Start a FLL Team

A Typical FLL Season

May - September: Team Registration occurs online.  Each year the number of FLL teams are limited, so registration remains open until September or when spots fill.  Registering early guarantees your group a spot!

September: That year's challenge is revealed through an online kickoff!  Teams log in to see that year's challenge, find out the mission rules, and read the project description so they can get to work.

Mid-october: The deadline for tournament applications usually falls around this time.  Registering a team does not mean you've registered for an event, so don't forget to sign up!

November - January: FLL Competitions typically occur during this time. 

April: FLL World Fesitival tournament for qualified teams.

Now that you've learned more about what FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is, there are many ways to get involved.  Starting a team may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually very easy.  All you need is an adult coach, a few interest kids between the ages of 9 and 14, enthusiasm, excitement, and a willingness to try and learn new things!

Teams use the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kits to build and program robots to compete in autonomous tasks.  The technology is easy to learn, for both adults and kids, and lots of support is available online and in books.  The programming language that comes with the kit contains built-in tutorials that can help make any team successful.

Costs to Participate

The cost to participate in FLL is relatively small.  Once you have a kit, you can reuse it and all your components from year to year.  You can purchase a special FLL version of the kit upon registration, buy a kit from LEGO Education, or buy it in stores.  The FLL kit is certainly the best investment, but is not required for participation.  A team registration fee must be paid each year, along with registration fees to events if applicable.

A sample new team budget would be:

Optional items

A returning team budget would likely be the same, excluding the FLL Kit Purchase.

Team Organization

In FLL, the kids on teams do not need to be affiliated with a school, but they can be.  Sometimes a team is just made up of a group of friends, a class at school, a scout troop, or any group.  The only rules are that the kids must be 9-14 year olds, there must be 3-10 team members, and there must be at least one adult coach.  The average team size is probably 5-6 kids.

If you do want to have a team associated with a school, some schools will want to run a program that all kids in a grade can participate in.  Because teams are limited to 10 students each, it could become quite cost-prohibitive for a school to field several teams to accommodate all the students.  In these cases, some schools will register only one or two teams officially through FLL.  They will then purchase kits for all teams through LEGO Education (the kits can be used year-round for many great science & technology activities and enrichment programs) and field enough teams for all students to aprticipate.  Before the FLL events, they will host an unofficial tournament at their school and the top finishing teams or project presentation performers will get to use the two official spots to compete in FLL tournaments.

Get Everyone Involved

It is natural for a parent or teacher to become the adult coach for a team of kids, but there are times when other parents or members of the community may want to get involved.  Help should always be welcome, and here are some ways that others can help your team.

Ready to Start a Team?

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Last modified: August 14, 2012 15:38:52