FIRST Brabant - The hardest FUN you'll ever have!

FTC NL – Team blast 8 februari 2014

Dear teams

Within two months, you are going to participate  in one of the most exciting FTC tournaments in europe. With more than 40 Teams from the Netherlands, the UK, Romania, Spain, Germany, Russia and the US we truely can say that FTC is becomming a real international event. It promises to become an exiting competition. We hope that you are not only going to enjoy the games, but also make new FTC friends and of course have a lot of FUN!

We again have prepared a short email blast for you.

Practice opportunities on friday 28 march

Global tournament schedule

What to expect at a tournament

Hardware and software inspection

pit and practice field availability

practice field during preparation for NL teams

Old mail blasts still are available



1 practice opportunities onfriday 28 march
Since our tournament has grown a bit faster then we originally had dared to hope for, we see that it will become more and more difficult to fit all ftc activities into one day. We therefore have decided to give teams the possibility to do registration, hardware- and software inspection and practice on the field on friday afternoon. A small group of inspectors and referees will be available from 15.00hrs till 17.45 hrs. Please let us know if you want to make use of this early inspection and practice opportunity by emailing us at ftc@first-brabant.

2. Global tournament schedule

Friday 28 march 2014 (extra)
15.00 – 17.45 possibility for teams to do early tournament registration, go to your pit, practice on the field and do hardware and software inspection.

Saturday 29 march 2014
7.30 – 8.30 arrival and registration of the teams.
8.15 – 9.45 hardware and software inspections (incl practice rounds on the official ftc field)
10.00 opening ceremonies
10.15 – 11.30 Round 1 qualifiers & judging part 1
11.45 – 13.00 Round 2 qualifiers & judging part 2
14.00 – 15.15 round 3 qualifiers
15.15 alliance picking by top 4 teams (also see item ‘alliance picking’)
15.30 semi finals (best out of 3, max 6 matches)
16.00 finals (best out of 3′ max 3 matches)
16.30 award ceremonies

3. What to expect at an FTC tournament

If you are a rookie team, preparing for and attending your first FTC tournament can be a bit overwhelming. If you want to be prepared, please make sure to have a look at chapter 3 of the FTC game manual part I. Here the global activities of a tournament are explained in more detail. Our Dutch tournament will stick as closely as possible to the activities described here.

Make sure to prepare the tournament day well. Make sure to let every team member bring his/her safety glasses (safety glasses are mandatory in the pit area and ftc arena). Bring spare parts and some basic tools, bring spare batteries, power supplies and, if available, some decoration like a school or team flag or banner to decorate your pit area.

Make sure youve practiced judging and explained the flow of activities when preparing for and playing an ftc match.

And .. Alway remember … Winning one of the awards is fantastic, but the real benefit of participating in the FTC is giving your teammembers an unforgettable learning experience, regardless if your robot is in the top 3.

So in short … Prepare well … Enjoy seeing your team playing at The tournament and … HAVE FUN!

4. Hardware and software inspection
During hardware and software inspection on the german FTC tournament, we have seen that a substantial amount of teams was not able to pass inspection in one go. This sometimes causes a lot of stess for the teams, since in some cases adjustments to the robot have to be made last minute. Most of the times, this could have been prevented by doing the hard- and software inspection at your school/venue. Please remember that both hard- and software checklists are available for teams too in appendix A and B ofvthe game manual.

Please keep in mind that hw and sw inspection are not there to make life difficult. The rules are there to guarantee a fair competition and to guarantee a safe and succesfull experience for you as a team.

It really helps to speed up hw inspection when a team is well prepared and a correct and complete bill of materials is available at hw inspection (only non standard lego, tetrix or matrix materials are on the bom).

Common problems that we encountered during inspection were
Teams did use materials (esp motors) that are not lego, tetrix or matrix. Please know that this is not allowed and that it will result in a hardware inspector to ask yourcteam to remove it from the robot.
A lot of NXTs were mounted in such a way that quickly removing the battery was not possible. Your robot will still pass inspection if this cannot be changed quickly, but keep in mind that during matches its not possible any more forvthe field technical advisor (FTA) to ‘reset’ your brick in case of brickfreeze. The relult in such a case is that your robot will not move during autonomous and you cannot play during the tele operated period. Same yields for accessability of the samantha module.
Samantha modules are deeply embedded in a robot. This gives us two problems. First, The FTA will not be able to analyse connection problems and is not able to solve them for you after a robot is placed on the field. Second, deeply embedded modules often result in lower signal strength and therefore less reliable communication to the field control system. At the dutch tournament we will try to mount the field access point / router higher then the field. Mounting your samantha near the top of your robot might be beneficial
Watch loose or too long cables. They might be a risp for robot entanglement.
Dont forget to add an alliance flag mount. This doesnt have to be anything fancy, you should just be able to mount the alliance flag, which is nothing more than a paper flag mounted on a standard soda straw.
Please make sure that your DUTCH teamnumber is clearly visible. Your dutch teamnumber is the NL00XX number. If you are not sure witch number is assigned to you, look at inschrijven-ftc
Please make sure to name your brick with the four digits of your team number. So take your dutch NL00XX number and remove the NL in front. Renaming your brick can be done from robotc or labview

5. Pit and practice field availability

During the tournament, we will be playing matches on two FTC fields simultaniously.
Teams are only allowed to practice on the official fields on friday or during the software inspection (field inspection) on saturday. There will be an ftc practice field available in the pits. There will be a complete field setup, however it will not have a field control system. To practice you need to bring either a cable or connect using bt to your robot. (Nb no wifi routers are allowed to prevent distortion of the wifi system of the two official ftc fields). A volunteer will be available at the oractice field to plan practice time slots for teams.

Besides a practice field, also separate field elements are available for practice.

Each team is assigned a pit area, it typically is a small separarte room with one large or two smaller tables and 8 to 10 seats. A wall socket 230v 50hz will be available. There are also combined pit areas, that are located in a classroom. In such a case two or three pits are created in a classroom. 10 small desks and 10 seats are available per pit. Also here a wall socket 230v 50 hz is available.

6. Practice field availability during preparation season

teams that want to practice on a real size ftc field, can come and practice on the folowing locations

  • Eindhoven -fontys university of applied science (campus rachelsmolen)
  • Breda – newman college
  • Den Haag – van Maerlant college

if you want to practice at one of the above venues, please contact us by mail at

7. Old mail blasts still are available
Have you just joined the dutch FTC mail blasts? Or arez you looking for information we sent you earlier? No worries … All old mail blasts are available at

Well … Thats all for now teams. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Just mail us your question at

Good lck with designing, buildig, programming, testing and working on community outreach. And never forget to HAVE FUN!

Lennart is sinds 2008 actief als FLL vrijwilliger. Als mede regiocoordinator FLL in Eindhoven besloot hij in 2009 ook te streven naar een nieuwe Brabantse regio in Tilburg. In 2012 is Lennart coordinator van de FLL regios Eindhoven en Midden- en NoordOost Brabant (Tilburg, Den Bosch, Uden, Veghel), de jr.FLL in Brabant, de FTC in Zuid Nederland en begeleid hij als een van de coaches het enige Nederlandse FRC team.

Leave a Reply


captcha *