pits.  Whenever robots are competing on the field, Judges may be in the pits interviewing teams.  Make sure a member of your team is in the pit whenever possible.  If a representative for your team cannot be in your pit at any time while matches are running, leave a sign letting the Judges know when you’ll be back.
  • Attend the Team Social.  If you bought your tickets, then your meal awaits at 7:00 PM in the dining area of the venue.  Soon after, the party starts with group, video, board, and card games, a photo booth, and team socializing.  It’s a great time to gather with new friends without the safety glasses and closed-toe shoes.
  • Sleep.  You’ll need to catch up on what you missed the night before.

Attending the Championship – Suspender Saturday

  • Shower. ‘Nuff said.
  • Wear your Suspenders!  It’s Suspender Saturday!  It’s not all about robots. Everyone is encouraged (but not required) to wear their favorite suspenders today.
  • Compete some more! The pits open at 8:00 AM Saturday for the last of the qualifying rounds, which commence at 8:30 AM.
  • Watch for More Judges in the Pits.  Whenever robots are competing on the field, Judges may be in the pits interviewing teams.  Make a member of the team is in the pit whenever possible.  If a representative for your team cannot be in your pit at any time while matches are running, leave a sign letting the Judges know when you’ll be back.
  • Attend the Alliance Selections.  Alliance Selections are scheduled for 11:30 AM Saturday, with lunch to follow.
  • Team not in the Finals? Load Out!  Immediately after alliance selections are made, sign up for a Load-Out time by visiting the signup page or going to Pit Administration.  While waiting for your time slot, feel free to pack up your pit so it’s ready to quickly move to your vehicle at the loading dock at your appointed time.  If you don’t need to use the loading dock, you can also choose to carry out your equipment on your own whenever you’re ready.
  • Enjoy another extended Lunch Hour. The lunch period starts at 12:00 PM and runs until 1:30 PM.  Check out another fine local establishment or grab a bite from the Chick-fil-a food truck. Click here for more information.  NOTE: No outside food or drink is allowed in the venue, so please plan accordingly. Chick-fil-a food truck items are allowed to be brought back into the venue.
  • Team in the Semi-Finals and Finals? Compete some more!  After enjoying a good lunch, get ready to go head-to-head in the Division Finals.
  • Eliminated during Division Finals? Load Out!  Any teams that are eliminated during the Division Finals can immediately load out after their final match is played with no need to sign up for a Load-Out time, and eliminated teams should be loaded out before the start of Closing Ceremonies.  Teams that are in the Event Finals will load-out after Closing Ceremonies.
  • Attend the Closing Ceremonies.  The event is almost over.  All teams have done a lot of hard work to get to this point, and this is where we recognize all that work.  All team members must attend the Closing Ceremonies.
  • Collect your Memories and Head Out.  The Competition Area and Bleachers close 30 minutes after Closing Ceremony is complete, so  take your celebratory pictures quickly. Pits close one hour after Closing Ceremonies.  Gather all your belongings (make sure you have everything!) and make like Elvis.

After the Event

  • Pick up your Trailer.  If you have a trailer still parked, you’ll need to pick it up and take it home with you.  If you don’t, we may know of some charitable organizations that could use a trailer full of robot stuff.
  • Head for Home.  We hope you had a great time!  We look forward to hopefully meeting you again at World Championship.  Travel safe!