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Ben Mitchell
03-28-2002, 02:51 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions on other places that the Nationals can be held?

I like the idea of the Nationals traveling around the country, Florida is becoming 'too much' with regards to $$ and effort.

Anyone go to, or know of an arena or college that can host the Nationals??

We could have the Nationals move from region to region (midwest, New England, West/East Coast)

*******
B]Also, does anyone have any ideas on how to alleviate the shear numbers of teams at the Nat's?[/B]

I think we can all agree that too many teams (and ones that prefrom very poorly, dragging other teams down) is a BAD thing.

I thought of: only top 30% of teams go
multi-tiered regionals for rookies, veterans, and top scorers

or maybe 2 nationals, one for each side of the country??

GregT
03-28-2002, 03:29 PM
I disagree about the bad teams bringing the good teams down. I believe its the "good" teams bringing the "bad" teams up. I dont think FIRST is about the top 30%, everyone who builds a robot ought to be able to compete in nationals.

Never been to nats, no idea about congestion. If my team gets money i'll be going this year, not sure how likely that is.

Greg

Kris Verdeyen
03-28-2002, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by GregT
I disagree about the bad teams bringing the good teams up. I believe its the "good" teams bringing the "bad" teams up. I dont think FIRST is about the top 30%, everyone who builds a robot ought to be able to compete in nationals.


The main problem with having so many teams is people posting your response to a post before you get a chance to do it yourself.

Well said Greg.

That said, I would enjoy having nationals be in different cities each year - like the Olympics, Final Four, or Super Bowl. It would be a neat way to be able to see a new city each year.

Another idea is to not have it in a city. Have everyone bring a tent and some sunscreen and we'll have it in the deserts of the American Southwest. Like Burning Man, but with robots, and less debauchery.

David Kelly
03-28-2002, 06:37 PM
Indianapolis can easily hold the nationals at the RCA Dome/ Convention Center. We host the NCAA final 4, Big 10 tourney, indy 500, brickyard 400, USGP, colts, pacers. we have TONS of hotels in the very close vicinity with reasonable prices. they have even talked about indy hosting the NCAA Final 4 all the time. There is lots to do downtown. Circle Centre Mall, NCAA Hall of Champions, and the canal are all nearby. There is lots to do downtown and it is all in a close vicinity. Teams can even go visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for $5. It's well worth your money. If we have no problems hosting all those events then we should have no problem with hosting the Nats and we wouldn't have to limit the nunber of teams because space isn't a problem. We're not Disney, but who needs it? You'll save lots of money by comming to Indy.


All of the fields can be kept inside the RCA Dome and the pits can be in the Convention Center that is attached. You wouldn't have to walk as far either. Our College sponsor, IUPUI, is also right next to the RCA Dome/ Convention Center so we could have access to all of the Machine Shop facilities that are necessary.

I see no negatives in having Indy host the Nats

purplehaze357
03-28-2002, 07:29 PM
I disagree about the bad teams bringing the good teams down. I believe its the "good" teams bringing the "bad" teams up. I dont think FIRST is about the top 30%, everyone who builds a robot ought to be able to compete in nationals.


agreed...but greg i think the one thing that you missed on this whole topic is that FIRST isnt about bringing a team "up" or bringing teams "down" its about everyone coming together to and bringing each other together...now i have never been involved in an orginization where this type of competition exists...so i think this is about the friendship...FIRST is a great experience.

Now about a different subject now...where should nationals be held...hmm we need a place that is big enough to hold say 15,000 people and of course ive never been to one so i dont know...this year will be ourfirst if we can get the money but i think the bottom line here is that disney is too expensive.....we need a place that is cheaper...and actually now that i think about it we could have it right here in philly at the old convention center..which is huge and philadelphia hotels cheaper...philadelphia is a great place and of course its not as cool as say disney world the experienceis the same...just a thought..lets think about that...

Good Luck to those going to Nationals!

Joe Matt
03-28-2002, 10:17 PM
Yea, all those places can hold the Nats. But how many can *hold* all those people and keep them entertained for 5 days? Disney is the only one with the venues to hold 6,000 + kids and not disrupt regular traifc, and you don't have to book 5 years in advance. They can take care of 6,000 hords of people running out, and in any city, this would be impossible. If many concerts car barely contian 3,000 people, with trafic jams, etc, how can 6,000 screaming hords of kids sound to anybody? Plus Disney is one true place to let not-FIRST people check it out. If you've ever left after Illuminations at Epcot, you'll understand what I'm talking about here.

Plus, Disney and Dean are very snug right now (Segway at Epcot, DL, unveiling on ABC, owned by Disney, etc.), this will not likely to change for at least 10 years.

Al Skierkiewicz
03-31-2002, 11:12 PM
There are really two ideas going here. I would like to address one of them, which teams go to nationals. It is my firm conviction that all teams should go to nationals if they want. Having been an adult advisor for six years, I have seen firsthand the education students receive when exposed to FIRST. Students (and adults) learn from veteran and rookie teams alike. They learn from high scoring teams and low scoring teams. But above all, students learn best when they have fun. Regionals are fun to be sure, but to be able to say you played at the Nationals and to be in that environment is big fun for all involved. I personally feel that students get the most from this program when they get to play. It is for that reason that we help other teams get their robots working when needed. If you came to play we are bound to help you (gracious professionalism)do just that.
I know the struggle FIRST has had on growing the program and still getting teams into the nationals. I think this new method will work for all involved.
Good Luck All

Kris Verdeyen
04-01-2002, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz
I think this new method will work for all involved.

What new method?

I agree with your point, that all teams would be better served if they could attend nationals, but how?

Al Skierkiewicz
04-01-2002, 07:36 AM
The odd-even year selection plus special awards qualifications and regional winners. Up until this year anyone who wanted could go. We are so big now Disney can't keep up. I remember closing ceremonies about four years ago when a Disney VP got up and started talking about how great FIRST was and how Disney was so behind the program that "as long as FIRST wants to come to Epcot we will be here for you". (quoted to the best of my recollection.) That is a very strong statement when you see what the outlay for Disney is. They have to balance out the facilities and manpower to build and manage this three day event, which I think is the biggest show on the property.

Joe Matt
04-01-2002, 04:09 PM
Disney spends a huge amount of time, money, and energy into this event. It takes over 3 months to start construciton and cast, and two more to deconstruct. They have to hold back want-a-be vacationers, with all their money, from comming for a week.

But remember, Disney is the only place where they are able to handle something this big.

Sean_330
04-01-2002, 04:24 PM
I think that Disneyland in Anaheim could handle it. They have 2 parks, and there is a large, convention center across the street. There are more than 100 new hotels there and more than 100 all ready existing ones. The city's infrastructure was made and adapted to handle huge crowds for conventions. I think that if FIRST wanted a West Coast and an East Coast championship, that Disneyland would be the best for the west coast.

moogleslair
04-01-2002, 04:24 PM
As long as sponsors keep realizing the need for this program, I see only a few more years before FIRST is big enough to be considered the same as high school basketball or football. Teams could go to a state or district tourney to qualify for their League's final. Midwest has enough teams to start their own leagues, same with New Eangland and the South. Basically do away with nats and have more maybe 40-50 regionals country wide. Then have 300 team competitions in detriot/chicago, philly/newyork, alanta/orlando, seatle/LA. It would be just like we have now as a whole, but would be multiple ones over the country.

Granted we would lose the chance to compete with our friends from other parts of the country but when does an Florida high school football team play one from Utah? I would miss the charm of the old FIRST but this way more kids can gain from the experience. I was on a team when Dean and Woody came to every regional and 30 teams was a packed house. Now 50-70 team regionals are going on and almost 4 a week. Even with the growth i still see the same learning process in the rookies as i went through. I think FIRST should keep growing even if it means a branching out away from each other.

Joe Matt
04-01-2002, 04:43 PM
Disney wants utter controll over everything. Thus why they are giving us packages for the Nats. This wouldn't work for Disneyland. They have two hotels, and one is an ultra-expensive one.

Ben Mitchell
04-01-2002, 09:01 PM
im really liking the idea of having 2 nationals, one at Disneyland in Anaheim, the other in Florida. That was a great idea, Sean_330


I've always wanted to go to the Midwest, and also, the Midwest is central, so teams wont need to fly across the entire nation,

If David Kelly (234) is right, then having the Nationals in the Midwest would be great.

I also thought of having "Floating Nationals" which would move to different parts of the country.

The problem with having lots of regionals in place of finals, is that some areas of the country have MUCH more teams than others.

Central Jersey (Pharmaceutical Valley) we have lots of teams, same for the Midwest, which has a lot too, and CA, which also have a concentration.

A national is what brings the FIRST community together, both physically and competitively. If we split the Nats into more than two, i think we'd be missing the point.

I've heard some very good ideas here. Perhaps one might become a true contender for future events.

Keep up the excellent posts!

--Ben Mitchell

Amy Beth
04-01-2002, 11:31 PM
Personally, i totally disagree with the idea of separate nationals. The thing i like best about nationals is getting to compete against all the teams. To have separate nationals would be not much different than just two great big regionals. What is the purpose? Not to mention, i don't think Disneyland in Anaheim could hold more than about 100 teams. Y'all forget that while Disneyworld is its own county, Disneyland is in a large metropolitan area. I think it would be a great place for a regional, but short of closing the parks, i see no way they could ever host a national comp.

Also, i initially was totally against this even number/odd number system. It made no sense to me. I figured, if a team couldn't manage to qualify on their own, they had no right competing at nationals. Well, since the regional this weekend, i have most definitely changed my mind. Just because a team does not have paid engineering help, they are no less a part of FIRST than Kingman or Beatty. Many small teams can't afford to go to nationals anyway, but i think there should be some allowance for those who can afford it to go at least every few years. Whether they keep this system or not, i hope the new system has some allowance for teams to go taht is not based on rankings.

Carolyn Duncan
04-03-2002, 07:43 PM
I can think of four places where we can have Nationals where thousnads of people can be housed and kept busy for 5 days... Atlanta, Georgia; Lake Placid, New York; Los Angeles, California; and now Salt Lake City, Utah. If you can't figure out why I listed those places it's because those were all host cities for the Olympics. Obviously they had "atheletes' villiages and arenas to hold the events. And if the atheletes there weren't entertaind there would have been problems. I don't know that's just my opinion of how we can have Nationals for everyone and have it travel around so that each year it would be less costly for each different area... This way the west coast has a chance to host, as well as the east coast and the middle of the country (maybe we could even get some more teams to pop up in utah and the nearby states). oh well, $0.02 from me.

Joe Matt
04-03-2002, 08:09 PM
Do you think FIRST has enough money to buld Olimpic Villages? Nope. Those places have anticipated the Olympics years in advance. FIRST is just like some science fair to them. We will be ignored and will have to fend for ourselves. Disney is the only place in the forceable future for FIRST.

dlavery
04-04-2002, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by Team384:JosephM
Do you think FIRST has enough money to buld Olimpic Villages? Nope. Those places have anticipated the Olympics years in advance. FIRST is just like some science fair to them. We will be ignored and will have to fend for ourselves. Disney is the only place in the forceable future for FIRST.

I think that you missed Carolyn's point. Cities that have hosted the Olympics have already built Olympic Villages. Once the Olympics are over, those venues are not torn down - they are used over and over to host huge conventions, conferences, colloquia, competitions, and other things that start with "c."

By definition, any city that has hosted the Olympics has the facilities, housing/hotels, and infrastructure necessary to support an influx of more than 500,000 people for several weeks. Despite the phenominal growth rate of FIRST, we are several years away from overwhelming resources like that. And the cities that have those resources are anxious for groups of all sizes to make use of them.

-dave


---------------------------

"Gee, don't the gears have to actually touch each other to work?"
-- innocent student to "know-it-all" engineer (names withheld to protect the innocent)

Tom Fairchild
04-04-2002, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by dlavery

they are used over and over to host huge conventions, conferences, colloquia, competitions, and other things that start with "c."


LoL, you missed a "c" word - College. I'm visiting Georgia Tech right now (and will be attending here next year) and they use the olympic village as dorm rooms.

~Tom Fairchild~

aman
04-04-2002, 09:38 AM
Did u know a regional costs on avg about 1million dollars for each one!
First has how many again (like 15) imagine 15 million dollars being spent! and i bet nationals is 1.5 million. Where does first get all this money!!??
thats why they prob started segway
Aman

Ben Mitchell
04-04-2002, 11:56 AM
Where does first get all this money!!??


Ummm...Dean Kamen has a private island, and two helicopters parked in his garage...some of it might come from there...

Also on the Board of Directors of FIRST, are the top brass of several of the largest corporations in the United States. A million to them is pocket change.


I never thought of using Olympic sites, with the event infrastructure already set up, as possible sites, great idea, Carolyn.


Atlanta would be ideal, its a huge travel destination, and has lots of airports and hotels, teams should'nt have trouble booking a flight there.

---Ben Mitchell

Jnadke
04-04-2002, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by Ben Mitchell
...Ummm...Dean Kamen has a private island, and two helicopters parked in his garage...some of it might come from there...

Also on the Board of Directors of FIRST, are the top brass of several of the largest corporations in the United States. A million to them is pocket change.


I never thought of using Olympic sites, with the event infrastructure already set up, as possible sites, great idea, Carolyn.


Atlanta would be ideal, its a huge travel destination, and has lots of airports and hotels, teams should'nt have trouble booking a flight there.

---Ben Mitchell

Yes, donations are a great way for rich people to help out, but they also see donations as tax deductible :)

All of these are great alternatives, but do the problems merit so big a threat that we have to break away from Disney?

Ben Mitchell
04-04-2002, 06:07 PM
sure, why not? Having the Nats move to other cities would be great for a change,

and besides, everyone makes a point of saying how much money Disney LOSES by hosting the event. Why not do them a favor and go somewhere else?

Florida too, is an a extreme part od the country. A more central location might prove easier for all teams, better averaging the flying/driving distance.

And since Mickey, whose rates were never low to begin with, is upping the ante for FIRSTers, why stick around, when there are other cities that want the attention they'd get from hosting the FIRST Nationals.

--Ben Mitchell

Mark Hamilton
04-04-2002, 09:35 PM
Your all just jealous of our Florida weather(no snow = good) ;p

As a resident of Florida I may be biased, but I hope to see FIRST stay at Disney as long as possible. True it is costlier then many other places, but on the other hand it provides a safe enviroment ideal for handling the thousands of students involved with FIRST.

Joe Matt
04-04-2002, 10:18 PM
As a resident of Florida I may be biased, but I hope to see FIRST stay at Disney as long as possible.

Your not bias, I am from Virginia and I think FIRST should stay at WDW. Capacity is let allone enough.

Wetzel
04-05-2002, 04:55 AM
A few comments.
At last years nats I was to busy scouting and doing whatever within my own division to interact at all with the other division, other than one or two walks through the pit.

Florida might be far, but Orlando, due mainly to Disney, has extremly cheep airfare due to high volume or travelers.

I do like the olympic citys. Nice thinking c.

If FIRST keeps up this growth rate, and I think it will, then one national will not be fesable anywhere if all teams go. I am thinking 1500 teams at an average of 20 people a team...30,000 participants. And that is not includeing any support staff...
A great horde of crazy kids and crazy old farts.
30,000 additional people would overwhelm even Disney I think, and 20 average per team is on the low side I think.
Don't forget a 10 ft by 10 ft pit for each of those teams.
So it may be a few years before 1500 teams. I think there will be by 2004, and plans for something of this magnitude need to be planned out long in advance.

Multiple nationals. The number I've heard for regionals next year is 22. There where 17 this year. Turn several regionals into 'super regionals' where there are 150-200 teams. Where to have them? Olympic cities?

When I someday join the ranks of teh old farts 10-20 years from now, I hope to remember fondly the years past when there were only 500 teams competing.

Just some thoughts. If I have anymore, I'll be back.

Carolyn Duncan
04-05-2002, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by Wetzel
Florida might be far, but Orlando, due mainly to Disney, has extremly cheep airfare due to high volume or travelers.
I do like the olympic citys. Nice thinking c.
Thanks Wetz, I thought it was a good idea too. Then again i liked my idea last year too... There is one thing I must say in responce to your post though... Flying into Orlando is actually not as cheap as other places in Florida. They actually add just enough to the cost so that its just slightly cheaper than flying into another airport then driving to Orlando; be it by car, bus, trainor other means of transportation. I have checked and actually offered to pick up a few people at the Jacksonville airport and drive them down with me because i am driving anyway.
Thanks Dave for clarifying my post earlier. :D I knew there was a reason I was being nice to you at VCU ;)

Teedoff101
04-05-2002, 10:19 PM
I believe that LA could hold a great national competition. It could be held in either the Convention Center or Staples Center. Staples is more ideal because of seating and because its an arena, but the Convention Center could hold up to around 50,000 if they rented out two rooms.

Judy
04-05-2002, 11:34 PM
Hey guys... just from reading, I have a few ideas. I may be from a rookie team, but I have competed in a competition sort of like this before.
First off, I think that multi nationals take something away from it, I mean, not only are you there to compete, but to meet people from all around North America, if you have multi nationals I think it takes away from the non-competitive aspects of the competition.
Ok, as for venues, has anyone ever thought of Universities. I know U of Tennessee, Maryland and Iowa have all hosted intellectually geared competitions before. I think it's also really good for teams without a lot of money(I know being one of those teams) that if they arent hosting classes, they can conceivably set up a package so that competitors can stay in dorms. Not to mention, being at a university makes transportation a lil easier because many have transportations systems set up already.
Anyway, that's my idea. And oh, just wanted to say the last time I was at Disney for a competition of this magnitude... well, bus-ing from place to place was... fun... because they werent able to antipate needs and kinda didnt have enough buses. Not saying that it will happen, but if you do end up there... be prepared for it, just in case.
Not to mention... Florida's HOT and being from Canada well, we arent too used to that.. the humidity and night heat is just not fun.
Anywayz, good luck everyone!
Ann-Marie-team 783

Maikettei
04-06-2002, 11:03 AM
I would have to disagree with just going to a place that can hold all of us. I know that the point of Nationals is FIRST driven, but what happens after the competitions with kids who aren't allowed to leave their hotels without an adult? How easy would it be for adults to keep up with us if we are scattered all over certain parts of town? The trip would be miserable for those of us who would have to sit around our hotel rooms all night. Having nationals at a theme park can keep us busy as there are lots of things to do within a contained area. For the most part, Disney is safe. Allowing a huge mass of students to roam parts of a city is kind of a bad idea, IMO.

Mark Hamilton
04-06-2002, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by Judy
Not to mention... Florida's HOT and being from Canada well, we arent too used to that.. the humidity and night heat is just not fun.


An amazing number of canadians seem to willingly come here though. During the winter one sees almost as many cars with canadian tags as Florida tags...maybe your just weird ;p

Kit Gerhart
04-06-2002, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by Mark Hamilton
As a resident of Florida I may be biased, but I hope to see FIRST stay at Disney as long as possible. True it is costlier then many other places, but on the other hand it provides a safe enviroment ideal for handling the thousands of students involved with FIRST.

You're not biased, at least as far as I'm concerned. I am seriously considering moving from Indiana to Florida in the near future since I like warm better than cold, and I like beaches and the sea, and I recently accepted an early retirement offer from Delphi in Kokomo.

Regarding FIRST, there are a lot of places that could handle the competition, including former Olympic villages and cities with dome stadiums. Is there really a place as good as Disney, though, to keep 15,000 teenagers entertained and out of trouble in their free time. I doubt it. Also, it is a fun place, even for "old people" like myself.

If you stay on site at Disney, like at the not-terribly-expensive All Star Sports/Music/Movies, you have continuous easy to use transportation to anywhere you need to go. That is not likely to be the case in Lake Placid New York. Also, the early spring weather in Orlando is a refreshing change for most northerners.

I agree that Disney is not the cheapest place in the world, but I suspect that it is among the cheapest places in the US to get to by air. Even Indianapolis has, I think, three airlines running non-stop flights to Orlando. Our tickets were $180 round trip, and that was after the prices went up to near-normal after being cheaper for a time after 9-11.

All things considered, I think Disney is the ideal location for something like the FIRST National, as long as it doesn't get too much bigger than it is now.

Ben Mitchell
04-06-2002, 10:03 PM
Hmmm....


But, sooner or later, the choice will have to be made, if FIRST continous to grow, they'll either need:

A. A bigger host place

B. Multiple Nationals

C. a new method of cycling teams into the nats, (powers of 3 ;)) which is a yucky idea

The question will need an answer, eventually. Just something to think about on the long flight down. (which, sniff, i can't make, sniff)

Good luck to everyone down there, hope y'all have fun!

--Ben Mitchell

Carolyn Duncan
04-06-2002, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by Maikettei
I would have to disagree with just going to a place that can hold all of us. I know that the point of Nationals is FIRST driven, but what happens after the competitions with kids who aren't allowed to leave their hotels without an adult? How easy would it be for adults to keep up with us if we are scattered all over certain parts of town? The trip would be miserable for those of us who would have to sit around our hotel rooms all night. Having nationals at a theme park can keep us busy as there are lots of things to do within a contained area. For the most part, Disney is safe. Allowing a huge mass of students to roam parts of a city is kind of a bad idea, IMO.
Have you ever seen the way an athlete's village is layed out? It's great! All of the teams would be staying near each other and would all get to hang out together, much like what already happens in hotels with more than one team occupying and roaming the halls. It wouldn't be like a bunch of kids roaming a city in the way that you are most likeyly thinking; it would be more like a bunch of kids hanging out somewhere like a small isolated village with ways of getting out into the outside world. I hope that makes sense.

Maikettei
04-06-2002, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan

Have you ever seen the way an athlete's village is layed out? It's great! All of the teams would be staying near each other and would all get to hang out together, much like what already happens in hotels with more than one team occupying and roaming the halls. It wouldn't be like a bunch of kids roaming a city in the way that you are most likeyly thinking; it would be more like a bunch of kids hanging out somewhere like a small isolated village with ways of getting out into the outside world. I hope that makes sense.

Heh, we've got the same name.

But anyway, what exactly is in an athelete's village? I think it would be more adult oriented and kinda boring. It just doesn't seem like it would be as much fun, or as safe as a theme park. Because there is still really no way to keep everyone inside the village.

Ben Mitchell
04-07-2002, 10:38 AM
Whenever they have an Olympics, they need to construct what is called an Atheletes' Village to house and entertain all those atheletes!

It is, in effect, a semi-isolated town within a town or city. Perfect for FIRST, and once they're built, someone needs to use em! (like us)


--Ben Mitchell

Kit Gerhart
04-07-2002, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Ben Mitchell
Whenever they have an Olympics, they need to construct what is called an Atheletes' Village to house and entertain all those atheletes!



What do these Olympic villages have for recreation and entertainment, after the Olympics are over? Is there ongoing stuff at the villages, or would FIRST have to create or "bring in" after hours entertainment if Nationals were held at such a venue?

Ben Mitchell
04-07-2002, 05:35 PM
Good question. I'm not sure, but something could probably be rigged up, and also the local city would have at least some attractions

Anyone know for sure?

J.Rees
04-07-2002, 07:01 PM
I like Nat's in 1 spot for many reasons but... if you wanted to go out west, there's a small town called Las Vegas that has TONS of hotels, convention centers & attractions. Maybe somebody who live here or has actually visited there could tell me. All I know from what I've been told is LV has cheap flights, cheap hotels, & a ton of cool stuff to do.
Biggest concern, a few thousand kids in a city like that.

Tom Fairchild
04-07-2002, 07:23 PM
Olympic villages are pretty much dead after the olympics, I'm almost sure. They're dorms at Georgia Tech now and also at Georgia State University. There are parks and statues etc. around the area, but nothing of an entertainment aspect from the villages themselves. The rest of Atlanta is fun though.

~Tom Fairchild~

Maikettei
04-07-2002, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by rees2001
there's a small town called Las Vegas that has TONS of hotels, convention centers & attractions.

Biggest concern, a few thousand kids in a city like that.

Now THAT is a good idea... though like you said there is still a major question of safety...

Kit Gerhart
04-07-2002, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by rees2001
I like Nat's in 1 spot for many reasons but... if you wanted to go out west, there's a small town called Las Vegas that has TONS of hotels, convention centers & attractions. Maybe somebody who live here or has actually visited there could tell me. All I know from what I've been told is LV has cheap flights, cheap hotels, & a ton of cool stuff to do.
Biggest concern, a few thousand kids in a city like that.

I've been to LV three times, most recently about five years ago. There are a lot of hotels and are cheap flights from almost everywhere. There is also a lot to do, but some of it might not be considered appropriate for a school trip.

I am not into gambling, but enjoy walking up and down the strip people watching and going into the hotel/casinos to see what they look like. Many of the places are really cool, with almost Disney-like themes and decor.

Team238-aholic
04-08-2002, 12:14 AM
I think we can all agree that too many teams (and ones that prefrom very poorly, dragging other teams down) is a BAD thing.

That has to be one of the meanest things I have ever heard....being on one of the "performing poorly" teams for some of the years I was in high school, that hurts....Its all about gracious professionalism and helping eachother out.....

As for nationals being held at 2 places...one for each side of the country...i don't like that idea either....its all about making friends and having a good time...I mean my team is from NH and some of my best friends I have made in FIRST are from Arizona (Team 60, Shane, Casey, Joe....hehehe etc) sooooooo keep it in Florida...ITS FUN!

Jason_384
04-08-2002, 10:55 AM
Well from what I've seen most of the people have been reccomending places because they are a place near there home. I think that there should be ONE national and that place should change or at least try and go away from disney for one year. We may find that Disney is a great place that we sorta take for granted. I agree with what C said by goin to the olympic vilages! Thats a GREAT Idea.

The only problem I see with that is How are we going to rent out the places for first? These are just things we should think about and that we should really consider!

Well...Just my 2 centz! cya


Jason-=- Team 384

Joe Matt
04-08-2002, 11:09 AM
Jason, Jason, Jason.

We can't leave Disney. That would be imposible. Dean and Disney are all of one. The Segway was introduced on ABC, a company of Disnney. It is now at Innoventions at Epcot. No matter what we say, we will be at Disney. Don't even try to leave there. Plus, were probably under contract.

Greg Ross
04-08-2002, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Jason_384
... I agree with what C said by goin to the olympic vilages! Thats a GREAT Idea.

The only problem I see with that is How are we going to rent out the places for first? These are just things we should think about and that we should really consider!

I'm afraid looking to former Olympic cities as sites for FIRST nationals will not get us very far (at least if we're expecting to be able to use the Olympic villages as housing for FIRST teams.) My impression is that Olympic villages get reused fairly quickly as low income housing or college dorms or the like. (Jason, is this the problem you were refering to when you ask "How are we going to rent out the places for first?") I don't think the former Olympic villages generally sit idle waiting for events like FIRST to come to town. Their reuse is one of the ways cities use to justify the expense of hosting an Olympics.

Ben Mitchell
04-08-2002, 05:33 PM
Im sure FIRST could leave disney if it wanted too.

But maybe your right, what if there is a formal or informal contracts? Hmmm... the plot thickens...

Also, yes, alot of Olympic villages are turned into housing and such, so we'd have to find a recent one,or one that's still open to conventions. Oh well, worked in theory, I guess.

I still like the idea of the Nats going to Colledges though. Somewhere down south, for the weather, would be nice, but Florida is a bit hot. What about South Carolina or Atlanta, Georgia perhaps...I don't know what attractions are there, but still...

Joe Menassa
04-08-2002, 07:23 PM
I love Disney! I don't like all this talk about "multiple nationals," I mean really, the purpose of nationals is for the whole nation to compete. You can't split up nationals because then they would be regionals- and we already have enough of those. I understand it is important to accept all the teams that want to go to Disney but you must be realistic. Not all the NFL teams go to the superbowl. The regionals are open to everyone and the way Nationals were done this year with qualifying is a great idea. Too many teams at nationals is not the best idea. Lets try and keep things simple.

Ben Mitchell
04-08-2002, 07:55 PM
But the whole system of odds and evens stinks, becuase an even #ed team can never play an odd #ed team at the Nats, unless one of them wins big the year before. That stinks, esp. if teams are friendly across the country, and only meet directly at the Nats.

Jason_384
04-09-2002, 01:35 PM
Gwross yes thats what I was talking about. From what I have seen the olympic villages are a great place for people to stay. Well.....Im not really sure I just think that getting away from disney might (I say MIGHT) be a good thing for first. The only problem I see with getting awaay from Disney is losing them as a sponser and then losing the little bit of ABC's coverage that we get.

Well thats about all for now. We should just talk about this!

Well cya later
Jason Melberg
Lead Programmer team 384

Don Taylor
04-09-2002, 02:01 PM
Disney has been such a friend to FIRST that I can't imagine having the nationals anywhere else, however with that said it would probably be much more economical to have it a a facility that is already constructed, i.e. it has to be a tremendous expense to Disney to construct the playing field and pit area from scratch every year.

Don Taylor
M-n-M Team 343

Jgreenwd1
04-09-2002, 02:09 PM
mabey we should bring it back to were it started here in manchester.

Kit Gerhart
04-09-2002, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Jgreenwd1
mabey we should bring it back to were it started here in manchester.

That would be ok, except that it would need to be in August. It is COLD in New Hampshire in early spring. I went to the Manchester regional in '98 and got snowed on.

Ben Mitchell
04-09-2002, 03:57 PM
That's the reason why we'd want to have to somewhere warm

Snow, rain and chilly mornings may detract a bit from the experiance.

What about having the Nats in Washington D.C., Nation's capital and all? Anyplace there that can hold us? (oh no...security issues)

Carolyn Duncan
04-10-2002, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by JoeM121
I love Disney! I don't like all this talk about "multiple nationals," I mean really, the purpose of nationals is for the whole nation to compete. You can't split up nationals because then they would be regionals- and we already have enough of those. I understand it is important to accept all the teams that want to go to Disney but you must be realistic. Not all the NFL teams go to the superbowl. The regionals are open to everyone and the way Nationals were done this year with qualifying is a great idea. Too many teams at nationals is not the best idea. Lets try and keep things simple.
If we go with this idea then we need brackets. Set up something like the NCAA bracket. If we are going to do this it needs to be done all the way. I personally don't want this to happen. I am hoping for some other solution.

Curtis Williams
04-10-2002, 08:00 PM
I think that one big national is awesome. Being at nationals last year made KSC feel small this year. Regionals are great, but nationals is THE event. Our team is even-numbered so we wont have the option of going next year. (unless we win something, laff!) Even though disney provides so much to FIRST, I think that FIRST should look for somewhere that can handle everyone who wants to go to Nats.

I also like the idea of combining regionals, expecially if the even/odd system sticks. Regions just seem little and unimportant after nationals.

Kyle Hill
04-10-2002, 09:25 PM
A thought.

Because this "nature of Nationals" debate has been raging nonstop since, oh, about three hours after FIRST released the new qualification requirements, I thought I'd offer a different point of view.

I happen to like the system FIRST has right now. Why? Only the best teams get to go, making for what (we all think) will be a more competitive National Championship. And by having to overcome stiffer competition to get there, winning Nationals means more. As it is right now, the teams who get berths are

-The ones who have proven themselves (Regional Champions)
-The ones who judges feel can complete with the best (4 Tech Award Winners)
-Teams who have proven themselves quite well in the past (returning champions and those who qualified on points)
-Teams with the best overall FIRST programs (Regional Chairman's Award winners, recent National Finalists, all prior National Winners, the "Original Seven")

And that's it. FIRST has made sure that the teams at Nationals are the best of the best, and that an invite to the competition carries with it an aire of prestige. My only problem is that there are quite a few teams who are going to Nationals and don't deserve to be there as much as the others.

Yeah, the even numbered teams. (And, in fairness, the odd ones next year.)

By having teams who didn't qualify for Nationals still be allowed to attend, FIRST is both ruining the prestige they're trying to build for it AND denying entry to half of it's teams simply on the basis of the random number they were assigned when signing up.

The proliferation of teams that wouldn't otherwise qualify greatly decreases the quality of the otherwise high-caliber event. Yet, good teams that should go can't, because they spend the entire year telling sponsors "Yeah, we probably can't go to Nationals this year because we're an odd team," and then go out and win a Regional. "Oh, now we can go? But we don't have any money left. Well, we were planning on next year anyway."

There's two solutions to this:

1. Drop the qualification requirements and somehow let everyone go. Whether 600 teams can converge onto Disney World at once is of course questionable. There's always the idea of bi-coastal Nationals... but getting back to the point, yes, let everyone experience the highest level of FIRST.

2. Drop the "spare slots can be filled by some teams" clause. By the basis of this really long, rambling post, you'd probably guessed by now that this is the option I'll argue for. What I think FIRST should do (as I assume they probably intended to, anyway) is use the current system for 2003, to compensate the odd-numbered teams, and then drop the "spare slots" clause starting in 2004.

I know the point was made some time ago about how that may be unfair to rookie teams, and I agree, it is, which is why I'd say coalesce the two Rookie All-Star Awards into one per Regional, and give the winners of that a berth at Nats. A large part of FIRST is supporting the rookie programs, you know?

Well, that's my two cents, though judging by the length of this post I think I foisted a couple quarters. I probably pissed off at least a few people, too. Flame away. :)

-Kyle

Not2B
04-10-2002, 10:29 PM
OK..... new location.... not that I'm not excitied to go to Disney. This will be my first FIRST trip there, but I already know it rocks... I also think Disney is uniquely able to deal with us crazy robot people. But..... since we are talking about it....

What about America's Roller Coast? Ceder Po!nt.
It has more hotels around than it knows what to do with.
It has places for people to hang out (the parks).
It's close to the population center of the US (That's why there is a stupid-huge amount of tourist destinations in Ohio.

Anywho...
Heebie Geebie

Kit Gerhart
04-11-2002, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by Not2B

What about America's Roller Coast? Ceder Po!nt.
It has more hotels around than it knows what to do with.
It has places for people to hang out (the parks).
It's close to the population center of the US (That's why there is a stupid-huge amount of tourist destinations in Ohio.

Anywho...
Heebie Geebie

It sounds like a fun place, but one where we would need to have National in June or July rather than April. Do they have a big stadium of some type to have the competition or would they need a temporary one like at Disney? Is there good transportation from the hotels to the park? If so, it might be a good "change of venue" to try.

Natchez
04-11-2002, 06:05 AM
I love Disney for all of the obvious and selfish reasons BUT, as one who has recruited many teams that struggle financially, please allow me to enact a "Language Tool" from page 13 of FIRST's Mentoring Guide. Here goes ...

What would happen if ...

---The Nationals are open to all teams
---Cities bid to get the National Championships
---The NEW National Championship schedule would be something like
Thursday
8:00 - PITS Open
9:00 - Opening ceremonies
12:00 Noon - Practice rounds
12:00 Midnight - Practice rounds end
Friday
12:00 Midnight - Seeding Rounds Begin
12:00 Midnight - PITS Close
Saturday
12:00 Midnight - SLEEP, SLEEP, & more SLEEP
6:00 AM - Seeding Rounds Continue
1:00 PM - Elimination Rounds
6:00 PM - Closing ceremonies
8:00 PM - PARTY 'til you drop
Sunday
Travel day


Notes:
The bid selection criteria would encompass things like cost to FIRST, cost to teams, weather, logistics, etc. I would expect that bidders who create a low-cost FIRST village with lots of corporate money going to FIRST would be highly considered. Heck, along with traditional hotels, how about providing a campground (campers, tents, etc.) for those who like the great outdoors.

Although the schedule may be a weeeeeeeee ridiculous, you get the idea. Currently at Nationals, the real reason that the students and mentors go to Disney World is that FIRST is CLOSED for the day. If the FIRST complex is open 24 hours a day, then there is no need for alternative entertainment. Since we stay up all night working on the 'bots, why not stay up all night running the 'bots.

Just trying to think "out of the box",
Lucien:rolleyes:

Kit Gerhart
04-11-2002, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by Natchez
What would happen if ...

---The Nationals are open to all teams
---Cities bid to get the National Championships
---The NEW National Championship schedule would be something like
Thursday
8:00 - PITS Open
9:00 - Opening ceremonies
12:00 Noon - Practice rounds
12:00 Midnight - Practice rounds end
Friday
12:00 Midnight - Seeding Rounds Begin
12:00 Midnight - PITS Close
Saturday
12:00 Midnight - SLEEP, SLEEP, & more SLEEP
6:00 AM - Seeding Rounds Continue
1:00 PM - Elimination Rounds
6:00 PM - Closing ceremonies
8:00 PM - PARTY 'til you drop
Sunday
Travel day




While this schedule would eliminate the need for recreational activities, I don't really think major sleep deprivation should be a part of the FIRST experience. I know it doesn't affect me in a positive way.

A less extreme schedule which would allow us a normal amount of sleep but with practice/matches running until 9:00 PM or so would be a way to make National an event which could be held at locations not having Disney-like entertainment. Still, while National is mainly about the competition, it is also about having fun. Somehow, a bigger, more grueling regional with longer days, which such a National would be, wouldn't quite fill the bill.

This is, of course, only my opinion.

Joe Johnson
04-11-2002, 08:59 AM
It is not necessary to schedule around the clock.

The nice thing about the division idea is that it is very scalable.

It would be a very easy thing to have 20 or 30 fields in Detoit's Cobo Hall or Chicago's McCormick Place or any of 20 other places around North America.

Hotel space is really not an issue for any city that is capable of hosting the Superbowl.

Transportation is another tricky issue, but it is managable given time and incentive to do so (which 40,000 visitors to a city provide in spades).

The future of FIRST Championships is NOT at Epcot. For now it is nice and we (FIRST) get more out of being there than it "costs" but in 2 or 3 years, I can easily see us at any of 20 cities around the US or Canada.

Get packin', 'cause will be on the move soon.

Joe J.

refclm
04-11-2002, 10:08 AM
I believe that Florida is a good place. I realize that it may be boring after a few years, but when you are going for the first time, to Walt Disney World and the Epcot Center, it is very cool and very exciting. Maybe later at another time, and I know that people on my team are eager to go back and see Disney again. Just my thoughts.....

Joe Matt
04-11-2002, 11:05 AM
I don't know Carter, Cedar Point is reallly cool. Especially since when we had that layover in Cleveland, everyond wanted to ride all the rollercoasters.

J.Rees
04-11-2002, 11:45 AM
For those of us in the Northeast where spring is just now starting to come. 50 yesterday. Orlando is a reward & a fun place to go... we still show up to win but take an extra day at the end to play around disney. I nice way to finish up the season.

Wetzel
04-11-2002, 12:01 PM
I liked the idea of round the clock scheduling.
Finaly something conforming to my sleep schedule, rather then me working around everyone else.
:D