Are there Agenda changes planned for Regional/District events?

Will the first full day of any Regional/District event still be Practice Matches and Inspection, or has anyone heard/is it possible they will they roll right into Real Matches (to get more of them in) at, say, noon? Or earlier than Day 2?

Example: Attached the Agenda for San Diego Regional last year

I had been under the impression that practice matches were key, as no one had been able to touch/practice with their bot since Bag Day. Lots of work was done that day to add upgrades and de-rust the drive team .

But now… not so much. I’m theorizing, but I can see an argument of “Heck, start real matches earlier, get more of them in”.

If that is a possibility, I’m concerned about getting a large-ish team to a distant event. Last year, part of the team arrived for Load-in. But the rest of the Team didn’t really have to arrive until the end of the first full day (practice matches). You could split the team on a couple of flights, part of them drive, etc.

Since 2nd Regionals will be announced in about 16 hours, the possibility of a change makes a difference (if we have to buy airline tickets).

Also concerned (as a Robot Inspector) about when we need to get everyone stickered and official for real Matches.

This is a really good question that I haven’t seen answered anywhere yet. I am also curious of this matter.

I buy the theory, but not for this year. I have NOT heard anything about the schedules for events, one way or the other. But it seems like a rather large change to make, based on speculation that the teams will arrive more prepared. Additionally, I would have expected a change like this to be included in the information that was released last month about the rule changes - it’s something teams may have wanted to think about prior to event registration.

It seems more reasonable to make all the other changes they’re making this year, and see how events play out. If word comes back that there’s extra time on Thursday, then consider a change for next year.


You might be interested in this thread from a few months ago.

Well yes, but actually no? :wink:
(No real answer there… just a lot of speculation.)

As our Team is (probably) going to drop a couple grand tomorrow morning on airfare, it makes a big difference.

So I really, really hope Jon_Stratis is correct!!

From your mouth to God’s ear.

I’m sure my local LRI’s (and their cardiologists) would appreciate no Agenda changes for 2020.


I would generally assume that if FIRST were going to do that, they’d put out notices all over the place.

Lack of notice would–to me–say that that isn’t going to change.

I was talking with someone at a comp last weekend and he commented that it would just be too much to change given that some regionals have to shove 60 teams through inspection in 10 hours as it is (and teams really don’t show up until 5 hours into that time), plus practice.

My personal take is: Next year would be the absolute earliest I’d consider doing it.

Up until about 2015, there were practice matches and inspection most of the day Thursday (for Thur - Sat events). It’s just been the last few years that practice was reserved for after lunch. (Likely to ensure that fields were working properly as complexity increased)

I also doubt FIRST would drop a huge change to event schedules like eliminating practice matches, or greatly increasing the number of qualification matches without months of notice. Since Thur - Sat events still have Wednesday listed as event start (for drop off) it makes sense that the agendas will look like last year.

There were other reasons, too–I think this one came directly from teams. Seems that an awful lot of the early practice matches maybe had 1 robot when they started before lunch, not 4-6, and while there was a filler line, many teams couldn’t use it. Teams just weren’t through inspection yet, or had other fish to fry.

So they moved it back to noon on Thursday*, and a lot more teams made practice, used filler… And the FTAs have it much easier when it comes to chasing down teams that haven’t communicated with the field yet, something about there being 5 instead of 15.

*Districts excepted, they start as soon as teams can get through inspection to a working field…

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Practice matches are actually still the same portion of the day as they were pre-2015, but just a later and more useful portion.

It’s still a total of 5.5ish hours of the roughly 10-12 hours pits are open on practice day.

Reference from the year the change occurred:

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Practice Day isn’t just practice for the robots/drive teams. It is also practice for the field itself as well as the crews working it (Ref, Queue, Reset, FTA/A, Scorekeeper, GA/MC…{that list just kept getting larger as I typed it}). The more familiar they are with it and the current game itself, the smoother the actual competition will be. Think of the ref tablets and getting used to where the buttons are, the physical flow of matches, figuring out sight lines for being in the right place for calls…and that is just the refs. As an FTA, I want to make sure that every robot has at least connection tested to the field to shrink the number of connection troubleshooting issues I have to work through come Friday morning.


Nope. It was a result of poorly attended practice matches in the morning. Too many teams were still working on their robot and trying to get inspected. By delaying practice matches a couple of hours, those teams had a little more breathing room, more teams got through inspection earlier (instead of delaying inspection to make their match, and because they could then utilize the filler line), and it served as a cost reduction for the events that didn’t have to pay for quite as many meals for most of the field staff.

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