getting started

Welcome Coaches and Teams!

There are four important areas to review as you are getting started with SRL.

Coaches, if you have any questions, be sure to contact us at the email provided on your welcome flyer or use our contact formPlease include your school and team name.


SRL Ethos and Rules

Click on each section for the basic rules of SRL below

SRL is a fun entry-point for battling robots. Competitions are a chance for teams to show off their Brand, what they have learned, and be inspired by other teams. 

There are two crucial aspects to understand when competing in SRL:

1. It is the nature of our sport that robots will take damage, get knocked out of the ring, and very likely be destroyed. Be ready for this.

2. SRL is about all teams competing at their very best every match – it is normal and encouraged to see coaches helping other teams, students collaborating with other teams, and everyone working together so we can leave it all on the competition floor


  •  Fun and light-hearted
  • An opportunity for students and adults to collaborate, explore, and learn together
  • A place where your robot might get destroyed – and that’s expected
  • Where teams want to see other teams at their best
  • Great for practicing soft skills and sportsmanship
  • Where safety is everyone’s responsibility.
  • All about winning or driving
  • Hard to understand
  • A place to be too serious 
  1. Robots weigh a maximum of 1 pound (453.6 grams) – teams should plan accordingly.
  2. Robots electronics are restricted to those provided in the team’s kit and may not be modified.
  3. FULL MATERIAL GUIDELINES – Download the latest material guidelines to see what is and isn’t allowed on robots.
  4. Robots must fit in the testing box. The internal dimensions of the testing box are approximately 20 x 20 x 20 inches.
  5. Robots should not have features that are likely to become entangled (nets, strings, etc.).
  6. Robots MUST utilize manual switches provided.
  7. The only stored energy source permitted is the battery found in the SRL kit.
  8. Team creativity, decorative features, and features designed for showmanship are HEAVILY encouraged.
  1. Teams will operate in a manner that is safe at all times.
  2. Teams will practice a culture of community, fun, and sportsmanship.
  3. Respect teammates and other SRL participants, staff, and administration.
  4. Establish a team Brand.
  1. Teams will follow event staff instructions at all times.
  2. Teams will check-in and pass inspection prior to competing.
  3. Robots that undergo repairs or modifications that alter the robot from its initial inspection state must be re-inspected (and pass) before entering the Battle Arena.
  4. Robots must arrive to their matches promptly. Failure to arrive at your match in a timely manner is considered a forfeit.
  5. Robots may only be powered on inside the Battle Arena and approved Testing Boxes.
  6. Robots will be safety clamped at all times outside the competition arena.
  7. The competition finals format is a double-elimination tournament bracket. However, other play opportunities, such as rumbles and grudge-matches, may be permitted.
  8. Matches are 60 seconds long and begin with a countdown after all teams in the match are ready.
  9. The field trapdoor will open when there are 15-30 seconds remaining in the match.
  10. Matches will run until one robot remains moving in a controlled manner and on the field, a tap out occurs, or the maximum match time elapses.
  11. A robot is considered KO’d if it is no longer moving in a controlled manner, is counted out by the referee, exits the field via the trapdoor, or is unable to move into the field because of the trapdoor.
  12. Teams may tap out at any time.
  13. Pinning is trapping a robot against a wall or walls in a manner where the robot is unable to move away. Pinning is allowed for up to a referee 5 count. After the count, the pinning robot must release the pinned robot.
  14. Referee counts are not based on seconds and are generally fast.
  15. The competition referee is in charge at all times during a match and may end matches for reasons of safety or discretion. All referee rulings are final.
  16. In the event that the maximum match time elapses with no clear winner, winner will be chosen by a judge or judges based on three independent criteria: Damage (6 points), Aggression (3 points), and Control (3 points). All judge decisions are final.
  17.  The consequences for rule violations may include warnings, match forfeiture, award disqualification, and competition disqualification at the discretion of Event Staff.

Recommended Supplies

These are the tools and supplies we recommend. Ultimately, the tools and supplies that are needed will depend on the team’s experience, existing resources, the number of students, the team’s identity, and the desired practice schedule. 


SRL robots are designed for going head-to-head inside the Battle ArenaSafety is the most crucial aspect of having an exciting and safe experience. Unsafe robot operation or horseplay is not permitted in SRL. Coaches should go over the safety portion of the SRL Beginner’s Guide with teams each year.

General Safety Guidelines

  • Active weapons must be locked with a weapon lock at all times when outside of the Battle Arena or testing boxes
  • Robots may only be operated in the Battle Arena or testing boxes, and only once Battle Arena and/or testing box doors are closed and secure
  • Teams must follow SRL staff directions at all times

Battery and Fire Guidelines 

  • Damaged batteries, puffy batteries, or batteries that will not accept a charge should not be used due to potential fire hazard
  • Battery disposal bins are located at all SRL events; team members and coaches should note the location of these bins
  • SRL staff will assist you with battery issues if you do not feel safe handling the battery or your robot

Team Brand

Team Brand is an essential and fun part of the SRL experience. While Brand and Marketing is up to each team, here are some ideas to help get you started.

  • Team name – this is the foundation for your team identity
  • Costumes – these could be anything from team shirts to full-blown costumes
  • Pit area and robot transportation – decorate
  • Team color or colors
  • Logo
  • Team dance, handshake, victory pose, etc.
  • Banners, signs, etc. – held by spectators in the crowd!
  • Robot decorations (still must stay within weight limits)