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2020 Event Information for Teams

The nineth FIRST Robotics Competition South Florida Regional is getting close and we are really excited to be hosting this year’s competition on April 3-5 in the Palm Beach 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 Robotics competitions are complex to run, and there are many opportunities for slowdowns.  While we make every effort to adhere to the published schedule, by nature of the event, the schedule is a guide and not a guarantee.  Teams will receive a welcome packet at check-in.  Please review for any changes.

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.

Please remember that the schedule is subject to change. All times are estimated based on flow of rounds.

See Pit Administration Table for updated times.

2. Directions and Parking


Palm Beach Convention Center

650 Okeechobee Boulevard – West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Driving directions to the arena can be found on :

Teams may park their cars in the parking lot right behind the convention center. The fee for parking is $5 for 3 hours, $1 per hour after that, maximum of $10 for 12 hours. Trailers, buses, and other oversized vehicles may park behind the Convention Center AT YOUR OWN RISK. Please make sure your bus drivers know the location.

Note: Overnight parking is not allowed in the convention center parking lot.

 3. Load-In/Load-Out & Setup Instructions

Load In:

Thursday, April 2nd  from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and Friday, April 3rd  7:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Safety is the top priority.

  • Safety glasses
  • Closed heeled and closed toed shoes
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Appropriate hair ties

■ Teams will be allowed to set up their pits during this period. No working on the robot!

» This includes both the afternoon/evening of the day before the event and the period in the morning before pits officially open to all participants.

■ No more than five members of each team (one must be an adult mentor) will be allowed in the pit to load in and set up pits.

■ No work of any kind on the robot is allowed during these early set-up periods. The robot must stay in your pit. Do NOT work on your robot.

» All teams still must wait until the pits officially and fully open, as indicated on the event schedule.

■ Teams that have completed their set-up during either of the two periods must leave the pits to help minimize pit congestion.

■ Teams will not be allowed to continue pit set up after the scheduled time of pit closing. Teams must plan to have their pits in a safe state at that time, even if some items are left undone

» Teams setting up their pits the afternoon before will still be allowed in the following morning to complete set-up, if necessary.

Teams are to deliver their robot, pit materials, and tools to the rear of the Palm Beach County Convention Center, entering from Lake Avenue and exiting to Florida Avenue.

Volunteers will be present to aid teams throughout the load-in or load-out process and identify where teams may stage their robot, pit materials, and tools prior to entering the venue.

Teams will load in through the roll-up bay door located in the back of the pits.  Teams are highly encouraged to arrive early to ensure they can load in large items for their pit space during this time.

The inspection team will be performing Load-in inspection as teams load-in on Thursday night and Friday Morning (prior to pit opening for business).

Procedure for Load-In:

  • Step 1. Drive up to the loading dock.
  • Step 2. Once you are given the OK, download the robot and pit materials in the staging area located outside the garage doors of the venue.
  • Step 3. Once your team has everything you intend to bring into the venue staged you should approach the inspection manager to inform him/her that you are ready to load-in.
  • Step 4. Car driver should move your car to a parking spot.
  • Step 5. The inspection manager will assign an inspector to follow the team to their assigned pit area and perform bag & tag inspection.

The driver can join after the car has been moved from the load in area.

Teams need to be aware that the alleyway is a fire lane; therefore, drivers must stay with the vehicle at all times while loading or unloading – no exceptions.

Vehicle loading and unloading is to be safely expedited and the vehicle removed from the alleyway as soon as possible.

We realize un-loading /loading your vehicles may take a few minutes, but ask that you be mindful of others’ needs and not park in this area for an extended time.  If a driver is waiting on team members to arrive to unload/load the vehicle/trailer, they should wait in parking lot until the team is ready. Please do not use a load-in spot to wait for your team.

Trailers and other oversized vehicles may park in docking lot.

Attention:  teams can only bring fabricated items into the venue during the teams’ initial load-in, so teams must have their fabricated items withholding allowance with them at load-in, no exceptions.

After teams have loaded in, the roll-up bay door will be closed until Saturday afternoon for load-out.

Load Out:  For load-out, all pit materials, tools, and robot must be queued in the staging area before bringing your vehicle around.  Teams transporting their pit materials, robot and tools by bus should carry their robot, pit materials, and tools from the staging area outside the venue garage doors to the bus parking spaces.

Important reminders:

  • Be prepared in the event of rain to protect your equipment from the elements during the load-in/load-out period.
  • Bring your completed robot lock-up form.
  • Be sure to have your 30 lbs of fabricated Items with you at the time you load-in: This is the only time you will be allowed to bring fabricated items into the venue – No Exceptions.
  • Your bag and tag forms will be inspected on the way into the pits

Early load-in and set-up restrictions are as follows:

  • Only 5 team members will be allowed to bring in materials and do the setup. At least one of those team members must be an adult mentor on the team (18+ years of age and not a high school student).  Otherwise, any combination of mentors and team members is acceptable.
  • Safety glasses are required during early load-in and set up. If your robot was shipped in a crate, remember to bring safety glasses with you for early load-in.
  • Fabricated items must be loaded in during the load-in process.
  • Robots may not be worked in until pits have officially opened on practice day.
  • Teams that shipped their robots to the competition may uncrate their robot on Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm, or Friday beginning at 7:45 am.  Safety glasses must be worn while uncrating a robot.
  • SETUP is allowed during the drop-off period. Teams are not to wander from pit to pit saying hi to their friends, or any kind of scouting work.

4. Painting

The Palm Beach Convention Center is our host. Let’s show them our appreciation for their hospitality! No painting will be allowed in the pit. Do not go outside and paint your items on the concrete or paved areas outside the Convention Center. Find a nice grassy patch for any painting. Thanks!

5. Safety

The 2020 FIRST Safety Manual ( provides details on safe practices while attending the South Florida Regional.

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) when in the Pits. Lightly tinted Yellow, Rose, Blue, and Amber tints are FIRST approved. Reflective lenses are prohibited; your eyes must be clearly visible to others.

FRC participants must wear closed-toed shoes that completely cover the entire foot. Shoes must be substantial and have closed-toes and heels to protect against foot injuries, regardless of work location. Flip-flops, sandals, mules, lightweight slippers, etc. are not acceptable when working on or near the robot.

If spectators attending FIRST competition do not wear closed-toes shoes, they may enter the pit area as long as they remain in the pit aisles. Please note that loose sandals (like flip-flops) are not permitted in the pit area under any circumstances. Spectators that do not meet the footwear requirement for participants, as described above, are not allowed inside individual team pit areas or where robots are being worked on. Be sure to mention this safety requirement to anyone that you invite to the event that is not familiar with FRC so they can visit your team and robot in the pit.

Children twelve and under must have a person eighteen or older with them at all times. There will be a limited number of child safety glasses available to borrow and return at the entrance to the pit. Child strollers and baby carriages are not allowed within the individual Pit Stations.

Safety glasses will be required during early load-in. If your robot was shipped in a crate, remember to bring safety glasses with you for early load-in.

Please do not use skateboards, ‘hoverboards’, or drones at the South Florida Regional. Also do not bring bottled gas tanks (e.g. Helium) to the competition.

6. Meals/Snacks/Beverages

Meals are not provided for the attendees.  There are food concessions in the building.  While there are many restaurants in front of the Convention center, none are close enough for your team to go for lunch. The 2020 Robotics Advance Catering Order Form can be ordered on the South Florida Regional page of the FIRST website or using the  2020 First Robotics Competition.School Meal Order Form Form. 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. Cooking (barbeque or other heat source) is NOT permitted in the parking lots.

We strongly recommend the entire team NOT to 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 generously provided by Florida Power & Light Company. The machine shop has mill, drill and lathe machining capability, band saw and table saw cutting capability, soldering/ welding, grinding/ polishing, threading & tapping capability, and most hand / power tools. The shop will be manned by at least one machinist and one welder during all competition activities. The machine shop is a great asset for the teams. It is important to follow their rules to assure safety for both team members and FPL employees operating the machine shop.

The machine shop is conveniently located in the dock.

FIRST has provided a Machine Shop Request Form that will be available at Pit Admin. Please use it.

Machine Shop hours:

Friday      8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday            8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday       8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (closing time approximate; check with pit admin for updates)

8. Team Media Badges

Only team members with driver badges or media badges, transporting a robot will be permitted to enter the FIRST Arena or Team Queuing area.

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/strategize after entering the queuing area or during a match, or leave the designated media area during match play to ensure the safety of volunteers and team members. 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.

Team media will have assigned chairs in front of the game for them to watch their team’s game.Once the game is over, kindly leave the seats for the next teams.


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.  You should not leave items of value in the pits overnight.

10. Site Layout

The pits will measure 10’ x 10’.  The 2019 Floor Map can be found here.


  • The Information and Ambassador Welcome tables will be located on the entrance hall in the lobby.
  • College/University information tables will be located inside the pit area. Be sure to stop by and talk to the recruiters (on Friday).
  • FLL and FTC will have an exhibit in the lobby on Saturday.

12.Web Streaming

The South Florida Regional will be streamed on the web using FIRST Twitch.

13. Student Ambassadors

2020 South FL Ambassador application

We will be selecting up to 25 students to serve as Student Ambassadors to meet with company sponsors, media outlets, escort visitors around the Palm Beach Convention Center and serve as an information source at the Information Desk during the Regional. These students also give VIP tours.  These students need to be able to comfortably talk with adults in clear and concise terms, covey the values of FIRST and be able to give statistics about the Regional and their own teams.

We are looking for students who have at least one year of experience in FIRST.   They must be personable, knowledgeable and outgoing. These students will be escorting the press and VIP’s as well as the general public. They need to be able to look adults in the eye, answer any questions or know who to find if they don’t have the answer. Most of our ambassadors are also Chairmans’ Presenters so we always work around those presentations.

Candidates must not have critical team duties (like being a driver) during the competition.

The Ambassadors will have a meeting in Room L on Friday April 3rd at 9 am.

14. Friday Workshops

We will be holding workshops on Friday Room L on the first floor. Limited space is available, so please arrive early for workshops. Register here: Regional Workshops

15. Mentors’ Meeting

We had an online meeting, but all the material is posted here. We will go over any updates and will provide additional information on do’s and don’ts during the regional.

16. Volunteer Opportunities

In order to ensure the success of the event, we are reaching out to you, the teams, to help. We need team members (mentors, parents, and/or students) to help out with keeping the guests attending the event safe. There are two opportunities for volunteering in blocks of 2-3 hours each:

  1. Safety Glass Station – Volunteers make sure that visitors to the pit areas are properly outfitted with safety glasses. We need 4 volunteers per block.
  1. Ushers – Volunteers help everyone to have a safe, enjoyable time watching the matches. We need 8 volunteers per block.

Please secure your Volunteering Spot by sending an email to Warren Boudreaux – South Florida Regional Volunteer Coordinator [email protected]

  • Volunteer your team for Safety Glasses and Event Ushers here: Volunteer as a Team                                                                         

17. Local Information

  • Home Depot – 1550 Palm Bch Lakes Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

  • Lowes Home Improvement – 4701 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33417

  • Publix – CityPlace – 375 S Rosemary Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

  • Walgreens – 2200 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33409

  • Walmart – 4375 Belvedere Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

18. Miscellaneous

We look forward to seeing you all on April 3rd.  In the meantime, rest up, travel safe, and get ready for the 2020 FRC Game!