"Team 1323 is trying to put together a post-season regional in Fresno CA right in the heart of the Central Valley. In order to do so we need support from FSU so that they may provide us a venue and we need the support of FIRST so that no rights are broken. The only way we can get the support of both is by getting feedback from teams that would want to attend the competition. It would be open to anyone and run with exactly the same rules and regulations used by FIRST. It would be held over three days in June, July, or August, but most likely July. Expected price to attend would be around $300. The event would be non profit and price to attend would be the very least possible to run the competition. Shipping would be the responsibility of the teams attending.
If your team would come to this competition please add a comment to this thread saying so. We need a list so that we have an estimate of how large this will be and so that we can assure FIRST and FSU that this event will be worth supporting. This is NOT a binding agreement in any way. All teams who say they will come will be immediately notified when official sign-ups are released but this is just so we can get a better perspective of the turnout we can expect to see.
Feedback is welcome. Please mention your views on the subject.
Staff is taken care of but if you would like to volunteer please email the address below. If you have connections that may help with this effort they would be greatly appreciated and should email the below address as well.
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Why would you guys go to this much effort without any aim for a profit? I understand you not wanting to fundraise this way, but whatever money you make, use it in your educational programs at school or for scholarships/funding other teams. Do not waste an opportunity to fundraise.
Perhaps because seeing the students engaged and learning is profit enough in his eyes. While the perks of fund raising are great, off season events such as this are a great way to gain public attention, and recruit team members, sponsors, and mentors.
This is a great Idea. I’d be willing to bet our team would like to attend.
The Devil Duckies used to hold an offseason event, but for the last three years it has been cancelled due to the unfortunate San Diego Wild Fires. If things don’t end up catching on fire, there is a high possibility that the “Battle at the Border” will return.
Our team makes it a point to support multiple off-season events. It’s a great way to introduce people to the program and get more fun OUT of the robot. (After all, we’ve invested a lot of effort putting fun INTO the robot, right?)
Try to avoid scheduling near other established off-season events like IRI (end of July), SCRRF Fall Classic (mid-Sept), WRRF Cal Games (late-Oct), and Battle at the Border (TBD), so teams can relax a bit between events.
You can expect some offerings of help in preparing and executing the event from other teams. Keep us posted!!
You raise a great point, and we appreciate the input, but the purpose of this is not to make money. We would not want any teams to be left out of this event simply because they find it to be too expensive. What are the robots good for once the competition is over every year? I suppose they are good for doing demonstrations, and maybe a few teams turn them into T-shirt launchers, but for the most part they have very little function outside of the game. This event would be a chance to use the robots for what they were made for one last time. Or a second chance for teams that were disabled by silly unexpected problems. We are going to make sure that the prices we give are enough to provide insurance against unforeseen complications with running the competition, but we aren’t going to milk fellow teams for profit.
Do teams usually run off-season events for a profit? At the Fembot’s pre-ship scrimmage they sold snacks to make a bit of money, you might want to consider that as a small way to fundraise. Other than that, if you want a lot of teams to come, keeping the costs down will be a must. And keeping the costs down would be nice because I’m sure 1678 would like to come (and we don’t have much money :P)
Yeah, Akash is right. For this season we want to host a tournament and FSU (Fresno State University) said they would pretty much lend the Venue free of charge if we had enough teams to go. Also since they are sponsoring and mentoring a team they appreciate FIRST robotics. They wanted to keep it non-profit, along with the reasons josh stated.
Getting the venue donated is a great deal, its will make your life a whole lot easier when you plan out the details for the competition. Another thing I was thinking about was the 3 day competition length you mention. I’ve never actually heard of an off-season competition lasting that long. You might run into problems with teams not willing to shell out the extra money for travel costs, which is I think why off-season competitions are traditionally 1-2 days.
Have you already discussed use of a field with FIRST? Or do you plan to use field elements (boundary, driver stations, regolith, FMS, etc.) from WRRF or other teams?
Last year, SCRRF worked with WRRF to borrow the overpass/lane divider field elements for the Fall Classic and Cal Games. Be aware that FIRST will require a significant deposit, plus insurance on the field and the event itself. Also, you will be responsible for transportation costs of the field to/from NH.
Let us know if you’ll need help with these logistics…
The Fembots were not so much selling snacks to make money at our scrimmage. We were trying to offset the cost of the field setup ( for example, the many 4’x8’ sheets of FRP) without directly charging anyone. Our goal was to have as many teams participate as possible and we don’t want the cost to attend to be an issue. That being said, keeping the costs down is an admirable goal. If you can manage to get enough teams (I’ll bring it up with my team) to get the commitment of the facilities, I highly recommend jumping right into rounding up volunteers. My Calgames experience (and last year the Fall Classic) has shown that these off season events live on the enormous effort of their volunteers.
I think that this is a great idea, and I am sure it will receive enough support that it is more than worth having. If I lived anywhere remotely near California, I would love to come, but I don’t think I could justify the expense of flying across the country to go to an offseason, especially one where my team isn’t competing, to my parents. Good luck with planning your event, and I’m sure it will turn out well. Have fun!
You are absolutely right and that is likely what we would end up doing. Three days will probably be too much but we will most likely leave it up to the teams attending to come the day before and set up or practice if they wish. Thank you all the feedback is great keep it coming. And if anyone is in contact with teams that would probably wish to come but aren’t likely to see this post please have them contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d suggest leaving yourself open to modifying the rules slightly. Everyone, every year, has their own favorite rule that they want to change. Let whatever organizing committee you have make whatever minor rule changes you see fit. Just make sure to publish the changes early. As an example, the IRI folks hate the serpentine draft, so they change that. They also have 4 team alliances in elimination. (Some years it’s a 4-team alliance; some years it’s a 3-team alliance, but you pick your own backup.) Some years they’ve also made the autonomous tasks worth more points. I am not advocating any particular rule change, just suggesting you leave yourself open to it.
(a) Try to avoid picking a date too close to another off-season event, especially off-season events which are near by. IRI is certainly not close, but several California teams which I think you would want at your event are hoping/planning on going to IRI, which is July 31st/August 1st.
(b) Three days seems like a long time for an off-season event. IRI is the biggest off-season event, and it’s only two days; all other off-season events which I can think of are just one day. San Diego’s “Battle at the Border” is officially more than one day, but Friday night is party/setup/practice, and Saturday is the competition. Remember that while students are likely to be on summer vacation, a lot of mentors still have to work and likely will not want to have to take more time off in order to attend. Especially for a new event, I’d recommend making it one day, with the option to grow it next year.