A New Era in FRC?

For those of you watching the FIRST Regional Awards Show tonight, you’d see that 254 won the 2020 RCA at the Central Valley Regional.

I believe this makes 254 the first FRC to win an RCA after winning the CCA (they won CCA in 2004).

Have we entered a new era in FRC, where past CCA’s will start winning RCA’s/DCA’s more often?



I’ll be interested if someone from 254 cares to comment whether this was intentional.


/me points at 191…

I suspect that it’ll start happening more, but I’d also guess that the competition for the awards will have ramped up a bit while the HoF teams were barred from submitting so it’ll be harder for them. There used to be a bit of a joke that to determine who the next year’s HoF entry was, you’d look at who had the longest streak at the regional level. The real trick was to figure out who’d fill in AFTER that.

Well, depends on how you define winning post CCA.
There’s the usual 191 double HOF win, though that was in an era before HOF was a thing.
There’s 120, HOF in 99, RCA again in 2003.
16 HOF in 2000, win again in 04
22 HOF in 2001, and CA again in 02.

Queue debate about the spirit of the award having changed in the last two decades.


120 is listed on TBA as having a Championship Chairman’s Award in 1999, followed by a Chairman’s Award win at Buckeye Regional 2003. I think you may be correct if we’re talking about current Chairman’s criteria.

I’d need to see the rubrics on that one though.


254 has the rubric confirmed.


For what its worth, I believe 254 has technically been submitting every year since they won in '04 because of NASA sponsorship stipulations.


This is generally true, as i dont know if they missed submitting any from previous years.
As I was told by mentors from the team in the past, Team 254 submits because they are a NASA team, and teams that get the NASA grant have to submit for an RCA.
As a HOF, I am aware of a couple other times, former HOF teams have submitted an RCA at a regional event.
The rules say a HOF team cannot submit for the award for 5 years after they win the CCA.


Glad they gave it to them. Those guys inspire more teams to be better just by existing and competing.


If hall of fame teams still continue to impact their community or do better than they have before, then shouldn’t be fair for that team to receive this award since they’re doing more than others? This is no new era, this is still FRC.


Topic for debate related to this:

Should the automatic champs berth for CCA teams expire after a certain number of years (4-5, etc.)?

I see HOF as something that should be rewarded, but giving teams that made HOF in the early 2000s auto invites to champs doesn’t seem reflective of modern FRC and the goals of the Chairman’s award as they’ve changed in the 30 years of FIRST. And, for the most part anyway, these teams would probably make it to champs on merit regardless…


can’t tell if the comment on changes in chairmans are meant to be positive or negative


I think the point of HoF is to respect teams for the difference they made when they won it, similar to why Original and Sustaining teams get a pass. Their efforts pave the way for future winners, in a sense. From that perspective I think it makes sense to allow HoF to attend Champs each year.


I think I’d rather have 20 HOF teams over the 20 random waitlist teams that would replace them. I would be in favor of requiring HOF teams to submit Chairman’s to qualify, though. Maybe they could even say that the team has to be in the upper half of submissions to move on just to make sure they’re still doing stuff.


They used to do something like that. IIRC for a few years there was sort of a “HoF Chairman’s” competition but I think that stopped after 3-4 years.

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I’d think it be interesting to make it like:

  1. 2 year post CCA champs invite
  2. Team goes to regular qualifying after that
  3. Some number of teams get sponsored travel for 4 students and chaperone to be HoF booth presenters based upon Chairman’s like judging session of any HoF team that presents.
  4. Award for best overall HoF from judging, that potentially is sponsored.
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Point of clarification:

Teams sponsored by NASA have to submit an “annual report” to NASA. This annual report takes the form of the Chairman’s Award essay. There is no obligation for NASA teams to upload that report into FIRSTs award submission system. Nor does it have to be completed by the same deadline as the Chairman’s award essays are due.


There is something to be said for the 20 waitlist teams instead of the HOF teams; The inspirational impact of attending championships might positively impact the waitlist teams to do more in their communities and to raise their STEM capabilities. The result might be to further spread the model of FIRST.

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That’s a valid point. However, there’s inspirational value in meeting HoF teams as well - talking to HoF teams at the HoF tables was the highlight of 2017 champs for me. Making it to semifinals for our division was exciting, and definitely fun for the kids, but talking to HoF teams and asking them questions gave me more inspiration and ideas for improving my team than any other single activity in my six years of mentoring. Going to Champs isn’t just inspirational to teams because it’s big and the level of competition is higher, it’s inspirational because of all the cool opportunities that don’t exist outside of Champs, and getting all the teams with the most inspiring, innovative outreach in one room where you can talk to them is one of those opportunities. Meeting teams from all over the world used to be another, before 2Champs. A massive, stunning sponsor career fair/expo in the venue was another back in 2012, and in 2015 had been downgraded to a handful of booths in a room down the street. Things that make Champs more than just a really big regional are dwindling, and I’d hate to lose another one

Which is not to say that CCA should necessarily be an automatic pass to champs forever - having it expire eventually, or adding some kind of check that they’re still doing great things, wouldn’t necessarily take away from that effect. Just wanted to point out that having HoF teams at Champs does have inherent value to the community that would be lost if they were replaced by waitlist teams.


From FIRST’s prospective, I think there is a pretty big advantage of haveing these teams present every year. For teams that might not make champs every year, getting to go and meet these teams/hero’s is a big draw, giveing these teams just another reason to push every year to make champs.