[FRC Blog] Priority Waitlist Slot Releases

Posted on the FRC Blog, 3/18/22: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/blog/2022-priority-waitlist-slot-releases

Priority Waitlist Slot Releases

2022 MAR 18 | Written by Frank Merrick, Director FIRST Robotics Competition

In the Championship Potpourri Blog, we explained the Priority Waitlist Process. Step #2 in that process was indicated as “Determine the number of slots to be awarded based on FIRST Championship declines, position in the season, and any other factors.” I would like to give you a little more detail on that step and tell you how we plan to be more transparent on that determination.

We have a spreadsheet that shows the number of teams that have registered for FIRST Championship to date, how many Regionals we have coming up, how many slots Districts will fill, and a place for us to enter our best estimate on the future Regional slot offer acceptance rate. Taken together, this gives us an estimate of how many slots we will have filled by the time we get to the big dance.

Every week, the day after the deadline for teams to accept and pay for their Championship slot offers, a small group of us from several departments updates the spreadsheet and determines how many waitlist slots we should release that week. Our objective is to release as many slots as possible every week while ensuring we will not exceed FIRST Championship capacity. Nominally, our capacity is 450 FIRST Robotics Competition teams, though we plan to have about 460 or so pits, so we can over-invite slightly to make sure we hit that 450-team target.

In practice, this means waitlist slots are released Thursdays early in the season and Wednesdays later in the season, as we need some time for the dust to settle from the events that happened over the weekend.

We’re sure the teams on the Priority Waitlist are anxious to know if and when they may be invited to FIRST Championship. We have decided we will be posting the number of waitlist slots that are being released weekly on the Championship Eligibility Page. We will also be posting to social media when those slot counts are updated.

Important Note: Teams that are eligible for the Priority Waitlist are automatically added to it. There is no action required by teams to join that list.

We completed our meeting for this week’s waitlist release Thursday and can release three Priority Waitlist slots this week. If you are one of the lucky teams, you will be getting an email soon if you haven’t already. And keep an eye on social media for more updates!


How about they stop taking away district slots when a team earns a spot at a regional. Indiana has already lost 1 of our slim 8 slots.


They took away a slot from a regional team right? I don’t know what the fair way to do things are but as long as district teams can qualify both in and out of districts and regional teams can only qualify at regionals, there needs to be some balancing right?

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I get that in the past seasons but with only 1 championship and limited slots this year Indiana just lost 25% of it’s performance based slots.


I am so sorry that we took a spot away from FIN. Never in a million years did I think winning the event was on the table. Our students raised $92K this year, mostly from working the Notre Dame Football Concession Stands. When I asked the kids what they wanted to do with the money. Hoping they would want to do capital investments like new and nicer CNC machines, Lathes, Swerve bot prototypes, ect… they unanimously voted to do as many competitions as we could afford to make up for the 2 years they went without.

I expected to be 5th - 10th place and maybe on a 4th seeded alliance. Putting up a good fight to get to Semi’s, maybe Finals if we got clever enough. I never thought we would be the first pick of the 2nd Seed.


No worries man. We were in our shop watching and rooting for you guys.


When you think about it, the same number of Indiana teams are going so I don’t see a problem here. We were all rooting for you and one of our mentors is a 2614 alum so we were especially happy.

Going forward, is 5484 planning on going to states? Given the quick turnaround for worlds and the existing qualification one could feasibly skip it to save funds and the travel hassle. Alternatively, if 5484 wins IN state or Chairman’s or EI then the points based slot comes back into play.


I can’t tell you how much that means to us. On a personal note, it was hard for me to personally celebrate after I was reminded what this cost FIN.


Ya Ethan was amazing to talk to and it was nice to reminisce about the Kokomo Event.

At the moment we are planning on going to state. I have been thinking about this exact argument. I have to be honest I don’t know what’s more polite; to skip FIN Championship or to attend. If we skip does FIN feel snubbed, If we attend, does FIN feel like we’re using the State Championship as a laissez faire event, and is that insulting. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE GP DECISION IS!!!


The draw of a regional is a ticket to champs. Any team that pays the money for the regional has a shot at that ticket. I don’t see why suddenly when a specific subset of teams earns that ticket it magically disappears and they actually get a ticket from an entirely different region.

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I’d like to chime in on this one, as NE is taking the approach of letting teams qualify for champs before DCMP, and giving those teams the option to decline DCMP. The general consensus I got was to skip due to the fact that attending would throw a wrench in district points that determine other teams’ qualification. Granted, this is one team, not 20-something, so the situation is definitely different for you. Ultimately it’s up to you.

Speaking as a coach for the team 5484 snubbed (and then knocked out) at INKOK, I can unequivocally say we are so proud of Wolf Pack representing FIN so well in New York, and we’ll be rooting for you again at Rocket City.
I’ve been a 5484 stan since your Memento Vitam years, and your future matches will be circled on my watch list.
From my seat, there are no hard feelings. You didn’t ‘steal’ a FIN slot, you earned the privilege to attend CMP by winning an event. This is FIRST’s problem, not yours.


4272 was rooting for you too!! We had several students and mentors keeping up with the scores, and talking about it. You should be proud of your win. It was well deserved

I’d say it’s 100% GP to attend the state championship. You have clearly shown (through Kokomo and New York Valley) that you are one of the top performers in the state. I’d really look forward to competing with you, if you do decide to attend (assuming we both qualify).

And winner of the Indiana state championship is still a huge title, if you can win it.

All that said, that turn around is crazy quick between CMP and Worlds, and $4000 is a fair amount of money to spend on registration, so I wouldn’t blame you if you decided not to go. I also couldn’t imagine participating in as many events as you are this season, so I would totally understand if you wanted to sit state out.

In short, I’d argue both decisions are GP. Pick what makes the most sense for your team.


Never in a million years would we “snub” anyone especially you guys. We were excited and heartbroken in that decline. Being honest, less heartbroken about advancing to Semi’s though lol.

We new that Indiana was watching and didn’t want to disappoint. We absolutely love your team and their culture and knowing you guys have been watching since we had flower pots on our heads is incredibly heartening to hear.

On a side night, It is amazing to be part of the FIN community and will never take the level of Gracious Professionalism everyone in the FIRST community of Indiana shows for granted again. I always assumed that Indiana’s level of GP was the Standard, now realize that Indiana is the example.


Things are different in FIN, we have no slots for a team to go on points now unless one of the members of the winning alliance doubles up by winning Chairman’s or EI.

Also 5484 could open up another spot by winning so they should definitely come.


Just throwin this out there but it looks like the St. Louis (38 teams), Idaho (27 teams), and Arkansas (20 teams) regionals still have space for teams to sign up and have a decent chance at punching a ticket to worlds.


Don’t be - your team and your students worked their butts off to go win a regional this week. You should be proud of your accomplishments.

It’s the double edged sword of the tiny district. We get to play with the same really awesome teams in a lot of matches for not as much money as a regional team pays. I wouldn’t go back to the regional system ever. This season is just weird because of the single championship, so we send very few teams due to that.

I do think HQ will have to figure something out eventually though. What if 5 or 6 Indiana teams all went out of the district and all won events?


Harrison and Girl Gang are the only other IN teams (besides 5484 going to another regional) right now. If they were to win there I’m not sure what FIN would do for slots. Would they take the slot from the 2nd EI team or the 3rd state winning alliance robot?


Team 8232 Girl Gang is also going to Rocket City Regional in Alabama.


The ‘what-ifs’ created by the system need some work in my opinion. I’d love it if we just knew each district got x number of slots based on district performance and the regional slots were their own completely separate thing. But I could see regional teams not liking that as well. Can we just all go to districts already?

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