Wow… my opinion exactly, Clark.
The Regionals are filling up, but I wonder how many more spots FIRST is allowing for rookie teams. There were more teams at some of these regionals last year than they are being capped at this year. Hopefully, FIRST will let in teams who need to find a place to play.
Here’s some news on teams who need a place to play:
NASA has given a large chunk of change to start 50 new teams in 5 states (10 each) which don’t have FIRST teams yet. I think that these states are Nevada, both Dakotas, Kansas and Oregon. The coordinator for the Nevada teams met with me and some other TechnoKats in Kokomo yesterday, and he is just beginning to organize his 10 Nevada teams, let alone register… where do they play?
Many teams are registering for more regionals than they did last year. This is a natural reaction to the Championship qualification process, since teams who have not pre-qualified want to qualify on their performance of this year’s regional. The more regionals they attend, the more chances they have to qualify for Nationals.
While this makes sense… is it the right thing to do while there are some teams who can’t even get into one regional. I’m sure that some teams will drop down from their 5, 4 or 3 regional registrations, but this will not fill up the needed spots for these new teams.
There is a good thing hidden in this glut of registration: FIRST is getting more money than they expected for the number of teams registering. I don’t know the actual numbers, but I assume that the average number of competitions for each team has increased dramatically over last year. If this is correct, the result is that FIRST is going to get more registration $$ per team this year.
Looking at these last two paragraphs, I have two suggestions:
Some teams need to cut back on the number of Regionals they are registered… especially the teams who are pre-qualified.
FIRST may want to scramble to get another Regional or two in place this year. Maybe they can still pull of Arizona this year, or even another location. There are many teams who put on their own invitationals and post season competitions (our team included), and many of these folks could pitch in to help FIRST in doing this. This idea is kinda out there… but I know of many people who would be interested in pitching in to make this happen.
So… does this make sense? I think that the chances of either of these suggestions being made into a reality is pretty far-fetched, but, it could work.