2007 Outside NA Regionals

I’m talking about the Brazilian Pilot and the GM Regional in Israel! I’m surprised that it’s taking so long for these regionals to fill up (or even to be mentioned here). Who’s excited?

The Israeli regional has traditionally been strictly for teams in Israel. I’m unsure if that’s changed this year. The Brazil regional might be run the same.

That said, for both regionals, (from Houston, atleast) you’re talking atleast 14 hours of travel time one way, plus $1300 per person. Not to mention the undoubtedly horrificly expensive shipping fees for your robot that FedEx isn’t going to pick up. And plus you get to wonder if the robot will ever make it through customs. BOTH ways through customs. I could take my team to toronto in half the time, for a third the cost and with infinitely less worry.

I suspect the reason these regionals aren’t filling up, if they’re even open to all teams, is that teams don’t think it’s a wise expenditure to spend $15,000 to send 10 people to Brazil for a regional when they could take more people to a regional in the states for less money. At least, I think our sponsors would cut off our funding if they caught us in that kind of profligate waste.

Yes, experiencing other cultures, blah blah blah, but still. You don’t experience a culture in 3 days of a robot competition. If you want your team to experience a new culture, arrange a scrimmage in the summer and spend a week or more having a local team tour you around and stuff, and hunt for the best ticket prices.

EDIT: The other obvious reason being that it’s hard hard hard to get that many rookie teams in a rookie regional area.

That’s definitely true. Even the week or two (the UK teams stayed like 2 or 3 weeks in Annapolis) does not really immerse the teams in the competition. I’m just leaving open the possibility. It hasn’t happened. But then again, if teams could come here from the UK and stay here for like a week or so (note: the longest part of the trip, IMO, from Maryland or Texas in that matter to Israel is that flight across the Atlantic.) It’s very doable, if not now, sometime in the future as FIRST itself grows.

Keep in mind the UK teams travel like 4000+ miles to get to the US or Canada for regional action while they themselves don’t have a regional back in their home country.