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Hello Utah FRC Community!

Well, it’s a tough time to be in the events business. Our robotics season will certainly look different this coming season, along with every other aspect of our lives! But we have several solid options for teams to participate, including a game design challenges, skills challenges and remote event participation. Maybe even in-person events if it’s safe to do so come late spring next year.

To be clear, teams should not expect to attend a live event at this time. Registering for the 2021 season this fall is to participate in the alternative-season activities listed above. No in-person events are official or part of the deal right now.

If, after FIRST evaluates the situation in early January, they determine that some in-person events are possible, the details of specific competitions will be published at that time and additional registration fees will be announced and due- if teams are able to attend. Every area and team situation will be different, so we just have to see where we are come Kick Off on January 9, 2021.

As some of you have heard, our Utah Regional is unlikely to happen in 2021. We were so fortunate to get to hold our 2020 Regional at the Maverik Center in March just before our state basically shut down and schools closed, but 80% of FRC events everywhere else were cancelled. Most FRC teams had no wheels-on-carpet play at all! Tragic.

With the season being extended into early June in 2021, we feel that anything is possible in Utah. The more likely option, however, for Utah teams to attend an in-person event would be a new alternative-format event in Pocatello, Idaho. This possibility is being tentatively planned for both Idaho and Utah teams, as a way to serve both states with one event. FIRST is anticipating running only 25% of regular FRC events next year-at maximum so many regionals would be either combined or skipped for the season. The proposed format would be 18 teams (max 5 students and one mentor in attendance-all others would participate virtually) competing in a one-day event. No audience will be allowed in the building, but good coverage would be provided on Twitch for everyone to watch. We’re scheming establishing a virtual pit platform and ways to “get together” online too. This is all tentative and to be decided upon officially in January.

See the 2021 Season Details document attached for all the official info on what participation entails as teams register to participate this season.

I do hope to see all our teams register! Be sure to claim the $450 grant NASA is offering every team through completing a simple form and continue their team activities as best they can. The new skills challenges and remote options will be a fun alternative while we wait for the pandemic to resolve.  Hang in there, guys. If ever there were a community who could adapt and overcome, it’s this one!

With enthusiastic elbow bumps and virtual high-fives,

Chelsey Short
FIRST Utah Regional Director


NASA Grant

If your team has not yet applied for the NASA grant, you can apply here. Due to COVID-19 NASA has changed their requirements for this grant for this season. 

From the grant application:
This application is for FIRST Robotics Competition teams from the United States for the 2021 FRC Season.
This grant can be applied towards your initial team registration fee for the upcoming 2021 season.
These grants are available for use for initial team registration only and are subject to the FRC Refund Policy.
Please indicate which season's initial registration you would like this voucher applied to by completing this form no later than November 16.
For more information on the 2021 FRC Season, please review the recent communication here.
If you choose to utilize this voucher for the 2021 FRC Season, you will receive an email notification when the grant has been applied to your Team’s account.
Please contact if you have any questions regarding this grant.


AMES Preseason Event

As expected the AMES preseason competition will be working differently this year. Instead of one large game there will be three virtual competitions. We encourage students to participate in as many of the competitions as they would like. A short summary of the competitions can be found below.


CAD Competition

The Challenge: Create a CAD model of a robotic shooter designed to shoot power cells into the power ports, as detailed in the 2020 Infinite Recharge game manual. You don’t need to create the whole robot (Chassis/Drivetrain, other mechanisms), just the mechanism that shoots the balls into the ports. You can use whatever CAD software you’re most comfortable with. With your model, make sure to include a short (Maximum 1 page) description of your mechanism. In this document, make sure to include (1) Your team name and number, (2) How your mechanism functions, and (3) Any unique or special design elements you’d like the judges to know about.

Submitting your mechanism: Mechanisms need to be submitted via Email to by Monday, November 30 at 11:59pm. If your file is too big to email, you should upload it to Google Drive and share it with that same email address. Submissions should be in STEP (.STP and .STEP file extension) or Parasolid (.x_t and .x_b file extension) file format. Make sure that your file will open on a computer other than the one it was created on before submitting it.

Judging: Submissions will be judged by industry professionals based on the following criteria:
  • Originality of design (0-3 points)
  • Perceived Efficacy of design (0-3 points)
  • Lack of Obvious design flaws (0-3 points)
  • Bonus: Many professional CAD softwares (Solidworks, Onshape, Fusion 360, etc.) have built-in animation functionality. Create a simple animation illustrating the function of your mechanism, and submit it along with your main submission. Submit it in either .mp4 or .GIF format.

FRC Tutorial Competition

The Challenge: Pick a strength your team has or something your team would like to improve on and teach people about it. Be creative! The tutorial can be in a video or in a written format.

Submitting your video: Post videos on YouTube or save written tutorials as a PDF. Send submissions to Include title slide/page with the topic, creator names, and team number, and a reference page. Videos should be no more than 15 minutes long. Written documents should be no more than 10 pages long (excluding title and reference pages)

Judging: The best tutorial for each of the following categories will be voted on by you and other local teams:
  • Best presentation 
  • Easiest to understand 
  • Most interesting topic 

Business Plan Competition

The Challenge: Display entrepreneurial enthusiasm as well as demonstrate the vital planning and business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program. To be eligible, the team must submit a Summary Business Plan to An example business plan can be found here. This competition will prepare teams to participate in the FIRST Entrepreneurial Award competition at regional events. 

Submitting your business plan: Save your business plan as a PDF. Send submissions to The summary business plan should consist of 3 pages maximum plus 3 pages of appendices. It should include the following information:
  • Mission Statement: Please briefly indicate what you believe to be the “driving engine” of your team. Your mission should be clear and concise. It should represent to any reader exactly what your team strives to accomplish.
  • Team History & Growth: Please briefly highlight where your team is from and how your team has grown and/or manage turnover with emphasis on the past 2 years.
  • Organizational Structure: Please detail how your team operates and how you continue to grow your program with emphasis on the next 2 years.
  • Risk Analysis: Please describe how your team deals with risks and opportunities. Also describe your team’s strengths. Consider using a SWOT Analysis to show this.
  • Marketing: How do you get your team/brand out there?
  • Financials: Please include information on team finances (include details on income statement and balance sheet as an appendix). How is your team funded and how do you budget? Please also briefly highlight your relationship with your sponsors and how you recognize them.
  • Appendix:
    • You are allowed 3 pages maximum to include things like:
      • Financial Statement - income statement and balance sheet
      • Organizational Chart
      • Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)
      • Any other supporting documentation
Judging: Submissions will be judged by industry professionals based on the following criteria:
  • Business plan organization (0-3 points)
  • Team decision making and workload division clearly explained (0-3 points)
  • Explanation of how team keeps students, mentors, and sponsors actively engaged (0-3 points)
  • Explanation of how team recruits and trains future team members (0-3 points)
  • Explanation of how team celebrates success and documents lessons learned to prevent repeating mistakes.

Winners will be announced Saturday, December 12 over zoom. Following the announcement of winners AMES invites all teams that are interested to participate in a Chairman's Award Round Table to share and discuss ideas about what it takes to win the most coveted award in FIRST.

Please contact if you have any questions and/or concerns.
Copyright © 2020 FIRST Utah Robotics, All rights reserved.

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