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Todd Derbyshire
10-02-2001, 03:55 PM
I don't know about the rest of the field, but has anybody been wondering what happens if a team that is already qualified shows up at a Regional. Now it is fine and great that they are there for practice, but they can qualify next year in Disney World. So why should the teams that are going to Disney World participate in Regionals. My fear is having a qualified team for Nationals winning multiple Regionals and/or awards and stealing spots. This system does seem to have its flaws:rolleyes:

David Kelly
10-02-2001, 04:39 PM
I absolutey do not agree with you on this!:mad: To me and my team, the regionals are more exciting than the nationals just because they are smaller and you have better chances of doing better. I don't see how FIRST could EVER go that route. Then wouldn't the nationals just be like a regional to the teams that are there? It would jsut be a huge regional at Disney. The teams that have the money to go to as many regionals that they want should be able to. It's a lot easer to take a sponsor the a competition that is closer rather than halfway across the country.

That sure is an outragious idea.

Mike Soukup
10-02-2001, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by Todd Derbyshire
My fear is having a qualified team for Nationals winning multiple Regionals and/or awards and stealing spots. This system does seem to have its flaws:rolleyes:
I don't understand all this talk about 'stealing spots' for Nats. FIRST came up with a set of rules for attending Nats, and when a team does well at a Regional, they are not stealing a spot, they are claiming what is rightfully theirs (a spot at Nats) by meeting the guidlines set by FIRST. It is up to the non-qualified teams to claim that spot for themselves by performing well enough to meet the criteria for Nats.

I think people also forget that Regionals are themselves competitions, not just qualification opportunities for Nats. Winning a regional, or an award at one, is a tremendous accomplishment for any team. Teams should be proud to do well at a regional (or multiple regionals), and should not be scorned by other teams for doing so.

If a team has a truly exceptional year, they should be able to enjoy it by collecting as much hardware as they can. They may never have the same success again.

A true competitor will try his hardest to win a competition, but will congradulate the winner, no matter who it is. Never before in FIRST have I seen teams jealous or mad at another team for winning an award. I've only seen teams congradulate each other. I sure hope FIRST stays that way.

Mike

Kyle Hill
10-02-2001, 10:39 PM
Maybe if you can't beat the best, you might not deserve to go to a selective nationals... hmm...

Todd Derbyshire
10-03-2001, 12:36 PM
Ok so what you are saying is some fifty teams should go to Nationals and compete with some other 238 (even number teams) that didn't come in based on talent. So how can you justify your statement by saying only the best of the best are you going to be at Nationals when you have 238 teams that got in first come first serve. That's why I think if a team is qualified and is in the playoffs they should let the spot pass down so another *talented* team can go to Nationals. This is my point on why I think teams that qualified should step down. What you are saying Dave, Mike, and Kyle is that the number 1 team will always win. Well no kidding. However, imagine if you will a National that involved alliances of all the best teams in the World that would be impressive. Without this rule I believe Nationals will become a slaughter for all the *(elite teams)* against the other teams that got in first come first serve. Now I know of course people still aren't going to agree with me so how about a compromise. If a team that wins a regional is already qualified for Florida still is the champion of that regional and gets those qualifying points for next year. However, the berth for that regional for this year's game goes to the next alliance in that regional. If all members of an alliance are not qualified that alliance takes that berth and the spot does not pass down. I sure hope that someone from FIRST is looking into this problem because I can see that this could be a huge complication for the future.

Todd Derbyshire
10-03-2001, 12:39 PM
This way all the elite teams get to have their trophies for winning the regionals, but the second tier(almost elite teams) get a shot of going to Nats

Kyle Fenton
10-03-2001, 02:04 PM
I see that team are signed up for 3 or 4 regionals, and the nationals. A compromise that would probably happen if Regional spots had to be limited, is to ask teams who are signed up for more than 2 regionals to voluntarily give up their spot so another team at least has one shot of attending a competition.

I mean save your travel money, and maybe spend it on a far-away off-season competition. Almost nobody does this, but it would be a great thing. I know WPI went to IRA last year, buts that's all I know. But hey it would be cool to get some teams like Chief Delphi to come to Battle Cry. Heck sometimes off-season competitions are just as good as Regionals, maybe even better. Plus it is at a less busy time then during the competition weeks, and you won't be missing all of those school days in a row.

Joe Ross
10-03-2001, 07:42 PM
I understand what you are trying to do, but it does have a flaw. There are only 10-20 teams that do not ever have to worry about qualifying for nationals. Everyone else is playing for the chance to qualify for the next year. It would be extremely difficult (though not impossible) to qualify for the next years nationals if you only went to nationals. In the same way, if a team couldn't play in the playoffs, they would have less of a chance of pre-qualifying for the next year.

This would also tend to decrease the quality of the teams at the nationals. The regionals are a time to practice and debug your robot. If a pre-qualified team does not have the chance to go to the regional, all that takes place at the nationals. That would not be a good thing.

Mike Schroeder
10-06-2001, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by Mike Soukup


I think people also forget that Regionals are themselves competitions, not just qualification opportunities for Nats. Winning a regional, or an award at one, is a tremendous accomplishment for any team. Teams should be proud to do well at a regional (or multiple regionals), and should not be scorned by other teams for doing so.






Well in response to this i have to say is you are absolutly right.
BUT FIRST doesnt think the way me and you and so many others.
they have turned the wonderful regionals into qualifications. how are they going to tell us about gratious proffesionalism if teams are going to be fighting over getting to Florida :mad:

Carolyn Duncan
10-06-2001, 11:21 PM
I think y'all have over looked something that was posted by Andy B I think. If a pre-qualified team wins a regional the they are not taking a space away from teams they are just displacing it. They would actually be helping out say, an odd numbered team like say, 73, 25, or 121. These teams may have an opportunity to attend nationals which may not have arrisen without a certain chain of events happening. Sorta like a team on the bubble of the NCAA tourney or similar circumstance. They lose but if this team wins and that team loses they could get in, so they sit and watch ans cheer waiting to see what happens. I think this is where FIRST is heading. Be it good or bad, like it or not all we can do is speak our minds and decide whether we chose to deal and participate or move on.

Mike Soukup
10-07-2001, 02:41 AM
Originally posted by Mr.Volcano
Well in response to this i have to say is you are absolutly right.
BUT FIRST doesnt think the way me and you and so many others.
they have turned the wonderful regionals into qualifications.
You sure found a way to selectively quote me & twist the point of my statement around. I see nothing wrong with FIRST turing the Regionals into qualifiers for the Championship. The point of my post was that people should not get upset at pre-qualified teams for winning at Regionals.
how are they going to tell us about gratious proffesionalism if teams are going to be fighting over getting to Florida :mad:
I love this quote. You're assuming that just because Regionals now help determine who goes to the Championship, they will become rutheless & teams will only look out for themselves. If that happens, my opinion of many teams and FIRST in general will drop, and I'll probably quit. It means that all this gracious professionalism practiced by teams was hollow and not sincere. It's easy to help your competition out if there's not much riding on it; the true test of gracious professionalism comes when you've got something to lose. But I believe that most (if not all) teams are sincere and gracious professionalism will still exist, and will be stronger than ever, since it will mean so much more now.

Mike

Todd Derbyshire
10-22-2001, 06:04 PM
I hate to disturb everyone's break into reality but I know that if I was in a competition for a qualifier I would go full force to try to win. No I'm not saying that cheating is good or anything, but if a team pays $4000 to go to a competition which is a qualifier for Florida and then you get there and say oh lets be nice and let random team win... that is not going to happen and I hope it doesn't. I personally like to see the rivalries the deception the betrayal and COMPETITION in the game. If that happens this year I would throughly enjoy it better than the six old play school game we played last year.

EddieMcD
10-22-2001, 07:56 PM
Todd has a very valid point.

Kyle Gilbert
10-23-2001, 08:10 AM
http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/icons/icon23.gif
http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/eek.gif



I sense a lot of tension in this thread so I think i'll keep the majority of my comments to myself, but I do think that if a team qualifies for Nats then they should be allowed to compete in as many Regionals as they wish.

Jeff Waegelin
10-23-2001, 11:11 AM
Let's try not to have this degenerate into a flame-war here. I think this is a very sensitive issue, but the fact of the matter is, a team should never be forced to limit its performance to allow another team to win. You play the matches as they come, and worry about who wins later. It doesn't matter if its a team fighting for a Nats spot, or an original team from '92. A solution will be found that will be acceptable to everyone. Besides, what if a pre-qualified team has a non-qualified alliance partner? Then the first team is, in effect, competing to get their partner in, not stealing someone else's spot.

Todd Derbyshire
10-23-2001, 12:18 PM
That is why if an already qualified team is qualified they shouldn't be in the qualifiers(a.k.a Regionals). Instead maybe FIRST can give those teams that have qualified some extra weeks before there robot is due. I don't know but that could be one suggestion to help the certain crisis in Registration. CAUSE ONCE AGAIN IF A TEAM THAT IS QUALIFIED WINS then you are going to in effect losing the best of the best aspect that FIRST is trying to bring to the Florida competition.

Christine G.
10-23-2001, 01:06 PM
best of the best aspect that FIRST is trying to bring to the Florida competition

How do you get best of best out of all the even number teams qualifying for Florida and none of the odd number teams qualifying:confused: They ruled out half of the playing field and that doesn't give you the best of the best!

Wayne Doenges
10-23-2001, 01:22 PM
Todd, you said "CAUSE ONCE AGAIN IF A TEAM THAT IS QUALIFIED WINS then you are going to in effect losing the best of the best aspect that FIRST is trying to bring to the Florida competition." If a team can't beat a "pre-qualified team" than they aren't the best of the best for the Nationals.

Wayne Doenges

Mike Soukup
10-23-2001, 03:30 PM
Multiple responses to multiple posts:

Jeff, this isn't a flame war. I'm not upset, but when I write, I get my point across quickly and I'm usually blunt. There are a lot of people who feel strongly about this point and it's good to hear everyone's opinions.

Originally posted by Todd Derbyshire
I hate to disturb everyone's break into reality but I know that if I was in a competition for a qualifier I would go full force to try to win. No I'm not saying that cheating is good or anything, but if a team pays $4000 to go to a competition which is a qualifier for Florida and then you get there and say oh lets be nice and let random team win... that is not going to happen and I hope it doesn't. I personally like to see the rivalrie[QUOTE]s the deception the betrayal and COMPETITION in the game. If that happens this year I would throughly enjoy it better than the six old play school game we played last year.
I'm glad to hear you, and I'd assume everyone, is against cheating in FIRST competitions. I agree that last year's game wasn't good for head-to-head competition, and a team's success relied too much on random partners.

But being nice is not mutually exclusive with good competition & rivalries. Teams can compete their hardest against each other on the field and be friends off the field. We battled against Beatty at 3 competitions last year (including IRI) and partnered with them once. Even though we tried our hardest to beat them on the field and have a small rivalry going, our teams are still friends & got together a couple of times over the summer.

That is why if an already qualified team is qualified they shouldn't be in the qualifiers(a.k.a Regionals). Instead maybe FIRST can give those teams that have qualified some extra weeks before there robot is due. I don't know but that could be one suggestion to help the certain crisis in Registration. CAUSE ONCE AGAIN IF A TEAM THAT IS QUALIFIED WINS then you are going to in effect losing the best of the best aspect that FIRST is trying to bring to the Florida competition.
A few points...
Keeping already qualified teams out of the regionals would hurt those teams. Regionals give teams a chance to practice against other teams in real game situations (which there is no substitute for), figure out if they need to change any hardware, and to test & practice new strategies. By keeping them out of regionals, you're hurting their chances at winning the Championship.

Allowing pre-qualified teams to compete in & win regionals does not remove the 'best of the best' aspect of Nats. It merely reaffirms the fact that the team belongs at Nats. Plus, as Wayne said, since the team that finishes second doesn't win the regional, they aren't the 'best of the best.'

Mike

Todd Derbyshire
10-23-2001, 07:11 PM
Ok so who qualifies if a qualified team wins a regional???
Anyone have answer because Mike obviously doesn't get it. Yes it is a total random even number team. So my point I believe holds true that if a pre-qualified team goes to a Regional that they should participate in the regular rounds and then they should be eliminated. This is the only true way FIRST can keep Florida the best of the best and be equal with the elite teams.



Quote of the day: "It's True it's true!" Kurt Angel WCW U.S Champ

Clark Gilbert
10-23-2001, 07:15 PM
The way i read it was that the already qualified team qualifies for winning........

David Kelly
10-23-2001, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by Todd Derbyshire
Ok so who qualifies if a qualified team wins a regional???
Anyone have answer because Mike obviously doesn't get it. Yes it is a total random even number team. So my point I believe holds true that if a pre-qualified team goes to a Regional that they should participate in the regular rounds and then they should be eliminated. This is the only true way FIRST can keep Florida the best of the best and be equal with the elite teams.



Quote of the day: "It's True it's true!" Kurt Angel WCW U.S Champ

a disagreement

what would the point of going to the regionals if you can't play in the finals. if you have a chance to win or get a trophey, then no way should you be denied your chance. it's not everyday that you have the chance to win, why should that chance be taken away now?

DK's $.03

Jay Lundy
10-23-2001, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by Todd Derbyshire
Ok so who qualifies if a qualified team wins a regional???
Anyone have answer because Mike obviously doesn't get it. Yes it is a total random even number team. So my point I believe holds true that if a pre-qualified team goes to a Regional that they should participate in the regular rounds and then they should be eliminated.

This is the only true way FIRST can keep Florida the best of the best and be equal with the elite teams.
Obviously FIRST is NOT making Florida only the "best of the best". If they wanted it to be that way, they certainly would not have allowed even teams to sign up first come first serve. If a team can make it to the finals, they definately deserve to compete. Like Mike said, it allows teams the opportunity to practice and test their robot.

Another thing, are you saying 10 year teams like the TechnoKats should never be allowed the chance to compete in the playoffs simply because they are gauranteed a spot at nationals? (I don't mean to start an argument about that qualification rule.) Or maybe a team wins a regional, qualifying them for the 2002 nationals, but they still only have 3 points, not enough to qualify them for the 2003 nationals. If they do poorly at nationals, then they have forfeited their ticket to the 2003 nationals by not participating in the regional playoffs.

Jay Lundy
10-23-2001, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by Todd Derbyshire
This system does seem to have its flaws:rolleyes:
Yes it does have its flaws, but if most of these "flaws" were corrected, even bigger, more controversial flaws would be brought up.

For example, the disagreement over what year should be used when determining whether a team is qualified for the nationals. Right now, it is the year before. At first this seems flawed because each year is an entirely different game with entirely different robots, but if you think about it you realize that if team qualifies for nationals just 1 month before the competition, then there is barely any time to organize a trip to florida and many qualified teams would not be able to attend. FIRST recognized this, took into account that good teams tend to perform well year by year, and made the decision that they felt was the best.

The only possible flaw in the qualification I can think of is that the 10 year teams are automatically qualified.

Oh yeah and rookie teams should start out with some amount of points because they did not have a previous year in which to qualify.

nick reynolds
10-23-2001, 10:47 PM
I have been reading the threds with great interest and I thought to my self that some of the things said were exactly what I said over a month ago. For my thoughts and fears I got a real reaming by some FIRST members.
I think that now that some time has passed that reality is starting to become evident. I see fear and a little anger in the writings of some people and I think its justified.
I wonder to my self if Dean or others from FIRST read the things that are said on this site. The first thing thats evident is that some members feel betrayed for their loyalty and hard work, All the years of building up FIRST may have been for nothing for many unless you concider every other year the prize.
It will be impossible for many teams to go due to time restraints and bookings. As an adult I need more than three weeks to book my time away from work and if I book it out and our team doesnt go to Florida it could cost me a lost week of vacation and several thousand dollars in wage loss.
Below is what I wrote last month

1. Dean is now steping back from his announcements that he makes each year at the Nationals on how we have grown from the prior year.
This year he can announce how the Nationals have decreased by 35%.
2. Mentoring will end as there is now a distinct disadvantage of introducing other teams and Schools to FIRST.
3. The "G-P" has gone out the window and its now a Dog eat Dog competition, why would any member of another team want to help themselves be beaten in a regional. infact can we now expect to see a little sabotage in the pits?
4. I have said this before that the competition is "bent" towards the wealthy teams and that a team thats struggling with money and experience is now going to suffer even more. Teams like #38 could not afford the Disney package so they stayed out side to save funds and we all know how well this amazing team did. but because they tried to save funds and get as many of the team there as possible they will be penalized this year so "Disney" can squeeze every stinking cent they can. Like they dont make a HUGE profit from us all ready.
5. If FIRST has grown beyond the capacity of Disney then rather than change the format and make teams suffer maybe we should look at a new venue. If this became an option you can bet your speed controlers that Disney would have a change of heart.
6. If cost has become an issue then why not increase the entry fee's, our budget last year was $54.000 whats an extra $500.

Dean, if your able to read this then please re-think some of the new rules. As volunteers who help our teams you need some consideration to what your doing to the life blood of the concept of FIRST.
Nick237

Mike Norton
10-24-2001, 06:42 AM
Thanks Nick I thought I was the only one out here that feels like that.



;)

nick reynolds
10-24-2001, 08:39 AM
Mike Im sure you and I are not alone in our thinking, And dont get me wrong we still have great respect for FIRST and the "Deanology " of Robotics but we the Adults are continualy under pressure to achieve the goals of FIRST.
FIRST is truely a learning expierience for the students but its an arduous mind numbing task for many Adults. This is my 4th year in FIRST and each year is harder than the last, is it too much to ask " could we try EASY for a change".
Some times I get the feeling its a test for the Adults to see how far "we" can go. I love the concept of working with and teaching students how to overcome because as we teach so do we learn.
Difficult is easy, impossible just takes longer, and 6 weeks is still 6 weeks. The regionals are a proving ground for our robot and if we do well then thats great, we then use the time between the regionals and the Nationals to Hone the Robot for the the big one "Florida".
If we have no Guarantee of going to Florida then it will be impossible to get sponsors to donate large sums of funds to our team this year. We have never done more than one regional but this year we are entered in 2. we possibly would have entered more but the cost and getting time off for the Adults and Students proved impossible.
Up untill this year the rewards of FIRST far out weighed the long hours and hard work but this year im not so sure.
Lastly let me ask everyone this. Should we express our concerns and post problems that we see or should we just keep silent. Do we have the right to give opinions or are positive posts the only exceptable forms of comunications between team members.
FIRST to me is still the greatest organization that brings students and adults together.
Nick237

Mike Norton
10-24-2001, 09:17 AM
Nick

You do have the same thoughts. to do alll this work and then tell the kids sorry you can't go to the big dance. What is that saying. I have said this in alot of my replys in differnt threads. Our school is now getting funds to do Battelbots. It is a lot cheaper and I have all year to work on the robots. Plus there are 3 competition we can go to. The cost it takes to go to the second regional in FIRST we can use that money to travel to the 3 events that battelbots have. PLus it is easlier to get money for BattelBots.

I like FIRST I have lived with all the task they have given us. But this one broke the camels back. I know of other teams that we help to get into this Have left FIRST. I would like to know how many teams that are not coming back. If FIRST wants to grow they have to keep the people they have.

Mike Soukup
10-24-2001, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by nick reynolds
Lastly let me ask everyone this. Should we express our concerns and post problems that we see or should we just keep silent. Do we have the right to give opinions or are positive posts the only exceptable forms of comunications between team members.
FIRST to me is still the greatest organization that brings students and adults together.
Nick237
I disagree with most of your opinions recently, but I urge you to keep expressing them. Good discussions are healthy for FIRST; it's important to talk through our differences and hopefully together we can come up with some solutions that please (almost) everyone.

Mike

Andy Baker
10-24-2001, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by nick reynolds
If we have no Guarantee of going to Florida then it will be impossible to get sponsors to donate large sums of funds to our team this year.
Nick237

This comment has been mentioned a few times by others.

This may be accurrate for team 237, but I know of many teams who have gotten money at the last minute in order to go to Nationals. These teams performed well at a Regional, and their sponsor decided to kick in some cash to help them get to Florida AFTER their strong showing at the Regional.

It can be done. There are sooooo many teams (Little League, AAU, etc.) who plan last minute "National Championship" trips who pull together money and sponsorships so that they get to compete with the best.

With no garantee to go to Florida, I can see why sponsors don't give the large sums needed to go to the Championships... they shouldn't have to. BUT, they should also be excited and eager to support their team financially when it does earn a spot at the Championships.

Andy B.

Andy Baker
10-24-2001, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by nick reynolds
5. If FIRST has grown beyond the capacity of Disney then rather than change the format and make teams suffer maybe we should look at a new venue. If this became an option you can bet your speed controlers that Disney would have a change of heart.
Nick237

I wholeheartedly agree. A few of us have been harping on this for a couple of years. At this summer's FIRST Forum, they finally let us discuss other Championship venues for the first time in 3 years.

Disney is overrated, overpriced, and overemphasized. FIRST can survive and thrive without Disney, in my opinion.

And another thing... that "It's a Small World" song really gets on my nerves.

Andy B.

P.J. Baker
10-24-2001, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by nick reynolds
Should we express our concerns and post problems that we see or should we just keep silent. Do we have the right to give opinions or are positive posts the only exceptable forms of comunications between team members.
Nick237

I know that Soukup responded to this comment, and his sentiments are pretty close to my own, but I want to add one thing:

Of course everyone has the right to give their opinion here, but they also have the responsibility to express their opinion as exactly that, their opinion. When an opinion (on either side of any issue) is expressed as a fact rather than an opinion, I think that it is much more likely that argument rather than discussion will ensue.

As far as I know, the truth is that we do not know exactly how FIRST is going to handle some of the problems that will crop up this year becasue of the rule changes, and we do not know how teams will respond in competition when faced with the added pressure of having to qualify for Nationals. This is disconcerting, but we have to deal with it. Maybe if we all concentrate a bit more on what is fact and what is opinion, we can do that with a little bit less discord than we have seen so far.

P.J.

nick reynolds
10-24-2001, 01:33 PM
Andy, its true for many teams, and if you look at our regional in CT you will see its on the 6th of april. The Nationals is on the 25th thats 19 days later.
In that amount of time including the sunday after the regional and the Wednesday that we arrive in Florida we would have to collect $30.000 or more from sponsors and book airline tickets, and reserve rooms in Disney. All the Adults who would be with the students would then have to upheave all the places where they work so they could get the time off to go.
I dont know your situation at work but many Adults and Parents who would normaly go to Florida with the team requier more than "19 DAYS" to make this happen. Last year we fund raised the whole year, we did Tag sales, Can and Bottle drives, Bulbs, calenders, Raffles and a whole lot more, but other than 1 main sponsor of $10.000 we had to raise every other dollar by nickles and dimes. I dont think we will find a sponsor in our town ( pop 23.000 ) thats going to give us $30.000 or more in 19 days.
FIRST is not being fair to the Adults and thats not an opinion, Thats a FACT.

Matt Leese
10-24-2001, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by nick reynolds
Andy, its true for many teams, and if you look at our regional in CT you will see its on the 6th of april. The Nationals is on the 25th thats 19 days later.
In that amount of time including the sunday after the regional and the Wednesday that we arrive in Florida we would have to collect $30.000 or more from sponsors and book airline tickets, and reserve rooms in Disney. All the Adults who would be with the students would then have to upheave all the places where they work so they could get the time off to go.
I dont know your situation at work but many Adults and Parents who would normaly go to Florida with the team requier more than "19 DAYS" to make this happen. Last year we fund raised the whole year, we did Tag sales, Can and Bottle drives, Bulbs, calenders, Raffles and a whole lot more, but other than 1 main sponsor of $10.000 we had to raise every other dollar by nickles and dimes. I dont think we will find a sponsor in our town ( pop 23.000 ) thats going to give us $30.000 or more in 19 days.
FIRST is not being fair to the Adults and thats not an opinion, Thats a FACT.
Actually, that would be an opinion and not a fact. It would be unfair if FIRST banned specific teams from going or made it nearly impossible for certain teams to go. But they haven't. They've simply put in place a way to qualify for nationals. In fact, they've only made it difficult for odd numbered teams to attend this year. Next year, it's first-come/first-serve for odd numbered teams. It's very hard not to read "FIRST is not being fair to the Adults" as "it's unfair that I don't get to go to Nationals" and I'm sure some people are going to make that mistake; so I'll assume you're not. But I think the important consideration is for who's benefit exactly is FIRST? Is it for the adult mentors? Or is it for the students? If like me, you think FIRST is around for the benefit of the students than you realize that improving the experience of nationals is beneficial for the students; whether on your team or on others.

But I digress. Given that you've never actually attempted to raise enough money to go to Florida in three weeks time, then I would say that you're not in a position to say that it's impossible. And having done it before, I'd say that while it is hard work and not every team will be able to do it, it is possible.

But you may end up evaluating your alternatives and realize that it's not worth the effort to do so. And then you may just have to learn to live with the fact that you won't be going to nationals this year. And realize it's neither the end of the world nor the end of FIRST.

Matt

nick reynolds
10-24-2001, 05:23 PM
Matt. Your assuming a lot.
We 'dont' have three weeks to beg $30.000 + we only have 19 days. and thats if we wait untill the first day of the Nationals. You dont address how all the Adults get the time off from work to escort the students who would go, unless your assuming the students go to Florida with no Adults. That wont fly.
You make it sound so easy to go out and just knock on doors and stick out your hand for $30.000+. We could do a can and bottle drive all we need is 600.000 units.
Your also assuming that next year it will be the odd teams turn? can you guarantee that or will some unforseen problem change the T

nick reynolds
10-24-2001, 05:56 PM
Matt. Your assuming a lot.
We 'dont' have three weeks to beg $30.000 + we only have 19 days. and thats if we wait untill the first day of the Nationals. You dont address how all the Adults get the time off from work to escort the students who would go, unless your assuming the students go to Florida with no Adults. That wont fly.
You make it sound so easy to go out and just knock on doors and stick out your hand for $30.000+. We could do a can and bottle drive all we need is 600.000 units. Where did your team get $30.000+ in 3 weeks, I would love to know how you did it.
Your also assuming that next year it will be the odd teams turn? can you guarantee that, or will some unforseen problem change the Tides of the game.
If last year you told me that only the even # teams would be going to Florida next year plus a few selected teams I would have thought you were nuts, but it happened.
I think Students look at things differently than the Mentors, we not only have to worry about our selves and our families and our work, our home's and will the plants be dead when we get home, but we also worry about "you".

(" But you may end up evaluating your alternatives and realize that it's not worth the effort to do so. And then you may just have to learn to live with the fact that you won't be going to nationals this year. And realize it's neither the end of the world nor the end of FIRST.")

Im not sure how to respond to this other than if this year is your last in High School because your graduating the it will be the end of FIRST for that student.
I wish I was 35 years younger and a student in High School then the whole world would seem just fine.
I love the concept of FIRST and I enjoy working with all the students, The Regionals are just an amazment to me as I look at "all" The creations of all the teams. But these are just the robots in our Regional, There are hundreds more in Florida that we wont get to see this year. Seing all the Robots from all the teams is part of the learning experience. All team who wish to go to Florida should be alowed to go as it has been in the past.
As new rookie teams join what will happen when there are the same total of even or odd teams that equal the total of all teams today. will we get the chance to go to Florida every 4 years???

Jay Lundy
10-24-2001, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by nick reynolds
Matt. Your assuming a lot.
We 'dont' have three weeks to beg $30.000 + we only have 19 days. and thats if we wait untill the first day of the Nationals. You dont address how all the Adults get the time off from work to escort the students who would go, unless your assuming the students go to Florida with no Adults. That wont fly.
You make it sound so easy to go out and just knock on doors and stick out your hand for $30.000+. We could do a can and bottle drive all we need is 600.000 units. Where did your team get $30.000+ in 3 weeks, I would love to know how you did it.
Your also assuming that next year it will be the odd teams turn? can you guarantee that, or will some unforseen problem change the Tides of the game.
If last year you told me that only the even # teams would be going to Florida next year plus a few selected teams I would have thought you were nuts, but it happened.
I think Students look at things differently than the Mentors, we not only have to worry about our selves and our families and our work, our home's and will the plants be dead when we get home, but we also worry about "you".

As new rookie teams join what will happen when there are the same total of even or odd teams that equal the total of all teams today. will we get the chance to go to Florida every 4 years???

If you're having trouble making a last minute flight out to Florida, then instead of planning on not going, start planning this year like you are going. Make sure all the adults have enough vacation days to make the trip, and try to get sponsors to pay for the trip. Make an arrangement with a sponsor that they will only give you the money if you actually do qualify for Florida. It might even be easier, because the only way a non-prequalified team can make it to nationals is by winning, and all sponsors love to give money to a winning team. This way, if you don't end up going to nationals, you have 3 weeks to tell your coworkers that you will in fact be working on the days you normally would have been going to nationals.

As for the problems of dying plants and your other concerns, 3 weeks is plenty of time to arrange someone to take care of them. Don't forget that the students also have to tell all their teachers they are going to be gone and get all the make-up work (which can be quite a lot!) 3 weeks is plenty of time to arrange all these small details.

And yes, I think it is completely valid to assume that next year the odd teams will get first come first serve. FIRST doesn't have anything against odd team, as hard to believe as that may seem. It's just a coincidence that the year they absolutely had to do something about nationals was also an even year. It probably took them several months to make this decision (I know I heard rumors about the even/odd and the point system as well as other possible solutions as early as last June) so this most likely will not change for many years.

Lastly, yes, you are entirely correct that this system will not work when FIRST gets even larger. Eventually, Nationals will either (a) have to be ENTIRELY qualifying or (b) be spread out over several locations. However, if either of these were instituted this year, people most likely would complain even more.
The problem with (a) is obvious. Rookie teams would rarely be able to attend natoinals and some of the less successful teams might drop out. FIRST obviously could not make this decision.
The problem with (b) is that it just doesn't make sense (to me). The "nationals" would no longer be nationals, but instead would be regionals. There would be the western regional competition, and the eastern regional competition. Now it is possible to structure the championships like many other sporting events where the winners from each region come together for one final game, but then there comes the problem of time constraints (could run into school finals) and money (2x the trips = 2x the money).

nick reynolds
10-24-2001, 06:05 PM
I wish I was a Student........

P.J. Baker
10-24-2001, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by nick reynolds

I think Students look at things differently than the Mentors, we not only have to worry about our selves and our families and our work, our home's and will the plants be dead when we get home, but we also worry about "you".



Nick,

Matt is not a HS student. He, in fact, is a mentor for team #73. I'm pretty sure that he (and a few others at RIT) bucked some pretty long odds to resurrect the RIT team last year when he arrived on campus. I would guess that he actually has a lot more to worry about than the average mentor. I'm sure that he has more to worry about than I do.

P.J.

nick reynolds
10-24-2001, 10:17 PM
PJ I wasnt aiming at Matts age or status In fact I only just now looked at his Bio, It does say "Student" but thats besides the point. I dont think its as easy as Matt seems to make it sound that to gather $30.000+ is a snap. We have on the back of our shirts all the sponsors who give us a reasonable amount of funds. This is $100.00 or more. We have dozens of names but no single company loves us enough to give us $30.000.
I am a Photographer and if I know today that I have a trip to Florida in April I will not book any weddings or jobs for that week. People dont book their weddings 19 days or even three weeks prior to the wedding so the chances of me booking a wedding or other job after the Regionals for the same week of the National is ZERO.
I have no problem losing the Money that I could make if I went to Florida and believe me its considerable but it makes no sense to lose the money if I dont have a guarantee that we will go. So do I not book the work and make the money and just keep my fingers crossed or do I book the work make the money and stay home.
Gee, some of you are thinking maybe you could give the money to the team but then I still could not go to Florida as I would have to work and the team needs Adults.
Is the -19 days between the Regionals and the Nationals fair for me. I bet there are others who are in the same situation as me.

Matt Leese
10-25-2001, 06:21 PM
I don't think there's any need to go into the mentor bit suffice to say that we've managed to get some last minute funding here. But as far as raising enough money to travel to nationals in a short period of time, I've been there, done that. In 1999, team 7 (which was my team in high school) decided to attend nationals at the Philadelphia Regional. I believe there was approximately a month between that regional and nationals. We did not have any single large sponsor that year; instead, we had many smaller ones. So how you raise enough money to attend nationals quickly? You ask your sponsors to give whatever they can. You realize that everyone will have to pay part of their way. You fundraise as much as possible (we sold candy and each student raised about $200). As far as adults taking off work, it didn't seem to be a major problem but I guess it was helped by the fact that our adults either worked for the school or for our sponsors. I believe needing more than 3 weeks notice to take off work is an exception rather than the rule. Now, I'll be the first to admit that it wasn't easy and wasn't the preferred method of operation. But it is doable and more than anything, it also helped to bring the team together, which is even more important in my opinion.

So it is possible to attend nationals even if you haven't prequalified. Personally, I don't expect to attend nationals this year except if through some amazing fate. And I don't plan to participate on the FIRST team here next year (I'm supposed to be on coop winter quarter next year so there's a fair chance I won't be in the Rochester area) so I don't really intend to go next year. But I also don't think it's unfair that they limit who can go to nationals. You should remember that the important part of FIRST is the six-weeks of construction. While regionals and nationals are fun and a good experience, the really important parts are during construction.

Matt

nick reynolds
10-25-2001, 08:07 PM
Thats an amazing accomplishment Matt, I take my hat off to you.
We have a large team of students and we tell them it cost XXX$$$ to go to the regionals and the Nationals. As each $ comes in the totel needed to go is reduced. Personal collections are credited direct to the person who collects it.
Even so each student ends up with some kind of personal out of pocket expense. The total each student needed last year was $1743.00.
Many of the corporations that we solicit could afford to write a check for the whole budget but it never ceases to amaze me how a mega million $$$ company can donate $20.00. I wont name names but its pathetic getting $20.00 at a time from any one of a hundred companies that have a ton of money.
When our team won the New England Regional in 2000 we thought we would be buried in companies eager to sponsor us, It was only our 2nd year and we had won what we consider the hardest Regional in the land. we Milked our experiences and talent to the moon but to no avail. again we are struggling to get enough funds just go to our local regional.
We dont get any funds from the school, in fact we dont want it. They try to play politics with us even though we try to keep a low profile but its hard.
Again Matt, well done and a good job.
Nick237

Dave...
10-25-2001, 08:46 PM
Wow... You all just amaze me at how near and dear this Nationals (sorry, um Championship) is to your hearts. While Nationals are something to look forward to, is it because they are "Nationals", or because they are held at Disneyworld? Would everyone have the same passion in their hearts if FIRST originally held Nationals in Nebraksa and they were still there?

Personally, I agree with Andy B. that Disney is overrated. I also feel that it is ironic that BattleBots is hosting a competition right down the street in Orlando at the other (IMHO) greater theme park.

To be able to compete in Regional competitions with robots of such high caliber (regardless of which Regional) is an opportunity that 99% of the students in the United States will never have. All FIRST students (and adults) should be thankful for the events that we are able to participate in, regardless of where they are held. FIRST is about learning and establishing a repoire between students and professionals in technological fields that would normally never be accessible to them.

The original post in this thread was whether or not pre-qualified teams should be able to compete in Regionals. Posts have already stated yes, for the simple reason that the Regionals will give these teams "practice". Any pre-qualified team at a Regional will certainly try their best and learn from their experiences. I would hate to be a spectator and watch the "Championship", only to see a team perform poorly, not because of their robot's inept capabilities, but because they never had the opportunity to learn how to drive it.

While our country is in a great time of need, and wars are being fought, we are here at home arguing about what's fair and what's not fair. I've read posts about teams grumbling because they're only receiving $6000 this year and not $50000, and I've heard FIRST is biased towards certain teams for one reason or another. The rules have been issued, and for this year, we have to live with them.

Life is not fair, nor will it ever be. If you think that because you cannot pre-qualify to go to Florida is not fair, then try explaining your case to the thousands of families who lost their love ones on Sept. 11, 2001. At least you have another chance...

Respectfully,
Dave...

nick reynolds
10-25-2001, 09:31 PM
Your post is totaly uneccecery and has no foundation of comparison... where do you get off comparing the "despicable act of some filthy scum" who have murdered thousands of innocent people to the free speech of people on this site.
It is the right of every man to "agree to disagree" are you saying that we have no right to tell it as we see it. As far as where the Nationals are or what ever antiseptic other name they want to call it, I feel that when I and the rest of our team has spent 6 weeks of intense work then we deserve the right to test our Robots metal agains all who are in the competition , even or odd.
Where its held has no interest to me. As far as Disney is concerned I have no desire to ever go there. The cost is to expensive, the rides have no alure for me. Each year when there the whole team has the park tickets that come with the trip I have "NEVER" USED THEM. I sell mine on Ebay $180.00 each.
Nebraska sounds just great to me, its a lot closer than Florida and im sure a lot cheaper for Hotels. Do you think a Bottle of water costs $4.00 in Nebraska like in "Di$ney world".

" "then try explaining your case to the thousands of families who lost their love ones on Sept. 11, 2001. At least you have another chance... " "

Totaly unexceptable. DAVE.

Jessica Boucher
10-25-2001, 10:00 PM
Please, Mr. Reynolds.

I know things aren't perfect, and not the way the team wants them at all.....but all that can be done is the best with what is available. There's no reason to be publicly bitter over the situation to people who aren't involved. The way to change things comes internally, not externally...and once that is done, things will fall into place.

I'm sorry, but Brandon, I think this thread is only pouring salt on many wounds and is very off topic. I dont know if anyone agrees with me, but I'd like to see it closed.

nick reynolds
10-25-2001, 10:19 PM
Consider it done Jess, I wont post again on the Board.
nick

Clark Gilbert
10-25-2001, 10:25 PM
I also think this thread and some of the others should be closed/locked/deleted...........there are a lot of bad "vibes" in these threads that really aren't necessary........