California District Proposal, Rev 2

Hello FIRST Community,

As promised, here is Revision 2 of the California District Proposal.

Some highlights of Revision 2 of the CA District Proposal include:

  • A preface on the topic of Change
  • Revision of Goals and Objectives to align with FIRST’s stated Strategic Pillars
  • Team Growth, Retention and Performance Data comparing Regional to District structures
  • Addition of Unofficial CA Key Volunteer Database
  • Revised budget estimates based on an assumed District transition in 2018, $1,000 kickback from FIRST per FRC team registered, and doubled staffing budget to $400,000

All sections with major changes have a comment “Rev 2” next to the title of that section.

Last month, we released the first revision of this proposal. See this thread for Rev 1 and the discussion that followed.

Thank you everyone for your feedback and discussion so far. I’ve personally been overwhelmed by the community support.

A special thank you to all the Key FRC Contributors listed in the proposal, you’ve been incredibly helpful through this process, I cannot thank each of you enough.



Anyone interested in an over/under style pool for 199.9 replies on this thread?

All kidding aside… To my dear friends in California- I’m rooting for ya.

Awesome job! Especially like the new preface.

Updated Key Volunteer pool for the Sisk family

Must say, this is a very well put together proposal.

I updated my info as well. I’m so glad someone has taken the time to put this together. It is an amazing proposal, and coming from districts myself I’m excited to see it come in more places.

Updated for myself, and fixed a couple of slots I know the answer to.

A Volunteer column to add: Machine Shop.

The volunteers who do this work are greatly overlooked as we view the spectacle on the playing floor and in the pits, but it takes a lot of years to become an expert, a lot of expensive gear, and the willingness and expense to haul it across the country side.

Not every venue can get one of course, but for those that do, the people with the expertise put machines back onto the playing field when there may have been no alternative but to pack up and go home.


PS- The whole topic seems to most to be a sideshow of a sideshow, but having more mobile machine shops at venues helps out the “janitor closet” teams. Hmmm… sounds like another thread….

FIRST has posted a position for a part-time RD in Northern CA.


Thank you for the heads up!

I believe this position opened up after Ken Mitchell recently stepped down from his position as a Northern California RD.


I too believe this is an important issue to address.

I’m curious how machine shops work in a district environment. As the only regional I attended this year was SVR, the only machine shop I know of is the NASA trailer kind. I’m assuming that they don’t drive a trailer out to every district event, although I may be wrong. Could somebody who has experience post a quick overview? Thanks in advance.

In the PNW, we own 2 (I’m pretty sure. I know we own at least 1) machine shop trailers that travel to every event. I’m fairly certain these trailers are easier to work with and incorporate logistics for then finding a machine shop in each school or venue we go to. Even the district championship uses the trailers for the machine shop.

Depends on the area, even for regionals.

Ventura (and I’d highly recommend trying to keep that venue available for districts) has an on-site shop, with golf-cart transport (it’s not quite at the gym end of campus). L.A. and San Diego(?) used the Holy Cows’ mobile shop (a trailer). I’m not entirely sure about O.C., but I think the school shop was open there. Can’t say when the last time I’ve seen the NASA shop down here was.

Short version: Local shop if possible, trailer shop if not possible or for other reasons (consistency, etc.). I’d be reasonably certain that something along those lines would be the case for districts as well, with the caveat that if there was a team at the high school they’d probably be expected to either completely shut down their shop or make it the event shop. (Example, if an event was hosted at 1197’s school, which there are other factors against, it’d most likely be a hike across campus to the team shop, which would probably be opened for use as the event shop if staff were available.)

I cannot speak for all districts. At our district competition in St. Joe, we use the shop our school provides – which is also my team’s build space. During the event it is staffed by machinists from some of the companies that sponsor teams in our area, with a couple of our mentors to help people find tools and materials. It stays pretty busy, generally with five or six tasks in progress. Sort of like our team on a typical build night. :slight_smile:

(But the extra machinists are only for the event.)

In NE:

Like pretty much every other question about districts, it depends. At a lot of events there is a machine shop area in the corner of the gym with tools lent by teams. There is usually at a minimum a drill press and a bandsaw, but it varies a lot. In these situations, if there is a tool you want and you have room for it in your trailer, bring it and lend it to the machine shop. You will have the tool you need, it won’t have to fit in your pit, and everyone will like you. At Granite State this year, the machine shop used Windham’s shop. At RIDE this year, there was no machine shop at all. Since we had a drill press and bandsaw in our pit, we were REALLY popular. At DCMPs this year, we had the NASA trailer. Basically, most tools are lent by teams (host or not), so the quality of the machine shop lies on the teams.

We hosted at a school who has a robotics team so their shop became the machine shop, which I think is JUST as great! :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone for the great responses! I’m happy to see most districts represented in the answers!

I have a follow up question. For those who have used both a trailer-based shop (NASA, team provided, etc.) and another kind of shop (a team’s build space, a “bring your own equipment” shop, etc.), do you ever have problems with not having a certain tool, the tools not being maintained, or any issues along those lines? Just curious.

Edit: Related to the discussions we’re having about machine shops, I think it would be good to add something about them to the potential venue criteria. My quick read through that section turned up nothing about an event needing to have a machine shop.

Many of the IN events are in team schools, so the “host team” effectively provides a space. For the Perry Event, we recruited a few former team members to run the machine shop. Our build space is located near the playing field and pit gym, so it was easy access.

This does bring up something that FIRST may need to be sure is clearly defined. We considered our build space to be “off limits” during the event, and any work we needed done we did through the machine shop, like all other teams.

The Duluth regionals have used trailer-based machine shops, from a couple of different sponsors.

Minneapolis uses an off-site machine shop at the U.

Washington FIRST Robotics owns one machine shop trailer that was purchased when we were still in the regional system. That of course is the one with the wrap. The plain black trailer is owned by an uber volunteer. They are for the most part equally equipped. They are towed to the events by volunteers.