[FRC Blog] FIRST Championship News

In terms of what makes sense in the now I think that removing the qualification from Engineering Inspiration (possibly Rookie All-Star) and the auto wildcard makes sense. I’m all for rewarding these teams for their incredible community efforts, especially over the course of two very challenging years to continue such initiatives, but the rewards for year-to-year efforts might make sense to take out for this one year alone. I’d like to see those qualifications return in the future.

For the long term I’m wondering if we see a shift in how alliances overall qualify. Does it make sense to qualify based on picking order and Eliminations performance (Winner, Finalist Captains, Winner 1st, so on and so forth?). I don’t know about the specific stats but I’m curious how many programs that wind up captaining in the Finals are more prepared to go to a Worlds event in 2022.


I’m a big fan of giving the winning alliance second pick’s champs invite to the captain of the finalist alliance. I think they deserve it more.


That would make entirely too much sense. Who doesn’t love trying to hit 2nd place chairman’s to save the budget?


I know this only applies to US based teams, but to me this has for years been one of the biggest misplaced incentives in the FRC program structure


Trust me, it isn’t just you.


Based on the number of regionals (62), I don’t see how in addition to cutting wild cards (which seems obvious and near-certain) regionals can keep any more than 4 advancement slots per event. 62 x 4 = 248, which is 55% of the champs slots. Last I checked districts represented more than 50% of all teams.

It will be impossible to get the balance correct since it’s impossible to know what regions will have a lot of teams not able to attend, etc but it seems to me regionals will need to cut 2 qualification spots (EI seems most likely to me, then either RAS or third robot on the winning alliance, this just comes down to what FIRST values more).

Assuming they did cut regionals down to 4 spots per event, and assuming all 248 spots were actually accepted and used for a moment, that means the remaining 202 spots would get distributed amongst the districts.

As an example, MI represents roughly 1/5 of district teams, so if those 202 spots were distributed equally then that would give MI around 40 spots, compared to the ~90 they had previously. I think it would actually be worse as some districts don’t really have many more spots they can cut like IN, so some of the spots that would get cut from those districts mathematically would likely need to be taken from the larger districts like FiM, ONT, NE, TX, etc.

Bottom line, some of the larger district championships which were already really high levels of play are going to become even more high stakes and insane to see.

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It’s possible that some champs admission criteria are going to get you some kind of “priority waitlist” status instead of a definite invite. The week 7 DCMP → week 8 CMP issue just isn’t going to be resolved cleanly which will lead a lot of teams to qualify but not attend, which will open up some slots. If it was me, I’d give each event 4 invites and 2 “priority waitlist” slots. Chairman’s, winning captain, winning 1st pick, and finalist captain get an invite. Winning second pick and finalist 1st pick get on the waitlist.

Edit: Or put the winning 2nd back above the finalist captain. That’s fine too, didn’t mean to spark debate.


Not enough slots, yet many teams say that they couldn’t make it anyways…

it’ll all work out in the end. Just roll with it.


It’s been a while since I’ve read something on CD I disagree with as vehemently as I do this.

I can’t even begin to discribe the cognitive dissonance involved in “Yeah you won the event, that’s the end of road buckoo, we only want good teams at Champs”.


Not to mention, the last thing I want to see is an apathetic team on every playoff alliance. I know GP and all that means you should at least try if you’re a second pick, but the reality is that teams with nothing to play for just aren’t going to try as hard as if they know there isn’t anything for them past the playoff rounds.

With all due respect to the original post, giving the finalist captain the second pick’s spot is easily one of the most “CD” takes I’ve heard in my life.


They need to figure out how many international teams will be able to come, there will likely be a higher ratio of US teams this year.

It makes sense to take away RAS first, I can’t imagine trying to rally a championship trip as a rookie team this year.

If the auto wildcard goes away, alliance selections might be different as the 2nd place team captain might prefer to go to the number one alliance rather than build their own alliance.

That seems to me a terrible idea. The finals alliance captains know they get an invite either way it turns out and the third teams know they don’t either way? Not very inspiring.

Three slots to the winning alliance and one to chairman’s, please.


For current numbers, I went with FRC Event Web : 2022 All Teams and did some filtering. (These numbers may still shift a bit, but it’s a reasonable number.)

No District: 1721 (53.5%)
CHS: 107 (3.3%)
FIM: 465 (14.5%)
FIT: 155 (4.8%)
FIN: 53 (1.6%)
ISR: 56 (1.7%)
FMA: 118 (3.7%)
FNC: 64 (2.0%)
NE: 172 (5.4%)
ONT: 119 (3.7%)
PNW: 122 (3.8%)
PCH: 62 (1.9%)
Total: 3214

Not 100% sure there. To take the FIN example, 450*1.6% is 7.2 slots (they had 10 in 2020, plus 45 as Original and Sustaining). Which is snug, but 7 does get you the traditional complement of winning alliance and one each of the changing awards with one slot on points (assuming no backup winner, no regional wins burn the spot, and the districts don’t pad out extra CCAs). I do think the 9th-best FIN team is going to feel more aggrieved than the 67th-best FIM team, but I’ll let HQ figure out how much they want to pad it out for the small districts.

Also, let’s all spare a thought for the IRI committee who is going to have an exceptionally large number of teams competing for the “we got screwed on going to Championship” spots that they tend to award.


This is true with wildcards already.

Fun fact: I know of a team who only qualified for champs because they were the 2nd pick of the winning alliance, but went on to be the #1 seed in their division and championship winner. (They were the alliance captain at another regional, and ended up as finalists, but this was the pre-wildcard era, so no champs ticket came from that).


The whole thing is a terrible idea, or having finalist captain ahead of winning 2nd pick is a terrible idea?

As a team that can’t compete in our area for Chairman’s (for a host of reasons, chief among them, our small size, and the other local teams far-superior existing chairman’s programs) we’ve set our long-term goals for winning or EI to punch our ticket. Given our finances, the EI+grant has been our target. To see it go away because of one-champs would be yet another gut-punch just as we’re rebuilding our team’s base.

As someone who was around for the University of South Carolina’s Golden Horseshoe era of 2010-2014*, finalist captain ahead of winning 2nd pick or backup is a terrible idea. Third robots make significant contributions to winning alliances, and poor picking by captains can just as easily sink an alliance. Celebrate the ones that got the job done, and let the normally-would-be-wild-cards have a bucket of extra waitlist lottery entries.

*The Golden Horseshoe era, in brief:
2010: Keenan Robo-Raiders, Palmetto Regional Champions (Alliance 1 2nd pick).
2011: Los Pollos Locos, Peachtree Regional Champions (Alliance 1 2nd pick).
2011: Los Pollos Locos, Palmetto Regional Champions (Alliance 1 2nd pick).
2012: Los Pollos Locos, Palmetto Regional Champions (Alliance 2 backup).
2014: Garnet Squadron, Orlando Regional Champions (Alliance 2 2nd pick).
I don’t know where that horseshoe was lost, but I’d love to get it back.


I really dislike the idea of splitting up alliances when it comes to qualifying as well. But, for what it’s worth, I do think FTC already does split alliances when handing out qualification spots. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can detail how they do it.


My humble proposal is to add two runners up to Chairmans, and have advancement be as follows:

  1. Chairmans winner
  2. Winning alliance captain
  3. Chairmans runner up 1
  4. Winning alliance first pick
  5. Chairmans runner up 2
  6. Winning alliance 2nd pick
  7. Everyone else (wildcards etc.)

I’m sure there will be no problems with this system when we cannot reasonably advance 6 teams from each regional. Especially if there’s only 1-3 teams advancing, and you are almost guarenteed not to advance if you are not a captain.


They do. And @guineawheek cheekily wrote it out:

Which is how FTC does it (aside from it being the Inspire Award instead of Chairman’s), and it does hose those second picks. One bad match (and historically FTC doesn’t do a ton of quals matches) will sink a team’s entire hope for advancement. I’m not a fan.