About the Site

The Botball Community aims to be the central hub connecting Botballers around the world. It was founded by the 2009 (inaugural) YAC as a replacement site to the closed down KIPR forums, as well as a replacement for the complex and partially out of date KISS-C manual. The new manual eventually grew into the YAC's Guide to Botball and User Articles sections of the website. An IRC-powered online chat was chosen to round out the site's social features that became the Botballer's Chat. Most of the work behind the initial version of the site was done in March of 2009, with the site launching just as the last regions began their Botball seasons. Many new features have been added since the 2009 launch, and more are always in development. We'd love to hear your ideas for new features to add to the Community; post your ideas in the Forums!

About YAC (And How to Join)

The Botball Youth Advisory Council (YAC) was founded in 2009 and is a group of current and former Botballers with one simple mission: keep making Botball better.

Our projects have included the Botball Community website, the Botball Twitter and Facebook pages, better documentation for new Botball teams, the Live-Blog Challenge, Botball Live, video compilations of Botball events, interacting with the media, legislators, and industry to promote Botball, assisting KIPR with planning expansion and promotion of Botball, design and management of GCER student activities, and many other projects. YAC members choose which projects they work on -- anything that makes Botball better is up for grabs. Contrary to popular myth, you actually don't have to be a crazy-awesome programmer or a crazy-awesome engineer to be on YAC.

One of our major projects (Botball Live) was featured as the top story on the front page of the NASA Robotics website in July 2011, making YAC membership an excellent asset for resumes. It's also a great opportunity (though certainly not required) to learn new skills, including in the areas of programming, video production, public relations, website management, social media, journalism, and of course leadership.

KIPR facilitates YAC projects both financially and logistically and frequently collaborates with YAC, but YAC is independent of KIPR in terms of both leadership and membership. While KIPR occasionally suggests projects to collaborate with YAC on, most YAC projects were hatched as ideas by single YAC members.

The requirements to join YAC are fairly minimal. Applicants must have already been in Botball for at least a full year, and must be no younger than 8th grade and no older than a college senior. Applications must also be accompanied by a letter of recommendation by a current or former Botball team mentor. YAC members who wish to re-apply for an additional term may simply re-submit their previous application, along with a summary of what they accomplished on YAC over the year. YAC applications are typically made available in July or August of each year, with a deadline in October or November. The new YAC members are selected blindly by the previous year's YAC, typically in December or January. The new YAC begins activities almost immediately after being selected.

The first YAC activity of the year is to elect officers. Three officers are chosen via Condorcet ranked-pair vote: President, Vice President of Public Relations, and Vice President of Technology. Each Vice President manages a Committee: Public Relations for more people-oriented projects, and Technology for more technically-oriented projects. Sub-committees (with associated Project Managers) are often formed for specific projects, and YAC members are free to join as many Committees and Sub-committees as they wish. The President works to ensure that the two Committees are working together, as well as representing YAC to KIPR.

Article Submission Guidlines

Community User Articles are a way to share useful articles, e.g. tutorials, which will probably still be useful months or years later, and probably won't receive much feedback.

User articles are great for:

You should do a GCER paper instead for:

You should do a forum thread instead for:

Do not post anything which is:

Authors of User Articles will receive BotPoints. As such, YAC reserves the right to remove User Articles which do not follow these guidelines, to prevent BotPoints spam. YAC reserves the right to modify these guidelines in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are BotPoints?

BotPoints are a fun little system designed to encourage good behavior and add a small competive element to participation in the community. Simply put, participating on the site will earn you BotPoints. Try to get as many as you can, because there will soon be new features and rewards avilable to those with enough points!

I love the Botball Community! Is there anything I can do to help?

Though the YAC has sufficient manpower at this time to manage the day to day running of the site, you can still have a big impact on its success and growth. If you're an experienced botballer, try writing your own User Article, or answering questions on the forums. Even if you're brand new to Botball, just try to spread the word! Get your entire team signed up, using the chat, and reading the forums. Tell everyone you know at your regional competition! Every little bit helps!

Part of the site isn't working correctly! What do I do?

If you're able, post a new topic in the Suggestions and Bugs forum. Otherwise, try to catch a YAC member on the botball chat and tell them about it there.

What new features are planned?

You'll have to wait and see! But, it will be cool! Lets just say, you'll be able to enjoy the new features a lot better once you get your entire team signed up!

Site Rules

The following rules are to be abided by at all times while participating in the Botball Community. Failure to follow them will lead to a direct warning, followed by revocal of some or all of your account's posting priveledges. Repeated infractions will lead to a ban from the community;

General Rules

Forum Rules

Online Chat Rules