FIRST LEGO League Challenge Events Overview:

Each year there is a qualifying tournament series that leads from local qualifying tournaments to the Championship tournaments.  A tournament is an opportunity for teams to learn, showcase their accomplishments and celebrate their hard work throughout the season. Even if your team does not feel 100% ready, we encourage all teams to participate in an FIRST LEGO League Challenge Qualifying Tournament. Tournaments are a fantastic learning opportunity for you and your team.  


Two Tier vs Three Tier Season

We will run the SUPERPOWERED season 22-23 as a normal 2 tier structure, meaning teams registered in Illinois will attend a Qualifier (in December) and then a % (to be determined) will go on to a State Championship. We will have two State Championships in Illinois this season with one in Northern Illinois and one in Central Illinois. Those will take place in January as in years past.

We currently plan to move to a 3 tier season in 2023-24. This means that teams will have a Qualifier (December) > Sectional (January) > 1 State Championship (February). We will provide additional information to teams as we get closer to that season. 


Policies and Procedures for Qualifier and Championship Events in Illinois

  1. Table Specifications The Illinois qualifying and championship tournaments will use competition tables with three or four inch walls.
  2. Team Advancement Policy- Approximately 25% of the teams at a qualifier in Illinois will advance to a championship tournament.  Teams are eligible for advancement if they meet the following criteria as required by the FLL Global Standards and Challenge document. Teams must:
    • Have between 2 and 10 members
    • Complete all required sections of the Project
    • Have no disqualifying Core Values behaviors
    • Be competing at their first official FLL event of each qualifying level during the season
    • Perform well in all three judged areas (Core Values, Innovation Project, and Robot Design).
  3. Robot Design Executive Summary (RDES) - Illinois tournaments will NOT use the RDES in judging.
  4. Core Values Poster - A Core Values Poster will NOT be required in Illinois.
  5. Cancellation Policy - The Qualifying Tournament Coordinator will determine if there will be a delay in the start of the event or a cancellation of the event. This will depend upon:


If a qualifying tournament has to be cancelled,  the Qualifying tournament coordinator  will have 48 hours to secure a back-up date and location for the event., If a new date and location is secured, teams will be notified immediately.  Teams that are not able to attend on the new date will not be eligible for awards and will not be considered for advancement to a championship event.

If a qualifying tournament has to be cancelled and a back-up date and location is not available, the following process will be in place:

  1. Global Innovation Award (GIA) – Each season, teams will be nominated for the GIA. Procedure for applying to be nominated (if applicable) will be shared with coaches with as much advance notice as possible.
  2. 10 Kids Per Team Rule -  The FIRST website provides the following regarding the size of FLL teams:

With growing interest in FLL, some coaches have more than 10 children wanting to join the team. If they are not in a position to form a second team, they must make the difficult decision to select the final 10 members.  We recognize this is not an easy choice, and appreciate the care and thought given to making this final decision.  As such, we remind coaches who may have chosen not to make this selection to respect all those coaches globally that did. We must enforce our 10 team member policy at all FLL events. Teams attending an event with more than 10 children will be informed by the event organizer that the team is more than welcome to participate in the event to gain the valuable experience, but they will not be eligible for awards.


We will follow the FIRST guidelines above at all Illinois qualifying events. Furthermore, if it comes to the attention of any of the judges or referees at an event that there have been more than 10 children on a team but only 10 have been selected to attend the tournament, the tournament coordinator will verify that the information is correct through discussion with the coaches and, if it is confirmed, the team will not be eligible for awards or to advance to a championship event.


We will communicate this policy to all Illinois teams.  We will also advise teams that we have a sample process of how to handle the selection process which we will provide to any coach/team that requests it.


Qualifying Tournaments - Qualifying tournaments typically consist of 10 to 20 teams that compete in all categories for the ability to advance to the championship tournament.  20-33% of these teams go on to the championship tournament. These tournaments are held typically in December.

State Championship Tournaments - Each Championship tournament will have 48 to 64 teams competing from specific qualifers in the state. The tournaments will be held in January or early February.  Details for the exact locations and dates for the tournaments are announced each season once available. 

World Championship - A showcase competition, held in the United States, for all levels of FIRST robotics teams (FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge  & FIRST LEGO League). Championship-winning teams from around the world attend. Remarkable in its scope and celebratory atmosphere, World Championship is an experience of a lifetime. Spectators are typically welcome. 

Open Invitational Competitions - Championship teams from Illinois have the possibility of participating in competitions in the US and around the world. Some US-hosted competitions will be for US-only teams, while others will additionally include international teams. Other competitions may be hosted internationally; these competitions have also typically included US teams.