First Lego League

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A German, an Austrian and a Swiss FLL team also took part in the FIRST World Championship in Detroit 2019. Here the bot of the German team GOROBOT.

The First Lego League , abbreviated to FLL , is a worldwide educational program ( robotics competition ) initiated by an American foundation First , Lego and other sponsors. It is designed to provide access to science and technology for children and adolescents aged 10 to 16 (in the US and Canada, between 9 and 14 years).

Highlights of the program are competitions in which the teams developed their in the weeks before Lego Mindstorms - robots loose on a playing field tasks; a jury evaluates the performance. The competitions are held at local, regional and international levels. Every year they have a new theme such as B. nanotechnology, climate change, biomedical engineering or food safety, which not only describes the area of ​​knowledge that the teams are particularly concerned with during the preparation period, but also inspires the course and the tricky technical tasks that the robots have to master.

The idea for the global education program came from the non-profit American organization First ( For Interest and Recognition of Science and Technology ) and the Lego company. In Central Europe, the competition is being held under the auspices of the non-profit organization Hands on Technology .

The FLL task

The FLL consists of two main areas: the robot game and research. In the robot game, the teams plan, build, program and test an autonomous robot that has to perform a series of tasks. In the research assignment, the teams research a real problem that has something to do with the annual motto, design a solution and present their findings. For at least eight weeks, all FLL teams deal with solving the tasks of the robot game and creating their research work. Each team of 3 to 10 children and young people is led by at least one adult trainer. After the preparation time, the teams compete in a regional competition and compare their performance with other teams.

Assessment categories

First Lego League trophies until 2008

In preparation, the teams concentrate on the construction and programming of a robot and the research presentation. In an FLL competition, the teams are judged by jurors in the two other categories of robot design and teamwork. A special jury prize will also be awarded. Each team starts in an FLL regional competition in their area and tries to achieve the best possible performance in the various categories. The best team in each category also receives an FLL trophy at the award ceremony at the end of the competition day. The children are judged in the same evaluation categories regardless of the country in which they compete.

FLL champion

This trophy is awarded for overall success and for the implementation of FLL's values. It evaluates how strongly the children and young people inspire and motivate other participants, give them access to the exciting world of science and technology and at the same time show respect, commitment and impressive professionalism. The winning team is a role model for the FLL program. The FLL champion is made up of a quarter from the ratings of the individual categories: robot design, teamwork, research and robot game.

Robot game

The robot built for the competition may only consist of Lego components. The number of non-electronic Lego parts used is unlimited, but electronic parts and motors may only be installed in a specified quantity. The Lego Mindstorms system serves as the foundation: RCX, NXT or EV3, although the RCX is hardly ever used. Every year there is a new playing field of approx. 236 by 114 centimeters, on which various Lego structures are positioned.

The teams must try to design a robot in the period from the publication of the competition tasks (between the beginning of August and the beginning of September) to the regional competition in which they participate (mid-November to mid-January), which can complete as many of the tasks as possible within 150 Seconds can solve autonomously on the field. After the time has elapsed, an arbitrator awards the points, with the maximum number of points per task depending on the difficulty of the respective assignment. If the robot is touched while it is on the field outside the so-called base, penalty points are awarded.

Each team competes in three preliminary rounds for the robot game. In every match, the team has the chance to collect as many points as possible. No match is related to the previous one - only the match with the highest score counts. The calculated evaluation points go directly into the evaluation of the FLL champion. The best teams advance to the quarter-finals or semi-finals. There is only one round in the quarter-finals and in the semi-finals. The number of points achieved there is counted. A ranking list is created on the basis of these scores. The two best teams from the semi-finals qualify for the final.


In addition to building a robot, each team has to cope with a scientific task - FLL research. The research task is thematically closely related to the annual competition topic. A good team in this category is characterized by high quality research, innovative solutions and a creative presentation. The presentation of the research assignment to an expert jury should be exactly 5 minutes long and a quarter is included in the evaluation.

Robot design

In addition to the performance in the robot game, the construction and programming of the robot will also be scrutinized by a separate jury. An excellent robot must have an innovative and robust design that is well coordinated with the programming of the robot. In addition, as with all other categories, it must be clearly recognizable that the students did their own thing.


Cooperation is essential for success at FLL and is a main requirement in every team. Teams that show enthusiasm and sporting spirit as well as exceptional respect for their own team members and the most support and help for other FLL teams can be awarded here. They also demonstrate trust, willingness to perform and the ability to solve problems.

Special prize of the jury

The jurors at FLL competitions can award special teams that are either characterized by particular perseverance in preparation, e.g. B. mastering complicated situations without giving up or because you as a newcomer team prevailed over experienced FLL teams and were able to achieve good results in the competition.

Skill levels

The competition takes place nationally and internationally at different levels. From the regional competition, the best teams qualify further to the next higher level. Currently these are various qualification competitions within FLL Central Europe, the FLL Semi Finals, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as in the Czech Republic , Hungary , Poland and Slovakia . The best teams from the FLL Semi Finals can qualify for the Central European Final every year.

On an international level, it goes from there to the FLL World Festival, a kind of world championship, in the spring in St. Louis in the US state of Missouri or to other open international competitions such as B. Qualify First Lego League Open Championships . These were held for the first time in the competition year 2005/2006 in Eindhoven in the Netherlands and in the following years 2006/2007 in Bodø in Norway , 2007/2008 in Tokyo , 2008/2009 in Copenhagen , 2009/2010 in Istanbul (Open European Championship) and Kaohsiung , Taiwan (Open International Championship), 2010/2011 in Delft in the Netherlands (Open European Championship). The Open European Championship 2011/2012 took place in Mannheim in June 2012 and in May 2013 54 teams from 35 countries were guests at the Heinz Nixdorf Museum Forum in Paderborn at the OEC 2012/13. The 2014 Open European Championship was held in Pamplona , Spain , at the end of May .

History of the competition

The annual FLL competition theme is always a topical issue from research, science and technology. For example, 2015 is about ways to deal with waste under the slogan "Trash Trek". The topics of FLL are reflected both in the design of the playing field (tasks for the robot game) and in the research assignment. Previous topics were:

  • 2019/20: City Shaper
  • 2018/19: Into Orbit (life and travel in space)
  • 2017/18: Hydro Dynamics (water - how we find it, transport it, use it or dispose of it)
  • 2016/17: Animal Allies (exploring relationships between humans and animals)
  • 2015/16: Trash Trek (ways to deal with the waste)
  • 2014: World Class (The classroom of the future)
  • 2013: Natures Fury (Eliminate Natural Disasters)
  • 2012: Senior Solutions (improving the quality of life of older people)
  • 2011: Food Factor (focus on food safety)
  • 2010: Body Forward (exploring the exciting world of biomedicine)
  • 2009: Smart Move - Transport in Transition (How can you transport safely and efficiently?)
  • 2008: Climate Connections (Our climate is changing, how do we have to react?)
  • 2007: Power Puzzle (How can you secure global energy supplies?)
  • 2006: Nano Quest (How can nanometer-sized particles help us to solve problems?)
  • 2005: Ocean Odyssey (help for the seas and the animals and plants living there)
  • 2004: No Limits (No limits for people with physical or mental disabilities)
  • 2003: Mars Adventure (Mars landing must be carried out)
  • 2002: City Sights (solutions for a safe standard of living in large cities)
  • 2001: Arctic Impact (supplying a polar station) - first pilot competition in Germany
  • 2000: Volcanic Panic (evacuation measures before a volcanic eruption)
  • 1999: First Contact (rescue of a stranded space station)

See also

Web links

Commons : FIRST Lego League  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files