League Play! How does it work?
The LA/SoCal region is growing! In order to give all teams ample opportunities to compete with their robots, last season we moved to a League model for tournaments. We are excited for you to come play with us!
Ten years ago when Los Angeles started FIRST Tech Challenge, there were 15 teams and we hosted one Championship. When we grew too big for everyone to attend the Championship, we added Qualifier Events where teams attended up to 3 events, and the top teams would then progress to Championships. In 2015, we grew to 130 teams and 10 Qualifiers, with only one chance to compete. The ‘one and done’ model was not achieving what we hoped for the teams – which is an iterative, competitive program to learn STEM over a season. We therefore moved to League.
At League, all teams play at the League Level, all teams advance to an Inter-League Level Tournament, a percentage of the top teams from Interleague advance to the Los Angeles Championship Level. A percentage of the top LA Championship teams will advance to Super Regionals in Tacoma, WA and a percentage of those teams will advance to Worlds in Houston, TX.
Locations: We have 10 Leagues in greater LA, created based on population of teams and by those teams who were willing to provide the host school:
- A1 – Los Angeles
- A2 – Los Angeles
- B – Inglewood/ Compton
- C1 – Temple City (Monrovia area)
- C2 – Monrovia
- D – Valencia
- E – Claremont
- F1 – Romoland (Hemet/ Perris area)
- F2 – Romoland (Hemet/ Perris area)
- I – Palmdale
Structure: Leagues are made up of no more than 16 teams that are located (hopefully) geographically close. The League plays 4 Meets, 5 matches in each Meet. Meets run from November to late January, dates Saturdays or Sundays determined by the host, and at least 2 weeks apart. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and school breaks, this typically works out to 1 Meet in November, 2 in December and 1 in January. Events run 3-4 hours. This is game play only, no judging. Your top 10 scores out of the 15 standard matches will carry forward to your Inter-League Tournament (excluding League Meet 0, the first event, that serves as a practice event for teams and volunteers to get acquainted with each other and the system before points start to accumulate.)
Volunteers: Even though there is a Host to the League, it is a requirement that all teams in that league provide at minimum one volunteer for each of the 4 Meets. The volunteer will be provided training for the position. It is not necessary the volunteer be the same person for the 4 meets. With 10 leagues and 4 Meets over basically 8 weekends, there will be 3 or 4 Meets in different parts of LA on the same Saturday or Sunday. So while the LAFTC Committee will organize, we cannot run all the events. We need each team to take an active role, so when you League Host calls, please provide a responsible volunteer(s). Positions include volunteer coordinator, registration/team check in, HW inspector, SW inspector, Field Technical Advisor, Scorekeeper, Referees, Game resetter, field setup, field teardown.
Every team is invited to an Inter-League Tournament. This event is a full day, complete with Alliance Selection and playoffs, judging an Awards Ceremony and trophies. It is labor intensive to set up and tear down the full venue, so we have booked locations for the full weekend. Two Leagues will play at a location on Saturday, and then two different Leagues will play the same location on Sunday.
- January 27th– F1 and C1 (Romoland)
- January 28th– F2 and E (Romoland)
- February 10th– C2 and B (Monrovia)
- February 17th– I vs. A1 (Palmdale)
- February 18th– D vs. A2 (Palmdale)
Structure: Inter-Leagues are made up of two Leagues, no more than 32 teams. There will be two competition fields with matches moving from one field to the other. The day starts at 7am. Judging and Robot Inspection starts promptly at 8am, so teams need to check in and set up at the pit from 7am to 8am. Following the completion of judging interviews, Opening Ceremonies start at approximately 10am. For round robin play, teams typically play 5 matches. The points from these 5 matches are combined with the Qualifying points from the top 10 of 15 matches from League. These points determine the order of Alliance Selection and Playoffs. Playoffs run from appx 3pm to 5pm, with Awards Ceremony following. The goal is to finish by 6-7pm, but is dependent on the complexity of the game and any technical difficulties during the day. The top percentage of teams (based on FIRST criteria) from each of the 5 Interleague Tournaments will proceed to Los Angeles Championships.
Volunteers: Even though the LAFTC Committee hosts this event, it is a requirement that all teams in that league provide at a minimum two volunteers. The volunteers will be provided training for the position. Family, friends or neighbors can be your volunteer, as long as the persons are responsible.
Los Angeles Championship:
- February 24th-Monrovia
Structure: Championship is comprised of the top teams from the 5 Inter-Leagues, no more than 50 teams. The 50 teams are divided into 2 groups that will compete within the same Division until the finals. The day starts at 7am. Judging and Robot Inspection starts promptly at 8am, so teams need to check in and set up at the pit from 7am to 8am. Following the completion of judging interviews, Opening Ceremonies start at approximately 10am. For round robin play, teams typically play 5 matches. This is a clean slate and no points are brought forward from the Inter-League Tournaments. These points earned determine the order of Alliance Selection and Playoffs. Both Divisions will have separate Playoffs that run from appx 3pm to 5pm. The two Division winning teams will playoff for an overall Event winner. Awards Ceremony follows, and depending on the complexity of the game or any technical issues, we will end at 7-8pm. The top percentage of teams (based on FIRST criteria) will proceed to West Super Regionals in Tacoma, WA, scheduled for March 8-10.