Los Angeles Region FIRST® LEGO® League (LAR FLL)
Information for New Teams

The FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) program is an excellent way for young people to experience the excitement of technical creativity and gain insights in the possibility of technical careers.  No previous technical or programming experience is required to join a team or to coach a team.


FLL teams are made up of 2-10 young people between the ages of 9 and 14. Teams can be organized at schools, at clubs or troops, or in neighborhoods. The main requirement is that an adult take the responsibility for registering a team and scheduling the meetings. Most teams meet 3-6 hours per week, after school or on weekends, in September, October and November.

The optimum size for a team with one adult and one robot set is 4-6 young people. To effectively manage a team with 10 young people, it is best to have either:

  • A coach with skill managing many young people (e.g., a teacher)
  • A second coach/mentor (could be a high school student)
  • A team member who is a very good leader or
  • A second robot set

Check the 2013 Teams and Events Map to see if there are any existing teams near you.

Use the FIRST TeamUp! Portal to see if there are any parents interested in starting or joining teams, teams seeking new members, or mentors interested in supporting teams near you.

The Season

See the 2013 Season Calendar. The 2014 Season Calendar should be very similar.

The FLL season starts in May with team registration at https://gofll.usfirst.org/. Team registration continues until the end of September or until capacity is reached. FLL Robot Sets and team registration kits, which include the Coaches Handbook and program CDs, are shipped as soon as the team registers and completes payment. Shipments to California typically take 5-10 days after your payment is received. Starting in late July or early August, the field setup kits, which include the field mat, the mission models, and a link to the online building instructions, will be shipped to registered teams that paid for them.

In late August or early September, the FLL Challenge including the Research Project, Robot Game and Core Values will be released online. New teams (coaches, mentors, students and parents) should attend a Challenge Release Workshop to get the season off to a good start. Teams design, build and program their robots and complete the research project during September, October and November. Teams register for tournaments in early October and attend practice tournaments in late October or early November and Qualifying Tournaments in November or early December. Tournaments are usually scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays. The top 20-30% of teams will advance to the Regional Championship Tournaments in mid-December.

Teams that start late may need to meet more hours per week to get ready for Qualifying Tournaments in mid-November:

 Start Team Date Weeks to Mid-November
Qualifying Tournaments
 New team: 40+ total hours
Hours per week
Experienced team: 30+ total hours
Hours per week
 September 3 10 4 3
 September 17 8 5 4
 October 1 6 7 5

Teams that order robot sets or field setup kits late can start working on the Research Project and Core Values right away and can work on the Robot Game later.

Find out more about FLL at the official websites:

What is FLL Video:        http://media.wpi.edu/News/Events/Robotics/First/2008/Videos/2008_FIRST_LEGO_League_LAN.wmv
What is the Challenge:  http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/thechallenge
Start a Team:                  http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/startateam
Participation Rules:
Find a team:                   https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/login/fc_login.aspx?s=fc
Register a team:            https://gofll.usfirst.org/    (Also order FLL Robot Sets and Field Setup Kits here.)

Team Costs

See the 2013 FLL Challenge for estimated season costs, including shipping and sales tax.

Team Grants

Grants are available for eligible teams. Priority consideration is given to teams that meet one of the economic needs criteria.
See 2013 Grant Information. The 2014 Grant Information should be very similar.

First Steps for New Teams

Tips for new teams to help you get off to a good start with the FLL Challenge.

Team Resources

Links to additional resources for teams.

Additional Information

For additional information, contact LeRoy Nelson, Operational Partner, Los Angeles Region FLL.