Hello South Florida Regional teams,
The second South Florida Regional is getting close and we are really excited to be hosting this year’s competition on March 28-30 in the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. There is some very important information that we want to pass on to you. Click here for more information on the venue, teams attending, our sponsors and much more. Of course, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
1. Event Schedule:
The public agenda can be found at www.firstinflorida.org/agenda.
In the interest of fairness to all teams, pit closing times will be strictly enforced. Please remember your gracious professionalism and vacate the pits by the closing time each day (see the schedule – closing time varies by the day). Our volunteers cannot leave until after all the teams have gone, and they also need their rest.
3. Wednesday and Thursday Load-in Instructions
Wednesday: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday: 7:45 am – 8:30 am
The intention during early load in hours is for teams to find their pit space, place their bagged robot and tools in the pit space and promptly depart.
Only 5 team members will be allowed to bring in materials. At least one of those team members must be an adult mentor (18+ years of age and not a high school student). Otherwise, any combination of mentors and team members is acceptable. Standard safety rules (i.e. safety glasses) apply during this time.
Teams may bring in their robot and any other equipment / pit items that they would normally be permitted to bring into the venue. No work of any kind is allowed during the drop-off period. Teams are to bring in their material, set it down in their pit area, and leave. “Work” includes, but is not limited to:
• Plugging in battery chargers
• Unrolling extension cords
• Unrolling carpet or laying out any other kind of flooring material
• Putting up pop-up canopies or any other construction
• Opening roll-in workstations
• Deliberately arranging equipment in the pit for future use.
• Any other activity in which the team is doing anything more than unloading what they have brought in.
- Your bag and tag forms will be inspected on the way into the pits.
- Teams are encouraged to make a single trip in with their robot and equipment, but may make more than one if necessary.
- After team members have dropped off their material, they are to promptly exit the pit area until the pits open on Thursday morning. This is not the time for greeting old friends and making new ones. Teams bringing in their equipment on Wednesday night must wait until the pits open on Thursday morning to bring in additional, small hand-carried items.
- Robots may NOT be un-bagged until their bag and tag forms have been inspected and the pits have officially opened on Thursday morning.
- Teams that shipped their robots to the competition may uncrate their robot on Wednesday from 6 pm to 8 pm, or Thursday beginning at 7:45 am. They may NOT unbag their robot until 8:30 am on Thursday morning. All other instructions pertaining to bag and tag teams apply.
Per FIRST guidelines, safety glasses will not be distributed to the teams. When you are packing, please remember to include safety glasses for every student, mentor, team and family member who will be visiting your team in the pit area. FIRST has only a limited supply of Safety Glasses on hand, so we appreciate your efforts to supply enough safety glasses for everyone you bring with you.
Everyone (team members, family, friends, mentors, visitors) is required to wear non-shaded, ANSI-approved eye protection (safety glasses).
Everyone (team members, family, friends, mentors, visitors) is required to wear closed-toed, closed-heel shoes in the pit and around the playing field. Shoes must cover the entire foot. Shoes must have closed-toes and heels to protect against foot injuries, regardless of work location. Flip-flops, sandals, mules, crocs, etc. are not acceptable.
Children under 12 MUST be accompanied in the pit by an adult at all times.
5. Team Media
Teams will each be provided one media badge. Team members wearing a media badge must have a camera with them and accompany their drive team with the robot to the arena to be given access to the field. Team members wearing the media badge are not permitted to work on a robot, coach during a match, or leave the designated media area during match play. Media members must stay with the drive team in the queuing area until their team is loading onto the field. Volunteers on the field may make changes as needed for safety and to ensure a good flow of matches.
Meals are not provided for the attendees. There are food concessions in the building. While there are many restaurants on Glades Blvd, none are close enough for your team to go for lunch. Robotics Advance Catering Order Form are available and can be ordered on the South Florida Regional page of the FIRST website or using the form linked to this page. There is also a concession stand at the venue. We recommend that you assign a few adults to develop a lunch plan for feeding the team and providing snacks throughout the event. Food brought in from or purchased from outside the Convention Center cannot be brought into the building. If the weather is nice, teams may eat outside at the Fountain. Cooking (barbeque or other heat source) is NOT permitted in the parking lots.
We strongly recommend that the entire team NOT leave the venue for lunch so that they can prepare and be on-time for their first match after lunch. We will not delay matches for tardy teams.
7. Machine Shop
Machine shop services will be provided by Florida Power & Light. The shop will be manned by at least one machinist during all contest activities. The machine shop is a great asset for your teams. You can request machine shop assistance at Pit Admin.
Teams should never leave anything of value unattended, and we recommend having a team member in the pits at all times. For added protection, it is recommended teams use security locks/cables to attach computers to a large object such as a table. Please label all robot batteries, battery chargers, controllers, etc. with your team number. Turn in lost and found items to the Pit Admin desk in the pit area. While we will have 24 hour security in the building, you should not leave items of value in the pits overnight.
9. Site Layout
A pit map will be posted here. The pits will measure 10’ x 10’.
10. Local Information
- Home Depot – 1000 NE 4th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Ace Hardware – 1900 Cordova Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Lowes – 1001 W Oakland Park Blvd, Wilton, FL
- Office Depot – 1395 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Publix – 1940 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Walgreens – 1680 Southeast 18th Court, Fort Lauderdale, FL
We look forward to seeing you all on March 28th. In the meantime, rest up, travel safe, and get ready for the Ultimate Ascent!