News Release: CNY Drones and SUNY Poly Announce U.S. Drone Soccer 2023 National Championship

News Release: CNY Drones and SUNY Poly Announce U.S. Drone Soccer 2023 National Championship

Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - 12:06
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For Release:           Immediate – April 5, 2023
Contact:                  Steve Ference, Director of University Marketing & Communications | (518) 429-7742 |       
                             Lisa Marie Payne, CNY Drones Administrator | (315) 292-2002

1st National STEM Event Kicks Off in the SUNY Poly Field House April 16

UTICA, NY – CNY Drones, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s (SUNY Poly’s) Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Student Club, and U.S. Drone Soccer are pleased to announce the U.S. Drone Soccer National Championship will take place Sunday, April 16, 2023, in the Wildcat Field House at SUNY Poly’s Utica, NY, campus. Sixteen teams of middle and high school students, ages 12 to 18, from four regional championships in Alabama, California, Colorado, and New York, will compete for National Honors and an automatic invitation to the International Championship and Exhibition in Denver, Colorado, May 8-11, 2023. 

The 2023 Region II New York Championship on March 26, 2023, at SUNY Poly ended with an incredible team from Madrid-Waddington Central School District taking home first place honors. Second place finalists from Rome Free Academy and third place, Cicero-North Syracuse are set for a rematch at the National event. All Region II Championship teams have claimed a spot at the April 16 competition.  Most are set for a rematch. 

The first U.S. Drone Soccer International Competition and Exhibition in Colorado is part of AUVSI XPONENTIAL, an annual conference for drone technology officials, companies, and educators. At least one U.S. Drone Soccer team from New York plans to attend the international event. CNY Drones is seeking sponsors to make it possible for support staff to escort a New York contingent and represent our state on the world stage.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute supports CNY Drones’ mentorship and co-hosting of U.S. Drone Soccer events in coordination with on-campus tech-based student clubs. CNY Drones, SUNY Poly AMA UMASC, Wildcat Robotics Student Club and many capstone project students meet regularly in the SUNY Poly Center of Global and Advanced Manufacturing (CGAM) within Donovan Hall on the Utica Campus. High School drone soccer teams and coaches can connect with those college students through regularly scheduled Tech Meets.

"We are thrilled that SUNY Poly students have the chance to do so much: they can host events, collaborate with prospective college students, and work toward creating the first U.S. Drone Soccer collegiate team in New York. This is an incredible opportunity for them,” said John Reade, CNY Drones Safety Officer and Director of Information Systems at Quanterion Solutions Incorporated. “U.S. Drone Soccer helps us prepare students for STEM careers and levels-up our work of maintaining student, educator, and school interest in relevant technology.”

The National Championship brings U.S. Drone Soccer officials to Central New York for the first time.  Their plans include assisting with presentation of the National event and conducting meetings with CNY Drones’ long-time supporters, The Griffiss Institute and the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, NY, as well as New York Police Department (NYPD) Community Affairs Unit representative, Sgt. Johnny Hines. Shortly after the Region II New York Championship, CNY Drones volunteers headed to Brooklyn, NY, for an NYPD Media Day where the Community Affairs Unit Officers and students showed off their flying skills for special guests. The showcase included NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs, Mark Steward, and Commanding Officer of Youth Strategies Division, Inspector Winston Faison, who learned drone soccer on-the-spot and played head-to-head. CNY Drones’ Head Referee, Guy Viti, led the gameplay as Sgt. Johnny Hines hosted media contacts and over 50 guests. The NYPD Community Affairs Unit started working with CNY Drones in 2017 to bring officers and students STEM-filled activities using drones. CNY Drones instructors provided U.S. Drone Soccer Certification Training at the Center last fall. The Community Affairs Unit is poised to expand training and student gameplay to the five boroughs this year. CNY Drones anticipates making more trips to Brooklyn to support the NYPD’s drone program growth.

CNY Drones has assisted hundreds of schools, non-profits, student clubs and individuals interested in drone technology as the State’s first AMA Model Aviation Student Club. Through interactive programs, CNY Drones’ mission is to spark and maintain student interest in the regional drone technology education and employment pipeline. Since 2016, CNY Drones has remained a volunteer-run community organization under the Griffiss Institute, a 501(c)(3). The majority of CNY Drones’ Planning Committee Members have technical and/or engineering backgrounds, ties to SUNY Poly, and are Federal Aviation Administration Drone Pilot Certified. The establishment of U.S. Drone Soccer in New York State was supported by the AFRL and the Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY). In 2023, AFRL continues to assist CNY Drones in maintaining their drone support hub for educators. For more information on U.S. Drone Soccer in New York State, contact CNY Drones at or


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nano bioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, game design, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit