Disadvantaged Teams?

Ok, I have been reading all of the posts about the new qualification requirements for teams, and have decided it is time for me to express my opinion too. To start off with, I completely agree that the odd and even format is ridiculous and have a hard time believing they couldn’t come up with a better way to fairly fill remaining spots. That said, I think making nationals a qualification based event is a great idea that adds a challenge and valididates the local newspaper articles about a team going to nationals.

One argument I have noticed quite a bit against a qualification based national event is that it puts various teams at a disadvantage, mainly underfunded teams and rookie teams. This is completely false and I am tired of hearing it. The only teams it puts at a disadvantage are the smug, under-driven teams who only compete in FIRST for the trip to Florida. As the captain of an underfunded rookie team last year (Team 535, G-Force) I read numerous posts on this forum (by many of the same people) complaining about how the complexity of last year’s game put rookie teams at a disadvantage. Rather than let the challenges of the game and our financial situation get the best of us, we set high goals and set out to achieve them. This year G-Force is automatically qualified for nationals (2 points for rookie all-star * 2 + 2 points for Western Michigan finalist = 6 points).

The point of my ranting is this: those who are driven to achieve do, those who aren’t complain. With the right team attitude and desire, no obstacle is insurmountable. My advivce to rookie teams and any team in general is don’t simply think that competing in FIRST is good enough, only competing to the best of your abilities is enough. Those that limit themselves with misconceptions of disadvantage will never compete to their full abilities. I think that having to qualify for nationals will light a fire in the teams that deserve to be at nationals and they will rise to the top.

A teamless college student,