Attending Back-to-back Regionals

Our team is considering attending back-to-back regionals (Week 5 and 6), and are contemplating the drawbacks of the lack of time between them. Does anybody who has attended back-to-back regionals have any thoughts on this?

I haven’t attended back-to-back regionals, but this year we attended a Week 6 district event and a Week 7 District Championship. We had our spring break sandwiched between the competitions and it was still hard. Tired and stressed team members are not nearly as productive.

I would advise against back-to-back events unless there is a major advantage in doing so.

For the past two years we did back to back regionals (week 2 and week 3). At first we didn’t have much choice because of the locations that were available. After we went back to back for the first time we learned that we actually liked it. We will probably do it again this year. BUT, we do three regionals.

Here are some of the drawbacks:

  • Not a lot of time to make upgrades between competitions
  • Hard on students missing several days of school back to back weeks
  • Tough on mentors taking off for work
  • TIRING- we are pretty exhausted at the end of the two events

We loved the immersion experience though. Also our drivers were in peak driving condition when we reached the second event.

There are probably a lot more drawbacks to doing back to back regionals but just know that it is possible and it can actually be pretty fun and rewarding.

+1 - I haven’t done this, but if your team members need to keep up with classes and/or your mentors are working day jobs, it doesn’t sound like a good idea - especially when you think about trying to make adjustments between events.

If my team had to do back to back regionals I wouldn’t be happy about missing school back to back weeks. It really puts a lot of stress on the students- especially when April is ACT month/AP test prep month. So like other people have said on this thread, I would also advise on not choosing that path. (some teams have no choice but to attend back to back regionals/events though)

192 did back to back years ago and will never do it again. It was exhausting for the adults and hard for the students and school work. It means we cannot fit many interesting regional events into our schedule each year. We also try to avoid first week events so adults can rest after build.

I’d be interested in some feedback on this as well. My team had a great experience competing in Week 1 and Week 6 events last year. This year, the growth of new districts around us mean we’re looking likely at back-to-back regionals in Weeks 4&5. There just aren’t many great options for us if we’d like to do two. I feel pretty certain two regionals are better than one - even if they are in consecutive weeks - but I’m open to hearing advice from those who’ve done it.

1507 attended back to back regionals in 2014, and we have tried to avoid it ever since. There were definitely more drawbacks than benefits. The one small benefit it allowed was competing in later weeks, which allowed us to learn from the successes and mistakes of the earlier events. Although we had more prep time for our first regional, competing the following Thursday left us almost no time to iterate between events.

There was also the mental and physical burnout associated with the back to back competitions. It usually takes me a few days to adjust back to normal after a 3 day competition. Going off and competing just 5 days after you get home from another competition took a pretty big toll on all of the team members. Also, team members miss 2-3 days of school/work each week, which adds to the stress of doing back to back regionals.

We were basically forced to in 2015 (and we’ll have to in 2016) on 20 and 5254. There are really only two regionals within driving distance with open slots now since everyone around us is going districts.
It was not a good experience last year. No time to iterate between events, two Fridays in a row for mentors to take off from work.

I would recommend against it if you can avoid it, especially two events that late in the season.

If you’re going to do it, do it Week 1 and Week 2. At least then you’ll have an advantage of one event under your belt that no one else has. It offsets the fatigue a little. If you do back to back late in the season, you just end up tired and exhausted playing teams who have more experience AND time to iterate than you did.

I’ll be doing it (personally, as a volunteer–team is NOT unless there are no other options) in Week 4/5 this year. After a Week 2 event.

If I remember I’ll comment later on how it actually goes. (I do plan to work the three working days in between 4 and 5.)

I’ve done back-to-back twice, once weeks 3-4, and once weeks 5-6. Would not recommend it. You will have next to no time to plan modifications for your robot in-between events, and little time for practice.

In 2014 we ran Weeks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7(DCMP) and 9 (CMP).

In 2015 we ran Weeks 1, 3, 4, 5, 7(DCMP) and 9 (CMP).

Overall the 3 or 4 weeks in a row can be extremely difficult for certain teams/situations. We’re fortunate to use the District advantage of being able to compete Sat/Sun vs a more standard regional schedule.

One of the reasons I particularly like it aside from the benefit of lots of practice, tuning and opportunties- is it makes us feel like a sports team. I liken it to a baseball team having a tournament on 3 consecutive weekends, or a classic football schedule of a game a week.

It makes our competition season crazy, intense and draining- but a ton of fun and we love doing it.


We did a Week 6 district/Week 7 DCMP last year after Week 2 and Week 4 districts. While it was a ton of fun (more robotics! more competitions!), it didn’t go well in terms of members’ schoolwork and energy levels after DCMP.

We also qualified for CMP at DCMP, giving us one (precious) weekend off before missing basically another week of school.

So, to more or less reiterate what others have said: back-to-back events can be awesome, make sure you know what your students and mentors are in for in terms of missed school and work.

I would say it really depends on your team.

Last year we attended a Week 5 (Ventura) and a Week 6 (San Diego), and the turnout was kind of exhausting. We were kind of lucky to have San Diego during Spring break, otherwise most of our students wouldn’t have been able to attend.

What kind of affected us the most was the inability to assess our mistakes at Ventura, and improve for San Diego. Plus, we watched teams adapt to the game throughout the weeks without being able to really test our robot’s application in real matches. We weren’t unprepared for Ventura, but walking into a regional with prior experience on your robot is a great thing. Plus, when we did finally decide what improvements we wanted to make for San Diego, we had to really crunch to make them.

2015 was our first season doing back to back regional events, and I would heavily advise against it.

Just get a lot of coffee/mountain dew, you’ll be fine…