FIRST is a terrific organization, but it is important to realize that the actual official organization is comprised of relatively few full-time FIRST employees and lots and lots of passionate volunteers. If your team has a problem or issue, FIRST will address it. Please be patient as demand for information / assistance is probably high and supply of full-time people at FIRST is probably low.
For more information, check the What is FIRST? page or use the FIRST web site to try to answer information-based questions. If you have specific issues / questions, then contact the FIRST customer service representatives.
HOW YOU CAN HELP FIRST
As a rookie team, you can best help FIRST by reading all available information about due dates, costs, registration procedures, competition details, etc. This information is readily available via the FIRST web site [www.usfirst.org].
The pressure of the robot build season and the amount of information your team will need to process over the next seven to eight months may cause frustration at times (in fact, we are almost sure it will). FIRST has created a unique opportunity and challenge for us all. During the upcoming season, some robot rules may change. Some playing field component dimensions may change. Information may not come to us exactly when we would like it. Referee calls may go against our team. FIRST is an organization of human beings. Human beings are not perfect. Provide feedback for improvement in a professional manner, and it will be consider. The end result is worth it.
FIRST COMMUNITY – CHIEF DELPHI
One of the best sources of quick information is the FIRST Community. This community consists of over 1000 FIRST Robotics teams in multiple countries. Teams have almost constant contact through resources such as the Chief Delphi website, operated by Team 47, Chief Delphi. Words cannot describe the openness and helpfulness of the Chief Delphi community. If you have a question, odds are you can obtain a number of public and/or personal responses in minutes via the Chief Delphi site. Use it!
TIP Realize that the Chief Delphi site is populated with many FIRSTers, so of whom are very well connected with FIRST HQ. However, information coming from the Chief Delphi site is not the “official” FIRST response. If an official FIRST response is what you need, contact FIRST directly.
FIRST COMMUNITY – OTHER FIRST TEAMS
Find out if you have any veteran teams local to your area. Make contact if you have not already. Utilize these teams to answer your questions or even be mentors for your team. You can always use more friends in FIRST, and most teams are more than willing to help.