Getting Started with FLL

Finding a Team

According to FIRST policy, FIRST Illinois Robotics can't give out any contact information relating to teams including coach names, meeting location, emails, etc. In short, we can’t directly help you get in contact with existing teams.

That said, with hundreds of teams in Illinois, there is likley a team near you.  You can contact local schools, libraries, and youth organizations to ask if they have teams your student can join.  You can click HERE  for a list of last year's Illinois FLL teams to perhaps find some information to help you in your search. If you would like to have your contact information sent to coaches in your area, please send an email to fllchallenge@firstillinoisrobotics.org 

FIRST offers some assistance in reaching out to teams or other people looking for a team through the FIRST Forums.  Perhaps you can make contact with another individual like yourself and together you can form a new team.   FIRST has a national database of teams that you can search too.

Building a Team:

Coaching can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.  One key goal of FIRST Illinois Robotics is to make it as easy as possible to form a new team and get started with the FIRST LEGO League. 

FIRST Illinois Robotics plans coach training sessions every season to help new (and experienced) coaches learn to successfully lead FLL teams.  You can click HERE  to see upcoming offerings.   

During the summer there are Robot Camps  that kids can attend to get firsthand experience building and programming a LEGO robot.  And during the season there are workshops and scrimmages  to help new and experienced teams get ready for the tournaments.

If it is your rookie year, enjoy it for what it is:  a survey of the course.  Your goal should be to simply take a lap around the block with FIRST LEGO League Challenge.  With a fun experience and meeting realistic goals under your belt, you and the students will be brimming with ideas about what to do next year.  Whether or not your team scores high marks at a tournament, team members win by participating and gaining valuable experience.

You are not in this by yourself!  Recruit an assistant coach, mentor(s), parents and guest speakers to help.  Others can help with team communication, host meetings, contribute technical expertise, lead fundraising and provide additional adult supervision.  Try to plan a meeting schedule that accommodates the participation of other adults.

Click HERE  to start your FIRST LEGO League Challenge experience!

 

What Makes a team?

A team consists of:

Costs:

The cost of participation in FLL generally ranges from ~$1200 for new teams to ~$600 for returning teams.  A sample budget is below:

Sample Budget: (Costs are subject to change)

Required Items:

Optional Items:

  1. Official Table:  $80-250
  2. T-shirts: approximately $25 per shirt

Your team’s other expenses may include: office supplies, snacks and travel expenses.


Time Commitment:

Once the challenge is released (August 1st), a team typically meets once or twice a week for about two hours. This depends on the age (and thus ability to maintain focus), and other time constraint issues. Separate technical and administrative coaches can significantly reduce the work load of running a team and increase the fun for the kids and adults.

Sample FLL Season:

May:  National Team registration and materials ordering begins.

July 15th:  Illinois Qualifying Tournament Registration opens

August:  Challege is formally released!

October 15th:  National Registration closes (or earlier if all slots are filled)

October 15th:  Illinois Qualifying Tournament Registration Closes

October 31st:  llinois Qualifying Tournament Assignments are posted

Late November – December:  Illinois Qualifying Tournaments take place

January: Illinois State Championship Tournaments

To Register:

Click HERE  to start your FIRST LEGO League Challenge experience!