Field Setup & Placement

Details about the FLL Challenge Set


The field is where the FLL Robot Game takes place. It consists of a field mat on a table, with mission models arranged on top. The mat and the LEGO® pieces for building the mission models are part of your challenge set. The instructions for building the mission models are not part of the challenge set but available online:

The instructions how to build the FLL Tournament Table is online:

How to arrange the mission models on the playing field is explained on this page.

Mat Placement

Step 1: Remove any obvious splinters, and cover any obvious holes. Vacuum the table top carefully. Even the tiniest particle under the mat can give the robot trouble. After vacuuming, run your hand over the surface and sand or file down any producing imperfections you find. Then vacuum again.

Step 2: Place the mat on a smooth surface (for example, the FLL Table) and clearly mark it with a corresponding pitch limit (band), as it is common to FLL Tournaments. On the vacuumed surface (never unroll the mat in an area where it could pick up particles), unroll the mat so the image is up and its north edge is near the north/double border wall (note the location of the double wall in each table sketch below). Be very careful to not let the mat kink from bending in two directions at once.

Mat Placement

Step 3: The mat is smaller than the playing surface by design. Slide and align it so that there is no gap between the south edge of the mat and the south border wall. Center the mat in the east-west direction (look for equal gaps at left and right).

Step 4: With help from others, pull the mat at opposite ends and massage out any waviness away from the center and re-check the requirement of step three. It is expected that some waviness will persist, but that should relax over time. Some teams use a hair dryer to speed the relaxation of the waviness.

Step 5OPTIONAL: To hold the mat in place, you may use a thin strip of black tape at the east and west ends. Where the tape sticks to the mat, it may cover the mat’s black border only. Where the tape sticks to the table, it may stick to the horizontal surface only, and not the border walls. You can also fix the mat with double faced adhesive tape you stick under the mat to fix it on the table.

Step 6: For a competition setup, secure two tables north-to-north. The total span of border between two tables must measure between 76 mm and 100 mm. At a tournament, two tables are placed back to back, but you only operate on one table, so you only need to build one table to practice on.

Dummy Wall: Most Robot Games have a “shared” mission for both teams, whose mission model(s) rest partly on your table, and partly on the other team’s table, which is connected to your table’s north side. You don’t need to build a second table, but you do need to build the necessary part of the other team’s table, so the shared mission model(s) can be positioned correctly. In the photo you can see, how a dummy wall can look like. In this season, a dummy wall is not mandatory.

Mission Model Construction

Build the mission models. Use the LEGO® elements from your challenge set, and instructions from this page:

It will take a single person 4–5 hours to do this, so it’s best done in a work party. For any team members with little or no experience building with LEGO® elements, mission model construction is a great way to learn. This step is also a nice time for new team members to get to know each other.

The models must be built PERFECTLY. “Almost perfect” is not good enough. Many teams make several building errors and practice all season with incorrect models. When these teams later compete on fields with correct models, the robot fails. The team incorrectly blames the robot, the tournament organizers, or bad luck for the failure. Best practice is to have several people check for correctness. PLEASE!

Dual Lock

Some models are “secured” to the mat, others are simply “placed” on the mat. Each place on the mat where a model needs to be secured has a white box with an X in it. The connection is made using the re-usable fastening material from 3M called Dual Lock, which comes in the flat clear bag with the LEGO® elements in your challenge set. Dual Lock is designed to stick or “lock” to itself when two faces of it are pressed together, but you can unlock it too, for ease of transport and storage. The application process for the Dual Lock is only needed once. Later, the models can simply be locked onto the mat or unlocked. To apply Dual Lock proceed one model at a time as follows:

Step 1: Stick one square, adhesive side DOWN, on each box you see on the mat with an “X” in it. For half-sized boxes, cut the squares in half.

Step 2: Press a second square on top of each of those, “locking” them on, adhesive side UP. Instead of using your finger, use a bit of the wax paper the squares came on.

Step 3: Align the Model exactly over its mark, and lower/press it onto the squares.


Hints: Pay attention. Some models look symmetrical, but do indicate a directional model feature somewhere. Be sure to place each square precisely on its box, and each model precisely over its marks. When pressing a model down, press down on its lowest solid structure instead of crushing the whole model. Pull on that same structure if later you need to separate the model from the mat.

For large and/or flexible models, apply only one or two pairs at a time. There’s no need to do it all at once.

Field Maintenance

Border Walls

Remove any obvious splinters, and cover any obvious holes.

Field Mat

Make sure the mat touches the south border wall, and is centered east to west.
Avoid cleaning the mat with anything that will leave a residue. Any residue, sticky or slippery, will affect the robot’s performance. Use a vacuum and/or damp cloth for dust and debris (above and below the mat). When moving the mat for transport and storage, be sure not to let it bend into a sharp kink point, which could affect the robot’s movement. Do NOT put Dual Lock under the mat, or use it in any other than securing mission models as described.

Mission Models

Keep the mission models in original condition by straightening and tightening solid connections often. Ensure that spinning axles spin freely by checking for end-to-end play.


Arrangement of Mission Models on Field

Marks on mat along with the text and pictures in the Robot Game section give most of the information you need to arrange and set the models (place/set as pictured). Any details not shown in pictures or mentioned in the text are left to chance and officially don’t matter.

FLL Field Mat Overview

FLL Spielfeld

FLL Field Mat - Western Side

Spielfeld - Westliche Seite

FLL Field Mat - Eastern Side

Spielfeld - Östliche Seite


Barriers: Secure each one with Dual Lock on the marks on the mat with its smooth side facing west (as you can see it in the photo). There are 6 barriers.

Curbs: Secure Curbs on the mat with wedges facing the circles (as you can see it in the photo). There are 2 curbs.


The quarter-circle at southwest is base.

Before the start the following objects are completely and loose in base:

  • Water well
  • Tripod
  • The optional loop
  • 2 new pipes
  • 3 big water
  • Slingshot loaded with 1 raindrop and 1 dirty water

You may keep all these models anywhere in base, or in other approved off-table storage.


Place loose in the pipe repair setup per details below (compare M10).


Locate Dual Lock pairs exactly and only in the places shown.

Secure the model to the north border wall within its marks.

Load a big water into the model.



Place loose on the matching marks on the field.

Pump addition target extends to the north wall.



Secure on the marks on the mat with cloud part facing east.

Move yellow bar north. Spread 8 rain into the top. Perfectly even spread is not expected.



Secure the model on its marks on the mat.

Lift the lock lever (red arrow), and pull the yellow plunger with the white filter south to its mark.


Total view. Secure the toilet on its marks on the mat, with the east axle joined to it. Place the center axle exactly above its mark and secure both guides of the axis on its marks on the mat.
Secure the two water treatment model’s guides with Dual Lock on its marks on the mat. Then remove them.

Join the west axle and water treatment model, and fit the model as accurately as possible but loose onto its mark (Fig. hereunder shows it positioned and loaded).

Secure the guides on the Dual Locks. Make sure that the axes are exactly positioned above their marks and check that the joiners are not rubbing against the bearings.

Lift the white tank (Fig. hereunder left) while pushing the gray bar west (Fig. hereunder middle), then load the sludge and a big water to finish the positioning (red arrows in Fig. hereunder right).


TESTING: Push the toilet’s yellow lever down and hold it there. The push should take very little force, and should cause the water treatment model to eject the big water and sludge. If there is binding, re-trace each step carefully.

Secure the fountain with Dual Lock on the marks on the mat.


Place loose on its marks on the mat. Either cover can go on east or west mark, and spin is random.


The tripod targets are the two large circles only (red arrows).



Secure both ramps on the marks and push them down.

Apply the Dual Lock for the black pipes. Place the black pipes on their marks. Make sure the black pipes are not rubbing the axle of M06 (Fig. hereunder right).
Place the broken yellow pipe centered between the ramps and black pipes. Be sure the loop is vertical and parallel to the ramps.  



The target extends to the north wall.

Place the sludge loose on the water treatment model (see also M06).


Secure with Dual Lock on its marks on the mat with bloom part down on the mark.


Target is this large circle only.


Secure the house model with Dual Lock on the mark on the mat, then lift the fire up, and push the yellow beam under it towards the house. Place firetruck loose on the marks.



Place target loose on the mark on the mat.

The white off-limits line.


Pull the the yellow plunger up and install a rain and the dirty water into the slingshot. Then close its black bar. Both raindrop and dirty water must be flat-side down. Rain or dirty water can be installed in either side randomly. The target is at the east wall. It does not include the barrier.



Secure the faucet with Dual Lock on the mark on the mat. The cup’s white part is completely visible. Handle the yellow spin smooth, with a little resistance.



Before the match starts, the referee removes the 6 red penalty discs from the field, and holds on to them.

6 penalty discs are at the referee.

The white triangle is in the southeast of the mat.


All FIRST LEGO League challenge documents for the Robot Game are available as PDF files for download – go back to overview and “Downloads”. Do not forget to work on the FIRST® LEGO® League Research Project together as a team!