Back to back regionals

Normally my team, 1592, attends two regional events per year. One of them is always the Orlando regional and the second is an event that we have to travel to as well. With the addition of the regional event in Boca Raton this year we feel it would be crazy not to attend an event that would cost us so little in terms of travel. The Orlando regional is a week two event and the regional in Boca is a week five event. Because of this It would mean that our team would have to attend back to back regional competitions.

I was wondering if some of the teams out there that have done it in the past had any feedback on there experiences when doing this. How far away where the regionals? Did your robot show up on time? Did the student’s grade suffer as a byproduct? Would you do it again? What weeks would you suggest?

I was also wondering what other Florida teams planned on try to attend both Florida regionals and/or three regionals total.

Thanks for the feedback,

2815 did back-to-back regionals twice in its history: 2009 (Bayou/Palmetto) and 2011 (Peachtree/Palmetto). Memory is hazy about the former, but in the latter the kids that needed to sit out one dance or the other simply didn’t travel and that was that. I know it got rough on my vacation scheduling thanks to the way pay periods work where I work, and it is a little rough to work two or three days and then jet off again.

If it were the difference between attending one event or two, I’d say reach for it…but when you’re going from two to three, I’d think long and hard about it.

I don’t understand, Orlando is week 2 and FAU is week 5, therefore, they are not back to back events. The former is March 8-10 and the latter is March 29-31. That gives you two and a half weeks in between the end of the first event and the start of the next event. Please correct me if I’m mistaken, but it seems that shouldn’t be a problem.

He’s talking about doing three regionals (Orlando, South Florida, some travel event), two of which would be back-to-back by definition.

Billfred is correct. Three events in total. I also forgot to mention another question I had. How did the robot you built hold up to all of that if you made it in to the championships?

Two regionals and Championship. There you go.

We already do that.

Ah, I see, sorry for the confusion. And I don’t know what to tell you seeing as our team has never attempted back-to-back regionals.

Many Michigan teams do this - with two districts plus the state championship, they may be playing 60 or more matches before they get to CMP. It can be done. Plan for robustness, and for repairs when robustness fails.

Team 103 did 3 regionals one year. New Jersey week 1, Orlando week 2, & Philadelphia week 5. We were forced to use FEDEX overnight to get the robot to Orlando on time. I don’t remember the cost for shipping but it was very expensive but it did show up o time.

1305 has done Waterloo and Toronto regionals back to back for as long as they have been in existence. We traveled about 200- 250 miles to each event. Shipping was never an issue because they were both handled out of the same warehouse. Now with bag and tag, we have to send a truck with the robot, and find someone near the regional who can ship it for us immediately after Saturday finishes if we qualify because FedEx doesn’t ship LTL to our city. But the biggest issue for back to back regionals is missing school, it can be hard for students to miss 2-3 days of schoool 2 weeks in a row without marks falling a bit as a result.

Like 1305, 781 has been attending back to back regionals at Waterloo and GTR as long as they have existed (2002 and 2003 I believe). Having two back to back has never been much of a problem for me to catch up from. This year we did WAT, GTR, and then Buckeye as a third consecutive week. This was too much, and the calculus test I wrote after showed my attendance record.

If you want to attend 3, I wouldn’t let having 2 of them back to back stop you. Just never ever do 3 in a row, and then the championship after just a one week break.

237 has done it once. We will try to never do it again. The students did OK, but it’s a big toll on the mentors. All our mentors are employed outside the school system. The three day break in between events is tough on a full time job.

254 rules of thumb:

week 1 regionals are the worst and are like paying $4,000 to beta test the game and field for FIRST.

back to back regionals are slightly less bad, but still awful. It’s a ton of stress on the mentors; the kids and mentors have to miss school/work two weeks in a row. There’s zero time to implement any modifications/upgrades/etc to the robot. If you’re going to a non-local regional you all but have to pay a boatload extra for Shepard to get your robot there on time, as it traditionally has to arrive at the venue by Tuesday.

1503 echos this idealism.