2022 FIRST® Robotics Competition Season Kicks Off on January 8

The Long Island Regional FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition season will kick off on Saturday, January 8, 2022. Knowing only that this year’s theme is 2022 RAPID REACTSM presented by The Boeing Company, local FIRST teams, and the 4,000 teams representing 35 countries around the world, will receive this year’s game rules via a video feed that will be broadcast at the same time across the globe.


Typically, as hosts of the Long Island regionals, School Business Partnership of Long Island, Inc (SBPLI) DBA FIRST Long Island would normally hold a kickoff event where its members and sponsors would treat students and parents to presentations regarding the impact of the program on local communities and businesses. That would be followed by a broadcast from FIRST headquarters and the handing out the kits of parts needed to construct the robots to participate in this season’s game.


However, because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, SBPLI will be restricting its participation during the kickoff to distribution of the kits of parts only via curbside pickup. There will be no local presentations, and the teams will be responsible to watch the FIRST headquarters broadcast on their own prior to coming and picking up their kits. The pickup of the kits will occur at the kit shipment receiving location, SCHENCK USA CORP, from 1 to 3 p.m. SCHENCK USA CORP is located at 529 Acorn Street in Deer Park.


This year, two regional tournaments will be held as part of the SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. They will take place on March 20-26, 2022 at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Each event will serve as a separate regional, with different teams competing in separate alliances and tournament rounds. Some of the teams set to participate in the local regionals will move on to compete at the 2022 FIRST Championship in Houston.


Leading up to the regionals, SBPLI students will work with engineering mentors to apply concepts of math and science learned in the classroom to build their robots. Students will also learn important concepts such as teamwork, problem solving and healthy competition. Many SBPLI students use these skills while pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.


Over the years, FIRST students from Long Island have received millions of dollars in scholarships for higher education. This year, there are 200 scholarship providers who will give students participating in FIRST access to more than $80 million worth of scholarships.


“We are thrilled to get our 2022 season underway and are looking forward to another great kick-off,” says Larry Toonkel, Co-Director, FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Long Island. “We are also excited to bring the Long Island Regional back in person as more teams are looking to be part of our annual event.”