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  • Getting Started

    A flyer about  the Naperville Information Session to be held on May 11 on starting an FIRST LEGO League team can be found Here

    A flyer about the Evanston information session to be held on April 20 on starting teams for all 4 programs can be found Here.

    Building a Team:

    Coaching can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.  Our goal is for you to help the children have fun while they get comfortable with technology and learn something about a real-world problem.  Whether or not your team scores high marks at a tournament, team members win just by participating.

    If it is your rookie year, enjoy it for what it is:  a survey of the course.  Your goal should be to simply take a lap around the block with FLL.  With a fun experience and meeting realistic goals under your belt, you and the children will be brimming with ideas about what to do next year.

    You are not in this by yourself!  Recruit an assistant coach, mentor(s), parents and guest speakers to help.  Others can help with team communication, host meetings, contribute technical expertise, lead fundraising and provide additional adult supervision.  Try to plan a meeting schedule that accommodates the participation of  other adults.

    FLL Illinois plans coaching meetings early in the season.  Make sure you join the announcement list after registering nationally and you will receive e-mails with more detailed information.

    How to Start a Team:

    Teams may be all around you or you may need to form your own team. Check with school, local organizations, community organizations such as 4H, Boy/Girl Scouts etc., or friends to see if a team in your area has openings. If you can't find one, it's easy to form a team. FLL does not match individual children with pre-existing teams.  Also, for privacy reasons, we are not able to share lists of team contact information with you. 

    A team consists of:

    • 5-10 kids ages 9-14 (boys, girls, or both) in grades 4th-8th
    • A coach (you don't need to be an engineer, REALLY!; a basic knowledge of how things work and a desire to work with kids is sufficient)
    • An administrative coach (not required, but recommended)


    The cost of participation in FLL generally ranges from ~$1000 for new teams to ~$600 for returning teams.  A sample budget is below:

    Sample Budget: (Costs are subject to change)

    Required Items:

    1. National Team Registration: $225
      • This is required for all FLL teams and is non-refundable.  It does not include the Illinois Tournament Registration Fee.
    2. FIRST LEGO League EV3 Robot Set:  $439 (plus tax and shipping)
      • Teams must have an EV3 robot.  It can be reused each season.
      • Robots from previous seasons (NXT ) versions are acceptable.
      • All NXT sensors and monitors will work with EV3 brick and software
      • EV3 software will program the NXT brick in a limited form.
      • FIRST LEGO League Price List is at this link http://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/fll/pricing-and-payment
    3. FLL Field Setup Kit (FSK): $75
      • This is required and is non-refundable.  Teams may share.  It changes each season.
      • Having trouble finding the instructions to build the Field Setup Kit?  There is a one page guide in your FSK shipment with the website address where you can go to download the Build Instructions after August 1, 2016: http://firstlegoleague.org/missionmodelbuildinginstructions
    4. Illinois Tournament Registration Fee: $100
    5. Shipping and Handling: $65
      • Calculated based on the total cost of your order.  This is only an estimate.

    Optional Items:

    1. Official Table:  $60
      • Surface and borders approximately $25-$30. Sawhorses approximately: $30.
    2. Tackle Boxes: $10 per box
      • For LEGO and equipment storage.
    3. T-shirts: approximately $5-$10 per shirt

    Your team’s other expenses may include: markers, paper, toner cartridges, color copies, scissors, folders, poster board, binders, other office supplies, snacks and travel expenses.

    Time Commitment:
    Once the challenge is released (early in September), a team typically meets once or twice a week for about two hours. This depends on the age (and thus ability to maintain focus), and other time constraint issues. Separate technical and administrative coaches can significantly reduce the work load of running a team and increase the fun for the kids and adults.

    Sample FLL Season:

    May:  National FLL Team registration and materials ordering begins.

    May/June:  Robot sets and registration material, including Coaches’ Handbooks begin to ship

    August 1st:  FLL Illinois Tournament Registration Opens

    August 25, 2015:  Trash Trek Challenge is released at 1 pm Central Time

    Early August:  Field Setup Kits begin to ship

    September 30:  National FLL Team Registration closes or earlier if all slots are filled

    October 15th:  FLL Illinois Tournament Registration Closes

    October 31st:  FLL Illinois Qualifying Tournament Assignments are posted

    November – December:  FLL Illinois Qualifying Tournaments

    January or February: FLL Illinois Central and Northern Championship Tournaments

    To Register:

    There are two registrations your team needs to complete:  National FLL Registration and FLL Illinois Tournament Registration. 

    1. National FLL Registration usually opens in early May and ends in late September. To register your team and get started, you can go to the official FLL registration website at https://my.usfirst.org/fll/tims/site.lasso.  Just follow the steps outlined on the website.
    2. FLL Illinois Tournament Registration opens in early August and ends October 15th. Go to this link to get started http://www.ilfirst.org/fll/fll-registration-overview.html   You must be registered nationally in order to register with Illinois.  You will need your team number which you received when you registered nationally.  Illinois Tournament Registration will only be complete when payment of $100 (price subject to change) is received by FIRST Illinois Robotics.  You can mail a check made payable to FIRST Illinois Robotics, P.O. Box 82, Prospect Heights, IL  60070 or pay with a credit/debit card through PayPal.



    Starting an FLL Team: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/challenge/startateam

    FLL Participation Rules: http://firstlegoleague.org/mission/participationrules

    FLL Parents Page: http://firstlegoleague.org/parents

    FIRST Team Up: https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/login/fc_login.aspx?s=fc

    FLL Team Resources: http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/teamresources

    FLL Forums: http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/forums

    Search “FLL Illinois / INSciTE Illinois” on www.facebook.com

    E-mail FLL Illinois at contactfllillinois@gmail.com