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Unread 09-26-2001, 01:34 PM
Ken Leung's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
Ken Leung Ken Leung is offline
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Post A new Forum newsletter

Hello everyone. The following is a test launch of newsletters I will be working during this year. The goal of these letters is to keep everyone informed about different discussions the FIRST community are having on the Chief Delphi forum.

Both FIRST and the CD forum have grown dramatically these few years, and the pace and volume of discussions increase along with them. The reason I am doing this is that it is becoming harder and harder to keep up with all the new posts, working with the robotics team, and spend time with family at the same timeíK especially during production period. Therefore I am going to volunteer myself to keep track of all the posts from day to day, and send out these letters to everyone out there, and direct them to the more important/interesting/immediate issues at the time.

I am doing these letters as a non-team member, also known as team #0. If there are any questions/comments, or even something you dislike about the newsletters, please contact me instead of the Chief Delphi members, since I am the only one responsible for any consequences this newsletter might cause. As a non-team member, I promise to be objective at all time, and that I will not be bias toward any side of arguments. I will try to deliver news to everyone out there as soon as possible, but please understand the amount of time it takes to compose these letters.

This first letter will be my first test launch, since I am still trying to figure how exactly I want this letter to be. I am taking advantage of the discussion about limitation of National Competition, because I see the need to organize/clarify the many opinions out there in order for visitors to understand whatíŽs going oníK

-Ken Leung
Team #00
1999-2001: Team 192 GRT
2001-2002: ??
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Unread 09-26-2001, 02:17 PM
Ken Leung's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
Ken Leung Ken Leung is offline
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FRC #0115 (Monta Vista Robotics Team)
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Red face Test launch news letter #1

The new qualification process for participation in US FIRST 2002 National competition

Earlier this week, FIRST announced the event schedule for the 2002 competition, which is posted on the FIRST site at http://www.usfirst.org/2002comp/FRCEvents.html . Along with that schedule is something FIRST have never done before: A qualification process for participation in Nats.

After that announcement, the posts count on CD forum (www.chiefdelphi.com) exploded when this thread started : Making heads or tails of the new announcement...

Now, before you go any further, please take your time and read FIRST's details on the qualification process in here: http://www.usfirst.org/2002comp/FRCLetters.htm

......

If you look into the General forum, you will see 17 new threads. They are created due to the huge amount of different opinions in the main discussion. It took me more than 4 hours to go through all those threads and make sense of what everyone is sayíK Hopefully the following will help you avoid gluing your eyes on the monitoríK

The Hottest issue these days: FIRST's limitation on the National Competition.

It is still unclear as for the # of teams automatically qualify for Nats in 2002, although quite a number of teams already confirmed that they are in fact automatically qualified for Nats. Estimated numbers are between 26 to 42 to 65 teamsíK
National Qualifing

There are a lot of different opinions about FIRST's decision of qualification for Nationals. They can be separated into a few groups: [list=1][*]Rejecting the new system[*]Accepting the new system[*]Suggestion of changes[/list=1]

Rejecting the new system: A lot of people believe the new system will create a lot of problems and unfairness to teams, and that it is unreasonable for FIRST to apply this new system to the 2002 competitioníK

Team that have won, just to win again. Teams that have large amounts of money have a much easier time going to nationals (multiple regionals = multiple awards much more easily). Therefore Rookie teams will have a big disadvantage as they don't have as much resource and experience. This implies that only winners are worthy enough for Nats, and FIRST shouldn't be all about winning.
This is bull
Re: which brings up another question...

Also, How team do the year before should have NO influence on whether or not they can attend the nationals next year.
I have three problems with this new system.

On a producer standpoint, it is unfair because teams who are going to attend national will have a bigger chance to go again, base on the qualifications for National award winners.
Re: which brings up another question...

This new system is not economically feasible: "If we are not guaranteed to go then why will anybody devote time and buy non refundable airplane tickets ahead of time?"
Qualifying for nationals
This is bull

For those who are not guaranteed to go, they will be fighting a battle between attending more regional competitions to gain more chance of qualifying for National, extra effort on fundraising to have enough money to book tickets/hotel in advance for their students, or just give up on chances in the beginning. Smaller teams will suffer the most in these battles. Situations that hurt the most:
1.) When teams raise enough money to go to Nats, and didn't qualify for the competition, all the money will be wasted on advance booking.
2.) Even when teams are qualified in the first week, they can only send part of their team to National since they only have 2 months at most to plan the traveling... So the rest of the team will be missing out on one of the greatest experience of FIRST.
3.) When teams unexpectedly qualify for National without early plans to raise fund for this trip, those teams won't be attending National just because they didn't have enough money.
2002 Season Thoughts..
Teams will actually lose money 'cuz of qualification rules...

Nats is something everyone works hard for, a chance to take on the world in Florida. It will be especially disappointing to seniors who will be graduating this year if they don't get to go... This is not a very good way to expand FIRST and what is being done is not helping. How can FIRST promote growth while downsizing the program?
FLORIDA
Responding to above-


Accepting the new system: Even though the rules will be unfair to teams at tough regional competitions (and the decision will seems unfair to teams who don't get to go), some still find them acceptable as they believe this system is the best one out there. The pros outweigh the cons, and the people accept this as the solution for the problem (of Nats growing too large). It is understandable that teams are disappointed about not being able to attend National, but life (as always) isn't fair.
Is the registration this year fair?


People believe FIRST had to do something in order to cut down on people, and this is the best alternative FIRST came up with compare a non-feasible solution.
Re: Is the registration this year fair?
The one thing I haven't seen mentioned(here)...

Too many people in Nats will also break a fire code, making Nats look really bad for the Fire Dept.
Don't lose hope

One of the most detailed message is Andy Baker's take on why FIRST have to limit NationalsíK
Andy B.'s FIRST had to limit Nationals

"It is the process rather than product or performance that is at the core of what makes FIRST unique."

FIRST learning experience isn't just about going to National, it's also the 6 weeks of hard work you put into the robot, the rest of the year trying to prepare the team for competition, regional competitions, and/or promoting FIRST through out your community. "Sure, the competitions are fun, but the competitions aren't FIRST; we are FIRST. We can make the FIRST experience worthwhile or we can make it worthless."
It have to happen sometime
Keep the focus

People should focus more on the chance that they may still get to go, not that they may not. And that the rookies will work hard along with the veterans to make it so that they can enjoy attending National as a team instead of spectators. And even If your team doesn't qualify, you can still go and enjoy the event.
Re: Re: Re: What's the point of going to Nationals?
FIRST had to limit Nationals

If people really want to meet others, they should consider going to another regional far away if going to Nats are unlikely that year. Meet those others through a much smaller competition and really get to know them.
It have to happen sometime

As for winner teams winning again, it's completely unfair to the teams with great talents that they should be in a position where they have to decide between selling their robot and students short, or being possibly hated by others because by working hard to achieve something big, they are taking away other's ticket to National. This is not fair to the studentsíK
Nationals :-/

Travel planning is a major problem for teams: However, some believes it's not as bad as others think:

A lot of teams should ALWAYS know at least one year before the competition whether they can go or not. A lot of the qualifications are base on result from prior years, as well as the odd/even rule that guarantee one registration every two years. TeamsíŽ trouble will only come from qualification base on current yearíŽs awards in Regional Events. FIRST implemented the way of using the previous year as a qualifier, so that at least some of the teams taking the trip to Florida have the extra time to plan.
Suggestions for organization of "the Championship"
Re: First Reaction

Continue...

Last edited by Ken Leung : 10-20-2003 at 11:05 PM.
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Unread 09-26-2001, 02:21 PM
Ken Leung's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
Ken Leung Ken Leung is offline
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Red face (continue...)

Suggestions of changes:

-Rookies, having a really big disadvantage under this system, should be given some points to begin with and qualify through the point system.
-Award 1 point to teams taking 2nd to 4th place in a regional or nationals
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...=&threadid=674
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...=&threadid=673

Give up the rule about giving automatic qualification to the 28 original teams.
Wow... the more I think of this "28" rule...

A suggestion of a different qualification system:
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...=7106#post7106

The FIRST community would have been better served if FIRST had split nationals over two weekends (very little additional cost; all teams can go)
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...=7000#post7000

If money is a reason for this limitation, there are ways for FIRST to cut cost
Operation Cost

......

Well, hopefully the above sums up what people have been thinking these few days. Again, it is so long because there are a lot of different voices out there. Try to keep an open mind, and listen to what others have to say. We shouldn't be picking on other's fault in their arguments; instead we should encourage people to learn from others.

Conclusion:
The question of "How should National be run?" is still unanswered. With a group of this size, it is really hard for everyone to think the same things. It all boils down to these two questions: What are the limits? & What do people want out of this competition? Before we understand the limits, we won't realize the limited options in front of us. And when we know what we really want, then we will be able to set priorities in what we should do...



"Sure, the winning is a part of FIRST, a part of Nationals. But there's a spirit at Epcot when we are all there together. FIRSTers seem to share something unique, I've never been quite able to put my finger on it. It's the mix of east and west coasts, US and abroad, girls and boys, north and south. Rookie and veteran. It's a mix of all of us that makes Nationals even more unique than any regional. I only hope that that same feeling will remain with so many teams left behind." By Lora Knepper.





POLLS:

A poll was started to see how many people think FIRSTíŽs decision on registration is fair or not. the latest result is a tie of 12 vs. 12.

Another poll was started to see what qualification scenario do people think will happen?
So far, "FIRST will stick to its guns and not let up" have the highest votes (75%).

A third poll was started to see if people think about FIRST competition happening on Easter break is a problem. So far the votes are spread even between yes and no.


QUESTIONS:

Question about qualification: is it fair to every teams? Or does it favor famous teams?

Since a lot of people disagree to what FIRST did, someone try to ask the question: what would you have done to National?

Another side question came up, asking people "why do they want to attend National so badly"Ę


P.S. By the way, here is a copy of FIRST's 1999-2000 budget posted by Adrian Wong: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=7088#post7088


A reminder: any response about the issues should be posted in their respected threads.

As for suggestions or comments about the structure/format or any mistakes in this letter, please reply in this thread.

Last edited by Ken Leung : 10-20-2003 at 11:07 PM.
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Unread 09-27-2001, 12:17 AM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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More mad props to Ken

WOW! Ken you are amazing. How anyone could have the patients to do this is beyond me. Mad props to you again. You would be an awesome asset to any team lucky enough to have you. Thanks for the help.
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Thats C like the letter not like looking through your eyes or the large bdy of water! Just the letter C and yes it's on my birth certificate!
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Unread 10-01-2001, 12:53 AM
Brandon Martus's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
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