Each year FIRST LEGO League releases a Challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic.

Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with at least one adult coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by theFIRST LEGO League Core Values. Teams may then attend an official tournament, hosted by our FIRST LEGO League Partners.

Past Challenges have been based on topics such as nanotechnology, climate, quality of life for the handicapped population, and transportation. By designing our Challenges around such topics, participants are exposed to potential career paths within a chosen Challenge topic, in addition to solidifying the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, andMath) principles that naturally come from participating in the program. Team members also learn valuable life and employment skills which will benefit them no matter which career path they choose.

Participation Rules

Like other team activities, FIRST LEGO League has basic ground rules.  Failure to abide by these rules could result in ineligibility for awards at a tournament or other consequences deemed necessary by judges, referees, tournament organizers, FIRST LEGO League Partners, headquarters, or their designated representatives.  Additional rules and awards criteria may be found through the links below.


  • Team members must make all decisions and do all the work on the Robot Game and Project. This includes deciding on strategy, building, programming, researching, choosing a problem and innovative solution, and presenting at a tournament.
    • Anyone who works with the team (coaches, mentors, topic experts, parents, etc.) may teach team members new skills, handle logistics for the team, ask questions to get team members thinking, and remind them of the FIRST LEGO League rules. Adults play an important role in coaching and supporting their team, but the team’s robot and project should be the work of team members.

Team members:

  • A team must have a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of ten (10) children. A team with more than ten (10) children will not be eligible for awards at an official tournament.
  • Children may be members of only one (1) FIRST LEGO League team per season.
  • No team member may be outside the maximum allowed age in your region prior to January 1 of the year the Challenge is released.
    • Allowed ages in most countries: 9-16 years (including Ukraine)
    • Allowed ages in U.S., Canada, and Mexico: 9-14 years
    • For example, in Ukraine a student who turns 17 in May of 2016 would be eligible to compete in the Challenge released in August of 2016, whereas a child who turned 17 in December 2015 would not.

Robot Game:

  • Each team’s robot must be built in accordance with all allowable parts, software and other rules.


  • Teams must demonstrate completion of all three (3) steps of the Project (identify a problem, develop an innovative solution, and share with others) as part of their presentation, and fulfill any other requirements as defined in the annual Project document.


  • All teams must be officially registered and paid before they will be allowed to participate in official tournaments.
  • Many regions have multiple levels of competition. While teams may attend other events for fun (if space allows), they are only eligible to win awards at the first official event of each level attended during the season. Teams may not receive multiple chances to advance to the next level of competition. Please contact your FIRST LEGO League Partner with any questions about how this works in your region.
  • At a minimum, each team should have two supervising adults responsible for only that team.
  • Teams must participate in the robot performance rounds as well as all three (3) judging sessions (Core Values, Robot Design, and Project) in order to be eligible for any Core Award.
  • All team members present at an event are expected to participate in all three (3) judged sessions, in addition to showing up as a team for the Robot Game.
  • FIRST LEGO League expects teams and those associated with the team to uphold and display Core Values at all times, not just during Core Values judging sessions.
  • Only tournament officials (judges, referees, and other tournament workers) may direct team members while judging sessions and robot matches are in progress. Any other person instructing, prompting, heckling, or otherwise interfering with a team or tournament worker during judging sessions or robot matches may be asked to leave by tournament officials. In severe cases, these activities may also affect the team’s eligibility for awards and/or participation in the tournament.