[FRC Blog] 2015 FIRST Championship (and beyond) Eligibility

Posted on the FRC Blog, 8/22/14: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog-2015-FIRST-Championship-and-beyond-Eligibility

2015 FIRST Championship (and beyond) Eligibility

**Blog Date: **Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:18

As I said in an earlier blog, we have had a task force working on Championship eligibility for FRC. The members of this task force are as follows, in no particular order:

  • Jamee Luce – Districts Representative
  • Dennis Hughes – Mentor for Team RUSH, 2014 Chairman’s Award Winner
  • Lane Matheson – 2014 Woodie Flowers Award Winner
  • Naomi Mancuso – *FIRST *
    Operations (Customer Service)> - Jen McManus – *FIRST *
    Finance> - Cindy Stong – Chief Judge Advisor
  • Dana Henry – *FIRST *
    Senior Mentor> - Teri Benart – *FIRST *
    Senior Mentor> - Connie Haynes – *FIRST *
    Regional Director> - Collin Fultz – FRC Team Advocate
  • Me

I want to thank the task force members for all their hard work. We’re not quite done yet – see below – but we’ve made significant strides. We have, however, completed our work for changes to the 2015 FRC Championship eligibility. As a reminder, you can find information about the 2014 eligibility rules here. If no change to the 2014 rules is noted below, the 2014 rules will still hold.

Also, Districts will be getting the number of available Championship slots (total Championship capacity less the number of pre-qualified teams) proportional to their percentage representation in all FRC. As an example, if a District has 10% of the teams in FRC, they will be getting 10% of the available slots. This is similar to what was done last year, but this year, the allocation will be done on current season - 2015 - team counts. Districts will still be using the points-and-awards system to determine Championship eligibility, as they have been.

Wild Card Changes for 2015

Unlike in prior years, any team arriving at a Regional who has already earned a Championship spot, and ends up on the Winning Alliance at that Regional, or earns an award at that Regional that would make them eligible for Championship, will generate a Wild Card slot. As an example, if a Hall of Fame team (who is pre-qualified for Championship before the season starts) ends up on the Winning Alliance, that will now generate a Wild Card slot for the Finalist Alliance. Or, as another example, a team that is on the Winning Alliance at one Regional, then wins the Engineering Inspiration Award at a later Regional, will generate a Wild Card slot at the later Regional.

Also, if a team at a Regional earns the right to attend Championship through two accomplishments at the same event, for example, being on the Winning Alliance and earning Chairman’s Award, that will also generate a Wild Card slot.

These rule changes are cumulative. So, if a team who already has earned a slot at Championship attends a Regional and is both on the Winning Alliance and wins a Championship qualifying award, like Engineering Inspiration, that team will generate two Wild Card slots. And will get a congratulatory phone call from POTUS, as they clearly rock.*


If you think this through, you will find that, in most cases, this means that Regionals will be making 6 new, unique teams eligible for Championship attendance. One important caveat – Wild Cards recipients will still be limited to the Finalist Alliance. If more Wild Cards are generated than can be absorbed by the Finalist Alliance, those Wild Cards will still go unused and can’t be backfilled or replaced.

This is good news, right? I think it’s good news. But I’m sure you’ll let me know.

Waitlist Changes for 2015

With the increase in team capacity at the 2015 *FIRST *Championship, even with the increase in Wild Card availability outlined above, we expect to be able to offer a good number of Waitlist slots in 2015. To support our interest in the fair distribution of these slots, and to provide greater opportunity for teams that haven’t attended in a few years, we are making some changes.

Waitlist slots will no longer be first come first served, as they have been – essentially – in prior years. When teams sign up for the Waitlist will no longer matter, as long as they sign up during the time the Waitlist is open.

Also, teams will be selected randomly from the Waitlist, with the number of chances they have of being selected equal to the number of years they have missed attending Championship. As an example, if a team on the 2015 waitlist last attended Championship in 2012, that team has ‘missed’ Championship twice, and so will have their number ‘put in the hat’** twice. If a team on the 2015 waitlist last attended Championship in 2004, they have ‘missed’ Championship 10 times, and will have their number put in the hat 10 times.***

Teams who have never been to Championship will be considered as missing every year they have been a team. You will note this means that teams who attended Championship in 2014 will not be eligible for selection from the Waitlist. As a practical matter, though, since for several years Waitlist sign-ups for teams attending the prior year Championship have been later than those who had not attended the prior year, we rarely – if ever – have ended up inviting those prior-year teams anyway. One final note – teams must have participated in FRC during all their ‘missed’ years for those years to count in this system. As an example, for a team that participated in FRC in 2002, then did not participate again until 2005, we would only look back to 2005 in determining Championships missed.

Rookie All Star Changes for 2015

This is less of a change and more of a fine-tuning that we wanted to let you know about. Rookie All Star winners at Regionals, and District Championships, will still be offered a slot at Championship. However, we have noticed that at nearly every Regional, regardless of the number of Rookies present, Rookie All Star gets awarded. It has become more of an ‘automatic’ award then was intended. We will be working with the Judge Advisors this season to help clarify the standards for this award. We love having Rookies at Championship, and we absolutely want to recognize the many outstanding Rookies we have every year, but winning an award that makes a team eligible for Championship should be a big deal, and we want to keep it meaningful. We don’t expect, or desire, a significant drop in the number of Rookie All Star awards presented, but you may see a few more Regionals not presenting Rookie All Star award than you have in the past, and this will be the reason.

This issue is not a concern at District Championships, as Rookie All Stars selected there have already had to pass through a selection gate at the District level, and only one or two Rookie All Stars from each District as a whole are selected to go to the FIRST Championship.

Longer-Term Changes

To get serious now. While changes for 2015 Championship eligibility were easy for us, we see a problem on the horizon. We project that within a few years, our current system of Championship eligibility for Regionals will result in an overbooked situation. The task force continues to work on longer-term changes, and will release information on eligibility for later Championships by the end of October. You should know, though, that for us to ensure we don’t exceed our Championship capacity in later years, we will likely need to change eligibility rules, so some teams that have been eligible in the past will no longer be eligible. These won’t be easy decisions for us, but we are working very carefully to ensure the fairest result possible, and we will detail the reasons for our decisions when the information is released.


  • I’m joking about that call.

** No actual hat will be used. We think.

*** Yes, this is the Hunger Games model, but you’re getting invited to an awesome party instead of near-certain death. No, you may not ‘volunteer as tribute’, wise guys.

No worries, I’m not dead, just busy. :slight_smile:

Good changes for the time being. Love the changes to wild card as well

Happy Championship and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Also, teams will be selected randomly from the Waitlist, with the number of chances they have of being selected equal to the number of years they have missed attending Championship.

This is interesting, and a great chance for teams who have never been there.

…we will likely need to change eligibility rules, so some teams that have been eligible in the past will no longer be eligible.

Is he talking about Hall of Fame teams losing their auto-bid, or just saying that the current system will be in flux? I’d hate to see that happen, but that was my impression from reading it.

Other than that, excellent changes overall, especially with wild cards.

Love the changes! This is by far the best and most fair championship eligibility system that FIRST has had yet.

I am really pleased with these changes and it definitely provides a great opportunity for teams who have never been to champs!

Does anyone know when registration for the waitlist will open? I know it was in early October last year.

I think it means that any of the eligibility criteria could change. HoF teams, original and sustaining teams, past year’s Champs winners and champs EI may or may not be affected. They may choose to reduce the number of teams that make it from each regional (3-4 winners + chairman’s + EI + RA) by eliminating eligibility based on one or more awards or position in the alliance or something.

The point is, I don’t think he’s specifically stating that any specific eligibility criteria is going to change in the long run, just that something is going to change. We just don’t know what that something is yet.

Does that matter?
The only thing you need to know now is when does it close.

It looks like registration for pre-qualified teams starts on Oct 9, but I can’t find anything on the calendar that talks about the wait list.

Love the changes. This does give a bigger advantage to teams that play at later events, since the odds are a few finalists at most of the later events will get spots.

I like the new wildcard rules.
So if you are an original and sustaining team, attend 3 regionals, win all of them, and also manage to win a Chairman’s and an EI, do you generate a total of 8 wildcards? :stuck_out_tongue:

Love the changes to the wild card system. If I’m reading it right teams that receive a wild card slot at an earlier event will also generate one if they compete later on right, or can wild cards qualifications not generate other wild cards?

This is very true, our alliance at Chesapeake this season would have gone to the Championship even if we had lost in the finals since the other alliance all had already qualified at previous events.

It Says

any team arriving at a Regional who has already earned a Championship spot

So yes a wildcard spot recipient can make spots later.

Yes. A team that earned a wild card slot at a previous event has earned a spot at championships, and thus would generate a wildcard slot if they earned another spot at another event.

Echoing everyone else’s statements about the changes, I think they are fair, and easily understood

The way I am reading it ANYTHING that gets you to champs gets the wildcard slot so should make for some teams who are perennially “bridesmaids” finally making it.

I am not so sure about the RAS change though, I get why but how would you feel if you were a Rookie Team and get the Rookie Inspiration Award, and then there is no Rookie All Star, it is almost like the Regional telling you: “Aren’t you cute playing in the sandbox, now stay off the jungle gym that is for the big boys” :frowning: . Like I said, I get why just I think there are going to be some hurt feelings from rookies

Interesting to note that under the new system the entire finalist alliance at both Orlando and South Florida in 2013 would have qualified for championships

Depends what kind of mentality the mentors have. Teach your kids what’s worth earning versus what’s being handed to you if you’re the only rookie at an event.

I think it’s fair. I’d want to earn my award if I was on a rookie team again.

It really isn’t a change but going back to how the award was meant to be awarded and not always awarded.

Also there was an issue with the rookie awards at the Central Illinois Regional because there was only one.

This is great news, would have been the edge 2338 needed in 2014 to make it.

I’m curious how long this system can be maintained.