League, Inter-League Tournament (ILT) and Championship Information
Event Structure Summary (League Play and Inter-League Competition): In order to give all teams across our eight counties opportunities to compete with their robots, we use the League model for pre-season and Inter-League model for Competition to advance to SoCal FTC Championships. Top teams (as determined by FIRST advancement criteria) will advance to the SoCal FTC Championships.
Please note: The League Play system operates under a community model and teams are expected to contribute to its success. Therefore, each team is required to provide at least one volunteer per League Meet competition (there are four: Meet 0, 1, 2, 3). Teams are also asked to provide two volunteers for the Inter-League Tournament. Failure to fulfill team commitment will lead to a negative experience for all teams, so please volunteer. (See below for a thorough description of how League Play works.)
SoCal FTC Registration: The single payment to compete in the SoCal FTC Region League system is $300. Note, this is a separate fee from the $295.00 FIRST registration fee that is paid directly to FIRST. The $300 SoCal FTC registration fee covers up to four League meets (Meets 0-3) and one Inter-League Tournament. Your team is not required to attend all events but it is strongly encouraged to do so. Each team must register and pay both FIRST and SoCal FTC to retain their League placement in order to play. Payment can be by credit card via PayPal, check, or a full PO (not just the number). When a team registers with FIRST, the team mentors will receive an email inviting them to register with SoCal FTC with the link provided to do so. If you have questions about registration details, please reach out to email@example.com
SoCal FTC League Play: Leagues are communities of no more than 16 teams that are located geographically close. The League plays 4 Meets, with 5 matches in each half-day Meet. Meets run approximately 2 weeks apart on either Saturdays or Sundays determined by the host. This typically works out to one or two Meet in November, one or two in December and potentially one meet in January. All League events are weekends to avoid impacts to after school activities, homework, and weeknight traffic. Meet Events run 3-4 hours. This is game play only, with no judging. If a team competes in Meets 1, 2, 3 – a team can accumulate 15 match results. A team’s top 10 scores from Meets 1-3 will carry forward to the Inter-League event. (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). EVERY TEAM advanced to an Inter-League Tournament. The 10 scores will combine with the 5 performance scores at the Inter-League to determine the teams standing for Alliance Selection. New in 2023, the team with the highest combined points from Meets 1, 2, and 3 will win the League Championship trophy for your location.
SoCal FTC League Assignments: Once you have registered with FIRST, you will receive an email from SoCal FTC with a link to the League registration and payment, and assigning you to a League. If you are a veteran team, you will be assigned to the League you previously attended; if you are a new team, you will be assigned based on zip code and availability. If you wish to change Leagues, you may request to be switched. This, however, can only be done once, is subject to availability and it must be done before the first League Meet. The Leagues can be found here – please check for league locations and times. For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Volunteers: Even though there is a Host to each League, the SoCal FTC Region requires that all teams in that League provide a minimum of one volunteer for each of the four Meets (Meet 0, 1, 2, 3). The volunteer will be provided training for their position. It is not necessary that the volunteer be the same person for all four meets. With fourteen Leagues and four Meets over eight weekends, there will be three or four Meets in different parts of SoCal on the same Saturday or Sunday. So, while the SoCal FTC Committee will help organize the events, we are part-time volunteers and cannot run all the events alone. We need each team to take an active role, so when your League Host calls your team, please provide a responsible volunteer(s) to help. Positions range from non-technical to technical, and include positions such as Volunteer Coordinator, Registration/Team Check In, Robot inspector, Field Inspector, Field Technical Advisor, Queuer, Scorekeeper, Referees, Game Resetter, Field Setup, and Field Teardown.
Inter-League Tournaments (ILT): Every team is invited to one Inter-League Tournament. There are no eliminations from League level Meets – everyone is invited to compete at an ILT. The ILT 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 in some cases we have booked locations for the full weekend so as to minimize the time-consuming set-up and tear-down.
ILT Structure: ILTs are made up of around 24 teams. Leagues are pre-assigned an ILT date / location. Two Leagues will compete at one ILT, so for 14 Leagues that is 7 ILTs. 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 their table in the pit area before 8 am. Following the completion of judging interviews, the opening ceremony starts at approximately 10 am. For round robin play, teams typically play 5 matches. The points from these 5 matches (plus your 10 scores from Leagues) are used to determine the order of Alliance Selection and Playoffs. Playoffs run from approximately 3 pm to 5 pm, with an Awards Ceremony immediately following after the final match is completed. The goal is to finish by 6-7 pm, but that 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 seven Inter-League Tournaments will proceed to the SoCal Championships.
ILT Volunteers: As with the League Meets, it is a regional requirement that all teams in that League provide at a minimum two volunteers to achieve the 75+ volunteers needed to run this day-long event. Training will be provided for all volunteer positions. A responsible family member, friend or neighbor can be your volunteer. Roles run from the high-touch people roles to high-tech robot interface roles, and there is a great role for people no matter what their background is. See FIRSTInspires.org for descriptions of volunteer roles and this link for manuals for a list of volunteer roles and their descriptions. All Volunteers must be registered within the FIRST VIMS Volunteer system and all adults must pass Youth Protection clearance, which may take up to 7 days.
Championship Structure: The Championship is comprised of the 42 top teams from the Inter-League Tournaments . 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 their tables in the pit area from 7 am to 8 am. Following the completion of judging interviews, the opening ceremony starts at approximately 10 am. For round robin play, teams typically play five matches. This is a clean slate and no points are brought forward from the Qualifier Tournaments. With 42 team, Alliance selection will start later than in ILTs, appx 4pm and Playoffs run from approximately 4 pm to 6 pm. The 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 the World Championship in Houston, Texas.