2016-17 Statewide Two Competition Options: League Play or One Qualifier

For the 2016-17 season FIRST Tech Challenge Illinois teams statewide will choose one of two options. Teams will choose between option a. or option b.

  • Option a. League Play, 2-3 meets and League Qualifying Tournament
  • Option b. Single Qualifying Tournament

Head mentor/coach should complete this competition survey once to indicate team’s 2016-17 competition plan.

Why leagues and meets?

As the number of FTC teams increase, U.S. FIRST Tech Challenge believes league play is the best competition structure.

"The primary reason is to create more opportunities for more teams to compete. In addition leagues and meets also reinforce the rapid prototype and design of the FTC program. It also becomes easier for kids and schools to participate, as the events require less of a time commitment and can be run after school (more affordable for busing) and are generally closer geographically. Meets provide a unique learning opportunity having all those teams there is a chance to highlight or educate on a skill while they are a captive audience. Lastly, leagues and meets promote community: teams interact more and develop closer ties while volunteers have more ownership and investment in the events.”

- FTC Leagues and Meets Overview

Several other states have adopted some form of league play: Florida, Washington state, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, and Iowa.

Illinois League Design

In Illinois a league will ideally be made up of 24 teams. These 24 league teams will be divided into two groups of 12 teams. For the 2016-17 FTC season, it is our expectation that league play will be available for all teams in the state.

League teams will compete in at least two meets and one League Qualifying Tournament. At the league qualifying tournament, Division A and Division B will compete altogether, making the League Qualifying Tournament similar to a 24 team Leagues and Conferencesqualifier.

Leagues (meets & qualifying tournament) will be run by the League Committee. The committee will be established by the 24 teams and FTC Illinois. It is recommended that each committee be led by co-chairs, who would represent their respective conferences, and include all meet hosts, and league key volunteers. This committee will report to the Illinois State FTC Strategic Planning Committee.

U.S. FIRST and FTC Illinois will help train key volunteers: Head Referees, FTAs, Lead Inspectors, and Judge Advisors. Meet host organizers will be responsible for arranging and scheduling of all volunteers for their event. This will also include following FIRST's volunteer policies

At each meet, teams will play 5 matches or more. Meets will not include Alliance Selections, Semi-Finals, Final Matches, or Awards. Instead each league’s team Ranking Points will accumulate and their top 10 matches from the meets and the 5 macthes from the qualifying event will be used to determine their ranking at the league qualifying tournament. This will be followed by Alliance Selection, Semi-Finals, Finals, and Awards. Interviews for judged awards also take place the morning of the league qualifying event.

League Play Details

Each League Division will compete in at least 2 separate meets and not more than 3 separate meets hosted and organized by teams within their assigned Division A or Division B. The League Committee will decide where and when meets will occur, and will assist the host team with arranging volunteers, equipment set up & cleanup, and running the meet.

Some leagues will meet November December January-and then a league qualifying tournament in February.
Some leagues will meet December January and then a league qualifying tournament in February

League schedule

How do league rankings work?

“At each League Meet, all the Qualifying Points and Ranking Points for all the Matches are exported from the Scoring System along with the Team information. When the teams are imported into the Scoring System for the next Event, that data comes with it. The overall Qualifying Points and Ranking Points are displayed as part of that Event, but are not used in any of the League Meets other than to be collected. When the data is imported into the Scoring System for the League Tournament, however, the Scoring System takes the top ten values for Qualifying Points and the corresponding 10 values for Ranking Points for each Team to determine the starting Qualifying Points and Ranking Points for each Team. Thus, each Team starts out at the League Championship ranked by their top ten Match results. Should a Team not have ten Match results, the system will take all the available results for the Team and it will impact their initial standings at the League Championship.”

League Rankings
Page 14, League Meet Guide, 2016-17

The League Qualifying Tournament starts with teams already in ranked order by their total Ranking Points earned using the best 10 matches out of 15. Their League Qualifying Tournament matches (5 matches) Ranking Points are then added to their League Meet Ranking Points to determine Team advancement.

In other words, the scoring system will use the best 10 matches out of 15 league meet matches - if they played at 3 league meets plus the 5 matches played at the League Qualifying Tournament. If they only play at 2 league meets then all matches count and no matches are dropped. In the case where the team only played less than 10 league meet matches, all available data will be used and it will impact their standings.

Details can be found in the League Rankings section on Page 14 of the League Meet Guide, 2016-17

How will league teams advance to the Illinois State Championship?

All teams will have the opportunity to advance to the state championship at one qualifying tournament.

The advancement from either the standard qualifying tournament or league qualifying tournament will follow the order in Game Manual part 1.

How do non-league teams advance to Illinois State Championship?

Non-league teams also have an opportunity to advance to the State Championship by competing in one qualifying tournament.

Non-league teams may not compete at a league qualifying tournament. Again, advancement will follow the order in Game Manual Part 1.

Overall, the number of teams advancing to the State Championship is based on the number of teams competing at a traditional qualifying tournament or league qualifying tournament.

This season, formal judging interviews will occur only at the league qualifying tournament, standard qualifier tournaments, and the state championship.

What about Gracious Professionalism at league meets?

To encourage team Gracious Professionalism at all competitions, FIRST Tech Challenge has instituted a red and yellow card system. The cards will be used at the referee's discretion. See Game Manual Part 1. But it is everyone's responsibility to practice, model, and encourage Gracious Professionalism regardless of the competition format.

Will league play have a registration fee?

This season league play will have a registration fee - $175.

League teams will pay the same fees as non-league teams - $175.

The league qualifying tournament fee is included in the league registration.

When will meets be scheduled?

Meets will be scheduled by the league committee. The committee will consist of at least one coach from each team. Ideally, one meet will occur in November and the 2nd in December and a 3rd in January.

How long will a meet last?

The time will vary depending on how many teams attend.

Here is a formula:

      • Number of teams x # of plays = # total plays
      • # of total plays divided by 4 teams playing per round = # rounds
      • # of rounds x minutes per round = # of minutes


      • 12 teams x 5 rounds = 60 total plays
      • 60 total plays / 4 teams playing per round = 15 rounds
      • 15 rounds x 10 minutes (Playing with 1 field) = 150 minutes or 2.5 hours

Next add inspection times:

      • # teams x # minutes = time
      • Time divided by # of hardware/software inspectors
      • 12 x 12 = 144 min. or 2. 4 hours
      • 2.4 hours / 2 = 1. 2 hours

Total amount of time:

      • Match time + Inspection time = total amount of time
      • 2. 5 hours + 1.2 hours = @4 hours
      • Add extra time for set up and cleanup.

What is the meet schedule?

Hardware Inspection, Software Inspection, Driver’s/Coach’s Meeting, Matches, Cleanup

What volunteers will we need?

2 - 3 Referees, 2 Hardware inspectors, 2 Field Inspectors, Scorekeeper, Scorekeepers Assistant, 1-2 FTA, 1 Competition Match Timer, Queuer, 2 Field Resetters

Who will recruit volunteers?

League teams will be responsible for recruiting most volunteers.

  • Northern IL League - League is comprised of 29 teams from the North and Northwest suburbs of Chicago and teams from the Rockford, IL area.
  • Chicago League - is comprised of 24 teams in, or very near the city limits of Chicago.

Each league will operate independently, but share the following characteristics:

  • League: A league is composed of approximately 24 teams, grouped in two similarly sized divisions. Each division stages a number of league meet events. The standings from the league meets carry forward and all league teams meet in a league championship.
  • League Meets: League meets are shorter events (3-4 hours) that are staged throughout the entire competitive season. Compared to traditional qualifiers, each league meet will have inspections and qualifying matches, but no judging sessions or formal ceremonies. Standings from the league meets are cumulative and guide alliance selection at the league championship.
  • League Championship: The League Championship is similar to a qualifying tournament in structure. There are opening/closing ceremonies, formal judging sessions, qualifying matches, alliance selection, and finals. The key difference is that results from the league meets are carried forward and affect alliance selection at the end of qualifying.
  • Qualifying standings and effect on alliance selection: At each league meet, each team will have a minimum of 5 qualifying matches within their division. On the day of the league championship, the league will stage an additional five qualifying matches with alliances randomly selected from across the entire league. At the end of qualifying matches, alliance selection for the entire league proceeds based on the cumulative standings. The team rankings for alliance selection are calculated by the scoring system based on the best 15 results from all qualifying matches played.
  • What about Gracious Professionalism at league meets? All coaches, mentors, team members, and volunteers share the responsibility of upholding and modeling GP. Referees and field staff will be watching for GP. Some game penalties are designed to encourage gracious professionalism on the field. Reports of gracious professionalism or lack thereof will follow teams through the league system.
  • Advancement: The league championship counts as a qualifier in the state of IL. The advancement criteria follows the guideline in Game Manual part 1 The number of teams advancing to the state tournament from a league championship depends on the number of slots at the state tournament and the number and size of other tournaments staged in the state.
  • League committees: Leagues and league events are run by league committees. These committees are established by the member teams and Illinois FIRST Tech Challenge. This committee reports to the Illinois State FTC Planning Team. U.S. and Illinois FTC will help train volunteers to ensure consistency.
  • Timeline:
    • September -  League application and selections
    • October - League meet event planning
    • November-January - League meets
    • February -  League Championship

Northern Illinois League

Schedule of Northern Illinois League Meets





East Division Meet 1 Lake Forest High School Saturday Nov 14, 2015

1285 N McKinley Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045

West Division Meet 1 Guilford High School Saturday Nov 14, 2015 5620 Spring Creek Road
Rockford, IL 6114
East Division Meet 2 Lakes Community High School Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 1600 Eagle Way Drive
Lake Villa, Illinois 60046
West Division Meet 2 Guilford High School Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 5620 Spring Creek Road
Rockford, IL 6114
East Division Meet 3 Science Academy of
Saturday Jan 16, 2016 501 Midway Dr
Mt Prospect, IL 60056
West Division Meet 3 Guilford High School Saturday Jan 16, 2016 5620 Spring Creek Road
Rockford, IL 6114
Northern Illinois League Championship McHenry County College Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 8900 US Highway 14
Crystal Lake, IL


Northern Illinois League

East Division


West Division

Team # Team Name Team # Team Name
3786 Beastie Bots   6007 Octopi
4442 Thunderbots 7627 Breaking Bot Robotics
5199 Duct Tape and a Prayer 7715 Robotic Lions
5452 Robot to Knee 8003 Rockford RoboTECH
5495 Iron Eagles 8685 Boone County 4-H Techno Tamarins
6200 Engineers With Attitude 8698 RoboVikings
7351 Dynamic Signals 8706 KISS Robotics
8608 Shockwave 8708 E-rabotics
9113 Blue (Lake Forest) 8709 Roosevelt High School
9115 Gold (Lake Forest) 8817 Fruit Salad
10091 N.Y.A.N Robotics 9239 WOW Robotics
10363 Knights of Tech 9411 Rolling Thunder
10415 Warbots 10326 Johnsburg High School
10450 Scouts (Lake Forest) 10482 Chasewood Red
    10505 Minivation


Chicago League

Schedule of Chicago League Meets





North Division Meet 1 DeVry Advantage Academy Saturday Dec 5, 2015 3300 N Campbell Ave
Chicago, IL
South Division Meet 1 Horizon Science Academy Saturday, Dec 5, 2015 2245 W Pershing Rd
Chicago, IL
North Division Meet 2 DeVry Advantage Academy Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 3300 N Campbell Ave
Chicago, IL
South Division Meet 2 Horizon Science Academy Saturday, Jan 30, 2016 2245 W Pershing Rd
Chicago, IL
Chicago League Championship Benito Juarez Community Academy Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 1450 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60608


Chicago League

North Division


South Division

Team # Team Name Team # Team Name
4337 DeVry Daemons   329 Chicago Squires
4965 Animatores Romanes 2813 CHOICES Robotics
5209 Operation: BisonBot 3507 Robotheosis
7006 RoboTitans 3758 Aztec Eagles
9082 Demon Bot 1 7007 TechKnow Bots
9162 ITW David Speer Academy 7030 RoboMinds
9373 Demon Bot 2 9635 Teen Girl Squad
9775 LMNTRIX 10138 Newton Busters
10240 Shambot Green 10226 Masai Lions
10308 High Voltage Bandits 10253 Bobcats Robotics
10481 ShamBot Gold 10387 Techanators
10510 I'm BOTman TBD PUSH Excel FTC Team
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