FAQs

Event Selection FAQ

You will receive a login once you have paid your FIRST Chesapeake invoice.  You can then enter your event preferences. If you have not received an invoice or need additional assistance please contact Ron Therrien at rtherrien@firstchesapeake.org 

Please select 3 events in case your first choice is unavailable. 

No, while teams are given priority to the closest location, you are free to compete at any of the events.  Be aware that you may not get your first choice if you choose an event that is not closest to you since the event may fill up with teams that have priority.   

On the detailed events pages, there is a “Teams/Events Details” button that will show you a team list as well  match schedule, rankings, etc. once the events starts.

Event FAQ

A hybrid event is part remote event (Judging) and part traditional (matches).  Teams use the remote events manual for the judging process and the traditional events manual for match play. In order to meet local guidelines in DC, MD, and VA we have agreed to keep events below 50 people, which means breaking an event into multiple cohorts.  Each cohort is made up of eight teams that are limited to five people per team including at least one mentor. Minimal essential staff and volunteers will work the event.  The schedule allows for time between cohorts for a deep cleaning using a non-toxic disinfectant fogger. For more information on safety procedures, click here. Teams should only be at the venue during their 3 ½ hour cohort schedule. The awards ceremony will be held online on Tuesday evenings.

At this time we do not have any totally remote events planned.  We do have some remote scrimmages planned for teams that aren’t ready for in person events. Scrimmages will start mid December.

In the hybrid event there is no alliance selection or playoffs. Teams will be ranked based on ranking points from qualifying matches and the awards they earn from the event. 

Each team will play 5 matches at each event they participate in. 

Teams are assigned with a randomized lottery system. 

No, once the cohort is assigned you are not able to change your assigned cohort. Teams traveling from a further distance will be allowed to request not being assigned to the early morning or late afternoon cohorts.  We will also accommodate exceptions for religious beliefs. 

Just like traditional events, we will run the match schedule with the number of teams present.  As we only have 8 teams at an event, any no shows will cause the other teams to play back to back matches. 

Sealed bottled water is allowed at events. No food is allowed inside the venue. Food vendors and restaurants are located within walking distance of all the venues.

Yes, this is one of the reasons we are providing wrist bands so that teams may leave and return. Please keep in mind, the match schedule is very tight and we will not wait for you to return if you miss your match time. Teams may only reenter the event during their cohort time. To ensure we don’t exceed the 50-individual maximum per competition, teams who have completed their competitions may not return to the event.

We anticipate that teams will have 5-10 minutes between matches.  With 8 teams competing it is likely that teams will need to be prepared to compete in back to back matches. 

Due to COVID 19 concerns, we are asking mentors who are not part of the drive team to remain in their designated pit area during matches. 

To ensure limited contact between teams, mentors may not move between pits. If teams share a mentor and another mentor cannot be identified for competitions, please contact Ron Therrien, Director of Programs, at rtherrien@firstchesapeake.org to request that teams compete in consecutive cohorts. FIRST Chesapeake will make every effort to accommodate these requests if possible.

There will be no practice field at the event and teams cannot bring one as there will be no space for it. With only 8 teams, there will not be much time for practice anyway. 

There is nothing preventing teams from talking electronically while in the pits but teams will also be able to communicate at the field, through the clear barrier while waiting for a match to start. Basically, there will be 10 minutes between matches so there should be plenty of time to chat after setting up at the field. 

On a space available basis, teams can sign up to play a third event. The additional cost will be $150 

A virtual audience system has been created for team members and parents that cannot attend in person. The students at the venue will be able to see and hear the members at home. 

Matches will also be broadcast live on FIRST Chesapeake’s live Twitch Channel at https://www.twitch.tv/firstchesapeake  After the event, a recording of the events can be found on FIRST Chesapeake’s YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/firstchesapeake 

Event Cancelation policies FAQ

FIRST Chesapeake refund policy for January-March 2021 Events

If FIRST Chesapeake has to cancel an event, the team will receive a 50% refund for that events registration value. For each event that has to be canceled you will get $150 x 50% = $75 back. This applies to your two regular events as well as third plays. FIRST Chesapeake cannot apply
refunds to events paid to FIRST Headquarters or other organizations.

Based on CDC and local guidance at the specific venues location, FIRST Chesapeake will decide when to cancel the event. This only apples to that specific venue. Events at other venues will continue if local guidance at their location allows.

FIRST Chesapeake will notify all 1st and 2nd mentors via email as quickly as possible if an event is to be cancelled. Cancellations will also be posted on the event hotline 804.464.8945 and the FIRST Chesapeake website.

In the event of a postponement due to weather conditions, FIRST Chesapeake will make every effort to accommodate teams on the next available day at that location. Postponement and cancellation details will be on the event hotline 804.464.8945 and sent to all 1st and 2nd mentors via email by 5am the morning of the scheduled event.

Currently all events are being planned for a max of 50 people, but the hybrid we are using for events can be scaled down from the 50 person limit based on CDC and local guidance at the specific location of each venue.

All events will be able to be scaled down from here based on CDC and local guidance. We have options to operate 50, 25 and 10 person events.The 50 person events will have 8 teams at them and compete with two team alliances. The 25 person events will have 4 teams at them and compete with two team alliances. The 10 person version will have two teams at them and compete in single team alliances. The single team event will have 1 team at a time scheduling the facility for play.

Remote Judging FAQ

All judging will be done remotely. Events take place over two days within 3 ½ hour cohorts. The teams that compete in Saturday cohorts will be judged on Sunday and those that compete on Sunday will be interviewed on Saturday. We will attempt to make any adjustments based on religious beliefs, but please understand that we may not be able to honor all requests.

FIRST is developing remote hub software to control the judging process. Details will be released to all of us sometime in December. We may still need a Zoom like platform for the interview process as well. Stay tuned as we all learn more details. 

Championship FAQ

The number of teams qualifying at an event will be based on how many teams are at the event, the number of registered teams we have for the season and how many teams we are allowed to have at the championship events based on CDC and local guidance. Teams will qualify based on the rankings at the events they compete at. Most likely, at least 4 teams will qualify at each event but that can change based on how many teams we have registered. We also hold back a handful of wildcard slots that get allotted to teams based on performance over the two events they completed. 

Teams will be assigned a home district championship location, similar to how FIRST assigns teams at Worlds. Teams can compete at any FIRST Chesapeake events to qualify but will always play at their home district championship location.  In the FTC Registered Teams List you can view the assignments.

Championship events will cost $350 

We are planning them as hybrid events but that can be re-evaluated based on CDC and local guidance as we get closer to the championships. Both championships will be held following the same model. 

Health and Safety FAQ

  • Signed Consent and Release forms will be collected for each member of the team including any mentors or adults 
  • Temperatures will be taken using an infrared no-touch thermometer; any temperature over 100.4 will be asked to leave. If someone with a temperature over 100.4 is on a team, the entire team will not be allowed to enter the venue.
  • We will take the temperature multiple times to make sure the reading is accurate. 
  • The team will be asked as a group to answer the Health Screening Questions 
  • The team will receive paper wristbands to wear signifying they have been screened 
    • A wristband is required for entry into the event 
    • Teams can only reenter the event during their cohort competition times.
  • Have you or anyone in your household had any of the following symptoms in the last 10 days: sore throat, cough, chills, body aches for unknown reasons, shortness of breath for unknown reasons, loss of smell, loss of taste, fever at or greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit?  
  • Have you or anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days?
  • Have you or anyone in your household been on a commercial airline or traveled to a hotspot country or a hotspot state outside of our area in the past 10 days? 
  • Have you or anyone in your household cared for an individual who is in quarantine or is a presumptive positive or has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days?  
  • Do you have any reason to believe you or anyone in your household has been exposed to or acquired COVID-19 in the last 10 days?  
  • To the best of your knowledge have you been in close proximity to any individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days?  Close proximity is defined as being within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more.
  • Note: These questions along with more details on FIRST Chesapeake’s COVID policy can be found on the website. 

The team will be asked to leave and be disqualified from the competition 

If your team has to withdraw from the competition due to a known COVID 19 exposure, you can register for another event if there is space available.  These situations will be handled on a case by case basis by the Director of Programs. 

  • Handmade cloth masks 
  • Surgical masks 
  • Fitted masks 
  • Gators 
  • Bandanas
  • Masks with valves
  • If, after an event, you discover that you may have come in close contact with someone who tested positive in the days prior to your event, please contact your physician and Leighann Boland, Executive Director, at 804.514.7712 or lboland@firstchesapeake.org. FIRST Chesapeake will notify all event attendees of possible exposure using contact information from the Consent and Release forms. FIRST Chesapeake will never publicly identify any individual or team that self-reports a possible exposure.
  • If, within 10 days of attending an event, you test positive for COVID 19, please contact Leighann Boland, Executive Director, at 804.514.7712 or lboland@firstchesapeake.org. While local health departments are tasked with contact tracing, it often takes days or weeks for all possible exposures to be notified. Since time is of the essence, FIRST Chesapeake will notify all event attendees of possible exposure using contact information from the Consent and Release forms. If requested, FIRST Chesapeake will provide contact information to the local health department. FIRST Chesapeake will never publicly identify any individual or team that self-reports a positive diagnosis.

Volunteer

The full list of roles can be found by going to the events page and selecting Volunteer from the menu and then selecting Volunteer Roles
Once on the Volunteer Roles page, you can see detailed descriptions of each role by clicking on the role name.adults

Yes, there are different roles for our hybrid events.  Most of the roles will be remote roles that from your home. This year is a good opportunity to try something new! If, after reading all the roles you still have questions, please reach out to us at volunteer@firstchesapeake.org for help in finding the perfect role.

Discord is a free group chatting platform which was originally created for gaming but is now used by a much larger audience. Discord is divided into “servers”. A server can be public or private and has its own set of rules and groups. Discord has text, voice and video chat functionality and works on computers, tablets, and/or phones.

Go to www.discord.com and apply for a free account. You will need an invitation or a specific code to join the FIRST Chesapeake server because our server is private.

Each role will have slightly different training requirements. We are in the process of creating training documentation on using RingCentral and Discord. Some roles will have a virtual meeting through RingCentral prior to the event to go over procedures and answer questions.

No, we understand that volunteering from home may not be the best fit for every volunteer. We look forward to working with all of our volunteers in person once we can safely hold traditional events again.