Please read the following information before applying for Pi Wars 2024. The link to apply is at the bottom of the page!
Things to know first
A good application should tell us a fair amount of detail about your team, your robot and your reasons for wanting to compete.
Please bear in mind that we can only decide who is accepted based on what we see on the application! Feel free to make our lives difficult by giving us lots of details!
There are 76 places in the competition, equally split across the two days. It is in your interest to differentiate your application from all others by making in unique. How you do that is up to you! 🙂
There is no need to have a robot built and coded before you apply – there’s plenty of time for that! 🙂
The deadline for all applications is Sunday, 1st October 2023 at 8pm (UK time). It is very unlikely that we will extend beyond that date.
The reason the deadline is so far away is that school teams will almost certainly want to wait until the start of the Autumn term, and their new classes of students, before deciding to apply.
Team selection discussions will take place shortly after the deadline and competitors should be notified by the following Sunday (hopefully).
What day will I compete on?
Young Teams will compete on Saturday, 20th April 2024 and will be split into two categories: Novices and Experienced.
Other teams will compete on Sunday, 21st April 2024 and will be split into three categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced/Professional.
We split teams into categories so that you are competing like-for-like, against your peers (as far as possible!)
By applying for Pi Wars, your commitment is as follows:
- to build a robot to compete on the appropriate competition day.
- to give us regular updates, when requested, to assure us that you are on track to complete your robot build and testing by the competition date.
- to respond to (or acknowledge) all communications in a timely manner.
What are we looking for and how do you select teams?
- We are looking for reasonable reassurance that you are capable of, and dedicated to, producing a competing robot in time for the event. Even if you’ve never built a robot before, please ensure that we understand your enthusiasm for learning how.
- We are expecting, particularly in the case of Intermediate and Advanced applicants, that you can describe your expected robot build in a little detail. Beginners and Young Teams need not have too much information in this respect, but the rest of your application (for example, the “Why do you want to enter Pi Wars?” section) should be more complete.
- We are looking for ‘engagement’ – please give us confidence that you and your team are excited about the event and that you will progress steadily with your build.
How big can my team be?
We generally say to keep the teams to 10 members at a maximum. However, in the case of Young Teams, if a larger group is going to enter and attend the competition, that’s okay too!
Fee for the competition
There is no fee for applying to enter Pi Wars.
If you are selected to enter the competition, there is a £20 competition entrance fee per team. This covers all manner of things, from sending things to you in the post (if necessary) to running costs for the competition itself. The fee covers every member of your team, regardless of team size, so you can all attend the competition. If you require an invoice for the entrance fee, please tick the box on the application form and we will get further details from you later.
- We are expecting a large number of applications. There are 76 spaces available in the competition – 38 per day. This is the maximum we can comfortably accept in order to make sure the competition days are not too long.
- Even though you may have competed before, please do not assume you will be selected again. This is to ensure we give others a chance and so that we keep the event fresh by allowing in newcomers as well as ‘old hands’. The only exception to this (for 2024) is to treat those who were accepted into the postponed 2020 competition preferentially in the application process. If you applied to enter Pi Wars 2020 and were accepted into the competition, please say so on your Application Form.
- If your application is not successful, you may be offered a Reserve spot. For this, you will need to carry on planning and building your proposed robot. If a team drops out in your category, you may be offered a competing spot. From past experience, your chances of being “called up” as a reserve are reasonably good – we often have teams drop out.
- If you are selected as either a competitor or reserve, as preparation for the competition progresses, we will ask for updates from you on the status of your build. It is vital that you respond to these update requests. In the past, teams haven’t replied at all and have subsequently not shown up on the day, thus depriving another team of a space. We will be setting deadlines for your replies this year to ensure that spaces are not wasted. This is why we ask for two ways of contacting you: email and telephone.
- If you’ve been involved in Pi Wars before, whether as an applicant, competitor, reservist, exhibitor, judge or marshal, please say so on the application form – it will save us missing some vital piece of information when looking back at our records. Engagement with past events where you haven’t competed can often help towards your application – we definitely don’t want people to miss out year after year, and this has happened in the past because we haven’t had all the information we needed.
Apply here! (pop up to our separate web app)