**International Teams – Game Piece Option
**Blog Date: **Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 16:39
*Today’s blog post was written by Daniela Dimova, International Coordinator.
In previous years, some of our international teams have expressed concerns that the shipping of extra game pieces they receive from *FIRST *Choice is taking a significant amount of time. On average, it takes 3-4 weeks for the pieces to arrive in their home countries. In an effort to alleviate some of the challenges that the non-US teams face, we are going to offer an Opt-in system to all international teams. This system will allow them to receive an additional Kickoff Kit’s worth of game pieces at either their Kickoff or as part of their Mysite shipment. As a tradeoff for the teams who Opt-in, they will have their round one *FIRST *Choice credits reduced by 30%.
The Opt-in window will be open, for non-US teams only and between 12:00 EST on Thursday, October 29 and 12:00 EST on Thursday, November 12.
Click on Game Piece Option area on the right of your screen
Select “Yes” or “No” from the dropdown menu
Please note that the default option is to not receive an extra set of game pieces. If you do not want an extra set of game pieces, you can either select no from the dropdown or do nothing. By selecting yes from the drop down menu, your team is opting in to receive an extra set of game pieces at kickoff. Changes may not be made after the opt-in window closes.
We hope that this option will reduce some of the obstacles that non-US teams face. As always we look forward to feedback about the implementation.
Hmm. “Kickoff Kit’s worth of game pieces” and a “set of game pieces”. So that usually means >1 game piece in the kit. Does that mean there will be many game pieces (like 2013) on the field vs. few like 2014?. Or will there be two or more distinct types of game pieces, like 2015?
But a ‘set’ can also be a set of one, and maybe ‘set’ was used so as not to give it away that their will be only game piece in the standard kit.
Also, the value of a set of game pieces is 30% of the FIRST Choice credits, wo we have a rough cost of the game piece.
Almost every year I can think of the game piece wasn’t universally available. It’s not like there’s only 1 brand and model of soccer ball, or basketball, or frisbee… and depending on mechanism and goal, even the slightest difference in material, size, shape, or weight could have a huge impact. Having the exact brand and model of the game piece really is important.
The one year it wasn’t all THAT important was 2009–but part of that was because teams did some reverse engineering on the limited supply available and came up with their own knockoffs that worked all right (but weren’t the real thing).
That being said, I do think that this is something that should be expanded, IF this test works as planned. I don’t trust that gamepiece X will be a common, everyday, “found in your local WalMart” item regardless of what anybody says (again, 2009 memories).
At least until Jan 9 I’m willing to believe what FIRST said in the blog post - the reason for doing this is only because of the time delay in shipping FIRST Choice items. If US teams can get the game piece in ~1 week through FIRST Choice, then that isn’t all that bad. Waiting over half the build season, on the other hand, is horrible, especially if there’s no other way to get it except through international shipping.
It has been a few years since first picked an “easily available” which I would guess was due to nature of game, but also difficulty of having material available.
Some may miss the days hacking into Walmarts product distribution database to find the highest availability of gamepieces in the tri-state area… I for one do not miss that mad rush.
This would be a really nice feature for all teams, but I imagine nearly essential for many international teams.