Originally Posted by n3rdchik
If you are in a league, what do you like? Don't like? How many competitions are there? How many volunteers do you need?
Michigan FTC Teams are exploding and it looks like it will be a huge challenge just to get into 2 Qualifiers. Also, this means the slots available to State's is going to be very limited (like 3 per competition). As a 2nd year team, we aren't as competitive as we'd like to be - and my kids just want to compete with their robots. We definitely have the team/sq mi density - but the knowhow? maybe?
I've moved to the PNW over the summer, but for Velocity Vortex I lived in IL (specifically Chicago), which went (mostly) full-blown leagues for that season, so I can share a Head Ref/Ref/Game Announcer/Emcee perspective. The general format, at least in Chicago, was a total of 9 league meets (3 for each of 3 divisions, North/Central/South), which then led to the League Championship (all 3 divisions come together for something resembling the QTs of days past), which would qualify teams for States.
Volunteer load is pretty light at the meets - you need a minimum of maybe 10-12ish to make them happen - at the least, a Head Ref and 2 Referees, a Lead Robot Inspector, an FTA, probably a CSA, a Scorekeeper, and the folks managing the logistics behind the scenes (Volunteer + Event Coordinators). Realistically you'll want several other roles filled - a few Inspectors, a DJ, queuing folks, etc. but you'll (technically) survive if you can't fill them - you'll just have some volunteers doubling up. Two roles you pretty specifically *don't* need filled include MC+GA. The EC can handle the 10 minute opening ceremony, and GAs are just... not necessary at this level (there's often not much of a show here). In Chicago's league structure we were running 15 match meets (only qualifying matches - elims don't show up until league champs).
For league championships, expect the same volunteer roster as a QT and you'll be fine.
From a volunteer perspective, it's great - I technically work more Saturdays, but those Saturdays aren't total washes - I'm on my feet for ~6 hours rather than the ~10-12 of a QT. As an FRC alum and former FTC mentor, I think leagues are a great system overall, but the lack of judging at the meet level seems a little odd - you get just one shot at the Inspire/Think/etc. now, and it's at League Champs. Aside from the lack of judging iteration, there's a lot more opportunity for robot iteration, which I think is great.
This was a fairly rushed reply and I've probably left out some interesting stuff - feel free to ask further questions!