COVID-19 Updates – 2021-2022 Season

We are continuing to develop plans on how to best support FIRST events across all programs for the 2021 – 2022 Season. This includes the ability to implement modifications such as the use of masks, health screening, event scaling, social distancing, event formatting, and other precautions as determined by local conditions and regulations.

We will continue to offer program and event modifications that include traditional (in-person), remote, or hybrid format options. The event format will be based on local conditions and regulations. 

For the latest information about FIRST events in your region in California, contact your local Program Delivery Partner.

Providing opportunities for hands-on learning and recognizing our teams’ incredible accomplishments are key elements to the lasting impact of FIRST. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to disrupt many aspects of our lives, including the ability in some cases to gather in-person. So while we’re looking forward to seeing in-person competition and celebration, we are ready to adjust plans if needed. We remain committed to deliver our programs to as many students as possible, as safely as possible.

We thank you for your continued support for our mission as we navigate the season together!

Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador Teams Announced

Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador Teams Announced

What better time to announce our four new Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador teams than during #NationalInventorsMonth?

Thanks to the generous support of Qualcomm, this season we created the Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador Team grant. The grant was inspired by the 2021 FIRST Innovation Challenge sponsored by Qualcomm which gave students the opportunity to explore what it means to be an innovator and find solutions to society’s greatest challenges that impact the world for generations to come.

We are so proud to have 16 semi-finalist and 4 finalists from California FIRST Robotics Competition teams for the FIRST Innovation Challenge!

“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do,” said Natalie Dusi, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Qualcomm Incorporated. “We couldn’t be more proud of the teams who participated in this year’s challenge and are thrilled to see so many California teams represented as finalists.”


California FIRST Robotics Competition teams that were selected as FIRST Innovation Challenge semi-finalist were able to apply to be a Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador team for their region.

The Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador designation honors the teams that have committed to exploring the many facets of what it means to be an innovator and best embody the Qualcomm ethos of “We dream big. We invent bigger.”

The teams selected for this grant will help us grow the Innovation Challenge and raise the bar of amazing and creative solutions coming from our FIRST teams.

We had a lot of remarkable applications and it was a tough decision, but we are excited to announce the winning teams for the 2021 Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador Grant as:

Please take a moment to listen to winning team’s personal stories of impact that resulted from participating in the the FIRST Innovation Challenge.



Team 3749 – Team Optix
San Diego, CA


Team 867 – Absolute Value
Arcadia, CA


Team 5458 – Digital Minds
Woodland, CA


Team 115 – MVRT
Cupertino, CA

Congratulations to our new Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador teams!  We are excited to see how they use their ingenuity to ignite future inventors with their stories and passion!

San Diego FTC – Workshop

San Diego FTC – Workshop

Why is Math always sad? Because it’s got nothing but problems.

This and many other bad jokes kept the audience of students, mentors, and coaches for San Diego FTC amused in between technical and information sessions at a regional FTC workshop held virtually on 12/19/20.

FTC Regional Program Partner Matt Nilsen shared that the region will assign teams to their league in January and that teams will get to test out the virtual systems in mid-January league meets.

Over eighty attendees logged in to learn what to include in their Robot Inspection videos, how the Remote Hub works, details and deadlines for Dean’s List applicants, and technical breakout sessions hosted by local teams. Throughout the call attendees designed a region-wide fun challenge at the end of the call to wrap up the session with a hands-on, virtual competition using game elements from this season’s challenge.

Devin Briese provided an overview of what teams need to include on their Hardware Inspection videos and shared where teams can get more information.

Julie Bonnardel reviewed the process for students to apply for Dean’s List followed by Victor Cicarrelli providing the region their first overview of the remote hub. Cicarrelli will host subsequent training classes for teams to get more experience with the virtual hub before regional league play begins.

Three teams, Roboctopi, Crash Test, and Mechanical Advantage then led breakout sessions to help other teams with their industrial designs for this season’s robots.

Students and coaches got into the fun sharing seasonal and other bad jokes like these: Who is the fattest knight at the round table? SirCumfrence. He got that way from eating too much pi.

Follow more fun from San Diego FTC at!

Los Angeles FLL – Event Results

Los Angeles FLL – Event Results

Though the events may be virual this year, the excitement is 100% real!

The below video captures the surprise and joy from team Athena when they learn they are Champions of the Los Angeles FIRST LEGO League Challenge Championship event.

Championship Event – December 12th

Following the Qualifying Tournaments, Los Angeles FLL held their Championship on Saturday, December 12. The awards ceremony was held live on LAFLL YouTube.



Robot Performance

SF Hackers – 515
RoboWizards – 470
Production Quality
Rusty Sailors

Robot Design

UFO (Ultra Fit Ostrich)
SF HAckers
Innovative Project
MR Squared

Judges Award

Lightning Bots
Those Guys
Global Innovation Nominee

Core Values

Rusty Sailors
Three Musketeers

Qualifying Tournaments – Nov 21st & 22nd

59 teams competed in Los Angeles FLL Qualifying Tournaments November 21st and 22nd.

Teams submitted and were judged on their videos of their Robot Performance as well as  a 15 minute video of the Innovative Project, Robot Design and their Core Values.

The awards were held live on YouTube with the following teams awarded trophies and 25 teams advanced to the Championships.  


Robo Wizards Club
UFO (Ultra Fit Ostrich)

Innovative Project

Triangle Triad AUTOMATONS TechnoTitans Mission Mavericks

Robot Design

Robochimps Athena MRsquared EV3LUTION

Judges Award

The Nuggets The Coders of the Round Table Galstonbot Galactic Circuits

Core Values

Robocatz SCDC ROBO Warriors Brick Bots SF Hackers Robot Performance SF Hackers – 495 Robo Wizards Club – 445 Robo Tech Heroes – 440 Lightning Bots – 375 Production Quality Blockheads Robo Tech Heroes Athena Galstonbot

All In for the 2021 FRC Season

These California FIRST Robotics Competition teams have come together to share their commitment, passion and support for FIRST and to let YOU know that they are ALL IN for the 2021 FRC Season!

Now is the time when the rubber meets the road (or carpet ) and we get to see first-hand what Dean has been saying all along.

FIRST is SO MUCH MORE than robots!

We know how passionate, brilliant, resilient and creative our FIRST California family is. Over the past 6 months, we’ve seen you rise to the challenge and come together in these times of adversity – helping each other and your community.  Doing the hard work.

We are now excited to see the growth, innovation and solutions that lie ahead for all of us in the 2021 season – and beyond.

This season will look different – there’s no doubt. And we are excited to see the role you will play in shaping the future of the 2021 FRC Season!


FIRST California 2020-2021 Season Update

FIRST California 2020-2021 Season Update

So that every student participant receives a valuable, enjoyable experience (regardless of learning environment this season) FIRST is extending the 2020-2021 event season for all programs through the end of June 2021 and moving the 2021 FIRST Championship from April 2021 to later in the year. 

What does this mean for your program in your city? See below for information and timelines in your region.

FIRST LEGO League Challenge

For some regions that continue to be disrupted by COVID-19 and require social distancing, we are offering remote event options supported by the FIRST Remote Event Hub to provide a comprehensive remote experience for teams and volunteers.


  • Qualifier Tournaments (remote): February 6, 7, 13 (proposed dates)
  • Championship Tournament (remote or possibly in-person): March 13th (proposed date)
  • Spring Season Event (official or unofficial): April – May

Program Registration: Open

Event Registration: Opens October 22, 2020




  • Practice Tournament (remote): Nov 7
  • Qualifier Tournament (remote): Nov 21 and 22
  • Championship Tournament (remote): Dec 12

Event Registration: Closed




  • Qualifier Tournament – info coming soon
  • Championship Tournament – info coming soon

Program Registration: Open

Event Registration: Open




As mentioned in the RePLAY Challenge Kick-off our events will be held remotely (all online) using virtual platforms.

  • Practice Tournaments (training and practice with online event environment): November 
  • Qualifier Tournaments (remote): December 5, 6, 12, 13 & January 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 (proposed dates)
  • Championship Tournament(s) (remote) – February
  • Spring Season (unofficial or possible official): March- June

Program Registration: Open

Event Registration: Open –


FIRST Tech Challenge

For regions that continue to be disrupted by COVID-19 and require social distancing, we are offering remote event options supported by the FIRST Remote Event Hub to provide a comprehensive remote experience for teams and volunteers.



At this point the region is planning on holding the League Meets as remote events, with some additional region constructs.

  • Remote League Meet Week #1 – February 6-7, 2021
  • Remote League Meet Week #2 – February 20-21, 2021
  • Remote League Meet Week #3 – March 6-7, 2021
  • League Championship – March 27-28th or April 3-4, 2021
  • San Diego Regional Championship – April 24-25th, 2021

Program Registration: Open

Event Registration: Open

More Details:


The format this year will be remote Scrimmages and Qualifier Tournaments (instead of Leagues and ILTs) to buy as much time as possible before competitive play so teams who cannot meet until the second semester have time to build.

  • Remote Scrimmage #1 & #2 – November/ Dec TBD
  • Remote Scrimmage #3 & #4 – January/ Feb TBD
  • Qualifying Tournaments (planning for remote events) – March 6, 14, 21, 27
  • Championship Event (planning for a remote event) – April 17

Program Registration: Open

Event Registration: Open

To participate in the 2020-21 Scrimmages and Qualifier Tournament, each team must register with LAFTC and pay the $50 registration fee in order to play. (Fees have been reduced from $300 due to COVID and remote play). Mentors from returning teams receive an email inviting them to register. New teams should reach out to for those details.


Check the website under ‘new team info’ or ‘How to register’ for more information. Also sign up for LAFTC Robot News on the lower right of the home page.


  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Google HQ, Sunnyvale – 11/29
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Sacramento – 12/06
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Piedmont – 12/07
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Santa Clara – 1/10
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, San Mateo – 1/17
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, San Jose #1 – 1/18
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Daly City – 2/14
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Fremont #1 – 2/21
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, San Jose #2 – 3/7
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Fremont #2 – 3/14
  • Remote Qualifying Tournament, Granite Bay – 3/15
  • NorCal FTC Regional Championship (tentative) – 4/17-18  


FIRST Robotics Competition


FIRST has added 3 exciting new remote engagement opportunities, for the 2021 FRC season, to ensure everyone has a chance to participate and to keep the momentum of the FIRST experience going through continued innovation, teamwork, skills building and FUN!

To address the uncertainties and range of restrictions brought on by COVID-19, FIRST has made the tough decision to open the FIRST Robotics Competition registration, the week of October 5th, built around a season experience that does not include in-person competitions.  

In January, FIRST will re-evaluate if in-person competitions can take place later in the Spring.

  • FRC Remote Kick Off – January 9th, 2021
  • Remote Challenges – January-June
  • FIRST Championship – Late July

Registration: Open

Contact your Regional Director if you run into any obstacles or barriers to participating this season.

Details: FRC 2021 Season Details