Join a Team
Contact Local Organizations
While teams do not need to be associated with an organization, CVR has compiled a list of local organizations that sponsor FIRST LEGO League teams.
Clovis Unified School District
Clovis Unified School District has supported FIRST programs from the beginning. Many of its Elementary and Middle schools have teams active for enrolled students. Contact the school’s principal for more information.
Central Unified School District
Central Unified School District has largely supported the FIRST LEGO League program since first hosting a qualifier in 2012. Teams can be found at some of the schools in the district. Contact the school’s principal or the district GATE coordinator for more information.
Visalia Unified School District
Visalia Unified School District has greatly supported the FIRST LEGO League program since first hosting a qualifier in 2012. Teams can be found at most of the Elementary and Middle schools in the district. Contact the district coordinator for more information.
FIRST TeamUp is a community forum run by FIRST where coaches can post openings and parents can find teams for their children. Note that FIRST does not guarantee results from this system, and CVR does not have any ability to monitor the system.
Start a Team
Watch our Online Orientation Seminar!
Participating in FIRST LEGO League is an amazing experience for both the kids and the adults involved. With your guidance, the children on your team are going to inspire you, and those around you, in surprising ways. If you have no technical background, don’t be nervous. The team members are the ones who do the work. You only need to ask the questions and watch them… GO!
FIRST LEGO League is more of a celebration than a “competition.” Coaches help other coaches. Teams help other teams. We want everyone who participates – team member, coach, or event volunteer – to have a fulfilling experience. That’s the reason we built FIRST LEGO League upon a set of Core Values that guides everything we do.
The following steps will give you an idea of what coaching an FIRST LEGO League team is all about. You will need to adjust to your schedule, but you will see that anyone can get kids excited about science, technology and engineering.
How much does it cost?
Average Cost for a New Team
Average Cost for a Returning Team
Steps for Starting a Team
Find the Coaches
The first step in forming a FIRST LEGO League team is to find a set of coaches to lead the team. A minimum of two adults are required to register with FIRST as coaches for each FIRST LEGO League Team. These two coaches will be screened by FIRST and this screening must be complete before the team is allowed to purchase season specific LEGO materials. These coaches are expected to be present with the team throughout the season and tournament day.
In general, most teams get formed by a parent or teacher and that person either becomes the coach and/or will recruit others to co-coach. Coaching an FIRST LEGO League team is not difficult and does not require specialized knowledge, but it does take time and patience. We offer coaches training and can help provide a “bootcamp” start up type of training if there is a need. We would recommend looking for FIRST LEGO League “alum” at your area high school to help with mentoring. Many FIRST Robotics Competition and/or FIRST Tech Challenge team members are willing to help FIRST LEGO League teams as well.
Recruit the Kids
Typically, it is very rare to find a team for a child where there is not already a relationship between the adults and/or the kids (in other words, not made up of “strangers”). Teams form where there is already is a relationship among the young people involved. An example of a prior relationship would be attending the same school, being neighbors, and even going to the same church. Currently, most teams in CVR form as part of a co-curricular program at their school. However, teams do NOT have to be affiliated with an organization or school. Similarly, an organization or school can sponsor more than one team.
There are a few restrictions when recruiting children to an FIRST LEGO League Team:
- A child can only be a team member on only one team.
- There is a maximum of 10 children per FIRST LEGO League Team.
- Students must be between the ages of 9-14 to participate in the FIRST LEGO League Program.
- All team members must be age 14 or younger as of January 1 of the competition year. For the 2016 ANIMAL ALLIES season, every team member must be 14 or younger as of January 1, 2016.
Register with FIRST
With the coaches recruited, it’s time to register the team with FIRST. National Registration is handled through the Account Dashboard on the FIRST website and can be accessed by clicking this link: https://my.firstinspires.org/Dashboard/. Registration opens in early May and runs through the end of September each year (subject to availability, registration may close sooner if all spots are filled).
For schools or organizations with Site Coordinators (called Team Administrators in the FIRST system), the site coordinator can register the team then invite the coaches to join the team. Otherwise, one of the coaches can register the team. Each coach will need to make their own FIRST account and join the team. Teams will not be allowed to pay the Team Registration Fee or purchase any LEGO products until at least two coaches agree to the Youth Protection Program rules and completed the required screening.
Teams will receive their official Team Number once they have paid the Team Registration Fee.
Register with Central Valley Robotics
Once the team has registered with FIRST and has completed the screening requirements, they will be contacted by Central Valley Robotics to register in TeamConnect. TeamConnect is a locally built web application that manages team information, form submission, event registration, and more for teams in the Central California area.
Coaches can access TeamConnect by clicking this link: https://teamconnect.cvrobotics.org/.
Start Completing the Challenge
The FIRST LEGO League Season runs from August to February in the Central California Area. Starting from the Global Challenge release in late August, teams should start meeting to build their robot and research their project. Teams typically meet between 2-4 hours per week during the season, potentially increasing as the tournaments get closer. The amount of time that teams meet varies from team to team. Some meet for 4 hours on a Saturday, and others meeting for an hour and a half after school a few times per week. Depending on the challenge and the research topic chosen by the team, field trips may also be required for additional research or sharing the teams solution.
Register for Qualifying Events
Starting in early October, teams will be able to register for a tournament. Teams will register through TeamConnect on a first-come, first-served basis. Only teams that have completed all required forms and documentation will be able to register for an event. More information about the required forms and documentation can be found in the Coaching Resources section on this website or in the Season Standards Manual.
Due to potentially high load on our website during the registration period, the registration process asks teams to select their top three events and adds the team’s registration request to a queue. TeamConnect will then process each request one at a time. In the situation that the 1st preference for a team is full by the time that registration request is processed, the 2nd preference will be used and so forth.
Attend Trainings and Seminars
During the season, Central Valley Robotics offers many trainings and seminars that Coaches and Teams can attend to prepare themselves for the season and tournaments. We highly encourage all teams to attend the Coach Seminars offered every year, as well as the Kickoff event held every late August or early September.