FIRST does not impose a required structure on FRC teams other than having adults designated as the Main, Alternate and Shipping Contacts. Each FRC team is free to organize themselves as they see fit, and as a result, every FRC team is unique unto itself!
Teams may be as small as fewer than ten or as large as over fifty students. Teams may be school, community, organization, or business based with supporting sponsors ranging from a single individual to major corporations. Teams will often form sub-teams to meet the challenges of specific tasks in building the robot or to concentrate on specialty areas such as animation, web site, computer aided design (CAD), team business planning / fundraising, branding, marketing and promoting both the team and the robot, etc. FRC teams are composed of students from all backgrounds and cultures, along with adult volunteer mentors who are engaged in both engineering and non-engineering professions. With over 4,000 teams worldwide, FRC teams represent a diverse cross-section of our global society.
More information about team structure is available in the “FRC Team Manual.
You should have at least one professional engineering mentor, adult mentors, high school aged students, sponsorship, a meeting place, access to tools and free time during the build and competition season. Specifics and a season overview are available in the “How to Start a Team (PDF)
” and "Start an FRC Team.
The official FRC season starts with team and event registration in the fall. The new seasons kicks off on the first Saturday of January, marking the beginning of the six-week robot design and build period which ends on the Bag-and-Tag deadline in February. Regional and District competition events start in late February, continue through early April, culminating at the FIRST World Championship event held in St. Louis in late April. All FRC season deadlines, including award submissions, are detailed on the “FIRST FRC Calendar
”. Deadlines and events specific to Illinois (and Northwest Indiana) are listed on the “FIRST Illinois Robotics FRC Calendar.”
Numerous funding opportunities are available to support rookie and veteran FRC teams. More opportunities will be added to this page as they become available. Please refer to the grantors' websites for the most up-to-date information. Completion of an application does not guarantee funding.
The FIRST organization provides a landing page for all Grant Opportunities here
. They also provide a helpful fundraising toolkit
, using crowdsourced information from various FIRST teams.