All questions and answers
Can I participate in a regional tournament in another country?
Is the new LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor allowed?
Yes, you may use the LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor in FIRST LEGO League Challenge.
Important Information: EV3 on Mac Operating Systems (MacOS)
Dear Teams and Partners,
LEGO Education has an important announcement for FIRST LEGO League teams working on Mac Operating Systems (macOS). Please read the message below carefully and share with your teams where necessary.
The current version of the EV3 Lab software is not compatible with the upcoming update to macOS, called Catalina. We are therefore introducing a brand-new EV3 app in November 2019, called LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Classroom. Based on the SPIKE app, EV3 Classroom will feature a coding language based on Scratch that we are confident will unleash the full potential of EV3 in the FIRST LEGO League program. The first release of EV3 Classroom will be in US English, followed by the other 15 EV3 languages in spring 2020.
To continue to enjoy an uninterrupted EV3 experience and to avoid losing your programs, we strongly recommend that you do not update to Catalina until the end of the FIRST LEGO League season in July 2020. If you have already updated to the new OS, please contact Technical Consumer Service at education.LEGO.com/en-us/
For further questions and support, we encourage you to reach out to Technical Consumer Service using the link above.
Do we really have to read the FAQs?
Yes, it is very important to have the FAQs always in view. Changes or additions to the rules may be published during the season up to the day before your regional competition.
Do I have to bring my engineering notebook to the regional competition?
It is not compulsory to bring your engineer's notebook to the regional competition. However, it may be useful to be able to document your work to the judges.
So: You can, but you don't have to bring the engineering notebook to the regional competition.
Can a team be disqualified?
If a team does not exhibit Core Values at a FIRST LEGO League tournament, they may be disqualified from winning any awards – including Robot Game, no matter how well they scored.
Adults are strictly prohibited from directing team members or interfering with the judging process or robot rounds in any way.
As the coach, do I have to know how to program the LEGO robots myself?
No. It’s not difficult to pick up the basics of the MINDSTORMS software, and it’s up to the team members to find the information they need to complete the challenges.
The latest version of the LEGO Mindstorms software has a Getting Started section with very useful lessons.
Download the latest version of the software.
My team are new and don’t think they’ll be ready to compete at the tournament. Can we pull out?
As long as your team have made an effort at tackling the project and robot game in the spirit of the Core Values, they will learn a lot from attending the tournament and will enjoy the day. The aim of the tournament is to celebrate the work that the students have done. All tournament staff will be working hard to make sure that there is a positive, encouraging atmosphere, so whether the team win an award or not they should come away feeling good about their work. If they’ve enjoyed working on the challenges and have fun at the tournament then you will have completed a successful first year in FIRST LEGO League, and should be well placed to go again next season!
An award in a FLL tournament can only be won by teams that have participated in all 4 evaluations (Research, Robot Design, Teamwork and Robot Game). Qualification for a further tournament is also only possible for these teams.
What if parts of the challenge set are missing?
You can reorder any missing parts or entire packages that are missing for free from LEGO.
If you followed this link, click on “Missing Bricks” and then give the set number. The 5-digit set number can be found in the top left of the package sticker on your challenge set.
You can also easily order missing bags from the LEGO customer service at the following free telephone number:
00800 5346 5555
LEGO Customer Service staff speak several languages.
At the regional tournament, which team will qualify in the Robot Game after the 3 preliminary rounds, when 2 teams have the same score in their best match?
If 2 teams have the same score in their best match in the Robot Game after the 3 preliminary rounds, the scores of the second best preliminary or – if there is also the same number of points – the third best preliminary round of both teams will be compared. The team with the higher score qualifies.
If 2 teams always score the same number of points in the 3 preliminary rounds, a play-off will be run (1 match).
Does the presentation of the research project have to be presented in the respective local language?
The language at the regional tournament is based upon the respective local language (at a regional tournament in Germany, the language is German, at a regional tournament in Poland, the language is Polish). The background is that the parameters should be the same for all participants.
This applies for all evaluations, presentations, interviews with the judges and for the presentation of the regional tournament.
What happens with robots which are built with the aid of a construction manual?
Teams who build a robot with the aid of a construction manual must expect the robot not to be rated as the team’s own creative achievement in the category robot design.
At this point, it should also be noted that the circulating construction manuals often refer only to basic robots that meet the specific requirements of the actual season only inadequate.
So: no plagiarisms! Because what counts in the category robot design is the team’s creative achievement at programming and design!
Where can I find the evaluation sheets?
To get an impression of what to expect in the judging sessions, you can have a look at the rating sheets of the past season here.
Are the FLL tables identical at all tournaments?
Please consider while constructing and programming that there can be variations between different tournaments depending on local conditions. The variations might occure in differenciations in the character of the field borders, lightning conditions, structure/irregularties of the field mat. At many tournaments there is no opportunity to roll out the mats early enough so that they might be a little bit wavy. Place and severity of waves can vary.
Hint: There are two important construction techniques to minimize differences in illumination:
1. Avoid control systems containing something that might rub on the mat.
2. Hide light sensors from ambient light.
Questions according the local conditions at regional tournaments can be posed directly to the local organiser. Please find there contact dates on the regional websites.
Are there any consequenses if a team does not prepare a research project? What will happen when a team misses the target of the research project?
A FLL team should take part in all categories of evaluation. When a team doesn't have a research project (or doesn't take part in another category of evaluation) it could not become a FLL Champion and will not be evaluated. in the particular category. All teams should act as the core values told them.
If a team fails the research project it still could be evaluated by the judges for presentation but not for “research” and not for “innovative solution”.
Are we obliged to publish the results ahead of our presentation on the tournament day?
Each team is obliged to publish the results ahead of the tournament. This can happen in several ways: presentation in front of parents, students, teachers or the interviewed experts, write an article or make a website or blog etc. The team should show the form of publishing within their presentation e.g. by a photo.
What includes the presentation?
Each team should show on which way they found the specific problem. Show how you researched and came to a soulution for the problem you chose. It is not enough to present only the result.
Shall we name our sources? Do the sources have to be part of the presentation or is it sufficient to show them at the end of the presentation?
Yes, a good presentation shows at the latest at the end all the sources the team had worked with during their research project. The sources should also be part of the 5 minutes presentation.
Do we have to prepare some written material or our presentation in written form for the judges?
No, you don´t have to produce a written material for the judges. Important is the presentation and its content you perform for the judges.
Does the research project has to have a technical approach?
No, the research project does not have to contain a technical approach.
How much time do we have for the presentation of our research results at a FLL Tournament?
At a FLL Tournament you have 5 minutes time (actual presentation time, not set up time) to present your results to the jury. The manner of presentation is up to you – you can create a role play, use Powerpoint and so on. Give your presentation live – you may use media equipment (if available) but only to enhance the live presentation.
Can we pick us any topic we like?
No, the topics are limited to the topics listed in the research project documents.
Is pneumatics allowed with FLL?
Yes – please note the page “Design, progem and build your robot” in the Engineering Notebook.
Is it allowed to use LEGO DUPLO?
Yes, it’s allowed to use LEGO DUPL at FLL as equipment. See the page “Design, progem and build your robot” in the Engineering Notebook.
What are the rules for FLL and where can we find them?
With the challenge release at the beginning of August there will be all FLL Rules available online.
THE TEAMS, READING EVERYTHING have fewer questions, have less work, have fewer surprises at the tournament, score higher and have more fun.
Playing Field & Missions
What is the purpose of the light blue, dark blue, purple, red and yellow health units and the 2x2 RePLAY tiles?
The colored health units have no meaning and in combination with the RePlay tiles they are meant as collectibles.
Information: Defective 3M Dual Lock (Reclosable Fasteners)
FIRST® and LEGO® have informed us that some of the 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners supplied with the Challenge Set may be defective due to a manufacturing defect. The damaged material may not attach the models as securely to the mat as intended, which may cause problems during field set-up or the Robot Game itself.
Each team that has already received their Challenge set und each new team will get replacements via mail automatically.
Robot Game Rules, p. 5: Correction to the field setup
In the Robot Game rules, p. 5 below, it says “Health unit pull-up bar west” – “west” is wrong.
It should say “east.” If you stick to the markings on the mat, everything is correct!
What are the dimensions of the border walls from a Playing Table used during a FLL tournament?