Originally Posted by Zebra_Fact_Man
Ha; that's what I get for trying to do math at 5 in the morning.
So you wouldn't get every team going in a 4-yr period, but you would inevitably have more different teams. My main motivation here is, while other competitions are indeed cheaper and more convenient, no other even has the same atmosphere or scale as the Championship. Simply put, it is an event like no other event. More people should get to experience that, at least once in their career.
Preface: I was on a team that went to the Championship from 2004-2010 on the open registration system and I do believe that it is a VERY inspirational experience for any student that gets to go regardless of the teams performance. That being said, I believe more often than not, teams like the one I was on actually dilute the CMP experience because they aren't 'Championship Caliber Machines'.
Here's an idea - it's not perfect - but it might help alleviate some of the issues with the current CMP model.
1) Move to a points system qualification method for the Championship Similar to those in MAR and FiM. These systems have both been shown to work as those teams with consistently 'good' performances are awarded spots at the Championship. The Winners* of any Given Regional would get an Auto-Bid to the Championship as they do now, along with EI, RCA and RAS. (MAR and FiM would continue to qualify as they do now)
2) Eliminate Pre-Qualification (Open Registration) for the Championship with the exception of HOF, Previous Year's World Champions and The Original and Sustaining teams from 1992. (If you look at most of these teams they'd qualify for the Championship anyway.)
3) Any Remaining Spots At the Championship after Spots are Awarded to those outlined in #1 and #2 will be awarded based on the points system (#1) to fill the Championship. This Should Come out to at least 100 spots in a 400 Team Championship if current trends continue for the foreseeable future.
4) Add an Additional 2 Fields at the Championship (Space becomes an Issue) and call it the 'FIRST Robotics Championship - Exhibition'. Any Team that would like to go to the Championship but has not qualified through #1, #2 or #3 could register for this event. This would be run separate of the traditional 4 Division Championship and would have more of a focus on interaction and inspiration than winning. This Exhibition would be over Prior to Lunchtime on Saturday to allow the teams in attendance to watch Division Eliminations and Einstein.
Here's the logic behind this:
Items #1, #2 and #3 serve to make the Championship 'A Real Championship'. These would allow the best of the best to go to the Championship and compete for the title of World Champion
, Championship Chairman's Award Winner, Championship Engineering Inspiration, and Championship Rookie All-Star.
Item #4 addresses the teams who have no interest in competing to be World Champion
or another award. A lot of the teams that pre-register now and do not qualify at a later point in the season go to the Championship as a fun trip, to travel, etc. These Teams would still be allowed to go to the Championship under #4, they would just be in their own event - which would prevent them from interacting with top-tier teams on the field, but is better than excluding them from the Championship at all.
Of course, this system wouldn't be perfect and has it's share of issues, a big one of them being space. With a system like this, we'd need space for something like 500-600 FRC Teams at the Championship plus FLL and FTC.
*Some people are advocates of only giving the Alliance Captain and their First Pick a spot at the Championship. I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do or not...
TLDR: Eliminate Pre-reg spots, except for HOF, World Champs and Teams from 1992. Take the now open spots and award them based on a Points System after Regionals are completed. Add an additional Mini-Event for those who want to go to the CMP but aren't competing for anything.