FIRST volunteers are the backbone of every event — the program literally couldn’t run without them! If you’re interested in volunteering but not sure where to start, check out the roles below. Please note that all FIRST volunteers must read and comply with the FIRST Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities. They also must adhere to FIRST safety practices and Gracious Professionalism at all times. 

Field Reset/Repair:
-A Field Reset and Repair volunteer puts the game pieces back into their start positions at the beginning of each match. This position is great for those new to FIRST, younger FIRSTers, or those who just really enjoy the excitement of the field and watching the matches.
– It requires the person to understand the game but otherwise has no age or certification restrictions.
– Time commitment: You’re available for a minimum of one day, but preferably the entire event.

Field Supervisor:
– The Field Supervisor is in charge of the assembly and disassembly of the field in collaboration with the FIRST Technical Advisor (FTA). They also direct activity on the field to ensure the efficiency of matches and make sure things run on time. The Field Supervisor also lead the Field Repair/Reset Crew.
– You are someone who enjoys collaboration and has excellent teamwork and communication skills.
– This is a Key Volunteer position and requires the volunteer to be over the age of 19. A Conflict of Interest declaration must be signed in order to take on this role.
– Time commitment: You’re available for pre-event training calls, set up day, practice day, and a minimum of three full-day commitment.

Score Keeper:
– Are you quick thinking and do you enjoy numbers? The scorekeeper position could be the one for you! Scorekeepers manage and operate the field software for scoring and field control of the matches, and therefore, must have an in-depth knowledge of how the game is played. They also communicate scores, playing an important role in keeping the flow of the competition going smoothly.
– This is a Key Volunteer position. You must be at least 19 years old. You must also sign a Conflict of Interest declaration before starting.
– Time commitment: You’re available for pre-event training calls and pre-recorded training videos, and you can commit to the entirety of the event.

Field Technical Advisor (FTA)
– With great power comes great responsibility, and this is particularly true for the FTA, who keeps the field running according to FIRST standards.
– Along with solving connectivity issues between robots and the field, the FTA coordinates and communicates with the event manager and other key volunteers on all relevant aspects of the event. They also monitor the setup and break down of the field (and practice field) and make sure all road cases are unpacked and re-packed properly.
– You are a self-directed person who is familiar (or willing to become familiar) with the robot control system, the field management system, field electronics, and diagnostic tools. You also have a solid knowledge of the competition game rules and FIRST procedures and documentation and have the ability to multitask and work under pressure.
– This is a Key Volunteer position. You must be at least 19 years old. Team experience is preferred. You must also sign a conflict of interest declaration before starting.
– Time commitment: You must attend FTA training at FIRST Headquarters each year, and be available for the entirety of the event. Be ready for long days — FTAs are often the FIRST to arrive and the last to leave.

Field Technical Advisor Assistant (FTAA):
– If you want to be an FTA one day, this is the training ground. You will work with volunteers to monitor wireless communications and other aspects of the event using the diagnostic tools, and be aware of robot connection problems and be ready to solve them. A key part of this position is being able to step in when the FTA isn’t available.
– You are someone who has FIRST experience, and familiar (or willing to become familiar) with the robot control system, robot diagnostic tools, robot wiring guidelines, Driver Station software, and Windows Networking settings. You also know the game and rules like the back of your hand and have strong interpersonal and communication skills.
– This is a Key Volunteer position. You must be at least 19 years old. Team experience is preferred. You must also sign a conflict of interest declaration before starting.
– Time Commitment: You’re available for pre-event training calls, the setup day, the practice day, and the entire event.

Control System Advisor
– The Control System Advisor is the go-to person when it comes to dealing with robot control systems. You will be assisting teams in correcting control system issues, including those with the roboRIO, support boards such as the Pneumatics Control Module, wiring, programming, sensors, driver station, and laptop-roboRIO interface. You also need to be aware of the key issues so you can quickly diagnose and solve them, allowing robots to get on the field as soon as possible.
– You are someone who has a vast wealth of technical knowledge, including recent hands-on experience with FRC control systems and diagnostic tools. You have strong problem-solving skills, can easily time manage and prioritize, and can communicate well in a high-stress environment.
– This is a Key Volunteer position. You must be at least 19 years old. Team experience is preferred. You must also sign a conflict of interest declaration before starting.
– Time commitment: You must attend pre-event training calls, get the required certification, and be able to attend the entire event.

Lead Robot Inspector
-The Lead Robot Inspector oversees and performs the mandatory robot inspections and weigh-in processes that ensure compliance with that year’s rules. They also train, supervise, and direct the Robot Inspectors, and make the final call on any disputes.
– Lead Robot Inspectors set up the inspection and weigh-in stations, and recruit Robot Inspectors. They also complete inspection paperwork and act as a resource for teams.
– To be a Lead Robot Inspector, you must be mechanically inclined and have strong assessment skills. You must also be able to take charge and be assertive but respectful.
– This is a Key Volunteer position. You must be at least 21 years old, have the mandatory certification, and have spent at least two years as a Robot Inspector. Team experience is preferred. You must also sign the Conflict of Interest Declaration before starting.
– Time commitment: You must attend mandatory training at FIRST Headquarters, pre-event training calls, and the entire event. You must also pass the online Robot Inspector Certification at least one week before the event.

Robot Inspector
– Under the guidance of the Lead Robot Inspector, the Robot Inspectors complete the mandatory inspection and weigh-in processes for teams, making sure that all robots comply with the rules of that year’s challenge.
– Along with determining if robots pass or fail, they also provide general technical support for teams by helping to resolve issues with their robots.
– To be a Robot Inspector, you must be mechanically inclined, have strong assessment and interpersonal skills, and can easily follow and enforce both electrical wiring and pneumatic diagrams.
– This is a Key Volunteer position. You must be at least 18 years old and have completed the required certification. Team experience is preferred. You must also sign a conflict of interest declaration before starting.
– Time commitment: You must pass the Robot Inspector Certification, and be available for a minimum of one day.

 

Thank you to talented Emily Haws for writing this article.

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