League Play FAQ

The FIRST® Tech Challenge in Illinois values gracious professionalism and iterative engineering process.  After 3 years, we believe league play supports these values. 2018-19 All teams will be assigned to a league but teams have the choice to play in one, two, or three different meets before their League Qualifier.

  1. The overall philosophy of FIRST® Tech Challenge leagues in Illinois
    • The goal is to provide more plays for more teams, to allow teams to iterate the engineering process, to encourage more local volunteers to develop technical skills, and to generally develop the additional volunteers needed to support an expanding program.
    • An FTC league meet typically includes inspections and 5  matches played over a 3-4 hour period, uses one game field, and an optional practice field. The meet can occur after school (just like a basketball game or swim meet) or on Saturday or as needed, but rarely - Sunday.
    • Leagues and Meets create more gameplay capacity for teams in a state, without creating an increasing burden on the state’s FTC leadership team.
    • Each member of a league is expected to help organize their league
      1. Each team needs to find 2 or 3 adults to volunteer at each meet
  1. Is league play good for my team?
    • Most league play coaches/mentors felt league play was valuable and confirmed this again through our postseason meetings throughout the state.
  1. What happened to the traditional qualifiers?
    • Traditional qualifiers are one event and you're done, and traditional qualifiers do not support the iterative engineering process.
    • We are not holding traditional qualifiers.
  1. What if my team cannot attend all 3 league division meets?
    • All teams are encouraged to play at 3 meets: November, December, and January
    • Teams may miss any number of league division meets and still participate in the League Qualifier. But these teams will not have as many QP or RP as teams who have participated at all meets, so their team ranking will suffer.
    • Teams may choose to only play November and December meets- and skip the League Qualifier, too.
    • Skipping the League Qualifier means the team is ineligible for the State Championship.
  1.      Is robot inspection done at league meets?
    • We will require Robot and Field Inspections at every single meet.
    • However, it is likely that the November meet inspection could be “less rigorous” than at a traditional qualifier,
  1.       Meets have access to 800 number to call Manchester directly?
    • Calls should first go to the appropriate state key volunteer, but the 800 number is ok to pass out
  1.       How uniform will league division meets be?
    • The Illinois State FTC Organizing Committee will do our best to monitor meets. There are three levels of volunteers: State Key Volunteers, League/Qualifier Key Volunteers, and Qualifier/League Volunteers.
    • Training for these volunteers lies ultimately upon the League, who will be assisted by State Key Volunteers.
      1. League Key Volunteers will be heavily assisted by the State Key Volunteers. 
    • We would like to note that even Regional Qualifiers have natural variations between each qualifier, events also vary from State to State and from State to World Championships.
  1.      How involved is the State FTC leadership team? What does the State provide, and what do Leagues provide?
    • The state provides is a set of regulations for how leagues should function, and training for key volunteers, as well as assistance in training volunteers.
    • The State FTC Leadership Team will provide a meet organizers/hosts $500 stipend to cover volunteer food and custodial or other services/meet.
    • The State FTC Leadership Team will provide League Divisions field elements  
    • The State FTC Leadership Team will cover $100 of incidental expenditures for each League Division-.  
    • The State FTC Leadership team will  provide referee shirts for each League Division
    • The  State FTC Leadership team provide a “a tournament in a box”
    • Meet host need to provide a perimeter/pads, 1 computer with monitor (note we have extras if needed)
  1. How many leagues are there?  See also #10
    • We expect to have 6 leagues (24-36 teams each) which will meet at a their “League Qualifier” where some teams will advance to the State Championship.
  1.     How do team league division rankings affect a team’s League Qualifier ranking?
    • Once a team has played more than 10 meet matches, the scoring system only uses the data from the team’s best 10 meet matches to determine the team’s division ranking.  
    • Then at the League Qualifier, all the league’s divisions meet scoring data is combined, and the scoring system creates the League Qualifier team ranking before any League Qualifier matches are played.  
    • At the League Qualifier, the final team ranking- just before alliance selection- is determined by the match data from the team’s best 10 of 15 meet matches plus the match data from the League Qualifiers  5 qualification matches.
  1.     What about teams not in densely populated areas?
    • This year everyone was able to play in leagues even in the less populated areas.
    • FYI-Teams in rural Oregon, eastern Washington, and Iowa are all involved in League Play
  1. More information on judging.
    • Judging is not done at individual meets.   
    • Individual leagues or divisions may choose to do “informal” practice judging at meets.
    • The League Qualifier will have formal judging and award ceremony
  1.     Volunteer requirements  differ from league meets to qualifiers.
    • Primarily,  each league meet will have 2 to 3 refs, 1 to 2 FTAs (could double as Field Inspectors), and 1-2 Robot Inspectors (could double as referees), and 1 to 2 Scorekeepers.  About 4 or 5 additional volunteers could be added to help with queuing, team check-in, and run other aspects of the meet. So likely a total of 10 to 15 volunteers per meet.
    • Qualifiers are more intensive for volunteer recruiting, requiring almost 40-70 volunteers.
    • Each league will need to provide the volunteers needed to produce a successful event.  
    • The FTC Illinois Planning Committee primary role in leagues is providing training and certification and equipment when needed.
    • The host team may choose to provide volunteers with lunch/breakfast or not, but water and snacks should be provided for volunteers.
  1.     How are team league/division rankings determine?                     
    • Team league/division rankings are based on a team’s Qualifying Points(QP) and Ranking Points (RP). The scoring system uses the data collected from each meet the team attended.
    • Our league format will have 15 matches spread over 3 meets.  The teams final standing is based on the best 10 matches from the division meets PLUS the 5 matches they participate in at the League Qualifier.
  1.     How do team league division rankings affect a team’s League Qualifier ranking?
    • Once a team has played more than 10 meet matches, the scoring system only uses the data from the team’s best 10 meet matches to determine the team’s division ranking.  
    • Then at the League Qualifier, all the league’s divisions meet scoring data is combined, and the scoring system creates the League Qualifier team ranking before any League Qualifier matches are played.  
    • At the League Qualifier, the final team ranking- just before alliance selection- is determined by the match data from the team’s best 10 of 15 meet matches plus the match data from the League Qualifiers  5 qualification matches.
  1.     How do teams advance to their League Qualifier?
    • Every team who was assigned to a league division advances to their league’ qualifier
  1.     What happens at a League Qualifier?
    • The League Qualifiers will include a scheduled team judging session(approximately 15 minutes=5 minutes Team Presentation & 5-10 min. Q&A), robot and field inspections, opening ceremony, 5 qualification matches, followed by alliance selection, elimination matches, and awards ceremony.
    • League Qualifiers are all day events, 8-12 hours
  1.     How do teams advance to the State Championship?
    • A team’s advancement from the League Qualifier to the next level of competition, the FTC Illinois State Championship, is based on the advancement order in Game Manual Part 1.
    • The number of teams advancing from an Illinois league qualifier is based on the number of teams competing at the State Championship and the number of teams competing on the day of the League Qualifier.
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