Club vs Team

We have had a lot of commitment issues from all sides because we had originally been set up as the Robotics Club. We have been generally looked at about the same way as an arts and crafts club. We are trying, internally and externally, to re-brand as a Robotics Team, to be recognized more similarly to a sport. I am curious what other organizations have seen. Is your school’s robotics program recognized as a Team or a Club, and have you had any benefits or drawbacks that you would associate with that, one way or the other?

It’s recognized as a club currently, though when I go through my expectations and outline how the season goes, I explicitly mention that we prepare like a sport.

Our Team is a little of both because we are technically a club but we are treated like a team in a way. I know not every group is able to have great support from there school but we do. This ranges from Money to parts and recognition.

We operate technically as a “club”. However, we are treated as a team. We get tremendous support from our school and our system. We are primarily self-funded through the events that we run, but our system contributes financially as well. We have a Hall of Champions where every individual or team that has won a State Championship has their picture. That wall has the picture of our team that was the captain of the State Championship alliance last season (Nothing but Net). We also get recognized at the Spring Pep Rally each year. Last year we had our best robot compete in a 3 pt shooting contest against the best 3 pt. shooters from our boys and girls Basketball teams. The robot won, of course.

Please tell me video of this exists

Sorry, was set up at the last minute. Didn’t get a chance to take a video. :frowning:

We are set up as a club but practice more than a school team we are also funded through sponsors and fundraisers that we run we get very little school support

My school has it set up pretty good from a students perspective, I take “SCIENCE OF ROBOTS & AUTOMATION” as an elective, get school science credit for it, and have a robot built that we can take to tournaments. We meet 3 times a week, plus many Saturdays (This is a high school by the way).

We do our own fundraising, through school fundraisers & company sponsorships.

At the end of the year once all the tournaments are complete, we actually do some studying on how programming works, and essentially get tested on all the standards that we where supposed to learn.

It’s interesting you bring this up, we have been having discussions recently of a similar nature. We are called the Robotics Team, but we struggle with some participants, committing the time etc.

I am all for students, particularly in middle school, trying lots of things and being well rounded. But it also frustrates me that students miss significant chunks of the Regional Championship or the US Open because of other sports.

I feel we need to somehow figure out how to offer a club experience for some students and a competitive team experience for others. I’m not sure though how some students (and their parents) might react to suggestions that they be in the club, not the competitive team.

In my mind a club would be more experimental, expect less commitment, but still might go to one or 2 competitions per year. The Team would have higher expectations for commitment, discipline (in things like notebook, practice etc) and compete through the entire season.

This year, our program switched from a Club to a Team. This required, I think, school board action, as well as adoption and formalization at the 3 county high schools that participate in the program. Prior to that, it was strictly a club.

Now, the kids can letter in Robotics. There are Varsity letter requirements, including attendance at practices and competitions. And to letter in Varsity Robotics at one of your 3 high schools, you have to qualify for the State Tournament. It’s not a cakewalk, but the kids have a tremendous amount of fun.

What does your school do for letters? At our’s they are awarded an actual letter and every year after they are given a chevron with some piece of artwork on it signifying what sport/academic group they lettered in. we are working on art work for the chevrons and would love some inspiration.

I don’t actually know; we have 3 schools in the program, so I’ll ask.

Are you able to post the full lettering requirements (or is that it)? I’d like to see what schools require.

I will ask the appropriate authorities if that is allowed. I don’t work for the school system; I’m a volunteer mentor. So I’m not plugged in to the…administrative rules. (Is that an acceptable spelling of "red-tape and bureaucracy? Never sure about these things.) I’m pretty sure at least a categorical summary is releasable.

I’ll let you know.

This is all super helpful! I am doing some research, and the Gael Force team out of Dublin, California seems to have a really nice structure. They have two membership classes (the exact details i can only speculate, but i believe it may be officers and others), and they have one of their teams dedicated to development. I think we may try an experimental R&D team in addition to our strictly competitive teams, but this might have to wait a few years as we are focused on recruitment and retention right now.

Robotics at your school is a club but we have different levels of commitment, split into 2 categorizes. Option 1 requires the most commitment we 8 hours a week but most of the option 1 people are putting in around 30 to 40 hours. Option 1 goes to more tournaments and if they qualify for worlds they will go to worlds. Then there is an option 2 that goes to 2 tournaments, they go to one tournament before states and one tournament after states and if they qualify for states they will go to states and if they qualify for worlds they will go to worlds. Option one starts at the beginning of the season and option 2 starts 2 or 3 months later. Having a commitment that is enforced and having the commitment range per option, allow the more committed people to have a team that really want to be there and succeed

Officially we’re a club at my school, but ask anyone else and we’re a team. We have semi-strict meeting dates and we meet a few time per week, along with any free time during school. We even get mentioned in the morning announcements sometimes. Also our adviser, teaches the robotics class and you have to be, had been or will be in the class in order to join. So having him everyday makes it pretty hard to skip meetings and competitions. Also, he usually only allows juniors and Seniors to join. Finally, the overall atmosphere of the club is so much more like a team, with the reputation of going to worlds every single year to uphold.

We function as a club, because it allows us to kick people off the “club” when a official team wouldn’t. Additionally, clubs have the options of outside fundraising. To differentiate, we have exclusive memberships, and don’t allow outsiders into our room. We also cover our door so people can only see whats in the entry way. Mystery is key :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, our school is the only school in my city that has a robotics club. Because of this, there isn’t much support or funding behind our robotics club, the district would rather waste money on powering the school on a generator instead of fixing a broken transformer (this has been going on for about 3 weeks, the cost of it is huge). The only funding we get is through the Tracy Triangle tournament and through our memberships and the occasional grant. We do have 6 teams, but we have to pay a membership at at the beginning of the year, and we can’t work on our robots very much, just twice a week for two to three hours. Also, we don’t start working on our robots until september, which in my opinion is a mistake. The teams that kick butt are doing so because they work on their robots from the day the competition js announced. Our club did manage to get a league in San Joaquin though, which was used for first year teams with inexperienced people like me in them. “Varsity” teams have experienced members on them, and go to a competition a month on average. In short, my team and our sisterteam have to go to worlds for there to be some kind of recognition, and maybe then we will be able to order new parts and accessories that we have been needing for so long.

We operate as a club, as we are an aggregate of 5 sister teams at my school.