BotBall 2009
Press Release – San Diego, California  Botball Competition.

This Saturday The South West regional BotBall Competition was held at the University of San Diego. Thirty- Two teams from 19 schools competed.  We were the only Arizona team among 32 California teams. This competition is supported by NASA, Innovation First, University of Hawaii, and IRobot.

The Team from Fountain Hills consisted of:

High school –

Jason Hulme – Captain and lead programmer

Nicco Radda – back up programmer

Ken Lanza – programmer and robot construction

Tom Picianno – Robot Construction

Colin McWilliams – Robot tactics and construction

Middle School-

Keith McWilliams – Robot Construction

Alberto Ruelas – Robot Construction

Chistopher Wagner – Robot Construction

WE had two robots.  One robot was built to collect points for winning and a second had a unique blocking device to stop the competitors from winning.

The seeding rounds are where you are by yourself on the board and judges award points for your ability to score points in two minutes. This determines placement and it goes on for three rounds.  After the first round we were in third place over all.  By the third round we were in 6th place over all.

The direct competition was very aggressive with robot parts and a few robots flying off the tables as both sides have their robots rush to gather points.  We were given an exempt from the first round of competition since we were in the top eight teams. WE proceeded to win the next four competitions loosing competition five.  The competitions are double elimination so we were still in the competition and therefore not eliminated.

WE won the next round and ended up in the top eight finalist teams. After two rounds as a finalist we were finally eliminated.

When all the points were added up we ended up in eighth place over all. Last year we were ranked approximately 20 out of 36 teams. WE had quite a performance this year. 

The team was awarded a certificate of participation, A plaque for “Most Innovative Blocking technique” for the competition and finally a plaque for being a “Finalist” and 8th over all in the competition. [team picture enclosed]

We are proud of each an every team member in the competition. Three of the eight team members were eight graders.

Dr. Paul McElligott

Science Department Chair

President - FHEA

Summer School Director

Fountain Hills High School

16100 Pallisades Blvd

Fountain Hills, AZ 85268



"If you are not part of the solution,

you are part of the precipitate!"


From: Paul McElligott