When Dean Kamen was at RIT two weeks ago, he talked about the direction that FIRST is taking.
To put things in perspective, 26 teams attended the orginal FIRST event in '92. It was held in a HS gym. That was the only event held that year.
The goal of FIRST is : (Everyone should KNOW this) to have a team at EVERY HS in the US within the next few years.
How many HS are there in america? 10,000? 20,000?
Are we going to have a championship wit 10,000 teams attending?! Obviously not.
So here we are, in between those original 26 teams at a HS gym, and the near future with 10,000 or more teams.
FIRST is looking ahead. We cannot put on a big enough championship for every team to attend now, or every other team.
If we have 1000 teams this year and a 300 team championship, then less than a 1/3rd of the teams can go. Once we get 1200 teams then every team can only goe once every 4 years.
once we get to 2400 teams, then once every 8 years.
Dean pointed out that allowing the championship to grow beyond 300 teams, does not add anything to its purpose. A 400 team regional does not fullfill its purpose any better than 300 teams - once you have filled a whole stadium…
Ohhhhhhh! WHAT?! wait a minute… The Championship has a PURPOSE?
and the purpose is NOT to have as many teams attend as humanly possible?!
whats going on here? What IS the purpose of the championship?
What is the purpose of FIRST?
are we trying to establish which HS/sponsor can build the best box stacking, ramp climbing, ball collecting, goal dragging machine in the world? Is that what FIRST is trying to promote?
I encourage eveyone to sit down, have a cup of tea, turn your computer off for a while and think about this for a while: Why are we here? why are we doing this?
If you think traveling with your team has some special reward, then by all means - sign your team up for the regional at NASA in florida this year, or the one in southern california, or the one in toronto, or NYC - by all means take your team on the road
go somewhere different every year - nothing is stopping you.
To put things into perspective, how many professional football teams are there in the US? and how many get to play in their championship (the superbowl) ?
there is a reason behind the criteria for the championship [hint: FIRST is NOT a robot building contest]
What is the purpose of FIRST then?