COVID-19 Announcement

Last updated on March 20th, 2020 

COVID-19 Impact on FIRST Events (Updated March 17th, 2020)

We know it’s a difficult time for our community as we navigate the current health situation.
Although there are still many unknowns, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers. We will update accordingly as we know further information. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
1. What’s going to happen with the Woodie Flowers and Dean’s List Awards?

FIRST Robotics Competition Ontario Dean’s List Semi-Finalist is moving ahead! Students will be considered for the event they are already assigned to. We will reach out to the assigned mentor in the coming weeks on remote interview timings and further communications. Stay tuned!

For the Woodie Flowers Finalist awards, as the judging process is done remotely, finalists will be chosen for each event just as if the event occurred as scheduled. All FIRST Robotics Competition mentors who have been nominated for the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award will be considered for the event they were nominated for. Finalists and re-nominated WFFAs will then be judged by the Woodie Flowers Group and considered to for the Woodie Flowers Award. In the coming weeks, we will continue to inform you on how the Finalists and Winners will be announced.

2. Will there be events teams can go to if the situation gets better with COVID-19?

Due to the unusual and unexpected circumstances surrounding COVID-19 we are looking at a variety of different options to celebrate all of the hard work our teams have put into this season. Over the following weeks, FIRST will update the community on our plans on the remainder of our season. The plan for future events like the Girls and Allies in FIRST event will be announced once the COVID-19 health concerns and danger subsides. The previously scheduled dates for the Girls and Allies in FIRST Weekend (June 6 and 7, 2020) and the FIRST Canada Charity Golf Tournament (June 22, 2020) are scheduled and will proceed pending the COVID-19 situation. However, for now, we can not hold any FIRST-related events.

3. What happens to district event Chairman’s winners?

Currently all FIRST-related event initiatives are suspended so once we have an update to this, we will provide an update here.

4. Do teams that qualify for World’s this year, qualify for World’s next year?

FIRST Headquarters is working on an answer to this question.

5. Who made the decision to cancel the season?

Due to the unusual and unexpected circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the health, safety and well-being of all our teams and volunteers is our first priority and therefore based on guidance from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control etc. all events are suspended and cancelled.

6. Does this mean the Girls and Allies in FIRST Weekend is also cancelled?

The plan for future events like the Girls and Allies in FIRST event will be announced once the COVID-19 health concerns and danger subsides. However, for now, we can not hold any FIRST-related events.

7. Will there be a chance to get back the time we are losing so our robots get to be used for a pseudo season?

Once the health and safety concerns of COVID-19 have subsided, FIRST Canada will confirm how we are moving forward with future events and the plan for the rest of the year.

8. Will my team get a refund?

FIRST HQ is evaluating this complex situation and will provide more information as it becomes available – this will take some time. FIRST HQ will communicate directly with the teams on this issue.

9. What can my team do to keep our spirits up?

Remember to look out for one another during this difficult time. FIRST Canada has witnessed the true spirit of FIRST and gracious professionalism during this challenging time and we are so proud of all of you. Holding meetings online is a good way to stay in touch with one another and also talk through any struggles some of you may be having. Visit this page for any updates on FIRST Canada initiatives to engage teams.


We are deeply disappointed to share the news that in light of recent health concerns FIRST Canada events are immediately suspended. Thank you for all of your support and understanding. For more information please refer to


March 11, 2020

FIRST Canada and FIRST recognize that the health and safety of FIRST teams, volunteers, and staff are our top priority. We are following guidelines from Public Health Ontario and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding COVID-19. Decisions regarding event planning are made based on the guidance and policies as established by community and public health officials.

We are taking steps to ensure safe hygiene practices and critical measures for public health are in place at our events, including:

  • Replacing the hand-to-hand contact on the high five line with a NO-hand-contact wave line for awards (a gracious professional wave will be shared between judges and recipients).
  • Communicating with our volunteers regarding steps we can all take at competitions to promote appropriate hygiene practices.
  • Placing hand sanitizer at various locations throughout our events.
  • Posting signage at events to promote proper hygiene practices.
  • Teams are required to bring their own safety glasses for all Team Members.

Updates to this announcement will be made as information becomes available. Please note that information about each event is kept updated on our events calendar.  

FIRST Canada