Savage Soccer began in 1995 and has continued since as an annual event hosted at WPI. Initially created as part of a university project (IQP), it is now coordinated each year by WPI students in their free time.
Savage Soccer is designed to help students learn about basic robotics principles and teamwork. The original focus was a way to get students 'psyched up' for the FIRST Robotics Competition. From its inception through the 2001 game, it challenged students to modify a radio controlled car with authorized parts that could best perform certain tasks like moving ping pong balls into goals while avoiding obstacles and other hazards. In 2002, the kits became more advanced as we started using the Robovation/Vex kits to make for a better competition and a more realistic version of FIRST. Each year the game is modified to present new goals and challenges for teams to test their creative abilities.
One of the missions of Savage Soccer is to give high school students a learning environment different from the typical classroom where they can learn to work as a team through all aspects of the robot design and construction process. It takes the model of the FIRST Robotics Competition program where the students work with engineers to brain storm, design, and assemble a full sized robot in a very short and intense six week period, and modifies it to work on a smaller scale. Students work with college mentors or school teachers and have about 4 weeks to make their creations.
Starting in 2002, the Savage Soccer staff began encouraging other FIRST teams with kits to participate in our event along with the Mass Academy teams. During the first offering, only one team (FRC88) joined the fun. Over the next few years, the event would grow tremendously to include a number of FIRST teams. In 2005, another university IQP brought the event to local schools who were not involved in FIRST. It was not long before we were getting a large number of registrations from schools just interested in having a robotics program that could easily be done in house. As this popularity continued to grow, so did requests from groups outside New England as to how they could bring any event like Savage Soccer to their area. Since then, WPI has been making all the rules and field drawings available to groups as well as webcasting and recording the kickoff for all events.