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  #31   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 10-18-2003, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SarahB
However, I really don't like the fact that after this year most awards will count for next to nothing. The technology awards are there to acknowledge teams with great design regardless of their overall performance.
I agree with you on that point. It seems FIRST is leaning more toward better performing robots than creative designs. If I'm not mistaken my team has attended the CE every year since 2000 (or 2001 maybe) because of a combination of a tech award, the even/odd system and winning SBPLI in 2001. By cutting out the awards you start alienating a lot of teams. I always thought the point of FIRST was to come up with great designs, not to win a competition, and the awards motivated that, now it doesn't seem that way.

Well for those who lost me in my sea of rambling, I think the awards should be worth more, just my thoughts.
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Unread 10-18-2003, 01:12 PM
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/me unconfused

I think i understand the new system now, but i still don't like it.
I feel that if the new system stays in place foo an indefinite amount of time then we will wind up w/ a "Championship"(and i use that term loosely) where you see a majority of same teams year after year qualifying.

I feel this new system is too restricted and doesn't give small teams (such as my own) who do very well by their own standards a chance to become serious competitors (by that i mean they don't get the chance to compete against teams from across the country and a chance to compete against some of the better teams in first)

And as for "mega regionals" i don't see them happening in the near future. But even if something like that arises in the next few years it still wont (in my mind) have the same feeling/prestige(possibly a bad term to use) of a "championship", Nor do i see teams traveling across the country to "mega regionals" as they do for the Championship b/c of that reason

Generalbrando: define "best", how can any one person/group of people decide what the "best" robots in FIRST are?

Thats just my opinion on this subject, take for what u want.
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Unread 10-18-2003, 01:30 PM
Rickertsen2 Rickertsen2 is offline
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Soo what about 2nd year teams who have never been and never qualified? What teir are we in? It seems we have no way to qualify other than regional performance.
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Unread 10-18-2003, 01:45 PM
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computhief263: I don't know how any group can determine the "best"robots in a just way because I don't understand what it means to be just (been reading Plato, sorry). Anyway, I wasn't making any reference to the points you made. I was really just trying to make the point that the robots that do well in the competition (and therefore could be argued as some of the best) get to go to the CE. Don't take that to mean that the best team is the one with the winning robot - we don't need to go on that tangent
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Unread 10-18-2003, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dez250
Wayne, let me say one thing since you run an off-season competition. Would it be easier for your team to make Brunswick Eruptuion 2004, 2005 etc... larger to fit 200 teams if they wanted to attend or would it be easier to make a fair way to pick only certain amounts of teams to attend. think about that please and think of the logistics behind an event that you want to hold 1000 teams or so compaired to an event to hold 350 teams or so. i think personally FIRST might beable to let more people in if they had more people to help work at the event...

~Mike
Mike- it WOULD be easier to expand BE to fit 200 teams if they wanted to come. Seriously. I'd love to do it- especially at $4000 a pop. Unfortunately I don't get that response to our event.

I honestly believe that FIRST could expand the field for Nats. The underusage of the Houston fields is an example. They could have had 5 fields active there as it was and had room to add two more. The championship field sat idle all tournament. But, despite being told we "outgrew Disney", we cut the field to less than we had in years past.

It is ludicrous to me that we are trying to reach every kid in every HS in the country but have no visible plan for expansion of the Nationals.

As for volunteerism- Mike, you know that I do so and have my team do so as much as we can. I know of dozens of people who would be happy to work with FIRST, have offered it in the past- and many of us DO work at our regional. What more can we do?
I suggested at one time that each regional offer a volunteer group to man a field at Nats. Got a better idea?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE FIRST and devote much of my life to it these days. Probably much more than most. But FIRST can be improved and is not infallible.

I think the willingness to bring the teams who havent attended Nats into the field is highly laudible. But there should also be a mechanism to keep the large numbers of "B"grade teams who have helped build FIRST annually in the mix too.

We simply need more slots for the Nationals. It CAN be done. There is nothing impossible here.

WC
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Unread 10-18-2003, 09:27 PM
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OK sorry Wayne, i misunderstood your last post, i thought that you were bashing the organization you and us all love by using the eligibility criteria as a way to say no to teams not being let to go to Nat's. Just as you prob know as i was at I.R.I., i have and will travel to work for people and for first to get comps and events going. i see your point and agree with it that we need more teams there so we can even out the competitions more and have more fun. but i just don't think it will happen soon where first will be able to let 300-500 more teams attend, i would love it but i don't think it will happen. the reason why i don't think it will happen, is because of volunteers. as you know along with others, when it comes to people to work events first doesn't have the largest amount of people jumping the gun. i wish more people would sacrifice one or two weeks a year to work at the competitions as a volunteer, because that will be the only way we can get more fields so more teams can attend. my team personally had at least half of our members if not more who attended Nat's this past year volunteer for first, and it didn't effect the teams role at all over the week. now i bet we could get more teams out there to send off one or two people to help volunteer but they aren't doing it cause they don't get anything tangible in return. i want to say something here that may offend some of you but i am going out on a branch and saying that i bet less then 10% of people who are active on a team thats not a mentor or adult have volunteered or worked at a first event before, now how can we get that number higher?
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Unread 10-18-2003, 09:51 PM
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Hmmmm. I would bet that number is lower. I'd say 5%. Dez, I realized something odd about my views on all the stuff you talked about. I've always looked at FIRST volunteers and thought "oh man, that would be cool to do" - even though they were just resetting the field or queuing teams. What I realized is that despite my envy, I've never really looked to figure out how I could become one of them. I guess I always felt at a distance and just assumed that I couldn't do it because I was just a kid or something like that. Maybe then the problem is that we just need to get the word out a little more. Granted they now have members of teams inspecting robots and at some regionals (like St. Louis) they ask anyone who can to come help take care of things like resetting the field when they have time (I didn't have time ). Perhaps FIRST could put out a notice after the build period that it's looking for volunteers and start registering people after they've been hooked by the building, but after they are so busy that they can't think about it. The problem may be something else for others, but I think that if you get every coach to push the idea of volunteering or just start pulling in more people through friendships and word of mouth - the numbers might be higher.
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Unread 10-18-2003, 10:12 PM
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A quick suggestion:

Everyone needs to re-read Ken Leung's post before they fire off a post that is based on a poor, or incomplete, understanding of the new qualification criteria.

Many of the above posts indicate that one point is being missed about the new system: under the new criteria, once a team attends the Championship Event they "go to the back of the line" (ie. reset to Tier 1) for the following year. Thus, teams will continually cycle through the tiers, bumping up one level each year until they attend again.

Historically, approximately 40% of the teams that eligible to attend the Championship actually choose to attend for any given year. Combine this with the prior point, and the projected growth rate in the number of FIRST teams for the next several years, and do the math. You will find that every team should be able to attend the Championship at least once, and in many cases twice, within the four-year academic career of the student members of the team.

-dave
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Unread 10-19-2003, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SarahB
I also really don't like the extremely limited amount of time given for teams who qualify during the season(which is almost everyone under the new system). 2 days is just not enough to get permission from the school district, raise the money, etc.
Yes travel arrangements in short time periods can be a pain (my team last year had two and a half weeks from winning a regional until leaving for championships). But as for raising the money, couldnt a team just raise the money as if they are going and then if they do qualify they are ready, and if they dont they have a head start for the next season.

Being on a rookie team I know this years chances are slim, but we are fundraising and finding sponsors as if we are going.

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Unread 10-19-2003, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Allison K
But as for raising the money, couldnt a team just raise the money as if they are going and then if they do qualify they are ready, and if they dont they have a head start for the next season.
For some teams its hard enough just raising the initial funds required to register that trying to raise the money for nationals as well when they have have a slim chance at qualifying isn't really possible. With the extra motivation of qualifying, these teams might be able to push their sponsors for more money and maybe do additional fundraisers, but all these take more time than is allowed under the new system.
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Unread 10-19-2003, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SarahB
For some teams its hard enough just raising the initial funds required to register that trying to raise the money for nationals as well when they have have a slim chance at qualifying isn't really possible. With the extra motivation of qualifying, these teams might be able to push their sponsors for more money and maybe do additional fundraisers, but all these take more time than is allowed under the new system.
While it is hard enough to raise money it's not going to get any easier because you're going to Nationals, save for some sponsors different mindsets. My team isn't sure if we going to the Championship but we're planning fundraisers to do whether or not we make it. Money can't hurt and if your team isn't motivated to do work no matter the competition you might want to evaluate how things are done I'm not saying you have to go out and get every available cent, but there is no reason to sit around doing nothing after you raise necessary funds. Now if you don't have time to raise money after making registration that's fine, but then don't complain about not having enough time after qualification to raise money.
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Unread 10-19-2003, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SarahB
With the extra motivation of qualifying, these teams might be able to push their sponsors for more money and maybe do additional fundraisers, but all these take more time than is allowed under the new system.
A couple of the teams that I have worked with, the primary sponsor said that if the team qualified, they would cover the costs...see if you can work something like this out with your sponsor...
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Unread 10-19-2003, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by M. Krass
This seems very unclear about how the tiered system operates and that makes me anxious.

As Ricky mentioned, is it that a fraction of the open spots available each year are designated to be for any one tier? That is, there'd be 20 open spots for Tier 6, 20 for Tier 5, 20 for 4, etc.? Or, is it that the entirety of the open spots are made available for registration on a tier by tier basis? In other words, Tier 6 teams are given a week to register for, say, 150 open spots, then tier 5 gets access to what's left for a week, etc.?

Then, if it gets to Tier 3 which contains, say, 80 teams and there are only 40 slots available, it says there'll be a lottery to determine eligibility. Well, how does the lottery work and when will teams be notified?

I'd like for this to be clarified.
This has been boggling my mind for 3 days now, FIRST Team Support has an email in on it, hopefully they'll get back to us soon. Because if it is that case that Tier 6 gets 20 spots and so on, then TIMS will be a mess on 10/22 as the Tier 1 teams duke it out for a very limited number of spots, also it could change a lot of travel plans, as if we can get in as a Tier 1 team, we will not attend a 2nd regional.

As for making last second payments, and travel and all that good stuff, there's nothing really that can resolve that, unless you push the Championship back from the last weekend of regionals, which would cause more date havoc. If your team really thinks they have a good chance at qualifying at a regional, you need to get of your logistics set before your regional, as in where your $4000 is, who you're gonna call for travel (its all in the connections ) and who from your team is going to go. We decided that if we qualify at a regional event this year, that only a very small portion of the team (less than 10) will attend in Atlanta. And we will have $4000 set aside for it, if we don't go, then thats $4k for next year.
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Unread 10-19-2003, 11:05 AM
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The issue with increasing the size of championship isn't an issue of space. There's plenty of space no matter where we would go. The real issue is in regards to dealing with more teams than they have in the past. The championship is already a logistical nightmare. FIRST has enough trouble managing it as it is. I'd hate to see how the management would go if it got even bigger.

I believe the response I got when I once suggested just making the championship bigger was "See this pen? Stab it in my eye." (Team Forum, 2001)

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Unread 10-19-2003, 11:48 AM
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When Dean Kamen was at RIT two weeks ago, he talked about the direction that FIRST is taking.

To put things in perspective, 26 teams attended the orginal FIRST event in '92. It was held in a HS gym. That was the only event held that year.

The goal of FIRST is : (Everyone should KNOW this) to have a team at EVERY HS in the US within the next few years.

How many HS are there in america? 10,000? 20,000?

Are we going to have a championship wit 10,000 teams attending?! Obviously not.

So here we are, in between those original 26 teams at a HS gym, and the near future with 10,000 or more teams.

FIRST is looking ahead. We cannot put on a big enough championship for every team to attend now, or every other team.

If we have 1000 teams this year and a 300 team championship, then less than a 1/3rd of the teams can go. Once we get 1200 teams then every team can only goe once every 4 years.

once we get to 2400 teams, then once every 8 years.

Dean pointed out that allowing the championship to grow beyond 300 teams, does not add anything to its purpose. A 400 team regional does not fullfill its purpose any better than 300 teams - once you have filled a whole stadium....

Ohhhhhhh! WHAT?! wait a minute... The Championship has a PURPOSE?

and the purpose is NOT to have as many teams attend as humanly possible?!

whats going on here? What IS the purpose of the championship?

What is the purpose of FIRST?

are we trying to establish which HS/sponsor can build the best box stacking, ramp climbing, ball collecting, goal dragging machine in the world? Is that what FIRST is trying to promote?

I encourage eveyone to sit down, have a cup of tea, turn your computer off for a while and think about this for a while: Why are we here? why are we doing this?

If you think traveling with your team has some special reward, then by all means - sign your team up for the regional at NASA in florida this year, or the one in southern california, or the one in toronto, or NYC - by all means take your team on the road

go somewhere different every year - nothing is stopping you.

To put things into perspective, how many professional football teams are there in the US? and how many get to play in their championship (the superbowl) ?

TWO!

there is a reason behind the criteria for the championship [hint: FIRST is NOT a robot building contest]

What is the purpose of FIRST then?
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