2020 Western PA FLL Season

Welcome to Another Year of FLL Here in Western PA!

What a Year! With the broad range of challenges that teams are going to be operating within over the coming months, and the determination by FIRST to extend the post-season tournaments into the summer, we are pleased to be able to roll out a season specifically designed to meet the needs of the broadest range of teams here in Western PA!

The Basics: All teams are able to participate in four tournaments this season
Three Game-Only Tournaments will be hosted for all teams to participate in (one per month in November, December and January. These will be conducted in a hybrid format (details below) with teams signing up for individual time slots over the course of an entire week. Results will be announced after all teams have completed their game runs.
One Championship Tournament will be hosted in February. Judging will be based off a video submission created by the team. Game participation will be conducted over the course of the week with individual team time slots selected to fit team schedules. Awards ceremony will be held live online.

How Events Will Be Conducted: all teams with season passes are able to participate in (and are encouraged to participate in) all events. Competitions will run from Monday through Sunday with teams signing up for a time block that best suits their schedule/needs. During that time block, teams will have the opportunity to do up to four robot game runs. Teams wishing to participate remotely will sign up for time blocks on Monday through Friday and participate through internet-connected cameras (a turnkey solution for this is available for purchase with the season pass if helpful). Teams wishing to do their runs live with referees will sign up for blocks on Saturday and Sunday to be held at the BrainSTEM Barn (Baden, PA) and we will have both inter-session surface-cleaning and cycle through multiple competition fields.

Scheduled Dates for the Events: The tournaments are spaced approximately 1 month apart to allow teams to challenge themselves and to chart their progress. Dates for the events are as follows:
Blastoff Bonanza Tournament: November 9th – 15th (robot game only)
Mid-Stage Meritocracy Tournament: December 7th – 13th (robot game only)
Upper-Stage Excellence Tournament: January 18th – 24th (robot game only)
Grand Championship Tournament: February 15th – 21st (Judging based on video submission submitted by team prior to 2/15, Game scoring done during the week)

How To Participate: To participate, (1) teams need to have a team registered with FIRST (www.firstinspires.org) and to then (2) purchase a season pass for the local tournaments here at pafll.com (link at top of page). Cost of the pass has been reduced this year to $150 to reflect the challenges that everyone is facing and is made possible through an outside donation. (3) teams participating remotely will need to have a computer hooked up to at least 1 fixed-position internet-connected camera (max of 2) and 1 mobile internet-connected camera (for example a cell phone) to allow remote referees to follow the action during the teams time slot. A tested option for the fixed-position camera(s) is available for $110 when you get a season pass and includes a field mount, extension pole, adapters, camera and USB cable. Teams are welcome to put together their own approaches as well. Prior to the first tournament teams will be required to test their system with referees and information on this process will be provided. (4) Sign up for time slots for your events – starting approximately 1 month before the events themselves (so first event slots will open in early October). Announcements with instructions will be sent to season pass holders in order to prepare adequately for the time slot selection process.

How to Find Out More: The tournament committee will be hosting a coaches/teams call on Tuesday, September 29th at 7:00 p.m.. All teams registered with FIRST to compete in Southwestern PA will receive an invite to join… so it would be good to register the team. If thats really too much of a problem… just shoot an email to coachesmeeting@pafll.com requesting to be added to the call and that will work too.

9/29 Coaches Meeting Materials Available Here: