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FLL Age Limit

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  • FLL Age Limit

    In trying to form new Jr.FLL and FLL teams I'm grouping the kids based on the age limits of each (6-9 and 9-14). Is there a specific date used to determine if a 9 year old should be on Jr.FLL or FLL?

    Additionally, can a FLL team have an 8 year old team member or is the age limit strictly enforced?

    Finally, if an 8 year old can participate can they run the robot at the competition and help with the research presentation?

    Thanks for your help.

    Philip Martin
    Phil Martin

  • #2
    Re: FLL Age Limit

    The bottom end to the age limit is only a suggestion. I tried having 3rd graders (8 year olds) on an FLL team. At that age, it was difficult to keep them on task. So ask yourself, is this student mature enough to contribute to the team?
    Tim Tedrow
    Addicted to FIRST since 2000.
    No known treatment or cure.


    • #3
      Re: FLL Age Limit

      My understanding is the only "hard" constraint is for upper age (14 on Jan 1 of the current year). One of my interview questions asks the parents for an example in which the young child stayed focused on a long task. Then again, half my team has ADHD so it may be a moot point....


      • #4
        Re: FLL Age Limit

        Our first year (I was not the coach that year, just a parent) my son was 7, and the rest of the kids were 8 or 9... and they won the research trophy and went to the states. (Their robot score that year is another story )

        Their coach back then was extraordinary, and I work hard to fill his ample shoes. On my teams (2 now) it is some of the older kids who are harder to keep focused!

        IMHO, I would encourage a child with any interest to get involved as young as 7. As long as expectations are set properly, that is.

        ps that bunch of kids grew up and won the champions trophy at their qualifier last year, and got the 10th highest robot score at the states. Experience matters!


        • #5
          Re: FLL Age Limit

          I've worked with a reasonably large number of kids (over 75) as they were first learning how to build and program robots in teams of up to 4 kids. They have ranged from 8y to 14y old.

          The majority of the 8y wanted to build LEGO, thought robots were cool, but weren't that interested in programing a robot to solve a challenge set by someone else. They were happy to create objects to do things they thought would be fun to do. "How many laser cannons can we put on the robot?" "Can the robot chase the dog around the room?"

          Many had trouble with the teamwork side of things. They could get along with other kids, but they didn't want to share ideas and work together to build one robot. Most just wanted to build their own creation.

          I'm sure there are 8y who could contribute and be part of a FLL team. But there is a reason for the JFLL program. I encourage younger kids to start there, and then move up when they are 9y.

          If you are considering having (or being pressured to have) an 8y on the team, it would be interesting to put a large amount of interesting LEGO in the center of the room and then ask the kids to work together to create 'something'. It should be a task that would take about 30 minutes and involve some testing and trying to get it right.

          Then sit back and watch. Does the 8y work with the older kids? Do they contribute ideas that help accomplish the task? Can they stay focused as part of the team for 30 minutes?


          • #6
            Re: FLL Age Limit

            Last year's VA champions (Vector 67) team consists of kids more than 14 year old (their website say they are in high school). I am not sure if that is allowed. what is the criteria for a high school kid to participate in FLL?


            • #7
              Re: FLL Age Limit

              I believe that the age limit is 14 as of January 1 of the Challenge year. In a scenario where a kid has a birthday of January 2 they could be 15 for the bulk of the season and 16 years old for the state championships or World Festival and still meet the age rule.
              Jamie Diamond
              Cougar Lego Robotics Team (Get Over It! #4251)
              (Smart Moves #127, Climate Connections #437, Power Puzzle #1470)