How to Start a Team

What is a FLL team?

Teams can be formed around a school classroom, after-school program, extracurricular group, home school, a group of friends, neighborhood kids, a club, or civic organization. The definition of a team is that it consists of 3 to 10 youth from ages 9-14 and at least one adult coach.

  • Boys and girls self-organize into teams. FIRST and University of Idaho Extension Robotics do not form teams.
  • A child can be a team member on only one team. 
  • A coach can be the coach for multiple teams.
  • Teams typically have 4 to 6 members but up to 10 members per team is allowed.
  • Every team must have at least one adult coach – additional coaches and mentors are encouraged.
  • The upper age limit of 14 years old is strictly enforced. All team members must be 14 or younger on January 1 of the competition year.

How do I form a team?

There are always interested kids, they just need a coach. No experience is necessary to coach - you do not need to be an engineer! Coaches can be parents, teachers or volunteers. University of Idaho Extension Robotics provides workshops to learn how to use the NXT Robotics System and how to coach an FLL team.

  • Hold an informational meeting for your school or group in spring or very early in September – explain the program, timeframe, costs, and the need for coaches. 
  • Recruit other coaches or a co-coach. Two coaches per team is recommended. Talk to parents, your PTO/PTA, your principal, your school district, or an interested teacher.
  • Recruit mentors and volunteers to advise and support the team.

How much does it cost?

University of Idaho Extension Robotics recommends that teams budget $1100 for the first year and $500-600 in following years. Teams are encouraged to look for community support and fundraising opportunities.

Detailed first year team budget