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View Full Version : Making heads or tails of the new announcement...


Jessica Boucher
09-24-2001, 09:53 AM
This morning, after I got home from work, rushed home to the dorm to see if the registration was up (I thought it was today, not the 26th).

Instead, I found something I wish I hadnt.

I know it was inevitable, but still....that doesnt make it hurt less to see.

I guess thats all I have to say.

Joe Ross
09-24-2001, 10:27 AM
I guess this (http://www.usfirst.org/2002comp/FRCLetters.htm) is what you mean.

I'm not sure what to think now, except that my team will probably not be going to nationals.

jyax82
09-24-2001, 10:29 AM
I agree.

Nate Smith
09-24-2001, 02:11 PM
Just one thing that I noticed hadn't been brought up here yet...

FIRST seems to be easing us into the idea that not everybody is going to be going to nationals...there's 12 ways to be guaranteed a slot, and that's not counting the first-come, first-served for the even numbered teams(this year)...not counting the "point system" method of getting a spot, 173 slots(max) are pre-assigned. But the questions remain, how many of the 28 teams the first year still are competing? How many of the teams will fall under more than one category?(ex. chairman's award finalists) While I'll readily admit that I'm not the biggest fan of having to "qualify" for nationals(as anyone who has been watching my previous posts on the subject here well knows,) I have to admit that the way FIRST has gone about it for this year seems a lot better than the many other ways that they could have handled it...

Kyle Fenton
09-24-2001, 02:19 PM
I heard rummors of this kind of policy floating around. And they say that this is fair?

Come on.

Team that have won, just to win again. You could have had a suckie Regional, jeopardize you going to nationals. Plus how are you going to tell if you won awards.

Come on, plus you don't know if you are going to Florida until the very end, that will mean more expensive plane tickets and last minute plans. That could teams not to go down to Florida. Plus this means people who are lucky, can attend multiple regionals and increase there chances of getting down their.

This policy will not stand, and I know it, when people come out and complain. It should go back to the way it always was, first come first serve, at least we will know in advance instead of this stupid 5 points system.

Look I am not dissing FIRST or anything..

but come on, it will really let a lot of people down.

But the main thing that if you do make it, it will be too late for you to do anything about it. At least with first come first serve, you can at least know what is going to happen, so you can plan around it.

Also, it said in the FAQ that they were shotting for 288 teams, that is almost a hundred less before. What has happened here? That is about the same size as the 99 national. That is a significant reduction. I was hopping that they shoot for 400 teams. And I can see that happen, but 288, that is very sad.

Don
09-24-2001, 02:30 PM
I think the thing that is going to hurt the program the most is the rookies. I don't mean to take a shot at FIRST or anything, but I think we're going to see a lot of this season's rookies drop out.

Mike Soukup
09-24-2001, 02:59 PM
I knew FIRST would eventually move to qualification to get to Nationals (excuse me, it's now known as the Championship according to FIRST), but I didn't expect changes this big for this year. I thought the big changes would come next year (2003). If you've read my previous posts, you'd know I'm in favor of limiting Nats (I can't get used to calling it the Championship) in order to bring the excitement back. But regardless, I was shocked to see the announcement.

I won't get into any debating about the changes yet, I'll save it for another day. But I'm pretty sure the changes are here for good, FIRST is not going to go back to the old system.

My personal reading into the announcement is they want people to attend regionals and are turning Nationals into a tournament for the top contenders. Thus the name change to the Championship.

Mike

Chris
09-24-2001, 03:19 PM
When they say 28 original teams, does it have to be school and sponser, or just school........and also if your team won the chairmans award then changed sponsor ship does it still count?
any one know?


Chris
Team 151
Http://team151.tripod.com

Ken Leung
09-24-2001, 03:43 PM
Well, I hope people find the reasons FIRST provided reasonable...

It is something that had to be done, in my opinion, when the bads outweights the goods if nothing is done.

Cheer up, everyone. The odd/even qualification gives teams a chance to go at least once every two year. And teams with good competition records and chairman awards will be present at National, which mean there will still be tough competition...

But you are right, there won't every teams around the country in the pit area anymore.... However, looking at the amount of time it take to really walk through that kind of pit area and really meet those other teams, it's going to take more than 5 days if FIRST keep the growth rate from last year.

I know this isn't the time to say this, but I am going to say it anyway... FIRST learning experience isn't just about going to National, it's also the 6 weeks of hardwork you put into the robot, the rest of the year trying to prepare the team for competition, regional competitions, and/or promoting FIRST through out your community.

If you really want to meet other people, I suggest you go to another regional far away if you don't think you will be going to Nats that year. Meet those others through a much smaller competition and really get to know them. There is something different about regionals that Nats can't compare to, the sense of family and bonding between teams that are close to each other. And then, when you are prepared or when your year number comes, go to Nats and take a look at how FIRST have changed all those young people around the country...

Even though FIRST cap the size of teams going to National, they will never cap the amount of volunteers and spectators going. Therefore some of you can still go if you decide to observe the competitions and awards ceremony, or even just plain old volunteering...

David Kelly
09-24-2001, 03:47 PM
to make sure i'm understanding this correctly, if you accumulate 5 points, you are able to attend the Nationals? (sorry, Championship?)

Mike Soukup
09-24-2001, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by David Kelly
to make sure i'm understanding this correctly, if you accumulate 5 points, you are able to attend the Nationals? (sorry, Championship?)
Yes. Since 234 won MWR last year, you've got 3 points, then add in all the awards you got for your control system (which I believe is a 'Judged Award'), your team qualifies.

Mike

P.J. Baker
09-24-2001, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by David Kelly
to make sure i'm understanding this correctly, if you accumulate 5 points, you are able to attend the Nationals? (sorry, Championship?)

I think your tense is off. If you ACCUMULATED 5 points (in the 2001 season), you are eligible to attend the 2002 Championship. As I read it, CyberBlue is qualified to attend the 2002 championship with 3 points from a regional championship, 2 points from a Driving Tomorrow's Technology award, and two more points for a special Judges' award.

I played around a little bit at the end of the day to try and figure out how many teams from 2001 are already qualified for 2002. I get about 65 teams with 5 or more points. I will not post the list because I'm not sure if I interpreted everything correctly (ie - do Division Champions from Nationals get 3 pts?).

Overall, I think that this is the right move. I wouldn't want to qualify for nationals on April 4th and then try to make arrangements to get there though. Hopefully FIRST/Disney will come up with a way to help out these teams.

A. Leese
09-24-2001, 04:15 PM
Based on this point system, my team has no points. Yeah, we pretty much stink in terms of winning anything. I never knew winning meant so much to FIRST..makes you really wonder if FIRST's focus has shifted to something besides teaching kids to love music, science, and engineering..

~Angela who has a sinking feeling that SPAM will not be appearing at nats, though she vowes to go anyway (living two hours from nats has that advantage)

Ken Leung
09-24-2001, 04:19 PM
This is a problem where the solution can't possibly be fair to everyone out there. It will be nice if we live in a perfect world, but the fact is that we don't.

About winners just to win again, those winners should be given a chance to try to win again, or else there's going to be speculation about "if that team have gone to Nats, they would've win the championship", that sort of thing. The best teams should be allowed to prove that they are the best.

And looking at next year's probably going to be back to Head to head, I am pretty sure the best teams will be able to climb onto the top... Sure teams can go to different regionals, but there probably won't be a lot of time to modify their robot or anything like that to help them improve dramatically.

You have to understand that FIRST's success shouldn't be based on how many teams win awards or competition. It's the experience that counts.

With next year's schedule, there are going to be three weeks between regionals and florida. The first 10 regionals will have more than a month to plan their traveling. As for the other 7 regionals, which is about 56 teams going to Nats, it's true that it won't be as fair for them... But given enough planning I am sure regionals will be able to reserve flights to Nats just for the teams who qualify, so whoever ended up going will be able to take tose reserves without paying more.

I admit FIRST can lossen up a little bit and expand the list somewhat bigger for the teams that can't quite be the winner of regionals but always just right below that position... But, I am not going to complain to FIRST and demand them to remove this rule.

Ken Leung
09-24-2001, 04:23 PM
All these discussion start surround a point of discussion: What's the point of having a national?

I am going to avoid driving this thread off topic, so please go back to the General Forum and start the discussion in the new thread: "What's the point of having a national?"

Matt Leese
09-24-2001, 04:26 PM
I believe my first response to this, when I heard about it, was dissappointment. Namely, the first reason is that my team doesn't qualify to go. But I think the larger part of it is the way that they were picking teams to go. Perhaps I miss read the feelings of the team representatives at the New England Team Forum (and obviously I was not at the other forum locations), but the distinct impression I got was that very few people wanted nationals limited based on past preformance; and this is precisely what FIRST gave us. I suppose we can ignore the fact that this virtually excludes any rookies from competiting in nationals. We can also overlook the fact that teams that have large amounts of money have a much easier time going to nationals (multiple regionals = multiple awards much more easily). I think my biggest problem with this is that winning is what FIRST is not about. And this is what this arrangement for nationals rewards. Or perhaps I'm just still a bit upset over not being able to go at all. See you guys in Florida in 2003.

Matt

patrickrd
09-24-2001, 05:01 PM
I have to prepare for a team meeting tonight where I unfortunately have to break the news that we are not going to nationals, so I do not have sufficient time to go into detail... But here's an analytical look at what this limitation does... I don't mean to protest the decision, but rather to critique it's likely effects (and these are NOT necessarily bad effects)...

(1) Teams that receive certain awards in previous years qualify for nationals automatically. Some of these awards are only awarded to teams that attend nationals! Therefore, teams who do not attend nationals this year will have a decreased chance of attending nationals next year.

(2) Given this, probability believes that next year there will be more even numbered teams at nationals than there will be odd numbered teams at nationals this year. Even numbered teams will in fact have a permanant advantage over odd numbered teams in the future (although this advantage does decrease every year, and eventually it will even out).

(3) The same logic applies to 2002 rookies and all future rookies. Rookies will have a much more difficult time qualifying to go to nationals than other teams.

(4) Current year regional winners -- how many teams can afford to go to nationals on three weeks notice? I know the logistics of getting air tickets would be virtually impossible, or extremely pricey. Instead, nationals will be a collection of pseudorandom teams (depending on the modulo of the year) and teams that performed well in past years but not necessarily this one.

(5) The term "National Champion" should no longer be attributed to winning teams -- given that not all teams are allowed to go to nationals. You may argue that one such team could qualify by winning a regional, but i don't know any teams that can pull $15k+ to get there. Plus, probabilty will tell you there's probably about a 60-80% chance that the winning team this year is an even number. That alone suggests that there can be no national true champion -- only a winner of the Epcot Invitational Competiton.

(6) Wealthy teams who attend multiple regional will qualify much more often than less-wealthy teams -- not because of a better robot, simply because they have more chances to qualify for the current year's nationals as well as future nationals. I would strongly urge FIRST to use only the first regional that a team attends as a qualifier for nationals.

Given all these, and the situation FIRST was faced with, I honestly think they came up with an alright solution. Every solution with regard to limitation will have it's disadvantage and built in biases. While I do think the FIRST community would have been better served if FIRST had split nationals over two weekends (very little additional cost; all teams can go), if we have to limit nationals, my quarrels are minor points only. I also think it is great that we have more regionals! This is one very positive side effect of limiting nationals, and I look forward to attending some of these new regionals. And if your team cannot go to nationals next year, you can always elect to travel to distant regional in it's place (and probably a lot cheaper than Disney accomodations).

Patrick

PS Let's hope the scoring for the 2002 game is a lot simpler than the qualification-to-nationals.

Kyle Fenton
09-24-2001, 05:58 PM
Most likely the reason behind this is the cost for Disney.

I remember in a ABC News report said that Disney was cutting back or canceling funds for its usual donations because of the poor economy, and now this fear of someone blowing things up, which lead to few customers, meaning fewer dollars to give away.

If its money, here is what you should do to cut cost

1. Get rid of the team party, yeah it will be a downer but I rather be there than not be there. We can always locate a simple team party off any Disney party.

2. Get rid of the air-condition, I am sure that was a high cost. I can bring a fan with an ice cube in front of it.

3. Get rid of all the dizzily effects, light the lights, fireworks, and the doves.

4. Get rid of the big screen and just replace it with a high-resolution rear-projection model.

I don't know, any other way to cut cost?

Jessica Boucher
09-24-2001, 06:52 PM
A response from an old teammate of mine:

hey, i want my free can of soda
dean better mail it to me

Anthony S.
09-24-2001, 08:18 PM
I think FIRST had to do smoething in order to cut down on people, because too many people will also break a fire code and it would look really bad for the Fire Dept. to come and shut down Nats. So FIRST did what they had to do.

To all of you odd number teams who are saying you can't go to Nats and having to break the news to your team, YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE!! Don't lose hope, you can still do very well at regionals and have a chance to go. If you're not able to go to Nats, try going to two regionals, sure it won't be the same but it will be better than nothing.

Two regionals brings up another question. If you register for two regionals, then find out you can go to Nats, what happens if you had two competitions in your budget, and the second regional you win and have the chance to go to Nats, what happens then?(I hope you understand my question:) :confused:

FIRST could cut down, is to limit the number of people from each team allowed to go, like give the team a limit as to how many people to bring, is that a good idea??:confused:

mnkysp6353
09-24-2001, 08:32 PM
I agree with Kyle. My team is one of the teams attending the April 4th regional and i don't know how we are going to pull it off. My faculty sponsor doesn't know about the new rules yet and is all ready kinda against going to florida. She will probaly go crazy and say no. But maybe not, if i can go i am looking forward to meeting the hampster from some team on this BB. And also if any team is going to socal and cant find boarding give me a call you guys can stay at my house.

tjrage_25
09-24-2001, 09:04 PM
I have three problems with this new system.

1) How you did last year should have NO influence on whether or not you can attend the nationals. The game is completely new this year, and is never similar from one year to the next. So why should the winners of a different game get a definite yes on going to the nationals this year? How any of the regional or national winners did last year does not necessarily determine how good they will be this year.

2) Same as above, any of any team's standings or awards from last year should not effect this! The slate is wiped clean, and this competition is supposed to be the complete OPPOSITE of last years competition in the aspect of offense/defense.

3) The even over odd registration for the nationals, I just don't get how you can determine if a team is worthy of going to the nationals by team number. :mad:

I do however agree with setting aside spots in the nationals for teams who have done well this year and having to register in a regional to register for the nationals.

I can see that by doing this FIRST has angered many teams and sponsors, and I can see no good coming from this system at all. I strongly urge FIRST to change their mind about what they are doing. Going back to the old system and just lowering the number of teams that can attend could solve all this.

Carolyn Duncan
09-24-2001, 09:08 PM
If FIRST is goint to limit nationals/championships this much what about kick off? I know plenty of people who look at kickoff as something really great that they wouldn't want to miss. I mean going to Dean's house is a big thrill for the adults who go up there, the same as Disney is for just about everyone at nationals. Will this limit the teams allowed to send representatives? I think it should, but that doesn't really mean anything. What would happen if many of the teams who cannot attend show up as spectators? Will they be turned away? That wouldn't really be a good PR move. I agree with the cutting costs idea, there were many things that could be done differently. That is, if cost is a factor. I am not saying this as a member of a team that has not already been granted the ability to attend, the fact is that I truely don't know if we do. I really think these guidlines have focused FIRST's attention on winning and that saddens me. Maybe we should plan to have web hugs at all of the regionals. That's just my $0.02 on this subject.
Edit: I feel bad for the teams who were rookies last year and had small teams. Recruiting this year will be nearly impossible. i think these new guidlines will drop the size of FIRST competions and interest. It has changed and I think people will turn more to BB, RW, JYW, etc. Also, what about teams from 1992 who did not compete in one or more years since then? Do they get to go?

Wayne C.
09-24-2001, 09:53 PM
I found the letter today too and it totally floored me. Our team has been in this thing since 1997 and it seems like we too may not have a chance to get to Orlando this year since we are an odd number.

Here are a few thoughts-

1. Teams should be restricted to attending only one regional. The idea of Rookie regionals where the veterans may have an easy win is bad enough, but to be able to shop around until you get what you need to go is unfair. To get 5 points based on prior year's performance means you swept the field at one regional (definite qualifier) or went shopping and got a number of awards at several. How does a low budget team even think of competing?


2. Second year odd number teams with low level sponsors will probably drop from the competition like flies. The Florida trip is a big seller for motivating a FIRST team and many teams go just for the experience. I thought that FIRST was trying to reach ALL kids, not just those fortunate to have big business behind them in their area.

3. While what they did was great for FIRST and they should be commended, grandfathering the past Chairman Awards winners and original teams permanently is awful. To be able to attend every year regardless of performance does not match the idea of a Championship.

4. All of the regionals within our section of the country are being held on the same day. If we even thought of going to others it would be a major trip and time committment during the school year. Was this deliberate?

What the awful game last year didn't do to knock the wind out of FIRST I'm afraid this policy will. People want to go to Orlando and be a part of the big event. Our kids work all year to develop the funds for Fla. Now it is a matter of chance and the opinion of judges. How can you plan and promote a development program based on that?

WC

Elgin Clock
09-24-2001, 10:28 PM
If nationals is going to be limited this year then why did FIRST even bring up the point that teams were complaining of no hotel spaces?? It seems to me that since there definately is going to be more elbow room in Disney this year then this is a mute point.

Besides that I am utterly shocked in the approach FIRST has taken. I knew something had to be done but I just don't know if this was a good move on both FIRST's and Disney's part.

:(




THE FUTURE IS UNKNOWN, NOW JUST A LITTLE MORE THAN BEFORE!

Andy Baker
09-25-2001, 12:39 AM
Many people are reacting quickly to this decision by FIRST and FIRST's Board of Directors. I would guess that it was a tough decision for them to make.

Let's look at the facts in this situation:

1. FIRST will not leave Disney. FIRST has never posed this as an option, and this has always been non-negotiable.

2. FIRST has a 40% growth rate. IF they were going to let Nationals expand this year, then they would've had to limit it within the next year or two. Limiting nationals in some way was bound to happen.

3. FIRST has discussed the option of limiting Nationals for the past two years. They limited it slightly this past year, but not much. This could've happened last year.

4. FIRST did a good job this year of polling us for opinions. They came to our turf for the FIRST Forums, so more of us could weigh in. They watch these popular forums on Chief's site to get the opinions of what people think, as they wade through the numerous posts.

5. Travel to Nationals is and always will be very costly. Students really need to look at this from their sponsors' and parents' viewpoints. Teams do alot of fundraising (including ours) in order to go to Nationals... to go to Walt Disney World. Many teams spend between $15-$25k on travel alone to Nationals.

Looking at these facts, I suggest these changes of opinions:

FIRST knows that there will be backlash to this opinion. This was a tough decision for them to make. Let's look at who made this decision... the Board of Directors. These are people who make multi-million dollar decisions weekly. Maybe I'm gullible... maybe I have too much blind faith... but I would guess that they made this decision for good reasons.

We really gotta not focus on Nationals so much. Many people look forward to Nationals as a time to visit friends on other teams, and to check out everyone's robot. Everyone can still do this... this is a free event that is open to the public. If your team doesn't qualify, you can still go and enjoy the event. This sounds a bit crass... but it is the situation that we have to deal with now.

The fact that many of you are saying that you are "shocked" and "floored" is suprising. If you are shocked, then you have not been listening to FIRST for the past two years. They have been saying that we need to focus more on Regionals and they cannot handle expanding Nationals. This is not new information.

Think of this... rookie teams who are learning about FIRST and beginning to understand the competition structure are ALWAYS suprised that the National Championship was previously open to all teams. One of a rookie team's first question is always... "how do we qualify for Nationals?"

My main point is this: FIRST had to limit Nationals. We gotta deal with it.

What we may have a chance to change is how teams qualify for Nationals... please, let's discuss this, as opposed to simply ranting about the fact that Nationals was limited.

We have been constructive before... we can do it again. Don't be destructive. I would bet money that FIRST's qualification rules are not carved in stone... but the fact that they will limit nationals is here to stay.

I'll start: I would be willing to give up the rule about giving automatic qualification to the 28 original teams. This is simply my opinon. I can see a rule that gives an auto-birth to all teams who have been in it every year, but not to all of the original 28 teams. (oops, I changed my mind on this... see the post below).

Andy B.

Andy Baker
09-25-2001, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by Andy Baker

I'll start: I would be willing to give up the rule about giving automatic qualification to the 28 original teams. This is simply my opinon. I can see a rule that gives an auto-birth to all teams who have been in it every year, but not to all of the original 28 teams.

Andy B.

Oh, my... the more I think about this rule to let the original 28 teams have an automatic entry to Nationals, the more I do not like it.

Our team gets one of these auto-qualifiers, since we have been in it since '92.

I'm looking at this in two different ways:
1. Our team gives it our usual best effort. We would attend 2 Regionals, and hopefully win a Technical award or possilby even win a Regional, although we have only won one during the past 5 years. IF this happens, then we could be taking another team's "spot" that they could've won by winning the Technical Award or winning the Regional. Realistically, there could be some teams who would feel animosity towards us and our kids. Knowing how the students on team 45 are, they would not feel good about winning an award that could've been another team's ticket to Nationals. This is not fair to our students. They deserve to be proud of any award or accomplishment our team gets.

2. We could try not to get any awards... while this would initially give the appearance of being good sports, this could turn in to appearing arrogant. We try hard for multiple reasons, and one of them is to win. Competition is healthy, and going into a Regional trying not to win would be a difficult pill to swallow.

I don't know about this... each scenario is not a good position to be in. I'd rather not have this auto-entry for the original 28 teams, nor for the 6 who have been in it since '92.

This will make our team do some soul-searching. This is simply my opinion for now... I don't know how the rest of the team feels. I was really debating about discussing this, but I thought that we needed to start getting productive about the decision FIRST has made.

Andy B.

Wayne C.
09-25-2001, 05:46 AM
Responding to above-

If this is truly going to be a National Championship it should not have any accommodation for any team other than those who have proven themselves to be viable this season. No team should know they are going to Florida until they win this year. That way all can face the nightmare of trying to transport 30-40 people across country on 3-4 weeks notice. It sure seems like "the old favorites" have all the bases covered and an unfair advantage.

This whole change seems to be simple "downsizing" of FIRST, much like big business lays off thousands when they downsize. Ask the American workforce how that feels.

After years of wholehearted support of FIRST and busting a gut to faise funds for the Nationals trip this year to be told that we may not be going on the week of registration is a hard pill to swallow. Yes, they did proclaim a need to do something about the Disney size problem. But on the same token Dean has publicly stated that his goal is to get every Fortune 500 country as a sponsor. How do you promote growth while downsizing the program?

The Orlando experience is a main reason kids get interested in FIRST. Sorry but the prospect of taking a team to a second regional in some northern city in March where there is nothing to do during leisure time is not a happy prospect. What do I tell my seniors who have been working hard for their Fla trip and now may not go because we are an odd number team?

The solution is finding a larger venue, not settling for a smaller competition.

My still angry 2 cents

WC

Carll Pallokat
09-25-2001, 06:46 AM
I understand about limiting the numbers at national but as a team leader we have to budget and raise funds in order to attend nationals. Winning a regional and then trying to make reservations and even having enough money in four weeks before nationals gives me more gray hairs.

How about nationals in August.

Paul Copioli
09-25-2001, 08:21 AM
Normally you won't see my posts in a debate such as this, but I would like to give the students my perspective. Nationals, the Championship, whatever we call it; it was inevitable that we would have to qualify. So it is here sooner, oh well. I still say that the FIRST experience is mostly in the 6 weeks (or 6 months in some team's cases; we have been having meetings since the start of September). I have students by my side 6 days a week, 2 to 12 hours per day. We are designing, discussing, cutting parts, revising parts, testing, analyzing, drinking lots of Dew, and sometimes cleaning. The experience and exposure that the students on 217 get is something I could have never imagined possible and THAT, my friends, is what matters. Sure, the competitions are fun, but the competitions aren't FIRST; we are FIRST. We can make the FIRST experience worthwhile or we can make it worthless. One last thing, if the travel is the part you are missing, go to the Toronto regional. West coast teams go to the Midwest regionals or East Coast regionals, East Coast and Midwest teams go to the West Coast regionals. There are plenty of opportunities to travel, not just Nats.

-Paul

Matt Leese
09-25-2001, 09:24 AM
The more and more I think about this announcement the more and more I dislike it. The number one problem I see with it is that it creates a group of "elites" who will always get to go to nationals (whether through the automatic perenial qualifiers or just always having a good robot). This leaves out a lot of teams. And a good number of these teams are going to feel a lot of anger and hate to these "elites." While this does already happen to an extent, it will only be extenuated by the fact that these "elites" now get special priviledges (guaranteed a spot). This will just increase the antagonism among teams. And this will be particularly profound among rookies and it will have a tendency to drive them away. Just another set of problems I see with the decision.

Matt who wishes it was purely random as that would remove any favoritism....

Bill Beatty
09-25-2001, 09:30 AM
My FIRST reaction is a bit of disappointment. I was hoping FIRST would find a way for more or all teams go to Florida by having an early qualifying session or something like that. My next reaction is that the qualifying is more dependent on last year's performance than performance in this year's regionals. It looks to me that a team could do quite well in this years regionals and not get to go. Or am I missing something.

Nate Smith
09-25-2001, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by tjrage_25
1) How you did last year should have NO influence on whether or not you can attend the nationals. The game is completely new this year, and is never similar from one year to the next. So why should the winners of a different game get a definite yes on going to the nationals this year? How any of the regional or national winners did last year does not necessarily determine how good they will be this year.

2) Same as above, any of any team's standings or awards from last year should not effect this! The slate is wiped clean, and this competition is supposed to be the complete OPPOSITE of last years competition in the aspect of offense/defense.

3) The even over odd registration for the nationals, I just don't get how you can determine if a team is worthy of going to the nationals by team number.
[/B]

Having attended one of the team forum events, I can try to help answer why FIRST has decided to do things the way they have. As Andy mentioned, they did get our input via the team forums as to what would be the best way to do this inevitable thing. What was expressed(at least as the Michigan forum) was that the issue of last-minute planning for nationals was a large concern. For this reason, FIRST has implemented the way of using the previous year as a qualifier, so that at least some of the teams taking the trip to florida have the extra time to plan.

As for using the team number to determine who gets the "extra" slots, my feeling on this is that they were looking for a way to still give every team a chance to attend at least every other year, and limiting the teams that can use the "unassigned" slots by even or odd team numbers seems to be no better than any other way that they could determine who got to use the remaining slots...

Todd Derbyshire
09-25-2001, 12:52 PM
So how is everybody doing!!!
I'll take it that everyone besides a couple of teams are
a) freaking out
b) angry
c) questioning what FIRST HAS DONE

ok little aggression has been released but I have noticed something. If you look at the qualify points doesn't it seem that the teams that go to nationals will for the most part always be the teams that go to nationals with the exception of wildcards being thrown in due to number change(even, odd). Anyways I am very upset at what FIRST is doing here so I'll just end it on this note and be happy my team is an even number.

P.S 12:01 midnight every even team all hands battle stations for registration

Good luck to everyone :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Madison
09-25-2001, 01:35 PM
I know we're supposed to be graciously professional and level-headed and all of that. . . But, well, I would be lying if I said I was not majorly pissed off.

I really think that FIRST has missed the boat with these new rules. I don't think they're at all fair, as they seem to rely far too much on seniority. FIRST, to me, has always been an experience where students get to work right alongside with engineers and technically skilled people - they're seniors, if you will. There was a certain sense of equity to that aspect of FIRST, and it made it really appealing.

Now, though, that sense of equity is gone. Automatically allowing the original 28 teams to enroll is near-sighted and ridiculous. Just because a team. . . .a number, really.... has been around for 11 years shouldn't allow the assumption that they're somehow deserving or better than a rookie, or sophomore team.

Performance based qualifiers make a bit more sense, I think. . . but why does performance in last year's competition matter?

I get a strong impression that the Walt Disney Co. and Walt Disney Attractions had a heavy hand in this decision. The new fees associated with staying offsite, for example, seem to reinforce that notion.

Christina and I have been working our behind's off at school trying to complete Dean's homework assignment. . .we've been trying to get our University involved in as many ways, shapes, and forms as possible. This morning, at the SBPLI Long Island FIRST Kick-Off ceremony, we finally managed to align ourselves with a rookie school district and begin to start the process of creating a team. We talked at length with the advisors from the new school about the competitions and how thrilling and worthwhile they were. Particularly, we stressed how Nationals was unimaginably better than a regional competition in terms of excitement and amazement. I'm disappointed knowing that I'll now have to contact her and let her know that, as a rookie team, we probably won't have a place at Nationals.

Of course, maybe we'll get lucky and get assigned an even number.

Wow. . .I can't begin to express how disappointed I am by all of this. FIRST has done a terrible injustice to itself and the entire FIRST community by deciding to adopt these crooked, misconceived limits on the Championship event. I hope they reconsider.

I wonder which regional is closest to Disneyland?

Bill Gold
09-25-2001, 01:58 PM
First of all, I totally agree with Andy B. We should stop saying how disapointed we are with FIRST's decision with regard to Nationals.

It really shouldn't have been a surprise to any of us, especially those who attended a team forum Aug 1st. They started this process last year when they capped Nationals at 330 or so teams. Ever since then there have been rumors going around that the maximum number of teams that FIRST could possibly let attend next year's Nationals would be 250~280.

So instead of voicing our disaproval and trying to convince FIRST to change its mind... let's try to work with what we've got...

I'm looking at this in two different ways:
1. Our team gives it our usual best effort. We would attend 2 Regionals, and hopefully win a Technical award or possilby even win a Regional, although we have only won one during the past 5 years. IF this happens, then we could be taking another team's "spot" that they could've won by winning the Technical Award or winning the Regional. Realistically, there could be some teams who would feel animosity towards us and our kids. Knowing how the students on team 45 are, they would not feel good about winning an award that could've been another team's ticket to Nationals. This is not fair to our students. They deserve to be proud of any award or accomplishment our team gets.

2. We could try not to get any awards... while this would initially give the appearance of being good sports, this could turn in to appearing arrogant. We try hard for multiple reasons, and one of them is to win. Competition is healthy, and going into a Regional trying not to win would be a difficult pill to swallow.

Andy B.
I really hadn't given much thought to the auto-birth for teams who have been around since 1992. Mainly because my team isn't one of them, but I agree with Andy's analysis of this new rule. It does seem like a team with the talent of the TechnoKats (among others) might be seen as stealing some other team's ticket to Nationals. I've got a huge problem with this... I think it's completely unfair to the TechnoKats that they should be in a position where they have to decide between the two previously stated choices (selling their robot and students short, or being possibly hated by a team that had their Nationals birth taken from them).

3. Teams may qualify through performance during the prior year (2001) based a point system. Five (5) points are required...
a. Regional or National Devisional winner - 3 points
b. Regional or National Divisional finalist - 2 points
c. Judged Award winner at Regional or National Event - 2 points
d. Top Seed at Regional or National Event - 1 point
e. Top Rookie Seed at Regional or National Event - 1 point

-FIRST
Now that I think a little harder about this set of new rules I'm starting to have a few issues with these...

Ex 1: team 71. They won Nationals and at least one Regional last year. So they're qualified to register for Nationals this year, but if they win a Regional and a few awards this year they could possibly be taking a ticket to Nationals away from some other team. Now some people may argue that they're just preserving their spot for the next year's Nationals (if FIRST keeps these rules), but they're also an odd team. So they'd be able to register for Nationals in 2003 anyway...

Ex 2: team 258 (my team). We're an even team so we can register for Nats... although we've never won anything yet, let's assume that we win a Regional and are a finalist in another Regional. We could be taking someone's ticket to Nationals by finishing so well in our Regionals, but we'd also be fighting to register for the 2003 Nationals...

Well.... I'm rambling now... So I'll cut this short...

-Bill

patrickrd
09-25-2001, 01:58 PM
I think it is important that FIRST teams try to work with FIRST, not agains FIRST, with this decision. FIRST was faced with a situation this year that they quite simply did not have enough time to prepare for. Just a few years ago, Disney said they would continue to grow as FIRST grows. Now, situations have changed, and FIRST has become aware that Disney can not hold that promise. Nationals takes over a year of hard planning to make it happen. The 2002 nationals has probably been in the works for about a year now. As the number of teams took off over the past couple years and Disney suddenly says we can't get any bigger, FIRST can't simply switch venues or plans very quickly. Moving to another venue would probably require about a couple years of planning.... Look how long it takes to organize the Olympics (and hey, we're almost getting as big as them :D ).

While many of us may be disappointed with FIRST's decision and may have disagreements with certain details, I urge teams to look beyond what FIRST has done for this season. At the same time, I urge FIRST (if they haven't started already) to look at all options, and find a long term solution that will satisfy the needs of all teams. If we need to limit nationals, so be it, but let's give all teams a shot of getting there, and give no team a free pass.

Patrick

tjrage_25
09-25-2001, 03:24 PM
As for using the team number to determine who gets the "extra" slots, my feeling on this is that they were looking for a way to still give every team a chance to attend at least every other year, and limiting the teams that can use the "unassigned" slots by even or odd team numbers seems to be no better than any other way that they could determine who got to use the remaining slots...

www.dictionary.com defines discrimination as "Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit"

I have no problem with the concept for competing with hopes to place high enough to attend. However, being dismissed based only upon our team number (odd/even) is neither "gracious" nor "professional", its just discriminatory. Is that what FIRST stands for?

Bill Gold
09-25-2001, 03:52 PM
www.dictionary.com defines discrimination as "Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit"

I have no problem with the concept for competing with hopes to place high enough to attend. However, being dismissed based only upon our team number (odd/even) is neither "gracious" nor "professional", its just discriminatory. Is that what FIRST stands for?
tjrage_25

I respectfully disagree with your statement implying that FIRST's decision was purely discriminatory. From what I've learned about FIRST during my three years of involvement is that FIRST wants to let teams that don't necessarily perform well participate in Regionals and the National Competition. Since FIRST's mission is supposedly to get students excited in engineering/robotics/etc, I don't think they ever intended on only allowing "the best" robots to compete at the National Competition. I think FIRST made this even/odd rule with the intention that rookie and second year teams that don't have "elite" robots could be able to compete with and against some of the more established teams. This isn't to say that we're throwing these rookies into the fire pan, but hopefully they can learn from the more experienced teams by talking to them in the pit and on the field. I know that as a third year team in 2001 my team learned a lot by talking to Andy Baker, seeing how the ChiefDelphi 'bot worked, and talking to Wildstang's team. IMHO, I think it's in FIRST's best interest to let this kind of interaction continue at Nationals...

Getting back to your statement tjrage_25.... It's not like every seed at Nationals is decided by the even/odd thing. The good teams will be able to go no matter what their number is.

-Bill

M. Faticanti
09-25-2001, 04:01 PM
Having now digested the qualifying process I have but one Question…. WHY???? Why does FIRST always make things so complicated??? 12 items to consider for qualifying YET only 3 have anything to do with THIS years competition!!!!!!!!! AND even one of those 3 has nothing to do with robot performance!! Yes... we needed to limit the nationals.. Yes.... we did say over and over that we did not think qualifying was the way to go. So be it BUT WHY????? What does past Chairman’s award winners have to do with this years robot and game???? What does ANYTHING to do with last year competition have to do with this year???? Think of this… You are the number 2 seed in one of the more experienced (stronger) regionals with 50 plus teams. (and you do not do multiple regionals) You lose to the number one seed and you do not get any awards. YOU DON’T QUALIFY FOR THE NATIONALS!!!!!!!!! WELLLLLL not until next year then you start out with 2 points.
DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE??????????????
Think of the rookies!!!!!

17 regionals, Top 8 seeds and their first Alliance partner (16 teams) Qualify.. 17 x 16 = 272
OR maybe top 4 seeds and there 3 Alliance partners (depending upon the game!!!) 4 x 4 x 17 regionals still equals 272 pretty close to 288 isn’t it???
SIMPLE!!!!!!!
AND all based upon THIS years performance/robot/game etc……..

Yes some of those teams will be duplicated because of doing multiple regionals BUT at least everyone has a chance Rookies and all
WHY??? WHY IS IT ALWAYS SO COMPLICATED ????????????

THIS YEARS GAME!!!! THIS YEARS BEST ROBOTS!!!!

THATS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE

IMHO thanks

tjrage_25
09-25-2001, 04:02 PM
Getting back to your statement tjrage_25.... It's not like every seed at Nationals is decided by the even/odd thing. The good teams will be able to go no matter what their number is.
Bill Gold


I agree that the good teams will, in the end, get to the nationals. However, FIRST is going to give a first come/first serve opprotuntiy to some teams, it should be given to ALL teams.

Joe Ross
09-25-2001, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by tjrage_25


I agree that the good teams will, in the end, get to the nationals. However, FIRST is going to give a first come/first serve opprotuntiy to some teams, it should be given to ALL teams.

I am quite glad that they didn't.

Right now, it seems that there are about 60 teams that have already qualified for nationals. Assuming that the game is 2 v 2 this year, there will be 34 regional winners, 17 regional chairman's awards winners, and an 68 technical award winners. After duplicates are removed, that will be somewhere in the range of 100 teams.

There are 288 spots - 100 who qualify this year - 60 who qualified based on previous years + an unknown number for more duplicates. This means that there are anywhere between 100-150 spots availibile first-come first serve. Last year there were 500 something teams. Add the 40 % growth rate and there will be 700 teams this coming year. Having all of those teams vying for a hundred spots is not a good thing. By making sure that only half the teams can try to get into nationals this year, FIRST has doubled the chance that you will actually get a spot.

Bill Gold
09-25-2001, 04:19 PM
Thanks Joe. I couldn't have said that any better.

Grivooga
09-25-2001, 04:29 PM
First off I'm not on a team any more. I graduated and have no intention of working with my team in the coming year (but that's internal team politics and you don't need to worryy about it). If I go it will be as a volunteer. Even as I say that though I look at my prospective schedule and that seems very unlikely. :( I greatly enjoyed going to every competition that I attended (10 competitions under my belt) and the 3 nationals will always be the greatest in my mind. I think that most people here will agree that realistically Nationals were just getting to BIG. If it were my decision I'd work it like this.

a. All former Chairman's Award winners AND finalists - I think all these teams, even the finalists, have given alot to their communities and deserve the spots.
b. All prior National winners and finalists - this is hard, it takes a truly top-notch team. I think they deserve a permanent spot.
c. Prior year National Divisional winners and finalists - they had it last year, I think they deserve a shot at the big time regardless of current year performance
d. Prior 2 year Regional Winners -same
e. Prior year Regional Finalists -same
f. Prior year Top Seed Nationals -same
g. Prior year Top Rookie Seed at any event - just because I like to support rookies that did really well
h. Current year Regional winners and finalists - duh
i. Current year Regional Chairman's Award Winner - same
j. Current year Technical Award winners at Regional Events - same
k. Current year Regional Top Seed - because I've seen some great teams not win regionals
l. Current year Regional Rookie Top Seed - give them a shot at the big time. after they did that well as a rookie are they really rookies anymore?
m. Teams with 3 or more points. 1 point for each of the following
a. current year rookie team - that's right a point just for being a rookie
b. previous 2 year judged award winner any event- this give alot of veteran's a bunch of point
c. previous 3 year regional winner or finalist -same
d. previous 3 year regional top seed -same
e. previous 4 year national top seed -same
f. current year regional top 15 seed -to fill spots and help the rookies
g. current year any other official award -same

I think that adds up to ALOT of teams. Of course I'm not in charge. That's just what I'm pulling off the top of my head. My final would probably be very different. You'll notice that I left out the original teams. I figure that if they can't qualify under these rules, that definitely favor veteran teams. Then they probably don't need to be going. More would probably have to be added to fill in the balance, because I just don't like the even/odd first come-first serve thing.
Just my opinion.

tjrage_25
09-25-2001, 04:36 PM
Right now, it seems that there are about 60 teams that have already qualified for nationals. Assuming that the game is 2 v 2 this year, there will be 34 regional winners, 17 regional chairman's awards winners, and an 68 technical award winners. After duplicates are removed, that will be somewhere in the range of 100 teams.

That doesn't count the odds of actually winning a regional or award. Speaking of awards, why are they even including the regional chairman's award winners? That has NOTHING to do with the game that is being played, and is nothing close to a representation of how good your team is at the game.

If they are not going to offer first come/first serve opprotunities to all teams. They should throw out all of these rules and it should be based on the national ranking of all teams (Not counting those who won, they would be guaranteed a spot no matter what).

Dave Hurt
09-25-2001, 04:52 PM
I think the chairman award winner deserves to go more then the previous year's champion. It takes endless amounts of planning and time to put together a presentation for the chairman's award, and it shows what this competition is all about. Yes, the actual robot competition is impressive, but the chairman's award shows how you got there. And that is more impressive then any robot.

- Dave

Bill Gold
09-25-2001, 04:53 PM
tjrage_25- Chances are that any Regional award winner (industrial design, quality, etc) will finish relatively high in that event, but nothing is 100% certain. So basically.... they're doing what you want (letting the teams that finish 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc in a Regional go to Nationals). Did I understand you correctly?

As for the Regional Chairman's award winners.... I'm not sure what to think about them being guaranteed a spot at Nationals... I guess as long as it's only a free ride for one year it isn't so bad. Plus I think it's a good thing to reward teams who make a huge impact in their communities. Ok. Now I'm convinced that Regional Chairman's Award winners should get a free pass to Nats for the year they win the award.

-Bill

tjrage_25
09-25-2001, 04:57 PM
I don't know what you all think, but I am seeing a defininte trend of Yes and No in team numbers, and student and team status in FIRST.

Basically all who are for this decision are either an even number team, guaranteed a spot this year or every year, or an alumni. And all those against this are odd number teams (I know I am!).

The point of this at one point or another most of you are going to be denied the nationals. The whole reason that teams get new members year after year. By doing this you are not just missing out on what you look forward to each year, your team will suffer every other year. Without the almost certain draw of going to Florida, chances are new members will not join.

Florida is the major selling point of FIRST to students, it draws us in and shows us what science and technology is all about. Without this FIRST and FIRST teams will suffer. There has to be a better way to do this.

David Kelly
09-25-2001, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by tjrage_25


Speaking of awards, why are they even including the regional chairman's award winners? That has NOTHING to do with the game that is being played, and is nothing close to a representation of how good your team is at the game.




according to FIRST, the chairman's award is the elite of the elite awards that you can win. it even tops being national champs.

tjrage_25
09-25-2001, 05:02 PM
I think the chairman award winner deserves to go more then the previous year's champion. It takes endless amounts of planning and time to put together a presentation for the chairman's award, and it shows what this competition is all about. Yes, the actual robot competition is impressive, but the chairman's award shows how you got there. And that is more impressive then any robot.

I belive that the chairman's award should have nothing to do with decisions about the nationals. (In my opinion it just shows how many LL teams you can sponsor, while starting more rookie teams. Nothing at all to do with the game at hand in ANY year.)

David Kelly
09-25-2001, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by tjrage_25


I belive that the chairman's award should have nothing to do with decisions about the nationals. (In my opinion it just shows how many LL teams you can sponsor, while starting more rookie teams. Nothing at all to do with the game at hand in ANY year.)

they spread the word of FIRST. they get more teams involved in the competition.

Shannon Maloney
09-25-2001, 05:04 PM
well, i'm really glad to be part of a team thats been in this since the beginning! we wouldn't be going at all (along with a good chunck of the other teams) but i see everyone's doing a good job of complaining for me so i'll just shut up now.

Bill Gold
09-25-2001, 05:21 PM
I don't know what you all think, but I am seeing a defininte trend of Yes and No in team numbers, and student and team status in FIRST.

Basically all who are for this decision are either an even number team, guaranteed a spot this year or every year, or an alumni. And all those against this are odd number teams (I know I am!).

-tjrage_25

Well.... when it's my team's turn to sit out the Nationals I'll grin and bare it (2003).

btw... tj. how many regionals are you guys gonna try to attend in 2002? just curious.

-Bill

Joe Ross
09-25-2001, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by tjrage_25
Basically all who are for this decision are either an even number team, guaranteed a spot this year or every year, or an alumni. And all those against this are odd number teams (I know I am!).

That is an interesting trend, but it should be expected. What I think is more interesting is that we discussed this in a very long thread a few months ago: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=113&perpage=20&pagenumber=1. So far, I've only seen one person who participated in that thread change their mind now that they've seen the system.

Just to be the exception, I'm on an odd numbered team that does not currently qualify to attend nationals. We've also won a national championship in the past (like you). My goal is to do as well as possible at the regionals this year so we can go. If not, we'll be first in line for nationals in '03.

I don't believe the system is perfect, but it is much better than most of the alternatives.

Jay Lundy
09-25-2001, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by M. Faticanti
WHY??? WHY IS IT ALWAYS SO COMPLICATED ????????????

THIS YEARS GAME!!!! THIS YEARS BEST ROBOTS!!!!

THATS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE

IMHO thanks
It actually is quite complicated, just look at this post,
Originally posted by Wayne C.
No team should know they are going to Florida until they win this year. That way all can face the nightmare of trying to transport 30-40 people across country on 3-4 weeks notice.
The point is you can't wait until 2 weeks before nationals to know whether you qualify. If this wasn't such a problem, I am absolutely sure that FIRST would have based the points on the current year's accomplishments. But, obviously, they can't.

Mike S.
09-25-2001, 05:44 PM
From what I have seen, and heard from previous years FIRST has given people quite a shock with competition formats from year to year. Even with 4v0, people were a little doubtful about that competition, but I think it turned out to be pretty decent, and I think many peoples opinions changed once the competition began. I just think FIRST is handing us another obstacle, I think this year is going to push every team to its limits and see what a team is made of and what a team can do, because everyone will be working 10x as hard because mostly everyone wants to go to nats, which makes me think, we are going to see some really awesome robots this year, because people will be giving it their all (not to say they haven't before, just this year I think everyone is going to give it 100% more).

I just don't think people should be complaining, because we haven't even seen the competition format yet, all the people who are saying we have no chance, you could build the best robot for this years competition, and go out and do a really great job, and come home national champions. FIRST has handed us one aspect of this years competition that’s it, people think already they are ineligible for things but that’s not true, I think people should wait until after kickoff until they start complaining.

I am sorry if that makes people mad, it’s just what I think.
Mike
-Who hopes to see fellow FIRSTers smile once in awhile, and to remember all the other things FIRST gives you besides a competition, all the doors FIRST has opened, all the FIRST related friends you have made, and why FIRST makes you smile.

Jeff Waegelin
09-25-2001, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by tjrage_25


Speaking of awards, why are they even including the regional chairman's award winners?

Because those are the teams most likely to be vying for the National Chairman's Award.

EddieMcD
09-25-2001, 07:05 PM
So what you're saying is that FIRST is about winning now?

Jeff Waegelin
09-25-2001, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by Mike S.

I am sorry if that makes people mad, it’s just what I think.
Mike
-Who hopes to see fellow FIRSTers smile once in awhile, and to remember all the other things FIRST gives you besides a competition, all the doors FIRST has opened, all the FIRST related friends you have made, and why FIRST makes you smile.

Well said. Sometimes people (myself included) get too worked up about their own team's situation to look at the big picture. Not just the big picture for Nats, but for FIRST. We forget what a privilege we all share in being part of one of the greatest organizations in the world. Regardless of what comes of Nationals, we are all members of FIRST, and need to keep the spirit alive, wherever we may be this April.

Jeff

- Who hopes to see FIRST continue to be thebest it can be, and keep the spirit alive!

David Kelly
09-25-2001, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by EddieMcD
So what you're saying is that FIRST is about winning now?


don't we ALL want to win?

tjrage_25
09-25-2001, 07:20 PM
btw... tj. how many regionals are you guys gonna try to attend in 2002? just curious.

Probably 2 if we can, the first of course is NJ, the second we will probably decide on tommorow.

Todd Derbyshire
09-25-2001, 08:00 PM
What First should have done is this if it needed to limit Nationals
1)All winners of competitions last year and Chairman's award winner. This includes the winners of the divisions in Florida.
2) Whoever, hasn't qualified yet for Nationals has to face a process similiar to what the card game Magic has which is the DCI rating system. All teams will play their matches in the regular season and develop a ranking. This rating would be composed somehow be average points in a match by average points given up.(IF Given the ability to do so in the game). This system would not only give the top teams which FIRST whether it wanted to say it or not stated in their statement quite clearly that it wants the top and elite teams in Florida. So as a recap you would have the previous years winners invited of the robotic competition and chairman's award. Wait a second the overall flaw with FIRST'S STATEMENT WHAT HAPPENS IF A TEAM ALREADY QUALIFIED QUALIFIES AGAIN. a.k.a. Delphi. Well, I would definitely say this to the teams that are qualified you may participate in a regional to practice this years game but you may not move into the playoffs. I can see it no a team in the semifinal gets paired against a team who is already qualifed. Oh wait we forfeit and that team gets to go to the final while two other teams have to battle it out to reach the final.!!~!!! I can see it happening and its not right. So I am praying right now that Woodie or Dean has been reading these posts and has seen the flaws in their message for what they have stated in that message was not at all FIRST material. What FIRST stated in that message was something a FOX sports station would want were they would only want to see the elite of the elite and not the true spirit of FIRST.

Jay Lundy
09-25-2001, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by Todd Derbyshire
I can see it now a team in the semifinal gets paired against a team who is already qualifed. Oh wait we forfeit and that team gets to go to the final while two other teams have to battle it out to reach the final.
I very highly doubt a team would do that. This isn't the NFL or something where the only goal is to win the superbowl. It's all about the thrill of competition and watching your robot do what you designed it to do. And also, what about the original teams like TechnoKats? Are they going to skip all regionals and only attend the nationals? No, the regionals are incredible competitions as well and in some cases are better than nationals. If a team doesn't qualify for nationals, take advantage of the almost 20 regionals that are offered this year. Try to goto 2 or 3 or, since you save so much money for not going to nationals, even try to goto 4! This way you can experience the competition the same way you would at nationals except you most likely will get to meet more teams this way. Then the next year you know you are garaunteed to be able to compete at nationals.

Also, I just wanted to point out something in the letter. This will give you an idea of where FIRST is coming from:
It is the process rather than product or performance that is at the core of what makes FIRST unique.
The competitions are simply an afterthought, and although they are important for attracting new members, if the only reason you participate in FIRST is for the national competition then you are missing the whole point of FIRST. Also there are plenty of regionals (as I pointed out above) that can satisfy those of you who want to compete and socialize with other teams.

Lora Knepper
09-25-2001, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Jeff Waegelin


Well said. Sometimes people (myself included) get too worked up about their own team's situation to look at the big picture. Not just the big picture for Nats, but for FIRST...

Agreed. Though for the record, I'm going to be one of the exceptions like Joe. I'm not officially with a team right now. And I've worked on or close to teams that will be guaranteed a spot in this year's Epcot event (I'm sorry, I just cannot call it "Nationals" anymore....not with this level of exclusion) and also with teams that right now are thinking they have no hope to make it to Florida.

I know in my heart that FIRST needs to limit Nationals. I dreaded the moment with everything in me, but I knew that it was inevitable. I just disagree wholeheartedly in how they went about it.

And now with the limits, I'm afraid. Not so much for the veteran teams that will sit back for a year and make things bigger and better to secure a spot at Epcot next year. But rather, I'm afraid for the rookies. As much as I hate to admit it, Florida is a big draw to new teams, and a great recruiting event. It's in the process that we all get hooked from Florida into the robots and team instead. And what about some of the teams from the "rookie regionals"? I know things have been said about the KSC and the VCU regionals especially - I know I'm guilty of some of them. The teams that participate in these regionals are always first out. They are always trying the new and unknown for the first time. And as history has proven, the scores at these two regionals in particular are lower than at say, the Midwest and the New England.

I'm concerned about how FIRST decided on this....but no matter. I am a FIRST-a-holic, and after I cooled off of some of the inital emotion over this, I know that no matter what silly moves FIRST takes, I'll keep coming back. I've gained too much from this project to give up on it now.

~ lora

Wayne C.
09-25-2001, 10:28 PM
I haven't heard anything about the change in costs from this thread yet. If you make plane arrangements in advance you can get airfare for about $250 from our area. Going by the 2001 prices and a team of 20 that means the whole expedition would run about $15,000.
By waiting to the last few weeks before the Nationals to make arrangements the airfares shoot up dramatically- lets say to $1000. Now the same trip costs about $30,000 if you can even book the flights and reasonable rooms.

Vin211
09-26-2001, 07:53 AM
Jess-
This Florida thing is big. Only a couple students from the team know right now. We're working for a meeting on Thursday where we'll discuss what is going to happen. Dan and I are really down because of FIRST and their "qualifications", I wish there was something they could do about it and I know they will. Also I have started posting on Delphi just like you Jess, I'm going to try to do things like You, Rich, and Pat did in the past. We received a couple new freshmen who have signed up. I actually pressured them to, they were from Lego League and they've always wanted a piece of the high school action. But telling them that there may not be a big show(FLORIDA) this year may be kind hard for them. I know we'll figure something out but I just hope its not too late.

Jessica Boucher
09-26-2001, 10:13 AM
Vinnie....

I know, I know. But when you want to adress me specifically, use a pm or im or email or phone....trust me, the team has all my contact information.

You guys have good heads on your shoulders....I know that. But please let the thread not get off topic...if you want to talk, you know where I am.