Team Information Seattle Regional 2012

Seattle Regional

Team Information 2012

Understanding this material will make your life easier during the event.


The event is at

CenturyLink Event Center
800 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98134

Note: CenturyLink Event Center is formerly Qwest Field Event Center. The name change is recent, many maps have not been updated to reflect the name change.

In an effort to help you get your bearings, and to see the relationship between various parts of the venue, we have created a map with several key points on it. The following link will open this map in a separate window. Please visit each of the numbered push pins so you know where things are.

Click here to see a map of the venue >> 

Is there a checklist of things to bring?

A checklist of things to remember
        A consent form for EVERYONE on your team: including mentors. Students should reference STIMS.
  Safety Glasses for EVERYONE on your team, including extras for your visitors
  Each team must also provide an accompanying roster. We recommend using the online roster provided in TIMS.
  A tether cable for your control system.
  Tools and materials for robot repairs
  Your robots Bill of Materials detailing your non-kit of parts purchases. Read the rules carefully!
  A cart for moving your robot on and off the field
  Lots of Gracious Professionalism

Are their unique things about the Seattle Regional our team needs to know?

Yes, there are a few things unique to Seattle that you might need to be aware of:

The Seattle Regional is actually going to have two independent regionals running in the same room. The Cascade and the Olympic fields. Your team will compete and be eligible for awards in only one of these events. You may not participate in both. You may register for either event using TIMS, however we reserve the right to balance the fields if needed. The fields are in the same positions as last year, Olympic on the left side and Cascade on the right (as seen from the observation deck level).

The Seattle Regional will be one of the largest events in the world. We will have about 95 teams competing. 

Seattle is a 'Bag and Tag' event, which means you are responsible for bringing your robot and materials to the event, and also for taking your robot and materials from the event. If you are travelling from out of the area and intend to ship your robot, you should contact frcteams@usfirst.org to insure they are able to help you with your shipping needs.

FIRSTWA has a Media Crew arrangement that will grant your team the ability to be on the arena floor to take pictures while your robot is competing. You need to obtain a FIRSTWA Media Crew pass. Click here for details.

What is the schedule for the 4 days?

This is the general highlights of each of the days:

  • Wednesday Evening - Robot delivery where you drop of your robot and supplies.
  • Thursday - Robot inspections, practice rounds, repairs and modifications
  • Friday - Seeding matches all day
  • Saturday - Seeding matches in morning, Final rounds in afternoon

It's all about Thursday!

When planning your arrival, you should be focused on the items you need to complete on Thursday. 

A checklist of Thursday responsibilities
   Team lead registers at the team registration
  Team must take onboard radio to WPA Assignment
  Team must pass inspection by end of day
  Team must successfully connect to the playing field at least one time


Where should we park?

You may park in any commercially available parking area. We suggest using the CenturyLink Event Center garage, or the CenturyLink Field North Lot. The parking garage area is expected to cost $11 per day, with no in/out privileges. If you are attending all 3 days of the event, we recommend the $33 pass option, that is valid for in/out privileges as well as overnight parking. FIRSTWA has no control over these prices. Make sure to tell the operator at the garage what you would like.

Public Transportation

Here are links to the local public transportation sites




How can we deliver our cart and tools?

Details of this process are not official as of this point. We expect the process to be similar to last year.

Robot deliveries on Thursday are available if you are unable to make it on Wednesday. Be in the north lot starting at 7:30 AM to get in line. You need to be very efficient in unloading and leaving. We do NOT have parking for you on Thursday in the east hall, so your vehicle needs to unload then go park. 

Additional materials can be brought in on Thursday via the elevators from the parking garage. We suggest using the large elevators in the parking garage rather than the small elevator inside the arena.

Who can you invite?

This event is open to the general public at no cost. You may invite anyone you wish. Our suggestion is that Friday or Saturday are the best times. Thursday is not a great spectator day. We suggest Saturday morning as the best rounds and chance to see all of the robots at least once. Saturday afternoon past 1pm will be the final rounds on each field. 

Where do we unload our bus?

The best place to unload a bus load of people is northbound Occidental Ave S. From S Royal Brougham Way, turn north onto Occidental Ave S. Your bus may unload in front of the CenturyLink Field Event Center, but then must move away to make room for other buses. Your bus may NOT park on Occidental Ave S.

On Friday evening, there is a Sounders soccer game. Busses should plan to arrive at 5pm and park along Occidental. Our event does not end until closer to 6pm, but the busses need to queue early.

Where can we park a bus?

There is no onsite bus parking.  Suggestions from the staff included finding an appropriate and legal place on a side street, or making other arrangements. The north lot at CenturyLink will have limited parking available for $60 on a first come first served basis.

Is there a team social?

We currently are not planning an official team social. However, the Seattle Sounders are playing on Friday evening, and you are invited to purchase discounted tickets. Details can be found by downloading this PDF file.

Hotel Reservations

Teams are responsible for their own hotel reservations.

FIRST has a vendor, Steele Meetings, who are handling hotels and have secured preferred pricing. 


FIRSTWA is not involved with any of the travel or hotel arrangements!

Can we bring our own food and water?
Are Boxed Lunches available?

The food policy at CenturyLink does not allow outside food or drink, however we do have a couple of options:

The CenturyLink concession stands will be open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and they will be serving a $6 box lunch provided by Levy Catering. The box lunch will have a choice of turkey or ham sandwich with cheddar cheese, a bag of chips, caprisun and a fortune cookie. Teams do not have to order ahead of time.

Parents/team managers can also order bag lunches from Schwartz Brothers Catering. Schwartz offers breakfast (fruit cup, bagel, cream cheese, yami yogurt) for $6 and lunch (turkey or ham wedge sandwich, apple,chips, orange juice and a cookie) for $4.

  • Orders from Schwartz have to be made by March 19th
  • Schwartz bag meals cannot be brought inside CenturyLink.
  • All breakfast bags will be delivered between 7:00-7:30 am across the team store at CenturyLink. All Lunch bags will be delivered between 11:30 am-12:00 pm at the same place.
  • To order, team managers can call 206 623 8194 and speak with a Schwartz customer service representative. They are ready to take orders now.
  • The team manager will be asked to verify the delivery location (800 Occidental Ave S, 98134), time of delivery (breakfast or lunch), date of delivery,  method of payment (credit card is best), contact name and company (FIRST Robotics).

Summary - if you do order from a third party and / or bring food from home you will need to eat it outside of the actual hall where we are holding our event. 

Arriving at CenturyLink Field Event Center: Thursday March 22nd, 2012

7:45AM Late robot deliveries
8:30AM Pits open for everyone, Machine shop opens
8:30AM Robot inspection appointments open
9:30AM Drivers meeting on Olympic Field
10:00AM Practice Rounds Begin 
7:45PM Robot inspection closes
8:00PM EVERYONE must be out of buidling before 8PM


Key activities for Thursday Morning 

We have several tasks that MUST be completed in a timely way to insure everyone has a quality experience at our event. We very much appreciate the effort you will be required to put in to help make the schedule a reality.

 The tasks are:

  1. Registration (Pit Admin)
  2. WPA Assignment
  3. Robot Inspection
  4. Each robot must connect to the field they will play on

Team staging:

Your team can arrive at 8:00 am. We may ask for help from the adult mentors with crowd control during this time.

Task Number 1: Team Registration

When the pits open, the Pit Admin table will have a team registration packet for you. This is a critical step that should happen right away. We have schedules and team materials required to participate during the day. Your lead mentor should handle this process. It takes a few minutes, so allow time. Bring all of your consent forms and team rosters. 

Task Number 2: WPA Assignment

We need to insure that your robots radio has the appropriate security settings before we send you out on the field. The WPA Key Assignment is the critical step that must be completed first thing in the morning. You will get instructions on where to do this on Thursday morning. Your robot will be unable to interoperate with the field controller without this critical step. After your WPA assignment, you should also be sure to get connected to the field.

Task Number 3: Robot Inspection

Your sole responsibility for Thursday is to pass robot inspection. You should have no other higher priority. If your robot does not pass inspection on Thursday, you will not be allowed to compete on Friday!  The robot inspectors are here to help keep everyone safe, insure that all robots meet the rules, and to help you pass inspection. They really want to do everything they can to help you pass inspection. It is rare for a robot to pass inspection on the first attempt. Even veteran teams will have issues. Get this process started early so you have time to make changes if needed. We recommend getting inspected before lunch. You will likely have a few things to fix.

Task Number 4: Robot Field Connection

This is a critical step that all teams MUST do on Thursday. We need to insure your robot will connect to the field. If you play a practice round, that is sufficient as a robot field connection. Otherwise, starting in the late afternoon, the inspectors will come find your team and robot, and haul you out to the field to insure we have a connection. This is such a critical step! Please help us complete it on Thursday. 

This schedule is temporary and subject to change. 

Thursday March 22nd, 2012

Your teams primary goal on this day is to pass robot inspection so you can compete on Friday. If you pass inspection, there will also be time for you to take part in some practice rounds. Be careful with your time! This isn't a free day. You MUST pass inspection by the end of Thursday or you won't be allowed to compete on Friday. Please plan on getting your robot inspected right away. The inspectors are likely to find things for you to fix! It is very common for all robots to fail their first pass at inspection. Allocate time early to insure you know what you will need to have fixed.

Who to bring on Thursday is a complex question. If your team travels as a single unit, everyone is invited to come on Thursday. However, this day can be pretty long for most of the non-robot building students. The action is sparse on the field. Most experienced local teams opt to bring only their mentors, drivers, and main robot builders. Use your own best judgement on who is appropriate for your team. 

7:45AM Load-in ONLY for teams who did not load in on Wednesday. 5 people ONLY per team area allowed to deliver materials to the pit. 

8:30AM Pits and Machine Shop open: Everyone will be allowed into the building around 8:30am. You may now start work on your robot with the goal of passing inspection.

8:30AM-12:00PM Registration and inspection: One adult from each team, usually the main contact for the team, must visit the registration table first thing in the morning. We will provide you with schedules, maps, your robots WPA key, and other important information for the day. It also lets us know that your team has arrived, and is working on your tasks for the day. We also want to get your team into the inspection process as soon as possible.

9:30AM - Drivers meeting on the Cascade Field. You will hear last minute instructions, rule clarifications, and other answers from the referees and field supervisors. This is a very important meeting that at least one member of your team should attend. It usually lasts about 30 minutes.

10:00AM-12:00PM Practice rounds: Practice rounds are your teams chance to get on the field and try out your robot and operator station using the official field setup.

12:00PM – 1:00PM Lunch - The machine shop will close for an hour for lunch, as will the practice field. These are all volunteers, so please be respectful of their contribution and allow them to take an hour break!

1:00PM - 4:30PM Practice rounds continue. Remember, your primary goal is to pass inspection by the end of the day.

7:45 PM Inspection station closes. Cleanup and leave. Put your batteries on the chargers, clean up your area so it is neat, organized, and ready to go in the morning.

8:00PM Pits and Machine Shop close. We ALL (including the volunteers and staff!) must leave at 8PM.

Friday, March 23rd 2012

Friday is contest day. Seeding matches will determine the ranking points for your team. You will be randomly assigned alliance partners. This is a very fun day. We have a full schedule of matches, so if you wanted to invite people to come watch, this is a good day for it. Your whole team should be at the event on Friday and Saturday.

8:00AM Pits and Machine Shop Open: You are free to continue tinkering with your robot. Remember, you will have to be in the stands at 8:45am. You will also get your match schedule this day. If you had issues, you need to finalized your inspections by 9AM. Check with the head inspector.  You will also see our judges going around the pit area. They are out there to evaluate your team. In general, judges want to talk to students. Mentors and adults should generally stay out of the judges discussions.

9:00AM Opening ceremonies on the Cascade Field: Please be respectful of the VIP guests and attend the opening ceremonies.

9:30PM-12:00PM Qualification matches begin on both fields. 

12:00PM-1:00PM Lunch: Please don't bring outside food into the arena (venue contracts, we have no control over that!).

1:00PM - 5:00PM Seeding matches continue.

5:15PM Awards ceremony on your regionals field. We give away about half of the awards on Friday, so your team will want to be there! Gracious and Professional means cheering for every winning team.

6:15PM Pits and Machine Shop close

Saturday March 24th, 2012

8:00AM Pits and machine shop open / Judges deployed: As with Thursday, the judges will be making rounds, and teams may start work on their robots in the morning.

9:00AM Opening ceremonies on Cascade Field: Please attend!

9:30AM-12:15PM Seeding matches: The final rounds of seeding matches are played in the morning.

12:15PM-12:30PM Alliance Selections: The top seeded teams pick teams as their alliance partners. Be sure your teams representatives know the process!

12:30PM-1:30PM Lunch: Same as Friday!

1:30PM-4:30PM Final rounds: If your team was not picked as a finalist, it is common for teams to start packing up their robot during the quarter and semi-final rounds.

4:45PM Awards ceremony on your regionals field: Everyone should attend. You may have won an award without knowing in advance! Come cheer the winning teams.

6:30PM Go home! Pits closed.