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Unread 12-09-2002, 12:39 AM
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Please help make the Nationals in Houston AWESOME ... You be the Tournament Director

Houston is VERY excited about hosting the FIRST Nationals and we are grateful that FIRST has provided us the opportunity to have students with the brightest young minds in America as our guests. I'm positive that between the folks at FIRST and the people of Houston, the National Championships will be an exciting and memorable event. Please help make Nationals an incredible event by expressing your ideas here. You can find detailed information (square footage, floor plans, etc.) about the Reliant Complex at the Houston Convention Guide . Although I am not an official of FIRST, I will make every effort to get your ideas to the FIRST folks.

Here are a few ideas that I've heard that might make Nationals really cool.

-Invite all the teams. There are a million arguments why this should be done but the following one is good enough. By attending Nationals, one student may be inspired to help mankind.

-Have all the competition fields on the Astrodome floor. Put the fields against the "fences" and use the box seats for seating. Using a baseball field as a reference, put a FIRST field behind the plate, one on FIRST base, one down the right field line, one in right field, one in center field, one in left field, one down the left field line, one on third base. Wow, eight fields. If something like this was to happen, you better bring your binoculars, you could be watching 8 matches at once! I'll be the one yelling. GET YOUR BINOCULARS...BINOCULARS HERE...BINOCULARS ONLY 10 DOLLARS...GET YOUR BINOCULARS HERE The sound systems for each field would have to be localized but FIRST has proven that they can do this effectively with the Archimedes, Currie, & Newton fields.

-Run the matches a little longer into the day and keep the pits open a little later into the night. This will give you a few more opportunities to run your 'bot along with some more time to troubleshoot any problems. What's better entertainment than the competition.

Please, if you disagree with an idea, provide constructive criticism. Maybe try some words like, "Yea, that would be cool to have all of the fields on the Astrodome floor BUT the sound system is going to be more difficult to localize than it was on Archimedes, Currie, & Newton because the sound will bounce off of the plastic seats and concrete."

Looking forward to hearing from all of you Cyber-Tournament-Directors. You can make Nationals SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AWESOME.

Take care,
Lucien
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Unread 12-09-2002, 04:23 AM
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hey Lucien!

First, how'd FLL go this weekend? sorry I couldn't do music, but I had a project and a prior engaement.

Second, while more teams coming and fields on the Astrodome floor would be cool, I would think these things are already set in stone, and are part of the reason FIRST took so long to inform us. However, I'm sure there's tons of other great ideas to improve Nationals. For instance, Houston teams could plan sight seeing trips for other teams and act as tour guides on Thursday, or Sunday, or whenever there's free time. Great ideas don't have to just be just for FIRST, after all.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 07:13 AM
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I'm never going to believe a press release scenario until I see it with my eyes. I personal don't' like Houston and would rather go anywhere else. That's my opinion.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JosephM
I'm never going to believe a press release scenario until I see it with my eyes. I personal don't' like Houston and would rather go anywhere else. That's my opinion.
The purpose of this thread is to provide us, the students, with an opportunity to make this year's Championship Event better. Natchez said, "Please, if you disagree with an idea, provide constructive criticism. Maybe try some words like, 'Yea, that would be cool to have all of the fields on the Astrodome floor BUT the sound system is going to be more difficult to localize than it was on Archimedes, Currie, & Newton because the sound will bounce off of the plastic seats and concrete.'".. are you complying with that request? I don't think you are. Also, I have a serious question: What do you hope to accomplish by being such a brick--yes, brick? Are you trying to emulate M.Krass? If so, you have a waaaays to go. At this moment my math teacher is getting suspicous again, so I'll edit this post to include my suggestions when I get home.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 07:43 AM
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Ok then.

Here's what I'll do to guarantee a sucess.

-All money saved spend on a concert with music, lazers, bubles and such.
-Have a round the clock transportation to and from the location.
-Get Nintendo or Sony to sponsor and get lots of demos and previews so people can DDR and play Smash.
-SEGWAY DEMOS!!!
-Get Astroworld to get a new coaster that's GOOD.
-Get a good resturaunt to sponsor and set up so we have more choices than stadium food (Fridays O'Charles, etc)

There, I'm positive.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 08:52 AM
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Unread 12-09-2002, 09:48 AM
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We had the opportunity to participate in the 2002 Lone Star Regional and were very happy with the quality of the competition and the venue. The pit area was spacious and the individual pit spaces were large (compared to other FIRST regional events). The teams from Texas and the folks we met outside of the event were friendly and gracious hosts. The Reliant Complex is certainly large enough to accommodate the FIRST Championship event.

Based on our experiences I would be concerned about transportation between the Reliant Complex and the hotels. Some of the hotels appear to be close to the Reliant Complex, however, the property is large and the walk is longer than it would appear, especially after a long day of competition.

Food at the Reliant Arena was a bit expensive (sporting event prices). I'm not sure FIRST can change this anymore than they could Disney's prices.

The social events hosted by FIRST will be very important to the success of the 2003 Championship since there appears to be a limited choice of after event activities. This would be a good place for the Texas teams to make some suggestions.

We are looking forward to the 2003 Championship in Houston and to seeing all of our friends from the Lone Star Regional!
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Unread 12-09-2002, 11:08 AM
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Re: Please help make the Nationals in Houston AWESOME ... You be the Tournament Director

Quote:
Originally posted by Natchez
-Invite all the teams.

1. I highly doubt they will do this, since all the odd-numbered teams got hosed last year. I would think they'd keep this system in place for one more year and evaluate their space at Houston before opening the championship to more teams. If they find that they can handle 300 teams that already attend, possibly they will accept more.


2. Technically, all teams are "invited" to nationals. You just have to do well and win a regional competition or a technical award.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 11:19 AM
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Unread 12-09-2002, 11:28 AM
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Also, to answer the questions, no, I'm not emulating Krass nor do I want to (no offense), because I have lots of things different between him and me. Also, I was a 'brick' because I was stubborn when it came to them moving. I don't like change. It's how I am. I can't change that. I am sorry.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JosephM
I don't like change. It's how I am. I can't change that. I am sorry.
then why do you like the Segway so much?

I definitely think Segway rides would be awesome!!! *begs*
122 is already registered for Houston, so we will see you there! I can't wait! (85 Spots Left!)
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Unread 12-09-2002, 12:02 PM
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positive

Change is good, we get a new game every year so why not a different venue. Along those lines I can't wait to see the Texas hospitality offered to those that attend.. I personlally think everyone will be pleasantly surprised. We've been to Houston three years and have enjoyed it every time
#1 I like the idea of everyone again having the opportunity of attending nationals. Maybe a ranking system similar to the NCAA
to set pairings and such. The good machines will win and lets face it nats is about the people, not so much about the machines.
Open her up if there is room -- What an event.
#2 Longer day more mathces, more fun, more volunteers. I really like this. We don't get that many ops to run our bot so that is a good thing. Just need more vols which I do not think will be a problem in Houston.
#3 I like the everyone in the same area scenario. More confusion to deal with more excitement.

#4 Instead of Fluff food a good ol fashioned Texas Bar b Que in the parking lot. Dead cow is good eating.

Hopefully our team will qualify to go cuz I can't wait.


Ken
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Unread 12-09-2002, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joel J.
Also, I have a serious question: What do you hope to accomplish by being such a brick--yes, brick? Are you trying to emulate M.Krass? If so, you have a waaaays to go.
Is this a good thing? I'm a little confused.

Oh - Joel, please don't use the word brick in the same sentence as my name - ever. In my world, it has a really awful connotation. . . of course, that's assuming that you weren't meaning to insult me.

Anywho . . .


I looked over the floor plans of Reliant Park a few days ago and I'm a bit shocked by its size. I did notice, also, that those floor plans don't include the new stadium that was built adjacent to the Astrodome.

There are two ways I'd do this, were I given the opportunity. Of course, I think that facilitating easy movement of robots from the pits to the fields is the most important thing to worry about, followed by arranging the pits in a single large area that allows for easier scouting.

With that in mind, I'd place the pits along the floor of the Astrodome. There ought to be more than enough square footage to hold 300 teams there. I'd place the einstein field in the new stadium adjacent to the Astrodome. I'd place the rest of the fields in Reliant Hall which is also adjacent to the Astrodome.

This arrangment has the fields flanking the pits on two sides and each are reasonably close to the pit.

The second arrangement, and what I think is more likely, is that the pits will be set up in Reliant Hall. I think that may be because the ceiling height is low (16') and because the column spacing wouldn't allow for fields and stands to be erected inside that building. From there, the main field would again be in the new stadium (or in the Astrodome itself) and the rest of the fields would take up residence in Reliant Arena. Again, this is connected to Reliant Hall.

My concern for such a huge venue lies in the overall effect we'll have. 20,000 people or not, much of these stadiums will lie empty. I know FIRST kids can generate energy, but can they generate enough to compensate for ~80,000 empty seats? That depresses me.

Arranging sound inside the stadiums may be difficult as you mentioned - particularly if there's more than one match or field goin on at a time.

Part of the allure in watching matches for me is, really, seeing the robots work. I can't really make observations about how specific mechanisms might work from stadium seating. I worry about being removed from the action. I like being right up close. In fairness, I never watched matches on Einstein because of this.

The Disney Village has also had a very finished, polished feel to me. I hope the Houston venue is the same, but I worry that it will seem - again - empty and incomplete. It's almost too large.

FIRST can't support many more fields than we currently have. They don't have the staff to man them. Volunteers would be a necessity, and they'd absolutely need more than a few hours worth of training. Perhaps they could consider flying in the staff from the regional events? We'll have experience in running the show already.

The competition will be fine. The matches will be exciting. The robots will be top notch. The people will be great. I hope 'the show' doesn't suffer at the expense of size. I'm hopeful, at least, that Dean mentioned Disney will be there. Maybe that means they'll have a hand in putting on 'the show'? That is, after all, what they do better than anyone else on Earth.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by M. Krass
FIRST can't support many more fields than we currently have. They don't have the staff to man them. Volunteers would be a necessity, and they'd absolutely need more than a few hours worth of training. Perhaps they could consider flying in the staff from the regional events? We'll have experience in running the show already.

One thing that worked well last year, is they recruited team members to play some of the non-essential staff roles such as field resetters. I know a few people on our team volunteered for these jobs for a few hours and, in turn, recieved some FIRST volunteer T-shirts. They were also allowed to leave whenever our team had a match so they could watch, and return to work when it was done.
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Unread 12-09-2002, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by M. Krass
Is this a good thing? I'm a little confused.

Oh - Joel, please don't use the word brick in the same sentence as my name - ever. In my world, it has a really awful connotation. . . of course, that's assuming that you weren't meaning to insult me.
But it wasn't in the same sentence .. and no, I was not trying to insult you--the fact that you might take my comment as insulting didn't even cross my mind. Maybe I shouldn't compliment, or refer to people when posting on this forum. I dunno, I'll think about it.
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