There are a variety of documents a team may need to have to simply exist.  A club form or charter proclaiming that you do exist within a group, bylaws with the rules to protect and run the organization, but what should a handbook have to be useful to the members of the team?  

What is a team handbook?

It is where the detailed information about your team is documented for all mentors, students and families. You know, those questions you are asked over and over again. A handbook can help reduce the time spent answering the same said questions and the time spent trying to remember what worked best for you in the past. Handbooks should be reviewed annually by the team to ensure the policies are relevant or need to be updated.

A handbook covers the what to expect aspects of the team

  • How to find the team calendar
  • Who are the contacts for each circumstance
  • Structure of the mentors and students
  • Dues and reimbursement policies.
  • Expectations of the team commitments and code of conduct
  • Travel policies

If you have a handbook, maybe it’s time to review it to ensure it is up to date with new relevant policies. Create a committee of mentors and students to read through and review team handbooks for useful ideas for your team.

If you do not yet have a team handbook, open a document now, share it with your team’s leadership and together start outlining the aspects you believe should be included. Then start looking over these resources below.

Handbook Resources

There are many great resources to create your own team handbook that meets your team’s specific needs…

FIRST Robotics Competition Team Management Resources
https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/frc/team-management-resources

FIRST Robotics Competition Team Handbook Guidelines
https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/frc/team-resources/frc-team-handbook.pdf

The Compass Alliance Team Organization
https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/frc/team-resources/tca/tca-team-organization.pdf

You can also conduct an online search for FRC Team Handbooks for a variety of examples
Eg. Team 1816 https://edinarobotics.com/resources/#Organization-Resources

About the Author

Elise Cronin-Hurley served as a Team Lead of 4-H Exploding Bacon Robotics Team 1902 from 2016 - 2019.  She has volunteered and judged at numerous FIRST events and conducted workshops on imagery, chairman's and team organization. By day she is a freelance web and graphic designer. Read More about Elise