2015 saw the first Off-season event in Turkey organized by Fikret Yüksel Foundation. The event was held on the 2-5th of December, 2015 at Ülker Spor ve Etkinlik Salonu. The game played at the event was Aim High, which had never been played by any of the previously existing 8 Turkish teams. This game was selected because it was fun, and every single team would have to build a new robot for it, ensuring a fun and fair competition for the rookie teams!
This Off-Season competition greatly helped us grow the FIRST® Robotics Competition in Turkey, with 19 new teams at the event, leading to the 2016 official season in which we had 20 teams travel to the U.S. to compete, up from eight in the 2015 Season.
The process for the Off-Season was as follows: On October 16th, 2015 an event was held at Bahçeşehir University to introduce the game (Aim High) to all 28 teams who had signed up. Alumni/veteran teams held workshops, we held a game-release ceremony, and the kit of parts were distributed to the 20 new teams. The space to hold the kickoff was graciously provided free of charge by Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi.
From that point on the teams had 6 weeks to build their robot, as in a normal FIRST Season (at that time). At the end of that period, teams bagged their robots in a giant plastic bag, and zip-tied it shut with numbered zip-ties, recording the number and signing off on it.
Approximately one week later, teams brought their robots, in their bags, as well as their tools etc. to Ülker Spor ve Etkinlik Salonu, and set up for the competition, which as a normal FIRST Regional does, stretched over the course of 3 days. (Practice/Set-up day 1, Qualifications day 2 and 3, and Finals/Awards in the afternoon of day 3).
As it was the first major event organized by the Foundation, and we were not using official field elements, or control systems, the event went through some struggles to get the field running, and played less matches per team than intended, however, the end result was that 27 teams competed in an event, that 19 of them had never seen before, and of a kind that had never been held in Turkey before. Thirteen of those 19 new teams and 6 of those veteran teams stayed with the competition, and competed in the 2020 Season(and every season between the 2015 Off-Season and 2020).