FIRST® LEGO® League Addendum

A-Z Guide

2018 FIRST® Championship Houston
For overall event-specific info in Houston, see Event A-Z Guide

Call backs and Pit Visits

Judging continues Friday morning, with the possibility of judges visiting teams in the Pit, watching teams on the competition floor, or requesting a "call-back" interview with the team. The list of teams requested for call-backs will be posted at Pit Admin by 4:30 pm on Thursday. 

All call-back sessions will be scheduled for Friday morning.  Call-backs will be question and answer sessions only.  Please do not bring your robot, Project props, or presentation materials to call-backs. Plan to arrive at least 5 minutes early and note there will be no judge queuing for call-back sessions.

Teams who are not scheduled for call-backs are requested to be in their Pit areas on Friday from 8:00 am – 9:30 am except if your team has a Robot Game match.  The judges will be visiting teams during this time.

Coaches’ Meeting

Date: Wednesday, April 18
Time: 2:30-3:30 pm
Location: General Assembly

At least one of your team’s coaches should attend this important meeting. Make sure that another coach or mentor is assisting the team to set up their Pit area during this time.

Encore Performances and Medal Ceremony

Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 8:30 am- 11:00 am
Location: George R. Brown Convention Center Level 3

All teams are encouraged to join us for Encore Performances, where 14 teams will be invited to share their robots and Projects. The teams with the top 8 highest scores from the official robot rounds will be invited to participate in the encore robot matches. These matches are strictly for fun, will follow an elimination match format, and will have no impact on the official awards. In addition, Project Judges will select six other teams to present their Projects at the Encore Performances. The 14 teams selected to participate in the Encore Performances will receive their invitations in the Pits on Friday, April 20.

The invitation list will also be posted at Pit Administration and on the FIRST Championship App, as well as announced by Emcees on Friday afternoon. The Medal Ceremony will immediately follow the Encore Performances, starting at 10:30 am.

FIRST LEGO League Awards Ceremony

Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: General Assembly

Doors will open at 2:45 pm, prior to start of the event. We encourage all teams to attend the Awards Ceremony – trophies will be presented, and you never know what interesting people may show up to speak and to high-five teams!

FIRST LEGO League schedule

Visit the FIRST Championship App and/or the schedule tab on the website for a detailed schedule of events.


Project judging:
You will be required to present your Project presentation during the first 5 minutes of your judging session. The 5-minute time limit includes your setup. The judging area will have six chairs and a rectangular table for the team.  Projectors will not be provided in judging rooms. You will be required to provide any support equipment needed for your presentation. Remember – all presentations must be in English, and they must be live presentations. Pre-recorded video presentations are not permitted.
NOTE: You will be presenting in a small area to two or three judges, so a PowerPoint presentation can be shown right from your laptop computer screen that can be placed on the judges’ table. We recommend simple, low-technical presentations, which require less support and are less likely to fail during your judging session.

Core Values Judging/Core Values Poster:
Your team will be required to complete a surprise teamwork activity during the first 5 minutes of your Core Values judging session. Your team will have 2 minutes to present your Core Values Poster (located in the Challenge Guide), which is required for Core Values judging at World Festival. The following 8 minutes are reserved for the judges to ask your team questions.

Robot Design Judging/Robot Design Executive Summary:
In Robot Design judging, your team will find a practice table with the HYDRO DYNAMICSSM mat and field for your team to discuss your design process and game strategy with the judges. You will be required to give a 4 minute Robot Design Executive Summary (located in the Challenge Guide). Your team will have the opportunity to answer the judges’ questions for the remainder of your judging session.

Spectators during judging:
Each team may bring 2 coaches and 4 spectators in their judging sessions. Each team will be given 4 spectator buttons in their registration packet. Spectator buttons must be allocated prior to the start of the team’s first judging session, and must remain unchanged for the full duration of judging. Spectators can take pictures and videos, but will be limited to the spectator viewing area so they do not distract the team or judges.  Videotaping of the presentations is allowed, however; coaches and spectators must remain in the designated spectator area in each judging area.

All cell phones (team members & coaches) must be turned off during the judging sessions. 

Practice Tables

There will be 12 practice tables that your team may reserve for 10-minute time slots. You will have a team marker (that is the same as your World Festival team number) located at the practice table reservation area, and you may reserve time on one of the tables. Walk-on teams may be accommodated as open table space allows. Make sure you show up for your reserved time. This process will be reviewed at the Coaches’ Meeting.

Project Rehearsal Rooms

Date: Thursday, April 19
Time: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Room 330A

Project rehearsal rooms will be available for teams to practice their Project presentations.

Robot Game

As always, make sure you have reviewed and studied the Robot Game documents (Field Setup, Missions, Rules) and the Challenge Updates. You can find this information on our website:

Game Play – There are many opportunities for you to play! Each team is scheduled to participate in 3 practice rounds on Thursday and 3 official competition rounds on Friday. Only the official competition rounds on Friday will be used to determine awards. You will have the opportunity to get to know 8 teams, as you will move to the robot game queuing area at the same time throughout the competition, and these teams will be located close to each other in the Pits.

Scoring Disputes

There are no time-outs or re-matches. If you don’t agree with a judgment call on the playing field, please adhere to the following procedure:

  • Do not leave the playing field.
  • Only team members should speak to the referee and explain your difference of opinion.
  • Graciously accept the Head Referee's decision, and leave the field. The Head Referee's ruling is final, and there is no appeal.

Spectators – Robot Game

Along with coaches, team members, and official translators, teams may have up to 4 spectators on the competition floor. All spectators must wear their spectator buttons, and must queue with the team to enter the competition area.

Different spectators may join the team for each of the six rounds, if you so choose.

Storage and Team Area

The World Festival has specific requirements for where teams may locate their people and equipment during matches.  These requirements are for safety and fairness because of the size of the World Festival, the number of teams competing, and since teams are traveling from all over the world.

FIRST LEGO League team area

  • A small stand will be provided next to each competition field that your team may use for storage, as allowed in Rule R12. The stand is approximately 19 inches x 14.5 inches (48 cm X 37 cm). Your team may also bring a small stand or cart or other container to use for storage. Your team must not put boxes or game equipment on the floor next to the competition field outside of the team area.  If your team brings a stand or cart, it must be small enough to fit with your team in the queueing areas.  It may be placed in the team area or next to the competition field with the technicians. 
  • Each field will have a team area marked on the floor that will be at least 12 feet x 5.5 feet (366 cm x 168 cm). Except for the team technicians, all team members, coaches, and spectators must stay within the team area while at the field.  In addition, there will be a space marked near the end of the field opposite base for a team photographer. The team area extends past the edge of the table, where it is close to base and the technicians.
  • We recommend that you bring a box or container to carry your robot and equipment. Your team may place the box on the stand by the field, or you may keep your storage box or boxes in the team area.  Storage boxes may be held by team members or placed on the floor inside the team area.  Mission Models are not allowed in the team area; they must be stored on the field in base or on the stand, in view of the referee (R12).  Any time you take to set up in your team area is part of the time to prepare promised in Rule R09.

Team Badging

Date: Wednesday, April 18
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: George R. Brown Convention Center, Level 3

Teams will be able to print their badges at Experient Kiosks on the third floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. You will go up the escalator and to the left. The Main Contact listed on the Experient Website should have received an email containing a bar code one week prior to the event. You can either scan the barcode received in your email or search using your World Festival Team Number/Name. You will have the opportunity to scan your roster, make simple changes such as typo’s or add one or two missed team members. A “print all” function will allow you to print all of your badges at one time. If your team arrives not having pre-registered (completing the badging process), Experient staff will be available to assist you.

Team Check-in

Date: Wednesday, April 18
Time: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
Location: FIRST LEGO League Pits

Team check-in will take place at the FIRST LEGO League Pit Administration table, located in the Pit area. We request that only one (1) coach stand in line for check-in. The remaining team members, accompanied by an adult, can begin setting up their Pit.

If you are a team from Canada or the United States, each team member must have a FIRST Consent form on file electronically in the system.  If you completed these steps, you are not required to submit paperwork at Team Check-in.

If you are a team from outside Canada or the United States, you were required to submit your FIRST Consent forms for each team member and coach prior to the event.  If you completed this step, you are not required to submit paperwork at Team Check In.  

Your team will receive the following at check-in:

  • Team Buttons: You will receive 10 team buttons (1 for each team member). Additionally, you will receive 2 coach buttons, 4 spectator buttons, and if you are travelling with a translator, you’ll receive 1 translator button. Team buttons must always be visible. Coaches have full access to team-only areas. Up to 4 spectators may join the team in judging (the four may not switch out and must stay with the team for all three judging sessions), and 4 spectators may join the team to access the team-only area of the robot competition. The team Pit area is not restricted and is open to the public. NOTE: At least one adult coach is required to supervise the team at all times during the event.
  • Schedule of Events/Program Book: Your team will be provided information about the overall event, including a competition schedule.

Team Pits

The Pit is where your team will spend most of its time.  It is the area where you can showcase your team, relax between your scheduled events, practice with your robot, and most importantly, get to know other FIRST LEGO League teams from all over the world!

Your team will be assigned to a 10 feet x 10 feet (3 meters x 3 meters) Pit space which will be your home at the World Festival.  Each Pit space will have one standard-sized table and two chairs.  Short pipe and drape will frame the Pit space on three sides, but any Pit decorations you bring must be supported with a structure you bring or create.  You may decorate it in a way to showcase your country, state, your Project, and/or your unique and fun team identity.  We encourage you to be creative, but please consider the following limitations and restrictions:

  • Decorate within your 10 feet x 10 feet (3 meters x 3 meters) Pit space. Also, consider 10 feet (3 meters) as a height limit as well. For safety reasons, your decorations must remain within this space.
  • You will have access to one (1), 120-volt electrical outlet. We encourage you to bring an extension cord and a power strip for you to plug in multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Please do NOT bring or use helium balloons or open flames. No team should cook or prepare food in the Pit area.

Queuing Process

  • Ten (10) minutes before their scheduled match, teams will “check-in” at the match check-in station.   NOTE: Your team will check-in at the same check-in station for all six matches.
  • Teams will wait in the designated queuing area until instructed to enter the competition floor
  • Teams will have at least one (1) minute to prepare, as written in Rule R09. NOTE: If a team takes too much time to setup, the match may begin before the team is ready. Your team should practice setup at home so your team is prepared to begin your match on time.
  • Two team members and one translator, if required, should review and sign the team’s score sheet with the Referee and then move out of the competition area promptly to allow the table to be reset in time for the next team. Your team should decide which team members will review the score sheet prior to the start of the match.