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  #61   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 02-07-2018, 03:06 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
Ed can vouch that I was at Houston, in MMP, and left before FRC play resumed after the "Sun Delay". AFTER getting in (wait in line for a while) and finding my way to a decent spot (and food...). It wasn't exactly a great time other than chatting with folks I knew.

Some of the rest of you may be able to recall that I was posting on CD during the tail end of Einstein.

In between, I had time to go for a swim... at the hotel... in comfort. AND watch the last couple matches and awards on the livestream.


While I can see how it's great to watch in person, if it's going to take a while I'd rather watch the stream from somewhere else.
After the 2012 Einstein disaster I declined being lead que on Einstein the next two seasons. I will decline the Einstein invitation for Houston as well from now on. I truly believe the people who run Minute Maid Park do not respect what we do and do not deserve our business.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 03:11 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Citrus Dad View Post
Schools have ALWAYS allowed scholastic athletes to travel to the next level of competition on one week's notice.
Considering we almost didnt get to go to Houston with 3.5ish weeks notice thanks to the school, ill disagree there. Maybe if we were the football or basketball team....
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Unread 02-07-2018, 03:13 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by caleb7hayes View Post
To be completely honest with you cd I think what first is doing is better for the overall goal of first, to become an organization that changes the world. They did two champs to allow more teams to experience a world championship and become inspired to do something greater. I understand that it doesn't do a great job of making frc as competitive as it could be, but the events give off a familiar feeling to when the championship was just in St Louis. Einstine is a bit odd and there are some major logistical barriers that first is going to need to get through. What I think first is doing is making it more of a show and a performance in the ballparks to reach a pinnacle of what first is.

With regards to FOC, I also agree with the decision to ditch it. Heres why: the FOC is for a niche group of students and teams. There is a large number of teams that their season is done after 1-2 regions and that's it, many won't even watch the world championships. Also, it doesn't make any sense financially to put on this event to their sponsors. There isn't a substantial argument that first can make to spend 200k to have 8 teams play when the reason why they are investing is for the growth of stem fields, not for there to be a definitive winner of first.

It seems like we are complaining and becoming upset with first too easily when they are doing their best to achieve the goal of first and to comply with sponsors. Overal I'm happy with what first has been doing and with the changes that they are making.
On your first point, whether FIRST's goal is truly being achieved with this change was hotly debated on CD on several threads in 2015. There were many counterproposals that would have achieved the same goal while maintaining the competitive aspect of the program. FIRST is continuing to dilute this part which runs completely contrary to Dean's initial insight that kids are attracted to popular sports heroes. And why are they attracted? Because those sports heroes compete to play in the pinnacle single championship of their sport.

As to the second, there are better solutions that would be less expensive. Sending the Houston winners to Detroit for a final round would cost perhaps $40,000, not $200,000.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 03:16 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by MikLast View Post
FoC being months in advance did stop a team. An event the week after? Have fun getting your school to approve that and get the funds to take your drive team on such short notice.
That team didn't go because the key mentor wasn't available at that time, not a problem with school approval (which doesn't matter in July anyway.)
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Unread 02-07-2018, 03:38 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Citrus Dad View Post
That team didn't go because the key mentor wasn't available at that time, not a problem with school approval (which doesn't matter in July anyway.)
Assuming we both mean the same team, one of their DT members says otherwise.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 03:45 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Koko Ed View Post
They should make a death metal version of Here Comes the Sun in memory of the sunshine delay on Einstein last year.
I did some googling and it exists... Seems pretty fitting!
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Unread 02-07-2018, 05:18 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Citrus Dad View Post
That team didn't go because the key mentor wasn't available at that time, not a problem with school approval (which doesn't matter in July anyway.)
Emphasis mine. That's definitely variable from team to team. We have to get school approval to attend IRI.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 05:28 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Citrus Dad View Post
This is no different than what interscholastic athletes do every year. I ran springtime track and spent every weekend in May working through qualification rounds to the state championship. (I made it twice.) Schools have ALWAYS allowed scholastic athletes to travel to the next level of competition on one week's notice.

Everyone understands that they are giving up something to compete. And more importantly, the winners from Houston would spend either 1 or 2 nights in Detroit for 1 day of competition, not the entire 4 days. I don't see how traveling on Friday night for a Saturday competition is disruptive to students' schedules.
Notice how you said state championship for track. How many high school sports have widely recognized national championships in the United States? Almost all stop at the state level. It's a lot easier to organize a last minute trip to a city 4 or 5 hours away via bus than it is to organize airfare across the country. Let alone the logistics of transporting the robots (which are in drayage with 400 other teams after Houston), tools, and pit equipment.

Let's not forget the proximity of the Championship dates to dates of AP and standardized testing.

Also, plenty of sports will put in field trip forms ahead of time, even if they don't qualify for competitions. The unfortunate reality is that FIRST teams often do not do that (especially for an event as exclusive/rare as being one of 4 members of a winning alliance).
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Unread 02-07-2018, 05:52 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by StAxis View Post
I think the new layout will help the event feel more like the championships of old. It will also help the new schedule of being in the convention hall and may even provide better viewing of Einstein at least tbh..
I agree here. Last year I was quick to say at Houston it felt like we were in separate events running simultaneously. I am glad they are turning the fields to show you are not at a regional. But I remember the space from last year and I am more curious as to where Pits will go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basel A View Post
Is it just me or is that not nearly enough seating for the round robin?
I agree here. This is definitely an issue. Don't forget VIP's get a dedicated space as well as the teams who get to move closer to their respective field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Montois View Post
Wait..... what?

We're going to move to Ford Field for 2 or 3 matches? the CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE is walking out on the dome floor for the first time. All teams should have that experience.

According to the schedule Ford Field is being used for 8 and a half hours for FRC.
I agree with the sentiments on giving teams the chance to walk out into the stadium (similar to the Olympics) and getting that experience.

The length of time at Ford Field could be more indicative of setup and giving time for seating, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbysq View Post
I get that the whole thing is less than optimal, and that FIRST can't seem to figure out what the community wants despite this site containing pages upon pages of what the community wants.
I disagree. FIRST has millions of people involved. I would venture to say on any given day CD has maybe 200 active users. That is not a true representation of what others want. In fact, often when people disagree with the hive mind here they are blasted until the person gives up and stops replying, or they leave the site entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Tatorscout View Post
Here's why:


It's not so intense when you can't see anything. Oh, look, there's the livestream. Gosh, could I be watching that in a comfortable place with a beverage and a meal? Yup. Minute Maid field, where they put robots through the metal detectors...huge disappointment after cool events in St Louis and Atlanta previous years.

Why else? maybe standing in line for hours in the heat and humidity. It's so intense when people faint and paramedics have to help them.

Why wouldn't you go to Einstein...let me count the ways.
Minute Maid Park and the Houston Astro's Organization operated our "Private Event" much like a baseball game. There is definitely an opportunity for them to improve and I don't think that giving up right away is the appropriate response.

The concern was raised Friday night that teams did not have enough information to understand what would be expected at MMP. This is why Saturday we had that Black and Green slideshow running almost non-stop. And, emcee's were trying to place emphasis on watching and noting the information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citrus Dad View Post
Like this idea. It's only the flights that would be expensive,and probably not too much more than going to the Festival of Champs. FIRST could pre-book hotel rooms in Detroit for the teams. AND those teams could be guest of honor during the main competition so there would be even more hype. It also could increase the media attention for the final championship round.
I agree here, FIRST could specifically pre-book certain hotel rooms for the winning alliance to be at Detroit Champs to have the two winning alliances face off. If they bring the team in late Thursday night, giving them all of Friday to work on their robot and be ready for Saturdays' finals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koko Ed View Post
After the 2012 Einstein disaster I declined being lead que on Einstein the next two seasons. I will decline the Einstein invitation for Houston as well from now on. I truly believe the people who run Minute Maid Park do not respect what we do and do not deserve our business.
I don't believe that they do not respect FIRST. I think it was a case of not understanding our needs accurately. I believe given proper training, and setting the expectation super early to teams (in Championship welcome packets) of what is and is not allowed into MMP will greatly improve the lines going through security and entering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citrus Dad View Post
And why are they attracted? Because those sports heroes compete to play in the pinnacle single championship of their sport.
This is off base. Teens are attracted to wanting to be a part of Professional Sports because of the money. A lot of players (not all) are very flashy with what they earn. It does not help that Professional teams, their respective league, and members of the media make a big deal out of what players make. Kids see dollar signs yet have no idea that only .03% of all High School athletes go pro. This is why Dean has been touting everyone who participates in FIRST can go pro.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 08:10 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

I have to admit that I'm shocked (no I'm not it's CD) at how many people are agonizing over a potential "end game" that affects 6.teams. It appears to me that a full 66% of the 400+ teams will have crap seating for the round robin series. That seems like a much bigger issue to me.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 08:16 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Tom Line View Post
I have to admit that I'm shocked (no I'm not it's CD) at how many people are agonizing over a potential "end game" that affects 6.teams. It appears to me that a full 66% of the 400+ teams will have crap seating for the round robin series. That seems like a much bigger issue to me.
Last year it was basically 100% of the teams had crap seating in Houston, even those who were on Einstein. To me this is an improvement.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 08:25 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

Restaurants etc around downtown here is your business opportunity!

Have your video feeds working on all your TV's - I can see a lot of teams choosing a good meal and watching the stream of finals, with great seats.

Unless you are one of 6 teams.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 08:32 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Tom Line View Post
I have to admit that I'm shocked (no I'm not it's CD) at how many people are agonizing over a potential "end game" that affects 6.teams. It appears to me that a full 66% of the 400+ teams will have crap seating for the round robin series. That seems like a much bigger issue to me.
It is bad for 99% of teams to have bad seating. It is INEXCUSABLE for Einstein teams to not see their robot perform.
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Unread 02-07-2018, 10:44 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by Citrus Dad View Post
That team didn't go because the key mentor wasn't available at that time, not a problem with school approval (which doesn't matter in July anyway.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallry View Post
Emphasis mine. That's definitely variable from team to team. We have to get school approval to attend IRI.
I'll go further and note that our District technically doesn't allow summer travel. They can't handle any POs or invoicing for 1 - 2 months over the summer which I think is the root reason. I'm sure we could work out an exception for a World Championship but some districts are much more restrictive than others (guess who can't buy from Home Depot because of a contract agreement?).

My thoughts on the Championship announcements:
  • I like the new field/seating layout, I think it will help give the large competition feeling FIRST is striving for.
  • Round robin seating will still be better than Minute Maid, you will have 2.5 - 3 fields of usable seating since the edges of the fields next to Mass and Energy can probably still get a decent view of the matches (again, better than Minute Maid).
  • The stadiums for Einstein Finals are going to be much emptier this year, with how notoriously late it runs and only having the last handful of matches a higher percentage of teams are going to pass and head back for dinner/leaving town after the round robins conclude. Seems like FIRST is basically trying to minimize their use after the MMP fiasco but I am sure they are stuck in a contract for them so
  • If this format works better maybe next year FIRST can do all of Einstein in the convention centers and just use the stadiums for a team social?
  • FoC is just too far removed from Champs to really be a big event, I know I couldn't take time to watch it over the summer. At this point it will be better to just leave the single champion to IRI/Chezy Champs until we are beyond the current 2Champs contracts, I think FIRST made the right move here.

Once we are beyond the current Championship contracts FIRST needs to utilize a basketball/hockey arena for all of Einstein if it is important to have that packed stadium experience for it. That gives you about 20,000 seating capacity at most venues and gives good sight lines since two FRC fields are comparable in size to a basketball court or hockey rink. Football, baseball, and soccer stadiums are just too large to nicely place an FRC field in the center, and cramming them to one side effectively cuts your usable capacity to 20,000 or less anyway for a decent view. As a bonus this probably opens up your location possibilities since all hockey/basketball arenas are covered whereas only a limited number of baseball and football stadiums are. If 20,000 seating isn't enough then I would advise FIRST to reconsider their goal of having all teams get the Championship experience (many of us have not been in years or ever and that is fine with us, some even prefer not to go. Make District/Super Regional Championships better, and have a really selective World Championship sometime after. Regular sports don't try to have a quarter of the teams in the USA or world attend their Championship every year).
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Unread 02-07-2018, 10:47 PM
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Re: [FRC Blog] 2018 FIRST Championship and Beyond

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Originally Posted by MC_Stitch View Post
Teens are attracted to wanting to be a part of Professional Sports because of the money. A lot of players (not all) are very flashy with what they earn. It does not help that Professional teams, their respective league, and members of the media make a big deal out of what players make. Kids see dollar signs yet have no idea that only .03% of all High School athletes go pro. This is why Dean has been touting everyone who participates in FIRST can go pro.
One of my former students went on to intern with SpaceX and Tesla, and is now back as a mentor. He came early today and I introduced him to my class. He got a pretty solid reception that might compare favorably to being a pro athlete. The first question he got was about the $.
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