Apply for Pi Wars 2020

Thank you for your interest in applying for Pi Wars 2020

Applications are now closed for Pi Wars 2020. Please join our mailing list for announcements of future competitions and deadlines. Spectator tickets for 2020 will be available in December.

Something to bear in mind first

There is no prize for getting your application in first – it’s better to take your time to make it a good application! Having said that, please be aware of the strict deadlines, below.

A good application should tell us a fair amount of detail, either about your team, your robot, your reasons for wanting to compete, or a mixture.
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 good amounts of detail!


Applications for Schools and Kids’ Clubs teams, who compete on the Saturday of the competition, close on Tuesday, 1st October at 11.59pm (UK time; BST). This is to allow schools some extra time to apply after the summer break.

Applications for the Sunday of the competition closed at 11.59pm on Tuesday, 24th September.

Team selection discussions will take place on the Wednesdays and Thursdays following the closure dates and competitors should be notified on the Sundays following.

Applying for Pi Wars

By applying for Pi Wars, you commit to building a robot to compete on the appropriate competition day. You also commit to giving us regular updates, when requested, to assure us that you are on track to complete your robot build and testing by the competition date.

Schools will compete on Saturday, 28th March 2020. Schools will be split into two categories: Novices and Experienced.

Other teams will compete on Sunday, 29th March 2020. Teams will be split between Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced categories.

The splitting of teams into categories is done so that you are competing like-for-like, against your peers (in as far as that is possible!)

Selection process and more information

What are we looking for and how do you select teams?

First and foremost, we are looking for reassurance that you are capable of, and dedicated to, producing a competing robot in time for the event.

Secondly, 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 School 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.

Lastly, 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.

Is there a fee to be paid?

There is no fee for applying to enter Pi Wars.

If you are selected to enter the competition, there is a £15 competition entrance fee per team. This covers all manner of things, from sending things to you in the post to running costs for the competition itself. It covers every member of your team, regardless of team size, so you can all attend the competition.

Other information

  • We are expecting a large number of applications. Each year, the number has grown: last year we received 157 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 ridiculously long and drawn-out.
  • 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’.
  • 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 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 fill in that part 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.