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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-08-2004, 10:18 PM
Steve W Steve W is offline
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

I believe that you will see more teams attending regionals and not applying for Championship if they are in tier 1. Our team is planning on going to California next year as we don't think we will be at Championships. I believe that this will be our 1st year missing championships and even if we qualify I don't know if we wil have the money after going to California.
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Unread 06-08-2004, 10:26 PM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathieK
I understand why these criteria were established. But the logistics of getting permissions for a team from 5 high schools, and raising the funds, in order to go on a trip at the last minute will be a nightmare (we're a Tier 1 team).
Who says you have to qualify to compete in order to attend? Go ahead and plan for the team to go to Atlanta anyway. It's bound to be an inspiring trip.
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Unread 06-08-2004, 10:28 PM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson
Who says you have to qualify to compete in order to attend? Go ahead and plan for the team to go to Atlanta anyway. It's bound to be an inspiring trip.
And maybe they'll let you on the practice fields!
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Unread 06-09-2004, 06:36 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson
Who says you have to qualify to compete in order to attend? Go ahead and plan for the team to go to Atlanta anyway. It's bound to be an inspiring trip.
The school boards will not let that happen. Belonging to the team is so costly in the first place, and they would never approve an out of state trip, plus taking students out of classes for several days, unless it were to compete.

I imagine we will probably hold a team vote to decide on what long-distance regional we will attend in place of going to Atlanta.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 07:40 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

A couple of thoughts on this...

The "restrictions" (odd/even, points, and tiers)on teams attending nationals have only existed for about 4 years. So in the very low tiers (5-8) why has it been that long since they attended (or never attended)? Lack of funds? Lack of Interest?

In terms on basing it on the current years performance, that is a fund raising nightmare. It's hard enough to get all the money when you know you're going. When you have 2 business days to decide and only 2 or 3 weeks to get all arrangements made... Makes it very hard logistically. In terms of things like airline tickets, they will be much much more expensive because you are traveling so soon. (if you can even get the number you need for your team that close to the flight date). I think the financials and the travel planning need to be revised before this system will really work well. Some ideas brought up yesterday at the FIRST Forum in NJ were:
- Qualify for this year OR next year (your choice)
- Have a loan program. (w/ next years elegibility to compete dependent on paying off the loan)
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Unread 06-09-2004, 08:38 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Sigh.
The only solution I see to qualifying and attending in that same year is to plan like you are going to get an available spot or qualify anyway. This puts teams in a tough position in a tough economy. Convincing school boards, corporations, small businesses, and families that there is a need for their money "just in case" is like pushing mud uphill.

The solution for many will be the same solution 188 has - attend a far away regional, guarantee that the money will be used (it's $1000 less to attend another regional as opposed to attending the CMP anyway), and get the experience of traveling with the team every year.

I realize the need to give more teams a fair chance and I applaud the notion, but with no chance to qualify in a previous year logistics go beyond nightmare proportions for many.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 09:16 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Does the fact that Atlanta is within theoretical bus distance from 1/2 to 3/4 of the FIRST teams change things at all?


This year, to save money, the Chief Delphi team rode the bus to Atlanta. I have to say that it was fine as far as I was concerned and while some of the kids complained, I would say that if it came down to going or not, all would agree to take the bus.

Does the possibility of taking a bus rather than having to get last minute (expensive) plane tickets make a difference to any teams?

I am probably in the minority on this, but I would even recommend leaving for home right after the team party on Saturday night rather than staying in the hotel another night.

My daughters school did this type of thing on a class trip. Everyone comes home tired, but it is a big cost savings.

Thoughts?

Joe J.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 09:38 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathieK
The school boards will not let that happen. Belonging to the team is so costly in the first place, and they would never approve an out of state trip, plus taking students out of classes for several days, unless it were to compete.

This is one of the exact reasons why we started the "FIRST Championship Conference" last year. Schools send their FFA, VICA, and other organizations to national conferences, so this would be the same for a non-competing FIRST team. Attending these workshop sessions may justify school administrators to allow you to attend the Championships.

Andy B.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 09:55 AM
Jessica Boucher Jessica Boucher is offline
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000.....we've been talking about this since I was 16.

Qualifying for the Championship is an age-old question of FIRST. There will always be someone asking it......and there will always be someone there to give their opinions on it (just as there will always be someone that will mention that their team is or is not qualified... ).

Such is one of the results of being in a dynamic organization such as FIRST: some things are going to change to try to make it easier to deal with all the growth. It might not always be the right decision, but the decision has been made and if it doesn't work we'll have new criteria next year.

***

I think, however, it's important to look at the bottleneck here in dealing with the Championship: the competition. The reason why there is championship qualifiers is because we don't have enough pit space, field space, or time to deal with 700+ teams.
What I'm suggesting is that we need to internally view the Championship differently....the competition should no longer be the focus. Though it's a huge chunk of the event, with the inclusion of the FLL Invitational and the FCC (side note: we need a better acronym), the Atlanta event is more a "conference" than a "championship". Externally, we can pump it up all we want as a competition, since that's what seems to drive news...but we know better. The Championship is not always about bringing the robot...it's about learning, experiencing, and celebrating FIRST.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 10:04 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

I see a lot of people saying "but its going to hurt a LOT of teams"

I think what they might mean is, "My team won't get to go"

Teams that are used to going to the Championships every year need to understand that going to Epcot or Houston or Atlanta does not mean you've had a succesful season. If you're worried that kids on your team won't want to join because there's no big trip at the end, why don't you sign up for a Regional on the other side of the country. Fund-raise for that and begin oto get away from the somewhat selfish (although justifiably so to an extent) idea that "my team deserves to go to Championships because we are so good"
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Unread 06-09-2004, 10:13 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vu2000
Well, we're one of the lucky ones that have qualified for the championship already.
...
2004 Championship Engineering Inspiration

Obviously, FIRST does not consider you "lucky". You've earned your spot.

Andy B.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 10:32 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

I think this is a good system.

However, as mentioned above by others, my ONLY concern is that teams who qualify during the season in 2005 will have trouble attending The Championship unless they do something crafty beforehand (i.e. prebooking and praying, or sending the team regardless, etc)

However it seems to me that these options really aren't practical for most teams.

Because of this, I think we'll see a great number of teams who decide "even if we qualify, we're not going to go" and plan their season accordingly.

Then... when that team ends up in the right tier (maybe in a few years), they can plan their season to include a trip south to the Georgia Dome.

A team can still have a VERY positive season without going to "the big show".

There are plenty of awesome regionals to choose from, if you can't go to The Championship, why not hit up a regional from outside your region? I've always wanted to see how those West Coast teams play, I know first hand, those Canadians have a good time, and... I've heard rumors that there may be some tough teams in the Midwest.

Plus, there are TONS of offseason competitions (and plenty of new ones popping up each year). Plenty of opportunities to inspire the kids and have a good time. Midwest teams can't hit up Atlanta? Come to RiverRage. Northeast teams can't hit up Atlanta? Go to IRI, or even Cal Games. There are tons of top notch events, that give "real" FIRST competitions a run for their money.

Sure, if a highly competitive team doesn't get to go The Championship (69, I'm looking at you) they'll wonder "what if"... but does this diminish the season at all? Heck no!

So... I guess my concern isn't really a problem at all. *shrug*

I'm glad to see most people are accepting these qualification criterion, because as I see it: this is one of the best options FIRST has right now. They need to handle the growth somehow, while still being as fair as possible. There are plenty of ways for teams to make the best of it.



I don't know what it is, but lately something has been giving me more energy, I feel like a rookie again. Maybe it is the positive "vibes" coming from the community this season but, I'm excited just at the thought of getting back to working with my kids.

I guess I'm just excited for the future of FIRST.
Things are changing. But, I think they're changing for the better.


John

Last edited by JVN : 06-09-2004 at 10:34 AM.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 11:00 AM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

BUSING IT

We bused it this year. It was great. We packed all our tools and spares etc. under the bus and it saved us a ton of bucks. We left at midnight Tuesday and arrived early afternoon on Wednesday, just it time for check in. Also, we had the bus for use to get back and forth to the dome and for going out to dinner in evenings. We did stay over Saturday night, but at four to a room, it wasn't that expensive.

I know that part of the experience is a plane trip etc. but when the budget doesn't allow or a last minute trip plans, busing it, even from a long way, is a great way to go.

Mr. Bill
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Unread 06-09-2004, 12:21 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

That's it! FIRST is doing this partly so that they don't have a huge nationals, just slightly bigger regionals. To save cash.
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Unread 06-09-2004, 01:15 PM
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Re: Your Thoughts on the 2005 Championship Eligability Critera!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeTheEng
- Qualify for this year OR next year (your choice)
I like that idea a lot. Giving a team the option of deferring their eligibility to the next season can remove the uncertainty and last-minute scrambling. There would be some details to work out -- if you're pre-qualified or in a high enough tier to attend the national competition, can you use a regional championship this year to attend next year as well? -- but it sounds like a good thing.
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