AZ First Tech Challenge

2801 Izabel St, Flagstaff, AZ 86004               928-773-8200 x 6493
Nov. 11, 2014


  1. The Inevitable Inspection!
  2. Dean's List Submissions
  3. Tournament Registration
  4. Safety Reminders
  5. Tips from Rich the "Ref"
  6. Judges Corner
  7. Donation Destination

The Inevitable Inspection!
If you want to pass inspection we strongly recommend:


2. Dean's List Submissions
New for this Year! In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students, the Kamen family sponsors awards for selected 10th or 11th grade students called the FIRST Dean's List Award. The students who earn FIRST Dean’s List status as either a Semi-finalist, Finalist or Winner, will not only be great examples of current student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness for FIRST and its mission while achieving personal technical expertise and accomplishment, but it is the goal of FIRST that all Dean’s List Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Winners will continue on, post award, as great leaders of the ever growing FIRST student alumni. More information at the Dean's List page:

Mentors link:

3. Qualifying Tournaments:
Sign up for your Qualifying Tournament while there is still room.

Chandler (Nov. 22,2014)  --- 3 open slots
Phoenix (Nov. 22, 2014) ---5 open slots
Flagstaff (Dec. 06, 2014) ---3 open slots
New Mexico (Dec. 13, 2014) ---6 open slots
Laveen (Jan. 24, 2015) ---1 open slots
Goodyear (Feb. 07, 2015)  ---8 open slots

Open slots in
Qualifying Tournaments as of November, 2014.

Arizona & New Mexico can now sign up for a second Qualifying Tournament.

October 7, 2014
Qualifying Tournaments are open to all Teams.

4. Safety is extremely important at all levels of FIRST!  With tournament season fastly 
approaching here are a few safety reminders!
1.Safety glasses for everyone in the pits and driving the robot(including guest).
2.Closed toed shoes for anyone in the pits (including guest).

Please read more about safety at:

5. Tips from "Ref" Rich
Here is this week's input:

“Let’s talk about controlling the white things that roll around trying to get in your way, hitch a ride, jump into the path or harass your robot… (yes, I’m talking about the balls)

Per the definition of “Control/Controlling” driving through the balls is allowed and if it looks like you have a couple of extra “hitch hikers” you will not get a penalty for controlling more than 5 balls… however, once you drive through, if you have picked up some extras, you need to take action to get rid of the extras, otherwise, the balls could be considered to be “controlled” or “guided” and you will get a penalty, unless it is obvious to the refs that you are trying to take action to get rid of extra balls that get “trapped” in order to control only 5 balls maximum. In this case the refs should give you the benefit of doubt without assessing a penalty.  We will look for intentions of the drivers on this call.

Here is the kicker though…  if you do end up with more than 5 balls that the robot has driven through, do not attempt to score any of the balls until you get rid of excess.  If you do try to score, you are open for a Double Minor Penalty…  See rule <GS1> and FTC Forum-Games Rules and Game Play #37 posted on 9-21-2014. 

Another way to look at this is similar to question #80 posted on 10-20-2014 re. “Balls Fall in Robot” answers A2 and A3 are similar and applicable.  In both cases the robot has more balls “jump on” for a ride…  if no action is made by the team to dislodge the extras, and the team goes for a goal, there will be penalties.

I look forward to seeing the action in a couple of weeks and hope you all are doing well and getting ready to have some FUN!  I know I am!


Submit Ref questions to and Rich will answer all he can in the weekly ARIZONA FTC BLAST

6.Judges Corner

The PTC Design Award

The intent of the PTC Design Award is to expand the challenge, inspiring Teams to incorporate industrial design into their robots. These elements can be shown in the simplicity of the design as it applies to the tasks, the look and feel of the robot, and how the design allows us to think of robots in new ways. The Design aspect must serve a function – but they should also differentiate the robot in a unique fashion – not an easy task with a limited set of parts and game challenge.

Sample Engineering Notebook

7. Donation Destination

Attention: Southern AZ

We now have Abbot Grants available for the 2014-2015 season! Please find the list of Abbot locations attached. Teams in and around these areas may apply for a $1,000 re-grant from Abbott. This funding is unrestricted and may be used for travel and team costs. Here is the link to apply: Please let me know if you have any questions.


Arizona FIRST Tech Challenge  Web Site

Susan Garduno, FIRST VISTA

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