We’re excited that you have chosen to participate in R2OC this year. Due to COVID restriction during our planning phase of R2OC we made the decision to host our annual event outdoors at Rockford’s City Market space. This new venue will be exciting and challenging at the same time. Our event will look and feel a little different this year so please give us grace as we navigate these new waters for this year. We will return to “normal” summer of 2022 by hosting our event once again at Rock Valley College. Until then…. here’s the answers to the most frequently asked questions related to the 2021 R2OC competition hosted at Rockford’s City Market.
I understand the event will be held outdoors. Will it be held under a tent?
Rockford’s City Market is an outdoor pavilion with open sides and only a roof protecting from weather conditions. The pavilion is covering a parking lot which is where the FIRST competition field will be set up. As a result the field will be gently sloped. We have positioned the field in the most level area under the pavilion.
Where is Rockford’s City Market located?
116 N Madison St, Rockford, IL 61107 The Rockford City Market Website has lots of information including directions to the facility can be found here, in addition to photos of the venue.
Since the event is outdoors this year, what happens with inclement weather?
Since the pavilion is open sided, if there is any significant rain we will need to cancel the event. This decision to cancel the event will most likely be made, based on local weather projections, Saturday morning (July 24) because the field will be set up all day on Saturday. We will notify teams as quickly as possible via email if the event is canceled. Registration fees will be refunded if the event is canceled due to weather. The event will not be rescheduled if canceled.
Since the event is outdoors this year, will the pit area be sheltered or do teams need to bring a tent?
At this time we believe we can fit all team pits under the pavilion and provide electrical cords to each pit. If this changes we will notify teams.
Will there be seating available to watch the competition?
At this time we are planning on renting bleachers to surround two sides of the field.
Will there be restrooms available during the competition?
In addition to renting the outdoor, pavilion covered space, we have rented an indoor space that includes public restrooms.
Will there be places for a bus/trailers to park?
At this time we are working with our city to provide free parking within walking distance to the venue. We will provide a map indicating parking options soon. We will have space for trailer unloading at the pavilion during pit set up time for 7:00-8:30 am on Sunday July 25.
Will there be onsite concessions of any type?
An onsite concessions stand may be available based on the number of volunteers we have sign up. This concession stand will be limited, providing light snacks and water only. We are hoping to confirm the presence of local food trucks during the lunch hours on Sunday. In addition there are local restaurants within walking distance of the pavilion. We will provide website links to these restaurants in our next update.
Is there a hotel close to the competition site?
This year’s competition is in the heart of Downtown Rockford. The closest hotel to the competition site is Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront (416 S. Main Street, Rockford, IL, IL 61104) Reservations can be made at the following site: Rockford Embassy Suites
Will there be a team social on Saturday night?
There will not be a team social this year.
Will there be an event t-shirt this year?
Yes! We will have shirts available for sales while supplies last. In addition, volunteers will receive an event shirt as a thank you for volunteering.
Are volunteers still needed for the 2021 season?
Yes! The success of our event is dependent on volunteers. There are many volunteer jobs still needed ranging from Field set up (Saturday July 24) to field reset, queuing and concessions. Please sign up to volunteer at on our volunteer registration webpage.
Will there be a donation/collection as a community service project?
This year we will not be doing a community service project. Our community service project will return for the 2022 season.
Will scholarships be awarded this year?
Yes! This year R2OC will award two $1,000 scholarships. The application is open and can be found on our website scholarship page. The deadline to apply is Friday July 2, 2021
What is the time schedule for Sunday’s event and how many qualifying matches will we get?
Pit load in will be from 7:00-9:00 am on Sunday July 25, 2021. We plan to have the first qualifying matches begin at 9:00 am and end around 1:00 pm. It is our intention to have 7 qualifying matches per team. We will hold a brief ceremony to recognize sponsors and scholarship winners at 1:00 pm just prior to our lunch break. We hope to have eliminations begin at 2:00 pm.
Will game be played by 2020 or 2021 rules (and are there any modifications)?
We will be following FIRST 2021 rules. There will not be a bar on the carpet to cross, plus some scoring changes were made. Teams are responsible for reviewing the rules.
Special Note About Electricity:
The Rockford City Market Pavilion has electrical outlets on each pavilion support pole. We plan to have power cords available to each pit area. The challenge with this venue is that if we overload a circuit and “pop a breaker” the competition will be ended because the city must come out to rectify the situation, which is unlikely to happen in time for us to continue play. (In addition there is a large fee for the city to come out to do this work.) We are asking teams to be very conscious of their electrical draw and to charge batteries at our designated battery charging station locations- not in team pits.
Information provided is current as of June 21, 2021