SUNY Poly to Host 2nd Annual Drone Soccer District Championship on Sunday, March 3

SUNY Poly to Host 2nd Annual Drone Soccer District Championship on Sunday, March 3

Thursday, February 22, 2024 - 14:32
News Releases
SUNY Poly & CNY Drones
Joe Abraham, Content Communications Specialist | (315) 570-1302 |
Lisa Marie Payne, CNY Drones Administrator | (315) 292-2002

UTICA, NY – CNY Drones and SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s (SUNY Poly) Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Student Club are pleased to announce the 2nd annual U.S. Drone Soccer competition for students ages 12 to 18 years old. The U.S. Drone Soccer District II Championship will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2024, in the SUNY Poly Wildcat Field House. The competition begins at 10 a.m. and should conclude around 2:30 p.m.

Teams from around New York State that competed in Season Qualifiers will be invited to battle for the District II Trophy and a spot in the U.S. Drone Soccer National Championship at Virginia Tech in April. The event will once again simultaneously offer a “Shadow Workshop” for educators to learn drone soccer basics. Workshop registration questions can be answered by contacting CNY Drones through their website,

“For over 7 years we’ve worked closely with SUNY Poly student clubs to provide middle and high school students an opportunity to compete and experience the SUNY Poly Campus,” according to Bob Payne, CNY Drones Volunteer Coordinator and SUNY Poly Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Club Advisor. “Together we’ve worked hard to establish U.S. Drone Soccer across New York. With the help of great SUNY Poly student clubs, we’ve created a hub for great STEM-based competition. Our goal is to encourage the use of transferrable technical skills that can be applied in college and in the workplace.”

Winning teams from 11 Districts across the United States will be invited to the U.S. Drone Soccer National Championship and FAI World Cup hosted by Virginia Tech in April. The weekend long event allows teams to compete nationally and globally at the same time. Teams from an FAI Championship in Germany and Korea will meet our Country’s top teams to crown this season’s World Cup Champion. Last year, SUNY Poly hosted the first U.S. Drone Soccer National Championship with the top teams from California, Colorado, Alabama, and New York.

This season, free Qualifier Tournaments are running Nationwide in nearly every AMA District to give more students the opportunity to learn and compete. New York scheduled 5 Qualifiers for weekends in January and February to funnel teams into their District Championship at SUNY Poly’s Wildcat Field House. This year, Vernon-Verona Central, Mohonasen High School, Madrid-Waddington Central School District, North Tonawanda, and NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau graciously offered to host Qualifiers to help accommodate surrounding schools. A supportive group of technology educators and U.S. Drone Soccer community members in New York have made the sport grow faster in New York than in any other State.

Drone Soccer was brought to the United States three years ago by Drone Sports, Inc., for beta-testing in Colorado, later introducing the sport nationally in late 2021. Aligned with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, U.S. Drone Soccer offers entry into a STEM-based build program with a competitive sports model. CNY Drones is establishing the U.S. Drone Soccer competitive infrastructure in New York and New Jersey with funding, technical expertise, and logistical support from the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, NY, and in cooperation with SUNY Poly’s AMA Club.

Combined efforts created a regional technical support hub that continues to assist educators with free technical support. CNY Drones, under the fiscal oversight of The Griffiss Institute since 2016, previously hosted 3 seasons of a locally created task-based Team Drone Challenge, prior to signing on as District II Directors of U.S. Drone Soccer. CNY Drones volunteers are all certified to assist educators and students through the process of getting teams established and offer advice on league activities. Phone-based and online tech support services for New York State educators using currently authorized equipment is provided for free.

Each month, SUNY AMA and CNY Drones welcome college students and high school educators to join in their Tech Meets both in-person and virtually at the Robotics Lab within SUNY Poly’s Donovan Hall. Meets are often attended by other on-campus clubs who provide additional input for improving the overall experience of U.S. Drone Soccer.

STEM-forward sponsors are welcomed to help CNY Drones cover the costs of technical support equipment and supplies for the District Championship, Qualifying Tournaments, and dozens of annual outreach events. CNY Drones has garnered nationwide recognition using an all-volunteer Planning Committee and Administrators operating fiscally under the 501(c)(3) of the Griffiss Institute. CNY Drones sponsorship networks companies with potential future employees, parents, and educators.

U.S. Drone Soccer’s continued growth centers around connecting schools and community groups to establish interconnected local leagues. Local gameplay feeds teams into official U.S. Drone Soccer Association District, National, and international competitions sanctioned by the World Sports Federation (FAI). Schools and non-profits are encouraged to co-host feeder activities, including local competitions, camps, and workshops. The Griffiss Institute plans for Fall 2024 includes an increased involvement with CNY Drones activities. Potential future events in Rome, NY may include Tech Meets, workshops and camps focused on Drone Soccer, indoor drone building and racing workshops, and multi-faceted Mini-Challenges to help inspire more students in drone and robotics technology.

U.S. Drone Soccer is on the cutting-edge of STEM, leading students through building, repair, coding, and flying strategy with a team sports platform. Safety knowledge and build skills are transferable to higher education and future employment. Drone soccer is easy to set up in safety-oriented, indoor, enclosed arenas. Teams provide technical students an opportunity to join an action-packed sport and traditional sports teams offer an option to use Drone Soccer as an off-season teambuilding activity.

For more information on U.S. Drone Soccer in New York and New Jersey, visit: Educators and community groups can also find national information on U.S. Drone Soccer Association activities, approved equipment, and game rules at