[2017] Chairman's Preview: Week Four

Let’s get right to it!

The Rocket City Regional is a bit light on established talent-- aside from 1108 who has 8 Chairman’s wins going all the way back, but last took one home in 2014, and 79, with an impressive 7 previous wins, but who last brought home a banner in 2012, nobody has more than two wins. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see it go to team with less wins-- 180 brought home their first RCA last year, and is likely to want to repeat that, while 2783 brought home their first back in 2015. In addition, 4013 brought home a pair of banners in 2014 and 15, and very well may be looking for another. In the “up and coming” category, we have 4451, who took the Engineering Inspiration Award home at last year’s Palmetto Regional.

Sacramento is an interesting field for Chairman’s this year - though none of the contenders won a Chairman’s banner in 2016, a grand total of 4 punched their ticket to Stronghold in St. Louis with the Engineering Inspiration award. With the most recent Chairman’s Award in 2015, 1671 would thus seem the top competitor for the award. However, 1323 recently revived their 2013 RCA success with an Engineering Inspiration earlier this season, and are likely looking to upgrade. 3128 and 4135 both won their first EI last year, and this could be the first RCA for either team. Older favorite 585 hasn’t won a banner since 2012, but could pull through here in Sacramento. Finally, though 1700 has never won a Chairman’s banner, they have a long history with culture change awards going back to 2006.

Even with 399 and 4944 already out of the running (each having won at a previous regional), there’s still plenty of competition for the banner at Colorado. 4499 and 1619 will battle it out to prove themselves as Rocky Mountain powerhouses. Even though they only have one RCA (2015), an impressive history of EI’s could manifest in a banner for 1011. With a culture change award won every year since 2013, don’t be surprised if 2996 takes home the gold. Finally, though they haven’t won a Chairman’s Award since 2012, 2158 took home the Archimedes Engineering Inspiration in 2014, a promising sign for their program.

Iowa Regional is going to be a low-key event as far as Chairman’s contenders go. 525 is an obvious contender here-- this is their home state, and they took home the award last year, but the team with the longest Chairman’s history here is going to be 1987 who has taken home three of the awards since 2009, but hasn’t brought one back since 2013. More recent winners include 2512 (2015) and 3528 who last took one home in 2014. We might also see one of the number of recent EI winners take it home-- 2500 has taken home 6 EI awards and an RCA in 2011, and might very well be a contender. 2081 is also no slouch in this department, with a win at last year’s Central Illinois Regional and a few before that. In a similar department but without the history, 4009 took home their first EI award last year and will be looking for an upgrade.

The Bayou Regional will be an interesting one-- the team’s you’d typically expect to be the leading contenders here have already taken one home. This leaves us looking at a number of winners from last year, particularly 2080 who has won the award 3 times, and 3478, who is on a burgeoning streak with wins in 2015 and 2016. Even though it’s been a while since they last took home a Chairman’s banner, it wouldn’t be a terrible surprise to see 1912 with a blue banner, with a historical 4 wins. We also could see 5006 take home their first banner-- they’ve brought home three EI awards in four years of existence.

The Oklahoma Regional has few teams that have ever previously won a culture-change award-- leaders here are certainly 932, who is on a win streak starting here in 2015, and out-of-towners 3284, who would be taking home their fourth award if they won it here. We also have last year’s winners, 2341, in attendance, and on the outside we have 3660, who took the award home in 2013.

The (le?)** Festival de Robotique **up in Canada has a diverse array of contenders for the Chairman’s Award. 3990 won their first Chairman’s Award here last year. Their Curie Division EI could mean big things for their program in the future. 229 won their first ever RCA in their long history last year, and will be trying to beat out the locals. Finally, 2626, 296, and 3386 haven’t won the award since they won it here in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively, but are all strong competitors. Don’t be surprised if a new face rises to take the award; no team has won the RCA here twice since its inception in 2012.

There’s guaranteed to be a team taking home the Smoky Mountains Chairman’s Award, but it’s quite likely that that team won’t have won a Chairman’s Award in 5 or more years, if ever-- the most recent Chairman’s winner here is 337, who took it home in 2013. In a similar boat are 48, who took one home in 2012, and 63, who did it in 2011. Overall, this regional is absolutely wide open for someone with no history to bring home their first award.

The Wisconsin Regional has a few historic favorites-- 1306 has taken home the award here four times and 1714 has taken it four times as well (with an out-of-state win in 2015 to back it up). Additionally, 1675 has taken home the Chairman’s award a couple of times in the past at the Midwest Regional. We might see this shaken up a little bit, however, with 2220, who took home an RCA at last year’s Central Illinois, or 2194, who brought home a first Engineering Inspiration Award at North Star last year.

With 60 teams in attendance (including 2015 Hall of Fame winner 597), Los Angeles will be as competitive as ever. Hot off of an RCA in Arizona (congrats!), last year’s winner 3309 is out of the picture. Hall of Fame contenders 2486 are gunning to push their 6 RCA streak into a 7th, and, if history is any indicator, they have a great shot. 3880, with one of the most impressive awards resumes for team of their age, is looking to add a banner to their two RCA’s and 6 EI’s. A newer face on the scene, 2761 could repeat the success they had in Orange County last year, but they’ll have to beat out old school favorite 1515 to do so. Finally, 207 and 980 will be looking to prove that their 2015 RCA and 2016 EI, respectively, were not just flashes in the pan.

The leader of the pack at Hudson Valley is probably 1796, who took the award home for the first time last year at Long Island. Next most recent winner is 1156, who brought it home at Long Island in 2015, followed by 527 who brought it home at, you guessed it, Long Island in 2014. Another 2014 winner is 353, who brought it home at the New York City Regional. Last year, 639 brought home an Engineering Inspiration award, so it’s not out of the question we might see them with a banner either.

Here’s a fun fact: of the four teams competing for the award at the Israel District Championship, only one of them, 3211, has won it before-- and three times, at that! This doesn’t mean the other three teams are slouches, though-- expect 1574, 3339, and 4590 to give them a run for their money-- who know how the inaugural district championship will shake out?