View Full Version : 2 months left & 97% Full!

Joe Johnson
10-11-2001, 09:13 PM
With almost 2 months left to go the current stats are a total of 728 slots at 17 regionals -- only 18 slots left open at 3 regionals.

This is an astounding 97% booking rate. I am not sure if FIRST realized how much demand for regionals they were generating when they limited the Championship Event.

I am worried that rookie teams and disorganized teams will be shut out, but other than that, I think this is probably a good thing for FIRST in the long run.

Other thoughts are welcome.

Joe J.

Ken Leung
10-12-2001, 06:48 AM
Just a little question from this interesting point...

Given that FIRST only have limited amount of money and resources...

Would you prefer FIRST to have more regional competitions... or a bigger National championship event?

As for my opinion, I will have to say I prefer more regional competitions base on a simple reason: More regional competition will allow additional rookie teams to start up and compete at a competition without large traveling expense... Without space in the regional competitions, rookie teams woníŽt even have a change to compete in the competition, much less going to National championship eventíK

What I personally think about which one is more important to myself is not important... as I am one of the smaller group of people who actually reach out to the FIRST community across the country... Keep in mind, a majority of students or FIRST participants usually have a circle of activities around their own team and at most regional competitions... Not a lot of them post on this forum and not much really talk to people across the country.

I won't push to change that, nor would I ever want to. To me, more learning opportunities for younger students out there is top priority... I will easily give up National just so more kids can be involved in the competition at least in the regional level...

Joe Johnson
10-12-2001, 07:34 AM
I have long been an advocate of more regionals and a smaller Championship Event.

I think that it is in the long term best interst of FIRST to have more local competitions and to have a relatively exclusive finals.

I think that the NCAA Tourney has more or less given us the road map.

In order to have the impact that I want FIRST to have on our culture, TV is a must. I support more regionals and an invitation championship because it makes Primetime TV coverage more likely.

Other ideas and opinions are welcome.

Joe J.

Andy A.
10-12-2001, 03:35 PM
In addition to more regionals, it would be very nice to stretch them out over a longer season. Having them bunched together makes it difficult to attend more then 2 and is just to much school for most kids to miss in a month. It would make things less stressful, and lets us all keep more up to date with how other teams are doing and such (and more time for FIRST to perfect the rules).

So more regionals spread out over 3 or more months is what I would like to see.


Jay Lundy
10-12-2001, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Andy A.
In addition to more regionals, it would be very nice to stretch them out over a longer season. Having them bunched together makes it difficult to attend more then 2 and is just to much school for most kids to miss in a month. It would make things less stressful, and lets us all keep more up to date with how other teams are doing and such (and more time for FIRST to perfect the rules).

It would be great if FIRST could do that, but the problem is they cannot really move their schedule at all. First of all, the robotics season has to be during the school year since most teams are organized through team meetings at school. Second, the robotics season has to be squeezed between the new year and school finals, which can start as early as the beginning of May in some schools.

I agree it does make it hard to make up the schoolwork you miss, but I actually like having all the regionals crammed together. It prevents teams from seeing what strategy turns out to be the best and then making modifications for their robot to add when they arrive at their regional.

10-12-2001, 06:21 PM
I also think that there is a chance that lots of potential rookie teams are being shut out for this year... I know last year, our team didn't really exist until december, hence we did not register until december... Thankfully last year there were still spots at several different regionals open at that time. Other than that, I think more regionals is great... Next year we should have at absolute least 20 regionals.


David Kelly
10-12-2001, 06:28 PM
as of 10/12/01 at 6:28pm central, there are (8). yes 8 spots left

Clark Gilbert
10-12-2001, 07:46 PM
http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/eek.gif http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/eek.gif http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/eek.gif http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/eek.gif http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/eek.gif http://www.zolknetwork.com/forums/eek.gif


:eek: :eek: :eek:

Andy Baker
10-12-2001, 09:47 PM
Wow... my opinion exactly, Clark.

The Regionals are filling up, but I wonder how many more spots FIRST is allowing for rookie teams. There were more teams at some of these regionals last year than they are being capped at this year. Hopefully, FIRST will let in teams who need to find a place to play.

Here's some news on teams who need a place to play:

NASA has given a large chunk of change to start 50 new teams in 5 states (10 each) which don't have FIRST teams yet. I think that these states are Nevada, both Dakotas, Kansas and Oregon. The coordinator for the Nevada teams met with me and some other TechnoKats in Kokomo yesterday, and he is just beginning to organize his 10 Nevada teams, let alone register... where do they play?

Many teams are registering for more regionals than they did last year. This is a natural reaction to the Championship qualification process, since teams who have not pre-qualified want to qualify on their performance of this year's regional. The more regionals they attend, the more chances they have to qualify for Nationals.

While this makes sense... is it the right thing to do while there are some teams who can't even get into one regional. I'm sure that some teams will drop down from their 5, 4 or 3 regional registrations, but this will not fill up the needed spots for these new teams.

There is a good thing hidden in this glut of registration: FIRST is getting more money than they expected for the number of teams registering. I don't know the actual numbers, but I assume that the average number of competitions for each team has increased dramatically over last year. If this is correct, the result is that FIRST is going to get more registration $$ per team this year.

Looking at these last two paragraphs, I have two suggestions:

1. Some teams need to cut back on the number of Regionals they are registered... especially the teams who are pre-qualified.

2. FIRST may want to scramble to get another Regional or two in place this year. Maybe they can still pull of Arizona this year, or even another location. There are many teams who put on their own invitationals and post season competitions (our team included), and many of these folks could pitch in to help FIRST in doing this. This idea is kinda out there... but I know of many people who would be interested in pitching in to make this happen.

So... does this make sense? I think that the chances of either of these suggestions being made into a reality is pretty far-fetched, but, it could work.

Andy B.

Matt Leese
10-12-2001, 09:47 PM
I think it's important to realize that a significant number of teams are over registering. I believe FIRST is aware of this and is trying to take appropriate measures to force teams to unregister from events that they don't really intend to attend. I've recieved information (in a rather roundabout way) that a change in payment procedures may be coming to spur this on.


10-13-2001, 01:46 AM
At the regional i attended last year (southern Cal) there was alot of extra room and there 45 teams registered yet the same number are registered for this year. FIRST may be preventing the teams who might want to go to more then 1 regional and putting them on a rookie priority waiting list if they did not get in and are on a waiting list. They should also plan for growth as in socal were we have i think 25 new teams forming. FIRST will come through for the rookies.

P.J. Baker
10-13-2001, 09:16 AM
I have to believe that there are more spots - somwhere between 5 and 10 per regional - that FIRST has set aside for rookies and late registrants. Right now, there are less than 500 individual teams registered. There were 515 registered last year. Although I'm pretty sure that 40% growth is unobtainable this year, I find it hard to believe that FIRST would not allow any growth for 2002.

As far as teams being over registered, I'm not sure that this is as big a problem as it seems. Most of the regional spots have been eaten by teams signing up for their second regionals, not their third, fourth and fifth. I doubt we'll see many teams back down from 2 to 1 or even 3 to 2. There are only 5 teams registered for more than three regionals. While I kind of think that all of these teams should back down to at most 3, that only frees up 6 spots.

In the end, I think that there will end up being room for another 100-125 teams to register and we will end up with 15-20% growth for the 2002 season.


Jeff Waegelin
10-13-2001, 03:55 PM
Update: As of 5:00 PM EDT on 10-13-02, there are three (3) spots left at one regional: the Lone Star Regional. Wow.

Jay Lundy
10-13-2001, 04:29 PM
As of 2:30 PDT, there are a total of 170 teams waiting to get into a competition!

I definately think they are going to open up more spots. I bet they'll wait for the waiting list to get fairly large, and then let all the rookies on the list in and if there's any more room let the other teams in.

Wayne C.
10-14-2001, 06:01 PM
I was taking a look at the Rutgers regional this past week and noticed that a number of the local teams from the past few years are gone. Instead teams from further away are attending. It sure looks like the missing teams they are no longer involved in FIRST since they don't show up in the other nearby regionals.
I wonder how many teams are double and triple booked with hopes of qualifying for Fla.? And what does that do for recruiting new teams .....
Of the 700+ slots, how many are repeaters. Has there really been growth at all?

P.J. Baker
10-14-2001, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by Wayne C.

I wonder how many teams are double and triple booked with hopes of qualifying for Fla.? And what does that do for recruiting new teams .....
Of the 700+ slots, how many are repeaters. Has there really been growth at all?

There are 476 individual teams signed up so far, less than the 515 that participated last year. About 40% of the teams are signed up for more than 1 regional. Last year, only about 20% of the teams were signed up for more than one.

Many people, including myself, believe that FIRST is spots in reserve for rookies and other late registrants. If this is not the case, FIRST will actually see a decrease in the total number of teams this year.

M. Faticanti
10-15-2001, 09:05 AM
Our team is one of the teams that will attend 3 regionals this year BUT we are not doing this to increase our chances to go to the "Championship". We decided to take the money that we would have spent on the "Nationals" and INSTEAD go to 2 additional regionals. 50% of the team will go to regional #1, the balance of the team to regional #2, and the entire team will attend our "main" regional in the even year.

In the odd year we will again register for our main regional and the "championship".

Win, lose or draw we will not attend the "championship" this year.

We have discussed this in detail and it makes sense:
More team members get to attend multiple regionals...
No last minute travel arrangements...
3 regionals for our sponsors to get recognized...
Monies saved
Etc. etc.....

And of course all this is subject to change at anytime