A video explaining the game rules can be found here or you can watch it below.
Every year the game rules are released in the FIRST Resource Library 2023 Season Materials. Normally these are available as Password Protected PDFs at kickoff, but by competition season they are usually available to the public. The rules are released in several parts and labeled by section.
What are some of the important rules that stay the same every year?
These type of non-game specific rules are related to robot, safety and inspection. These rules are important to know and understand, and are usually the same every year so learning them once will help you for years to come.
Teams must follow the FIRST Code of Conduct. Below is a VERBATIM copy of the Code of Conduct. Teams and their guests (parents, fans, friends) are responsible for knowing and following the Code of Conduct.
Exhibit Gracious Professionalism® at all times. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions.
Ensure the safety of all participants in FIRST activities.
Not engage in any form of bullying, harassment, use of profane or insulting language, or any actual or threatened violence.
Adhere to all FIRST Youth Protection Program (YPP) policies.
Report any unsafe behavior to event or local FIRST leadership.
Persons who do not comply with this Code of Conduct may be barred from participating in FIRST activities.
There are specific EVENT RULES that are NOT part of the regular game manual. A summary of the general rules is as follows
Personal safety comes first. See the Safety Manual for more information.
Be nice, or AKA be GP! see RULE 1 above.
Children with adults, please. Children under 12 must be accompanied in the pits by an adult at all times
Respect the venue. Aka don’t break stuff, the venue is nice enough to let us use it. Make them want to have us back.
Teams must check in. An adult team member must check in at the Pit Administration station no later than 90 minutes before Qualification MATCHES are scheduled to start
Practice only when/where permitted. aka don’t practice in the cafeteria, hallways or other places that are not designated for practice.
Work in designated areas only. aka don’t work in places that are not safe and designated for working on your robot.
Don’t sell stuff. Teams may not conduct sales at an event. This includes, but is not limited to, raffle tickets, food, hats, shirts, candy, water, soft drinks, fruit, or any promotional products. This also means don’t give out food either.
Make FIRST loud, but with restrictions.
So… There is so much back and forth here but the bottom line is that you can make noise, but you can’t be ridiculous. There are so many other people at the event that you need to be respectful of. FIRST set out some guidelines for noise levels, but they are not hard and fast rules. The “limit” the sound engineers are supposed to use is around 85dba but this is all relative to where it is measured from.
If you have sensory issues or are sensitive to noise, you should bring ear plugs or use the Quiet Room. There should be a Quiet Room at the event, but if there isn’t, ask the event staff to set one up.
No firearms. THIS IS DEADLY SERIOUS. ONLY LAW ENFORCEMENT or VENUE SECURITY PERSONAL may carry firearms of any kind. FIRST does not make any exceptions despite legalities in your specific area. This is an organization wide rule and you will be asked to remove the firearm from the premises if you are found to be in violation of this rule. If you are found to be in violation of this rule still or present a safety risk, you will be promptly dealt with by the LEO and Security on premises at the event. This is not a joke. This is not a drill. This is not a test. This is not a game. This is not a prank. Take this DEADLY SERIOUSLY as all firearm safety should be!
You can read the full event rules to also learn about the rules for the Machine Shop, Wireless Networking, Load in procedures, and more.
Generally speaking, the rules about the number of allowable batteries (1… it’s always 1), bumper construction, and the inspection process change very little. You can almost count on them being the same, but ALWAYS check the game manual to be sure.
The rules about safely wiring motors, pneumatics, and other electrical components are also generally the same. There are sections about pneumatics and electronics on the frczero website that cover the basics of these systems. You can also check out the Electrical Guide and Pneumatics documents for more information.