[FRC Blog] Today's the Day! And New Waitlist Color Coding!

Posted on the FRC Blog, 9/24/15: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog-Todays-the-day-and-waitlist-color-coding

Today’s the Day! And New Waitlist Color Coding!

**Blog Date: **Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 10:35

Hello Teams! Today’s the day for initial event registration. I hope everyone’s as excited as I am!

I also wanted to tell you about a new waitlist feature we’re trying out. In prior years, if an event had no open capacity, while teams would be given the opportunity to sign up for the waitlist, they were not given any indication as to how full the waitlist already was. This could lead to teams signing up for events for which there was little chance they would eventually be able to attend.

We’d like to give the teams more information to help them make better informed decisions. Before you sign up for the waitlist for a given event, you will see the waitlist color coded yellow, orange, or red. As with many things we do in FRC, there’s a formula! Once an event reaches an open capacity of 0 (meaning no open spots are available), the following color coding will appear in TIMS:

W = # of teams already on waitlist for this event (min 1 for calculation sanity)
R = # of spaces in reserve (min 1 for calculation sanity)
C (chance factor) = W/R

For C <= 1: Yellow
For C between 1 and 1.5: Orange
For C above 1.5: Red

PLEASE NOTE! Spaces are reserved to help cover contingencies such as Rookie teams getting started later in the season, etc. If the waitlist you are signing up for is coded yellow, that doesn’t mean you will be getting into the event, just that your chances are better than if it is coded red. Conversely, if a waitlist is coded red, that doesn’t mean you won’t be getting into an event, just that your chances are relatively smaller. Rookies should especially continue to sign up for the event that is most convenient for them, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

We’re just giving this a try this year. If teams find it helpful, we’ll keep it. If they don’t, or if it’s just too confusing, we’ll get rid of it.

Be sure to send your feedback either way to frcteams@usfirst.org!

I love the idea of color coding the waitlist! It was always a bit stressful signing up on the waitlist for an event, this should help… And I know that there was always “insider information” about wait lists floating around from people who knew, making some teams more confident about signing up on them than others. This should definitely help teams get in where they want!

This waitlist coloring idea seems… familiar


So we know at least one person Frank and company listen to…:smiley:

Anyone seen this in the wild yet? I’m curious about how the implementation looks.

Instead of “Add Event” in the right-hand column in the list of events during Registration, it says “Join Waitlist” and a color bar below it.

Would you take a screenshot?
You can crop out all the other stuff to keep it generic.

Here’s a screenshot…



Now I know what to tell local teams to look for.

I’m not sure how effective this will be since I have always heard, and have seen it in practice a few years ago, that RD’s can pick and choose which teams come off the wait list. It isn’t first come first serve.

This was the case with us a few years ago in Pittsburgh, we got in despite having been low on the waitlist.

However, if there are very few teams on the wait list then you have a better chance of getting in than if there are a bunch. If you are registering and see that there is already a large wait list then you can sign up or something else.

How do you see this list in TIMS (without canceling) if you have already registered for an event. Do we have to wait until round 2 to access the list?

I know I’ve beat this dead horse before, but I’ll gladly do it again. There should be a priority order posted, and teams should get pulled off that list in an automated fashion.

I don’t care what that order looks like, but that process should be transparent.

I don’t think you can. So yes you have to wait to until round two. If you are going for a hot selection, don’t spend a lot of time admiring it.

Well, look at it from the perspective of an RD.

Without question, it’s going to be rookies first. Doesn’t matter where they are in the waitlist you’re going to make room for those rookies.

Next I’d be looking at late **first **registrations from local teams. There are plenty of teams who did not register yesterday. I’m sure some are waiting on funding and others just forgot. But as a Regional Director you’re going to want to service those in your region. That’s your job, promoting FIRST in your region.

Beyond that it gets very very fuzzy. You’ve got international teams, you might want to give them extra preference for extra buzz. Then you have teams going to a second regional, both local and remote. If I’m a RD and seeing a waitlist spot from a nationally know team I might want them to give me some extra buzz for the event. If a team is registering for a third event I’m probably going to push them farther down the list unless there is some other mitigating reason to let them in.

Or to sum it up, you can’t have a hard and fast rule because every region has different needs.

Automating the process removes a lot of flexibility. I think the ability to have discussions between regional committees and teams to determine for specific events who is more deserving/needy makes the overall results better.

I agree with your reasoning, and that it probably should be this way. I think what Navid is suggesting is that the list that is currently in “in the RD’s head”, for lack of a better term, but made available for all teams to view so that they can better plan their season.

Maybe somewhere between Navid’s idea and the current implementation would be just a preemptive message and occasional updates from an RD with the likelihood that one will make it into the event.

I think the problem with this is that the process described by DareDad, while it makes sense to you and me, would be percieved as “unfair” by a great number of people, and generate a lot more complaints directed at HQ than the current system if it was explicitly and inflexably laid out. The new system seems like a good compromise solution.

You are correct it is not first come, first served. Rookie teams get moved to the head of the line. Teams that have no registered event get moved ahead of teams that are registered for one event already. Teams that have a unique hardship and make the RD aware of it will probably get moved ahead of those that don’t.

However if there are fewer or the same number of teams as available spots then they will all be offered a spot. In rare cases they may even add an extra team beyond the original capacity.

^ This ^

Different RD’s may have different priorities for their region, that’s fine. Many teams probably don’t even know that the system is not on a first come first serve basis.

I am not saying their is a one size fits all solution, I just think teams deserve to know what preferences are made and based on what rationale.