You are here: Home / FLL / Pre2008Backup / Los Altos Robotics Team Formation and Kits

Los Altos Robotics Team Formation and Kits

The page is directed towards coaches and provide information on how to organize a team.

FIRST LEGO League Teams and Kits

For the 2006 season, we will again have a robotics kit leasing program to that reduces the per-player cost of initial participation. See the Kit Policy for how we helped teams with kits in 2005.  By reusing the LEGO robotics kits, are able to reduce the initial costs as well as provide replacements parts. 

Instead of forming teams, the league coordinates team formation by providing parents information about other participants at their child's school. We will also provide training and other resources for coaches. However, we will NOT be assigning players to teams and will not guarantee that a player will be on a team when they register. Use the Los Altos Robotics FLL 2006 Player "I need a Team List" registration to let others know that you want to be on a team and to learn about others that are trying to form teams. We do the best we can to help people form teams but we do not guarantee that people will be put on teams. We do what we can to facilitate team formation.

Players will need to pay their coaches for team expenses as described below. This will likely cost each player between $125 - $160. In addition, the league will collect a team registration fee that covers training, tournament expenses ($50 for the local and maybe something like $75 for the state tournaments), and optionally a robotics t-shirt for the player. This adds between $20 - $40 per player.

We recommend that each team is made up of both a coach and a team manager. The coach should focus on coaching. The team manager should deal with all team finances, registration, and scheduling.

To estimate expenses for a team, the team must first decide if they want to purchase the LEGO robotics kits (at a cost of about $350 after shipping), or lease kits from Los Altos Robotics. See the Kit Policy for more information on leasing a kit. Generally, two players will share one robot kit during the season. The coach must decide who pays, shares, sorts and returns kits.

Team registration fee and playing field kits for the challenge cost $215 for the entire team and is paid when you register the team at the national site. Generally, team fees are paid by the team manager up front and reimbursed by dividing the amount among the players. The team should also plan to budget for miscellaneous expenses such as batteries and other supplies. This is generally about another $20 per player.

Each Los Altos Robotics player will be given an opportunity to buy a special robotics t-shirt. Playing fields (4' x 8' pieces of whiteboard bordered with 2"x4"s).  are provided by Los Altos Robotics, one per team, and cost about $40 to make. As a Los Altos team, you will have a spot at the scrimmage (mid-October) and local competition (mid-November) that is put on using registration fees and with lots of help from the many volunteers from the teams and local community. 

All teams participating in the scrimmage and local competition are expected to provide volunteers to make the event happen.  Many of the volunteer positions only require a time commitment on the day of the event.  See the team registration form for more information on these volunteer positions.

More Ideas for Organizing and Starting a Team

We've signed up at the website on the "I Need a Team List". What more can we do to help our child be on a team this season?

  • To be the most proactive about helping your child be on a team, you can find two more team members to be on a team with them. Then you can work with the other parents to determine who will coach the team. So far in my experience, it has always been one of the parents doing the coaching but it could be someone else. I think that encouraging others that are still working on deciding if they want to be on a team to attend the parent orientation would also be a good idea. Michael Schuh 650-965-8037 (Home)

Do you have any more specific ideas to help our child be on a team this season?

  • First of all, you are not alone! Many parents trying to form a team are going through the same confusion. Most of us have had experience with youth sports, like AYSO soccer, and are used to having teams formed by the league. Most first year coaches have the same confusion. While it is a little more work to form a team for robotics, there are some big upsides. You have the choice of players which means they can participate with friends. The teams are much smaller and more manageable. Here are some things I can think of to help form a team:
    1. Ask your kids the names of their 3 best friends. Call the parents of each and see if they want to do robotics.
    2. Ask your kids who in their class likes science. Call those parents.
    3. Sign up to be a coach! Seriously, finding coaches is harder than finding players. If you really want to make sure they are on a team, be their coach. The whole philosophy of Lego Robotics is to let the kids do the work… you don’t need to be an engineer to coach, just we willing to spend some time with them, help with organization, and lots of positive energy.
    4. Use your mailing lists… past sports teams, other activities like dance, music, scouts… you probably have the e-mail address of 100 kids in all those messages. Send out a short message letting everyone know you are interested in forming a team.
    5. Split the coaching job. Often busy lives or travel schedules prevent people from volunteering to coach. Find another parent and offer to split the duty. Another way to split the job is to have one parent host the meetings and another coach.
    6. Come to the parent meeting Tuesday September 5th, 2006 at Covington. You may find other parents without a team there.

Good luck. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me.

Martin Van Ryswyk (Los Altos Robotics Registrar)
650-691-0805 (home)

Los Altos FIRST LEGO League Homepage.

Changes Log:

29 Aug '06 Updated it some for '06 season.
21 Aug '04 Clean it up and clarified some text.
26 Aug '03 First cut.

Document Actions