At the Robot Game, the teams compete with robots they have built in advance out of LEGO parts and programmed by themselves. Within 2½ minutes they try on the approximately 2m2 large playing field, to get as many points. The robot must act autonomous, all movements must be independently by the program. Remote controls are not allowed.

At all competitions of a season the same playing fields and tasks are used worldwide. The way in which the objects are achieved, and the order in which they are dissolved, are not prescribed. Accordingly, the robots of the team look completely different, even though they are all built from LEGO.

Guiding principles

GP01 – Gracious professionalism
  • The FLL tournament should be driven by fairness.
  • You compete hard against problems, while treating all people with respect and kindness.
  • If you joined FIRST® LEGO® League with a main goal of “winning a robotics com-petition“, you’re in the wrong place!
GP02 – Interpretation
  • If a detail isn’t mentioned, it doesn’t matter.
  • Robot Game text means exactly and only what it says.
  • If a word isn’t given a game definition, use its common conversational meaning.
GP03 – Benefit of the doubt
  • If the referee feels something is a “very tough call,” and no one can point to strong text in any particular direction, you get the “benefit of the doubt”.
  • This good-faith courtesy is not to be used as a strategy.
GP04 – Variability
  • Our partners and volunteers try hard to make all fields correct and identical, but you should always expect little defects and differences.
  • Top teams design with these in mind.
  • Examples include border wall splinters, lighting changes, and field mat wrinkles.
  • Questions about conditions at a particular tournament should be directed to that tournament’s officials, the contact dates you can find at the FLL Regional Websites
GP05 – Information Superiority
  • If two official facts disagree, or confuse you when read together, here’s the order of their authority (with 1 being the strongest):

1 = Current Robot Game updates 
2 = Missions and Field Setup
3 = Rules
4 = Local head ref - In unclear situations, local head referees may make good-faith decisions after discussion, with rule GP3 in mind.

  • Pictures and video have no authority, except when talked about in 1, 2, or 3.
  • Emails and forum comments have no authority.


D01 – Match
  • A “match” is when two teams play opposite each other on two fields placed north to north.
  • Matches last 2-1/2 minutes, and the timer never pauses.
  • Your robot launches one or more times from base and tries as many missions as possible.
D02 – Mission
  • A “mission” is an opportunity for the robot to earn points.
  • Missions are written in the form of requirements.
  • Most are results that must be visible to the refereee at the end of the match.
  • Some are actions that must be watched/approved by the referee as they happen.
  • If a mission has any “more” requirements, they must all be met, or the whole mission scores zero.
D03 – Equipment
  • “Equipment” is everything you bring to a matchfor a mission-related activity.
D04 – Robot
    • Your “robot” is your LEGO MINDSTORMS controller and all the equipment you’ve combined with it by hand which is not intended to separate from it, except by hand.
D05 – Mission model
  • A “mission model” is any LEGO object already at the field when you get there.
  • Mission models are not the same as “equipment”.
D06 – Field
  • The “field” is the robot’s game environment, consisting of mission models on a mat, surrounded by border walls, all on a table.
  • “Base” is part of the field.
  • For full details, see field setup.


D07 – Base
  • “Base” is the space directly above the field’s larger quarter-circle region, in the southwest corner.
  • It extends southwest from the outer curved line to each wall (no farther), and has no ceiling.
  • The diagrams below define “completely in” for base, but apply for any area.
D08 – Launch
  • Whenever you’re done handling the robot and then you make it go, that’s a “Launch”.
D09 – Interuption
  • The next time you interact with the robot after launching it, that’s an “Interruption”.
D10 – Transporting
  • If the robot is in contact with something for the obvious purpose of taking it, changing its location, or releasing it, the robot is “Transporting” it.

Equipment, software, and people

R01 - All equipment
  • All equipment must be made of LEGO-made building parts in original factory condition.
  • Except: LEGO string and tubing may be cut shorter.
  • Except: Program reminders on paper are okay (off the field).
  • Except: Marker may be used in hidden areas for identification.
R02 - Controllers
  • You are allowed only one individual controller in any particular match.
  • It must exactly match a type shown below (except color).


  • All other controllers must be left in the Pit Area for that match.
  • All remote control or data exchange with robots (including bluetooth) in the competition area is illegal.
  • This rule limits you to only one individual robot in any particular match.
R03 - Motors
  • You are allowed up to four individual motors in any particular match.
  • Each one must exactly match a type shown below.
  • You may include more than one of a type, but again, your grand total may not be greater than FOUR.
  • ALL other motors must be left in the Pit Area for that match, no exceptions.
EV3 large motor EV3 medium motor


R04 - External sensors
  • Use as many external sensors as you like.
  • Each one must exactly match a type shown below.
  • You may include more than one of each type.
R05 - Other electric/electronic things
  • No other electric/electronic things are allowed in the competition area for mission-related activity.
  • Except: LEGO wires and converter cables are allowed as needed.
  • Except: Allowable power sources are one controller’s power pack or six AA batteries.
R06 - Non-electric elements
  • Use as many non-electric LEGO elements as you like, from any set.
  • Except: Factory-made wind-up/pull-back “motors” are not allowed.
  • Except: Additional/duplicate mission models are not allowed.
R07 - Software
  • The robot may only be programmed using LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX, NXT, EV3, or RoboLab software (any release).
  • No other software is allowed.
  • Patches, add-ons, and new versions of the allowable software from the manufacturers (LEGO and National Instruments) are allowed.
  • But tool kits, including the LabVIEW tool kit, are not allowed.
R08 - Technicians
  • Only two team members, called “technicians,” are allowed at the competition field at once.
  • Except: Others may step in for true emergency repairs during the match, then step away.
  • The rest of the team must stand back as directed by tournament officials, with the expectation of fresh technicians being able to switch places with current technicians at any time if desired.

Robot Game

R09 – Before the match timer starts
  • After getting to the field on time, you have at least one minute to prepare.
  • During this special time only, you may also...
    • ask the referee to be sure a mission model or setup is correct.
    • calibrate light/color sensors anywhere you like.
R10 – Handling during the match
  • Only the robot is allowed to interact with any part of the field that’s not COMPLETELY in Base.
    • Except:  You may interrupt the robot any time.
    • Except: You may pick up equipment that broke off the robot unintentionally, anywhere, any time.
  • You are not allowed to cause anything to move or extend over the Base line, even partly.
    • Except: Of course, you may launch the robot.
    • Except: You may move/handle/store things off the field, any time.
    • Except: If something accidentally crosses the base line, just calmly take it back - no problem.
  • Anything the robot affects (good or bad!) or puts completely outside base stays as is unless the robot changes it. Nothing is ever repositioned so you can “try again.”
R11 – Mission model handling
  • You are not allowed to take mission models apart, even temporarily.
  • If you combine a mission model with something (including the robot), the combination must be loose enough that if asked to do so, you could pick the mission model up and nothing else would come with it.
R12 – Storage
  • Anything completely in base may be moved/stored off the field, but must stay in view of the referee, on a stand.
  • Everything in off-field storage “counts” as being completely in Base.
R13 – Launching

A proper launch (or re-launch) goes like this:

  • Ready situation
    • Your robot and everything in base it’s about to move or use is arranged by hand as you like, all fitting completely in base.
    • The referee can see that nothing on the field is moving or being handled.
  • Go!
    • Reach down and touch a button or signal a sensor to activate a program.
  • First launch of the match: Here, accurate fair timing is needed, so the exact time to launch is the beginning of the last word / sound in the countdown, such as “Ready, set, GO!” or BEEEEP!
R14 – Interrupting
  • If you interrupt the robot, you must stop it immediately, *then calmly pick it up for a re-Launch (*if you intend one).
  • Here’s what happens to the robot and any object it was transporting, depending on where each was at the time:
  • Robot
    • Completely in base: re-launch
    • NOT completely in Base: re-launch + penalty
  • Transported Object
    • Completely in base: keep it
    • NOT completely in base: give it to the referee.
  • The “penalty” is described with the missions.
R15 – Stranding
  • If the uninterrupted robot loses something it was transporting, that thing must be allowed to come to rest.
  • Once it does, here’s what happens to the transported object, depending on its rest location...
  • Transported object
    • Completely in base: keep it
    • Partly in base: give it to the referee
    • Completely outside base: leave as is
R16 – Interference
  • You are not allowed to negatively affect the other team except as described in a mission.
  • Missions the other team tries but fails to get because of illegall action by you or your robot will count for them.
R17 – Field damage
  • If the robot separates Dual Lock or breaks a mission model, missions obviously made possible or easier by this damage or the action that caused it do not score.
R18 – End of the match
  • As the match ends, everything must be preserved exactly as-is...
  • If your robot is moving, stop it as soon as possible and leave it in place. (Changes after the end don’t count.)
  • After that, hands off everything until after the referee has given the okay to reset the table.
R19 – Scoring
  • Scoresheet/Scoringsoftware: The referee discusses what happened and inspects the field with you, mission by mission.
    • If you agree with everything, you sign the sheet, and the scoresheet is final.
    • If you don’t agree with something, the head referee makes the final decision.
  • Impact: Only your best score from regular match play counts toward awards/
  • Ties: Ties are broken using second, then third best scores. If still not settled, tournament officials decide what to do.

Serious changes for 2016/17

There is no “safety” region now. The whole quarter-circle region is all base. The inner curved line is meaningless now. (D07)

  • The ceiling of base has been removed, so there is no limit on how tall a launching robot may be. (D07) 
  • Transported objects partly in base when the robot is interrupted are always given to the referee, out of play. (R14)
  • Stranded objects partly in base are always given to the referee, out of play. (R15)
  • On-field storage outside base no longer allowed. (R10)
  • There is no “junk” penalty.
  • Local head referee responsibility is enhanced. (GP05, R19)
  • The “benefit of the doubt” rule is strengthened. (GP03)
  • The storage of objects in a brought box and on the floor is permitted. These objects count at the end of the match as "in base". (R12)

Questions regarding Rules, Robot Game & Field Setup

  • Important questions are published at the "FAQ" section for all teams.
  • For official answers to questions send an email to HANDS on TECHNOLOGY V. or send a message via Facebook.
  • Questions will be answered in due time.

All Robot Game documents are available as a pdf download - please go back and klick "Downloads". Please remember to work on the Research Project as well as on the Robot Game missions.