FIRST Steamworks

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Season Information
Number of teams3,357[1]
Number of regionals55
Number of district events90
Championship locationHouston
     George R. Brown Convention Center
     Minute Maid Park
St. Louis
     Dome at America's Center
     America's Center
  FIRST Festival of Champions
     SNHU Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
FIRST Championship Awards
Chairman's Award winnerHouston
     3132 - "Thunder Down Under"
St. Louis
     2614 - "Mountaineer Area Robotics"
Woodie Flowers Award winnerTim Bennington-Davis - Team 1425
Founder's Award winnerSt. Louis Area Planning Committee
     973 - "Greybots"
     1011 - "CRUSH"
     2928 - "Viking Robotics"
     5499 - "The Bay Orangutans"
St. Louis
     2767 - "Stryke Force"
     254 - "The Cheesy Poofs"
     862 - "Lightning Robotics"
     1676 - "The Pascack PI-oneers"
Festival of Champions
     St. Louis Alliance
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

FIRST Steamworks, stylized as FIRST STEAMworks, was the FIRST Robotics Competition game for the 2017 season. As in past games, two alliances of three individual teams and their robots compete on a field to score "match" point to win the game and ranking points to advance to playoff rounds. The game has a steampunk theme and teams are required to shoot wiffle balls which represent fuel into a simulated boiler which transfers the generated steam into an airship in the middle of the field. Each alliance has one airship, which they pressurize with steam from the boiler and load with plastic gears from the field. At the end of the match, robots can climb and hang on team-supplied ropes (or standard ropes supplied by FIRST) attached to the airship for additional points.[2]


The Kickoff event for FIRST Steamworks occurred on Saturday January 7, 2017.[3] The kickoff video featured the theme song for the season, "Steam Powered" by Professor Elemental, and an explanation of the game.[4] The video was livestreamed at 10:30 AM ET, with many teams attending "local Kickoff Events" to kickstart their build season.[3]


FIRST Steamworks is played on a field 27 ft (8.2 m) by 54 ft 4 in (16.56 m), covered in green carpet and bounded by transparent polycarbonate guardrails on the longer sides and the Alliance Walls on the shorter sides. It is divided into the Neutral Zone, alliance specific Launchpads, Keys and Retrieval Zones.

The field for FIRST Steamworks at the Orlando Regional

Neutral Zone[edit]

The Neutral Zone is an area in the middle of the field that contains no major scoring elements, and is neutral to both alliances. It is bounded by the Launchpad Lines, white in colour, and the Launchpad Lines are not part of the Neutral Zone.


Each side of the arena is called the Launchpad. The Launchpad is alliance specific, bounded by the Launchpad Lines and the Alliance Wall. Each Launchpad belongs to the alliance that has their Alliance Wall bounding it. Robots start the match contacting the Alliance Wall. The Launchpad contains the Key, Retrieval Zone and the Airship.


The Key is the area in front of the Boiler. It is bounded by alliance-coloured tape and the Boiler and is contained inside the alliance's own Launchpad. Opposing robots may not stay in the Key for more than 5 seconds, as this would obstruct the alliance from scoring in the Boiler.

Retrieval Zone[edit]

The Retrieval Zone is the area in front of the Loading Station. It is inside the opposite alliance's Launchpad, meaning that the robot must travel to the other side of the field to get to the Loading Station. Robots in the Retrieval Zone normally receive scoring elements through the Loading Stations. Robots may not contact another robot in the opposing Retrieval Zone, regardless of who initiates the contact.

Alliance Station and Loading Lanes[edit]

The Alliance Station is the area behind the Alliance Wall where drivers are stationed. They control their robots from the Driver Stations inside the Alliance Station, behind the Alliance Wall. Behind the Alliance Station is the Loading Lane, belonging to the opposite alliance. Human Players are stationed in the Loading Lanes, with a supply of both gears and fuel to deposit through the Loading Stations to the robots, who then score points with them. Both areas are bounded by alliance-coloured tape. The Loading Station is the only way to get more gears after the start of the match and one of the two ways to get more fuel, the other being the Hoppers.


The Boiler is located at the corner of the field, belonging to the alliance that has its Alliance Wall next to it and their Key in front of it. There are two goals on the Boiler, the Low Efficiency Goal, which is 1 ft 6 in (46 cm) above the ground, and the High Efficiency Goal, which is 8 ft 1 in (246 cm) off the ground. The Low Efficiency Goal is low enough for robots to dump fuel into, though the High Efficiency Goal is too high to do that, so fuel must be launched upwards into it. Fuel may only be launched from an alliance's own Launchpad.


There are five Hoppers stationed around the field, on the guardrails. There are polycarbonate plates on the guardrails. If these are hit by a robot, 2 containers of fuel (1 Hopper) are released onto the field. There are 50 fuel in each container and 100 fuel in each Hopper. Hoppers are neutral with one in each Launchpad and the rest in the Neutral Zone, so any alliance can use the Hoppers. This is one of the two ways robots can get more fuel after the game starts, with the other being the Loading Station.


The Airship is located in the centre of the alliance's Launchpad, is hexagonal in shape and is the main way alliances score points. Two Human Players, known as Pilots, are stationed inside the Airship. On the Airship there are 3 lifts with pegs for robots to deposit gears onto and a cable to let the Pilots pull the gears from the pegs onto the Airship. The lifts are on the 3 faces that are closest to the Alliance Wall. Pegs consist of a plastic spike and a spring that bends, which may cause the gear to fall off the peg while it is being lifted into the Airship. There are bumpers that separate the pegs, with each on the corner of the face. The edge of the bumpers also define the Base Line, a line marked with green tape that is parallel to the Alliance Wall and touching the edge of the bumpers. Also on the Airship are davits, which each hold a rope and a Touchpad. The davits are positioned with one on the side of the hexagon facing the Alliance Wall and the others two faces away. At the end of the game, the robots attempt to climb the ropes connected to the davits, activating the Touchpad. In the middle of the Airship is the Steam Tank, which displays lights for how much fuel has been scored in the Boiler and also where the first gear is placed to activate the first rotor. The other gears must be placed on the sides of the Airship, with an increasing number of gears required for each succeeding rotor. The second rotor requires 2 gears, the third requires 4 gears and the fourth requires 6 gears. There is one reserve "free" gear that is pre-placed on the Airship for the Pilots to use, however it cannot be used in the Autonomous period.

Gameplay and Scoring[edit]

Scoring Elements[edit]

There are two major scoring elements in the FIRST Steamworks game, namely fuel and gears. Fuel are plastic wiffleballs with 26 holes in them, are "Screamin' Yellow" in colour, weigh about 2.6 oz (74 g) each, with a 5 inches (13 cm) diameter. Gears are plastic toothed wheels with 10 teeth, weigh 18.4 oz (520 g) each, an 11 inches (28 cm) diameter, a 10 inches (25 cm) pitch diameter and are 2 inches (5.1 cm) thick. Robots may control as many fuel as they wish, but only 1 gear at a time. Ropes are also regulated.

Autonomous Period[edit]

Robots start the match contacting their Alliance Wall, with up to 1 gear and up to 10 fuel preloaded on the robot. The first 15 seconds of the match is called the Autonomous Period. Robots are controlled by pre-programmed commands with no driver input, hence they operate autonomously. Drivers and Human Players must stand behind the white Starting Line during Autonomous to ensure this is the case. Pilots, however, may still operate the lifts and place gears/turn rotors during Autonomous, but may not touch the reserve gear. Each rotor that is activated in Autonomous gives the alliance 60 points, each fuel scored in the High Goal is worth 1 kilopascal and each fuel scored in the Low Goal is worth 13 kilopascals. Also, if a robot crosses the Base Line, it earns 5 points. If a rotor is engaged in Autonomous, the yellow stack lights next to it will illuminate.

Teleop Period[edit]

After the Autonomous Period ends, the Teleop Period (Tele-operated) begins. It lasts for 135 seconds and robots are controlled by driver inputs. Rotors that are engaged in Teleop earns the alliance 40 points, fuel in the High Goal is worth 13 kilopascals and fuel in the Low Goal is worth 19 kilopascals. At the end of the match, each whole kilopascal accumulated throughout both periods is worth 1 point.

End Game[edit]

The last 30 seconds of the Teleop Period is called the End Game. In the End Game, Pilots deploy the ropes on the Airship to let the robots climb them. Each robot that climbs a rope and activates a Touchpad for at least 1 second and when the game timer reaches 0 earns 50 points for their alliance.

Special Scoring[edit]

There are some other ways that alliances can score points. If an alliance scores at least 40 kilopascals throughout the match, they earn 1 extra Ranking Point for qualification matches and 20 points for playoff matches. Also, if an alliance gets all four rotors turning by the end of the match, they score 1 extra Ranking Point for qualification matches and 100 points for playoff matches. Another way to score extra points is by penalties. If the opposing alliance breaks the rules, they may receive a Foul or a Tech Foul. A Foul is 5 points to the other alliance and a Tech Foul is 25 points to the other alliance.

Scoring Summary[edit]

Action Autonomous Teleop Ranking Points
Mobility 5 points
Rotor Spinning 60 points 40 points
Fuel in High Goal 1 kilopascal 13 kilopascal
Fuel in Low Goal 13 kilopascal 19 kilopascal
Every 1 kilopascal 1 point 1 point
Climb Rope 50 points
At least 40 kilopascals 20 points

(in Playoffs)

1 RP

(in Qualification)

All 4 Rotors spinning 100 points

(in Playoffs)

1 RP

(in Qualification)

Foul 5 points 5 points
Tech Foul 25 points 25 points
Win 2 RP

(in Qualification)

Tie 1 RP

(in Qualification)


The FIRST Steamworks Field at the Menora Mivtachim Arena, 2017 Israel District Championship

FIRST holds many competitions around the world in the 7 week season, with many teams qualifying for the FIRST Championship each event. Only regional and district championship events are listed.

Week 1[edit]

Event Location Date
South Florida West Palm Beach, Florida March 1–4
Lake Superior Duluth, Minnesota March 1–4
Northern Lights Duluth, Minnesota March 1–4
Toluca Toluca March 1–4
Palmetto Myrtle Beach, South Carolina March 1–4
Hub City Lubbock, Texas March 1–4


Week 2[edit]

Event Location Date
Arkansas Rock City Little Rock, Arkansas March 8–11
Arizona North Flagstaff, Arizona March 8–11
San Diego Del Mar, California March 8–11
Orlando Orlando, Florida March 8–11
Shenzhen Shenzhen March 8–11
St. Louis St. Louis March 8–11
Miami Valley Springfield, Ohio March 8–11
Dallas Irving, Texas March 8–11
Utah West Valley City, Utah March 8–11
Central Valley Madera, California March 9–12
Southern Cross Sydney March 13–15


Week 3[edit]

Event Location Date
Ventura Ventura, California March 15–18
Central Illinois Peoria, Illinois March 15–18
Greater Kansas City Kansas City, Missouri March 15–18
Finger Lakes Rochester, New York March 15–18
New York Tech Valley Troy, New York March 15–18
Greater Pittsburgh California, Pennsylvania March 15–18
Lone Star Central Houston March 15–18
South Pacific Sydney March 16–18
San Francisco San Francisco March 16–19


Week 4[edit]

Event Location Date
Rocket City Huntsville, Alabama March 22–25
Sacramento Davis, California March 22–25
Colorado Denver March 22–25
Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa March 22–25
Bayou Kenner, Louisiana March 22–25
Oklahoma Oklahoma City March 22–25
Montreal Montreal, Québec March 22–25
Smoky Mountains Knoxville, Tennessee March 22–25
Wisconsin Milwaukee March 22–25
Los Angeles Long Beach, California March 23–26
Hudson Valley Suffern, New York March 23–26
Israel District Championship Tel Aviv, Israel March 28–30


Week 5[edit]

Event Location Date
Orange County Irvine, California March 29 – April 1
Silicon Valley San Jose, California March 29 – April 1
Hawaii Honolulu March 29 – April 1
Idaho Boise, Idaho March 29 – April 1
Midwest Chicago March 29 – April 1
Laguna Torreón March 29 – April 1
Buckeye Cleveland March 29 – April 1
Brazos Valley Waco, Texas March 30 – April 2
Lone Star North The Woodlands, Texas March 30 – April 2
North Carolina District Championship Lillington, North Carolina March 31 – April 2


Week 6[edit]

Event Location Date
Western Canada Calgary, Alberta April 5–8
Arizona West Phoenix, Arizona April 5–8
Peachtree District Championship Athens, Georgia April 5–8
Minnesota 10000 Lakes Minneapolis April 5–8
Minnesota North Star Minneapolis April 5–8
Las Vegas Las Vegas April 5–8
Alamo San Antonio April 5–8
Chesapeake District Championship Richmond, Virginia April 5–8
Mid-Atlantic District Championship Bethlehem, Pennsylvania April 5–8
Pacific Northwest District Championship Cheney, Washington April 5–8
New England District Championship Durham, New Hampshire April 5–8
Indiana District Championship Huntington, Indiana April 6–8
New York City New York City April 6–9


Week 7[edit]

Event Location Date
Michigan District Championship University Center, Michigan April 12–15
Seven Rivers La Crosse, Wisconsin April 12–15
Ontario District Championship Mississauga, Ontario April 12–15


FIRST Championship[edit]

Event Location Date
FIRST Championship (Houston) Houston April 19–22
FIRST Championship (St. Louis) St. Louis April 26–29
FIRST Festival of Champions Manchester, New Hampshire July 28–29



The following tables show the winners of the subdivisions and finals at each FIRST Championship event, as well as the Festival of Champions


Subdivision Winners[edit]

Division Captain 1st Pick 2nd Pick 3rd Pick
Carver 2122 987 4910 6314
Turing 1318 2046 1595 2907
Galileo 5654 2415 2630 4112
Roebling 973 1011 2928 5499
Hopper 604 2848 1868 2903
Newton 118 1678 4188 5892


Round Robin[edit]
Pos Division Pld W L Pts Qualification
1 Newton (Q) 5 4 1 1.6 Advance to Einstein Finals
2 Roebling (Q) 5 3 2 1.2
3 Carver 5 3 2 1.2
4 Hopper 5 3 2 1.2
5 Galileo 5 2 3 0.8
6 Turing 5 0 5 0
Source: [6]
(Q) Qualified for the phase indicated
Division Alliance 1 2 Wins
Newton 118-1678-4188-5892 472 469 0
Roebling 973-1011-2928-5499 539 495 2


St. Louis[edit]

Subdivision Winners[edit]

Division Captain 1st Pick 2nd Pick 3rd Pick
Archimedes 1058 67 1640 2137
Carson 125 5687 1796 597
Curie 2056 1241 384 1511
Daly 2767 254 862 1676
Darwin 1986 3310 302 3719
Tesla 3452 3683 2084 2537


Round Robin[edit]
Pos Division Pld W L Pts Qualification
1 Darwin (Q) 5 3 2 1.2 Advance to Einstein Finals
2 Daly (Q) 5 3 2 1.2
3 Curie 5 3 2 1.2
4 Carson 5 3 2 1.2
5 Tesla 5 2 3 0.8
6 Archimedes 5 1 4 0.4
Source: [8]
(Q) Qualified for the phase indicated
Division Alliance 1 2 Wins
Darwin 1986-3310-302-3719 487 543 0
Daly 2767-254-862-1676 494 546 2

Festival of Champions[edit]

Championship Alliance 1 2 3 4 5 Wins
Houston 973-1011-4188-5499 508 492 459 539 310 2
St. Louis 2767-254-862-1676 342 428 485 555 588 3


  1. ^ "2017 Season Facts" (PDF). Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "One Page Game Description" (PDF). FIRST. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Kickoff". FIRST. November 25, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "Founder's Reception and Kickoff Broadcast". FIRST. November 29, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "2017 FRC Event List". The Blue Alliance. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  6. ^ "CMPTX Playoff Matches: FRC Event Web". Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "2017 Einstein Field (Houston)". The Blue Alliance. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "CMPMO Playoff Matches: FRC Event Web". Retrieved November 22, 2018.