[FRC Blog] Frank Answers Fridays: July 7, 2014

Posted on the FRC Blog, 7/11/14: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog-frank-answers-fridays-07112014

Frank Answers Fridays: July 7, 2014

**Blog Date: **Friday, July 11, 2014 - 16:33

Today’s good question comes from Calvin Panho, from FRC Team 383, The Brazilian Machine, out of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil:


*Hello Mr. Frank,

I’m Calvin Panho, mentor and coach for FRC team #383, The Brazilian Machine, from Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.

First of all, I’m sorry for my English, I’m not the best with English grammar…

My question for you is:

It’s possible to arrange close distance regionals in sequential weeks?

In our first years at FRC, it was very easy for us to program our trip to USA, but now with district events taking place over regionals it’s getting very hard to adjust our time in US…

For a team in Brazil it’s almost impossible to compete at the first week events (last year team 1772 had to send their robot before stop day), as well as staying for longer than 2 weeks, because of the prices our students need to pay for hotel, etc. So we got 2 options: compete in just 1 regional, and that is bad for us, or choosing between very restrict options…

Can YOU help us with that???

Thanks a lot,

Best regards,



Calvin, thanks for the question. I think your English grammar is fine. Much better than my Portuguese would be!

Determining when to have our Regionals is a big puzzle for us, with many competing factors that must be considered. Some of our events have traditionally been held in certain venues on certain weeks, and those weeks work well for those communities. For others, especially for events in new venues, we need to work around other activities that have already been scheduled at those locations, and often our first choices are just not available. We also need to take into account volunteer availability. Some events share a common volunteer base, so we can’t schedule them on the same weekend or we could face volunteer shortages. We also have equipment and support resources to consider. As an example, we don’t want to schedule 30 events on a single weekend because we have a limited number of staff on call for technical support – and you can imagine that it would be hard to provide proper service if several events had issues at the same time, the chance of which increases as the number of events on a given weekend increases.

As I said, this is a puzzle. We do prioritize the needs of the nearby teams and our volunteers when selecting dates, and unfortunately that can sometimes make things less convenient for teams travelling a great distance. I’m sorry about that, but I don’t know a better way to make things easier for the greater number of teams.


I think Frank might have confused the number of the day with the number of the month :wink:

Today will not be known as Frank Answers Friday, it will be known as Management Reveals Monday… but still on a Friday!

It would be nice if some teams near a venue could offer up lodging and transportation to out of country teams to help offset costs. This would be similar to opening your home to foreign exchange students for a few days. I know I would be willing to open my home a for a good cause. I understand the costs involved with going to regionals and would love to find a way to help all teams be able to expand their horizons and travel, if possible.

Excuse me “offer up, not off up”

I know that volunteers do this a lot. It’s a nice gesture. I would gladly offer space in my house for our offseason competition or for the Sac Regional.

Also, one thing that was difficult for us this year, is that we registered for the two regionals closest to us, the further one being about two hours away. The problem was, the further one (Central Valley) was week 2 and was a Fri-Sun regional and our home regional (Sac) was week 3 and was Thur-Sat. That only have us a 3-day period to make adjustments and prepare for our next regional. Luckily, we didn’t have much to change. I think that regionals in close proximity to each other shouldn’t be on back to back weeks, although I understand that there are bigger factors that go into what week a regional falls on.

So, it is a reference to bungie day :rolleyes:

Obviously a game hint. 7 will be a very important number in next year’s game. 7 robots perhaps.

No, bungie day means it is a ring (tube) game :stuck_out_tongue:

383 might not know this, but to help offset the expenses of team 1772, my former team 1102’s head mentor, used to provide their entire team with housing for the weeks leading up to the competition. I know not ever team can do what we did, but there might be others.