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Unread 09-28-2017, 05:55 PM
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Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

Hey Y'all, hope Round 1 of registration went in your favor!

I've been thinking for the past month or so about the concept of "Home Events" like some districts currently employ. $@#Specifically, I'm interested in the potential implications of a "home event" policy for regional teams. $@#I meant to post this concept a few weeks ago but didn't get around to it.

Currently, Regional teams have zero restrictions for where they register for events. $@#While this might make sense on the surface, this makes planning event capacity complicated for certain regions.

Here is the rub. $@#Teams from "low demand regions" can safely register for "high demand region" events round 1, and know their region will have slots during round 2, or even open registration. $@#What's more, if teams are "in" with their local RD's, they can theoritically get preference off the waitlist, if need be, during open registration.

This doesn't work the other way around, since many local teams lack the resources to travel to these "low demand regions".

The lack of a "home event system" for regionals is exploited, and this puts increased capacity-stress on "high demand regions". $@#"High deman regions" need to plan additional capacity for out-of-region teams that register for their regional slots first-round.

So what is my proposal? Regional teams are required to register for their "home event" round 1, unless given a special exemption (religious/scheduling reasons, etc). $@#Round 2 is then open season, so to speak, and any regional team can register for any regional event. $@#This more or less guarantees that regional teams have priority for their local events, and no one is allowed to game the system to guarantee two (or more) events.

I'm sure this idea won't be popular for everyone, but I'd love to hear people's thoughts.

Best,

-Mike
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Unread 09-28-2017, 06:17 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

Actually on the topic of home regionals. We were planning on registering for other events first, thinking we are guaranteed a spot at the event held on our campus. Our regional director told us that if we got locked out there might not be much they can do. They obviously have 10 spots reserved, but priority goes to rookies and possibly international teams. So we switched the planning to our own event first as it was presumed to be a high priority event.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 06:20 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

I was actually just thinking of something quite similar after moping about the first round results.

I feel that perhaps teams should automatically be assigned to the closest event to their zip code, at some early time like registration (or perhaps a few days before actual event registration). Later, they get to register for a different event based on first come, first serve (like the old ways). Teams that don't make it in time will be put on a waitlist, as is the standard. Afterwards, teams can choose to tap out of their local event, which opens up those waitlist spots. It requires a bit of trading between higher and lower density regions, but I believe it would put convenience for the teams first.

I'm speaking as someone who is pretty salty about certain circumstances regarding home Regionals, and I understand that FIRST wants to make things fair for all teams. However, I think the most fair process would include explicitly accounting for local teams to get into their own event, rather than some promise of "extra spaces" that may or may not exist.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 06:25 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

I agree. I consistently see teams from out of California register for a California regional first because they know their local will not run out of space.

I am more in favor of a 50 mile radius rule, or 3 closest regional rule. I like the idea of variety and choice, but it can be a little ridiculous when a far away team takes up a spot from a local team.


That being said, I registered our team for a regional more than 50 miles away.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 06:31 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

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Originally Posted by SenorZ View Post
I agree. I consistently see teams from out of California register for a California regional first because they know their local will not run out of space.

I am more in favor of a 50 mile radius rule, or 3 closest regional rule. I like the idea of variety and choice, but it can be a little ridiculous when a far away team takes up a spot from a local team.


That being said, I registered our team for a regional more than 50 miles away.
There would need to be a different method for handling the 50 mile rule for teams like ours...

We're far more than 50 miles from any CA event, but the CA events are by far the closest events to us.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 06:36 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

I would be okay with something like this but I think it should really be more like
Anywhere with in 300-350 miles (that lets Dallas Teams register for Houston events, Tallahassee to Orlando, in etc) or the closets 4 events which ever has more events for you. That basically just stops teams from flying cross country for their 1st events.

and non continental US teams can register anywhere they like.

This wouldn't effect the vast majority of teams if it was implemented this way.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 06:46 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

If we can designate what our home regional is, then sure why not.
If its assigned as in our case with us being in Hawaii for the Hawaii event, then I wouldnt care for such a policy.
Hawaii being towards the later part of the competition season poses all kinds of financial constraints for us and many other Hawaii teams.
We sign up for Hawaii last because it is truly the last priority event for our program these days. The regional provided support for us last year to ship our robot back home via Fedex. That was incentive enough for us to do the event and FIRST covered all shipments to the Championship event and back.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 06:51 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

I'd be fine with it, as long as it's optional. My (former, I guess) team is about equidistant from several different regionals, all falling relatively close on the schedule. Avoiding back to back regionals would be much harder if we were forced into a cetain regional.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 07:06 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by waialua359 View Post
If we can designate what our home regional is, then sure why not.
If its assigned as in our case with us being in Hawaii for the Hawaii event, then I wouldnt care for such a policy.
Hawaii being towards the later part of the competition season poses all kinds of financial constraints for us and many other Hawaii teams.
We sign up for Hawaii last because it is truly the last priority event for our program these days. The regional provided support for us last year to ship our robot back home via Fedex. That was incentive enough for us to do the event and FIRST covered all shipments to the Championship event and back.
If you want to designate your home Regional for the remainder of your team's existence. For example, you're always registered for Montreal round 1. Would make planning capacity much easier down the road.

-Mike
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Unread 09-28-2017, 07:32 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

I wonder if there's a long term solution that could lead to teams having smaller events close to home that don't fill up with outsiders. Then maybe you could earn points to compete at a larger event with other high quality teams. Over time the system would generate more spots total for teams to compete and would mean teams have multiple events close to home to choose from. You could probably grow from 3 events in a region to 26 events (11 of which are within 50 miles of our shop) in a 10 year period. What would you call such a system? Municipality events? Sectorals? Precincts?

Sorry to rub it in - as much as I miss seeing out of state teams at events, locking them out has been great for our growth.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 07:53 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

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Originally Posted by Mike Schreiber View Post
Sorry to rub it in - as much as I miss seeing out of state teams at events, locking them out has been great for our growth.
Pass the salt?

I would like very much for NY to go districts, as I know others do as well. That said, however, we would miss some of the international flair at our events.... But this has all been discussed before.
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Unread 09-28-2017, 08:08 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

they're talking about us, I think.....

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Unread 09-28-2017, 10:27 PM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

I'm just going to mention that the Mountain West is ripe for the kind of scenario that Mike suggested. We are definitely a "low-demand" region. But the scenario Mike suggested isn't very prevalent (as far as I can tell) and when it does happen it's not quite how he described.

I'm going to focus on the Utah Regional because I think it's the most "high demand" MW event this year because it's week 1. This year 4 Colorado teams registered for Utah first (knowing the teams they all intend to also register for Colorado), and one of those teams is roughly the same distance from both events.

I'll admit this was enticing option, Utah is our only feasible second event this year, and with a lowish registration capacity, and the draw of the only Western Week 1 I'm still worried we might not get in. Especially knowing that Colorado has never reached physical capacity since moving the pits a couple years ago made it more enticing. But in the end we decided that the possibility, however small, of not getting into Colorado wasn't worth it.

So I think this problem isn't as far reaching as we might think. Looking at some of the California events that already filled up (definitely high demand) only a couple of the registered teams at each event aren't actually from California.

I guess I understand the sentiment, and I can definitely see how even one or two teams that do that could be frustrating, but I want to ask, how often does this actually happen?
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Unread 09-29-2017, 12:47 AM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

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Originally Posted by Thayer McCollum View Post
So I think this problem isn't as far reaching as we might think. Looking at some of the California events that already filled up (definitely high demand) only a couple of the registered teams at each event aren't actually from California.

I guess I understand the sentiment, and I can definitely see how even one or two teams that do that could be frustrating, but I want to ask, how often does this actually happen?
Right now, there are 36 out-of-state teams registered in California, compared to the 27 total last year, and a lot of them come from what I would consider "low demand regions" like AZ, Hawaii, or Nevada. More specifically, between 3 of the CA events that have filled to their initial capacity (San Diego, LA, San Francisco) there are 11 teams registered who come from those lower-demand regions.

There are also several LA/San Diego area teams registered for regionals like AZ North, Vegas, and Utah. Is this because they couldn't get in to their 'home' events or because their 'home' events are lower on their preference list? I don't know, but I think it is pretty interesting to note.
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Unread 09-29-2017, 12:47 AM
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Re: Home Event Policy for Regional Teams

I was certainly surprised when I saw seven teams from outside LA/MS/southern AL/FL panhandle signed up for Bayou in round 1, as we have never filled up in round 1, or even round 2 as far as I am aware.
"Within 50 miles or 3 closest regionals" might work for teams in the lower 48, but teams with no regionals within several hundred miles (e.g. western Europe, South America, western Australia, and notionally Africa, Antarctica and lots of remote islands including many in the southern hemisphere) should be free to choose a first event wherever they like.
On the flip side, if a team is only eligible to register for one event in the first round, they should not have to actually do so. Such teams should be able to hold down a spot at their "home" regional until the payment deadline with no action.
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