League Play! How does it work?
The SoCal/Greater LA Region is growing! In order to give all teams across our 9 counties 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! (Note: Our region will be closed to outside teams this season due to space constraints. If you are in San Diego County, please visit this link for their League information.)
Ten years ago, when Los Angeles started competing in 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 – an iterative, competitive program to learn STEM over a season. We therefore moved to League.
At League,s all teams play at the League Level, and all teams advance to an Inter-League Tournament (ILT). Approximately 1/3 of the top teams from each ILT advance to the Regional Championship Level. A percentage of the top Regional Championship teams will advance to Super Regionals in Washington in March, and a percentage of those teams will advance to Worlds in Houston, TX in April.
Locations: We have 12 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 (San Gabriel Valley area)
- C2 – Monrovia (San Gabriel Valley area)
- D – Valencia
- E – Claremont
- F1 – Romoland (Hemet/ Perris area)
- F2 – Romoland (Hemet/ Perris area)
- I – Palmdale
- O – Orange County (new)
- P – Pomona (new)
Leagues are made up of no more than 16 teams that are located (hopefully) geographically close. The League plays 4 Meets, with5 matches in each Meet. Meets run from November to late January, dates Saturdays or Sundays determined by the host, and approximately 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. These Meet Events run 3-4 hours. This is game play only, with no judging. From all the Meets that a given team competes in, its top 10 scores out of the 15 standard matches will carry forward to combine with its qualifying round scores in its Inter-League Tournament. This excludes scores from the no-score Meet 0, the first Meet event, which serves as a practice event for teams and volunteers to get acquainted with each other and the system before points start to accumulate.
Even though there is a Host to the League, the Region requires 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 all 4 meets. With 12 leagues and 4 Meets over 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 are but part-time volunteers and 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 range from the non-technical through the technical, and include volunteer coordinator, registration/team check in, HW inspector, SW inspector, Field Technical Advisor, Scorekeeper, Referees, Game resetter, field setup, field teardown.
Inter-League Tournaments (ILT)
Every team is invited to an Inter-League Tournament. This event is a full day, complete with Alliance Selection and playoffs, as well as judging and an Awards Ceremony with 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)
ILT 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 for teams and volunteers at 7 am. Judging and Robot Inspection starts promptly at 8 am, 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 approximately 3p m to 5 pm, with Awards Ceremony following immediately after the final match completes. The goal is to finish by 6-7 pm, 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.
As with the League Meets, to have the 75+ volunteers to run this day-long 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, and we have enough adults for the Key Volunteer roles for each ILT.
Date and Location:
- Saturday, February 24th-Monrovia High School, Monrovia, California
Structure: Championship is comprised of the 48 top teams from the 5 Inter-Leagues.. The 48 teams are divided into 2 groups that will compete within two different Divisions all day until the finals. The day starts at 7 am. Judging and Robot Inspection starts promptly at 8 am, so teams need to check in and set up at the pit from 7 am to 8 am. 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 7-8 pm. The top percentage of teams (based on FIRST criteria, published in the Game Manuals) will proceed to West Super Regionals in Tacoma, WA, scheduled for March 8-10.