FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, Coopertition®, and Gracious Professionalism® are registered trademarks, and Sport for the Mind™ are common law trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). ©2014 FIRST. All rights reserved.

2 Communication

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, Coopertition®, and Gracious Professionalism® are registered trademarks, and Sport for the Mind™ are common law trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). ©2014 FIRST. All rights reserved.

2.1 OVERVIEW

This section provides teams with necessary information for contacting FIRST staff, key vendors and others and how FIRST will communicate important season information.  This section also contains help regarding the use of the FIRST logo, finding materials on the website, the Team Information Management System (TIMS) and tips on reserving hotels. 

2.2 FIRST HEADQUARTERS - CONTACT INFORMATION

You can reach FIRST via mail, email, phone and fax or get information from our website. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, EST. Refer to the sections below for the appropriate help resource.

Be sure to provide your TEAM NUMBER on all communications!

Mailing Address 200 Bedford St, Manchester, NH 03101
Email Address frcteams@usfirst.org
Phone Numbers

(603) 666-3906, “0” for team support

(800) 871-8326, “0” for team support

Fax Numbers

(603) 666-3907 (Main)

(603) 647-5772 (Finance)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3 TEAM SUPPORT

The Operations (Team Support) Group is eager to answer your FRC program and season related questions. Please call or email us with any questions you may have – we look forward to helping you!

 

Emails and Subject Lines

Please write to frcteams@usfirst.org with your questions.
 
To facilitate a quick reply, always include your Team Number in the subject line.
2.3.1 Please do not duplicate efforts

We ask that you do not contact or copy multiple people about the same problem. Being a small group, we must work efficiently and avoid having more than one person working on the same issue. We can usually answer questions or requests within one to two business days. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone if your question requires immediate assistance.

2.4 TECHNICAL RESOURCES

Information on the 2014 Control System, including software and hardware, as well as other technical resources, will be available after Kickoff. For more information, please use the Kit of Parts homepage. The technical links are on the top of the page.

2.5 ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE CONTACT INFORMATION
PTC Software

PTC offers donated software to all FIRST teams, Creo® – CAD software, Mathcad® – Engineering Calculations software, and Windchill® – Project and Document Management software. Visit www.ptc.com/go/first for information on the free software solutions. If you cannot find answers to your questions from the above website, please contact FIRSTsupport@ptc.com.

Autodesk

Please go to www.autodesk.com/FIRST and join the Community to download Autodesk software products. Visit the Community often to check on new information and resources; to get your 2014 Kit of Parts modeled in Autodesk Inventor Professional 2014 (available after Kickoff); and/or to submit your questions and requests for technical support.
 
 
2.6 FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION WEBSITE

Visit the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) area on www.usfirst.org where you can find answers to administrative concerns and link to other areas of support.

  • Check deadlines and dates for TIMS, entries, grants, registration and payments, robot shipment, and awards submissions: FRC Season Calendar
  • Find links to the “Competition Manual and Related Documents” page, the “Robot Control System” page, the “ Robot Shipping” page, the “Season News and Email Blasts” page, , and other information at: FRC Game & Season Info
2.6.1 Getting Answers to Your Competition Questions

Competition Manual: Sections relating to the game will be posted after Kickoff.

Team Updates: After Kickoff, FIRST will post Team Updates online. Team Updates provide rules updates, important information about parts and administrative reminders/deadlines. Please note that some updates will result in FIRST publishing revisions to manual sections.

NOTE: Please be sure to check these website locations often during the build season to ensure that you have the latest information!

 

2.6.2 FRC Q&A Forum

After Kickoff, FIRST provides an on-line forum for questions and answers (Q & A). Please click here to access the 2014 FRC Q&A System

2.6.3 Email Blasts

Email blasts are important communications that FIRST sends to team contacts identified in TIMS. The email blasts remind teams of important deadlines, updates, and other timely FRC information.

FIRST archives the email blasts on the FIRST website at the News and Email Blasts page.
 
FIRST will typically send out one FRC email blast on the Thursday of each week throughout the FRC Season and on Tuesdays during competition event weeks.
 
In addition to the FRC Email Blast, Rookie Email Blasts will be sent to rookie teams periodically on Tuesdays during registration and throughout the FRC season.
2.6.4 FRC Blog

The FRC Blog should be ready weekly for additional important updates from the Director of FRC, Frank Merrick.

2.7 TIMS - SUPPLYING INFORMATION TO FIRST

TIMS is the online system used by the Main and Alternate Contacts of the team to:

  1. create a Team Profile;
  2. register for events;
  3. enter Kit and Kickoff Preferences;
  4. enter Judge’s Information (for awards); and
  5. accept students to the team, track their electronic Consent and Release Forms, print a Team Roster and assign students to submit for key awards and track their progress.
 
TIMS additionally provides options to allow teams to register themselves as a team willing to mentor others or for a team to identify itself as a team in need of mentoring.
2.8 JUDGES' INFORMATION
The Judges’ Information Section is the best way to provide an overview of your team to the competition judges. Please take advantage of this opportunity and provide this important information in TIMS.

 

The Judges’ Information is a team overview page. It is an opportunity to share valuable information and statistics about your team with FIRST and the judges at the events. This information is very important for planning events and very helpful in our efforts to procure funding. FIRST may use the robot photos you submit in the Awards Ceremonies. Enter the information under the “Judges’ Information” section in TIMS.
 
The purpose of the Judges’ Information page is to provide:
  • a common starting point for judging each team;
  • insight for Judges into the team's workings, history, goals, strengths and robot; and
  • team data for FIRST and its archives.
 
Please refer to the Administrative Manual, Section 6 – The Awards, for more information about the individual awards.
2.9 EVENT-SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Event-specific information such as agendas, site information, pre-order lunch forms etc. are posted under each event on our Regional and District Events page. Tip! Check back periodically as this page is updated in stages.

2.10 REGIONAL EVENTS AND CHAMPIONSHIP HOTEL INFORMATION

Steele Meetings, Inc. will once again be handling the hotel reservation system for Regional Events and the Championship. Please click on the following link for more information and to make your reservations: http://www.firstchampionshiphousing.com/Home.aspx.

2.11 FIRST MARKETING TOOLS

There are numerous creative opportunities for designing a unique team identity. Every year, we see great examples of how teams "brand" their efforts with websites, team logos on robots, t-shirts, hats, banners, fliers and giveaways. These branding activities are a great way to get students interested in art, communications, computer and language arts to join and work on the team.

As you manage your own promotion, you may want to incorporate the FIRST logo in what you do. Because our mark - the combination of the composite graphic element plus the FIRST word mark – is a registered trademark, we have a few guidelines for you to follow when using FIRST or FRC logos. You can find the logos and information about how to legally use them at our Marketing Tools page. 

Once the game is announced at Kickoff, you will be able to download this year’s game logo at http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/marketing-tools/frc.

In addition to logos, you may find promotional fliers, brochures and presentations on the Marketing Tools page. We encourage you to use these materials to promote your team to potential team members, the community and Sponsors.