FRC Blogged-Districts!

With the release of our preliminary schedules yesterday, everyone can see we’re officially adding two new Districts to FRC. Everyone is very excited about getting these new Districts up and running!

The New England District will include all teams in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. If your FRC team is in one of these states, you will automatically be included in this District.

The Pacific Northwest District will include all teams in the states of Oregon and Washington. Just as with the New England District, if your FRC team is in one of these states, you will automatically be included in this District.

Teams outside the designated District areas (Michigan, Mid-Atlantic Robotics, Pacific Northwest, and New England) are not able to ‘opt-in’ to the District model. You are either in a District, or not in a District, based solely on your location. Also, currently, we do not have a mechanism by which teams from outside a given District can participate in individual District events as guests (non-District competitors). Allowing this under the current system would lead to complications and fairness concerns. For these reasons, this will not be permitted in the 2014 season. We are working on a system that will allow teams in different Districts to compete with each other, which we hope to have ready for the 2015 season. This system still may not support District event participation for teams not part of any District, but would allow for some exciting inter-District play. I know this decision to allow only teams within District boundaries to participate in District events in 2014 is going to be disappointing for some of you, and I’m sorry about that, but I believe this is our best path forward at this time.

I’ll blog again soon.

Frank

With districts becoming closer and closer geographically(MAR/NEFIRST, PNW+future CA, Toronto area/MI/NEFIRST) it’s awesome that FIRST is already starting to look into inter-district play for “next”(2015) season. Also it seems there may be a glimmer of hope to allow an opt-in for certain areas(such as upstate NY)

A solution almost has to be forced into reality considering by 2015 New York will be an island of regionals in an ocean of otherwise locked-out districts from Virginia over to Michigan and up the Atlantic into New England.

Really hope all goes well in the newly christened areas of the country this season!

Technically, there is already one literal (chain of) island(s) of regional.

It’s pretty exciting to hear that district teams might be able to sign up for district events outside their district in 2015. I think that would be great for FRC.

I missed out on the California meeting back in 2012 (October I think?) about the future of regionals in the state.

Anyone have any info on that? With the number of CA regionals increasing the district model will be more than welcome.

The number of CA regionals did not increase this year, still at 6.

Is a district system for CA still on the books for 2015? Or is that somewhat in flux?

Flux, yeah, let’s go with in flux. Nothing happening yet that I know of.

I would be expecting 2 or 3 more districts (most likely Ontario/Quebec, CA, and TX) to come online in 2015 season.

Ontario is definitely showing signs of ramping into such a system, with 2 new regionals this year, reasonably far removed from the main team-dense centres of the GTA and Montreal area.

This will also be watched by Hawaii teams as many participate in the CA regionals outside our home.
Will they allow Hawaii teams to be included?
I’m guessing it has to be optional. Unless of course they force CA teams to come to Hawaii too.

I will accept my being forced to attend the Honolulu regional :smiley:

New England tried to make it optional for upstate NY teams to join our district, and FIRST HQ said no. In a Frank blog post they said they MIGHT change their policies, so there is still hope for Hawaii (although you would have to be insane to travel to 2 districts on the mainland; 4 times if you want to make it to champs).

EDIT: I just realized that this thread is about that blog post… Ooops?

Given what has been said in the past about the Hawaii Regional staying as a separate, traditional event for the foreseeable future, I imagine they would have the chance to opt-in to a district event without “playing for points” to get to the big show (359 doesn’t need one, obviously, but there are other teams in Hawaii that do). In fact, I suspect that any early form of cross-play will not have teams playing for points outside of their specified area.

SIdebar 1: I guess the rationale is that there are teams playing out of the region that would not alter just the distribution of points, but the perceived competitive goals of the structure, which is to determine the best teams in the bordered region. I guess we may see districts evolve into 9-10 “qualifying matches” and 2-3 “exhibition matches” where cross-play occurs without any points being awarded.

Sidebar 2: Do we call it “cross-district play”, or cross-regional play? The terminology is all a tad cumbersome. Districts make up the FiM program, which is a state, but all other district-ed areas are multi-state, thus making those a “region” of states, except for the fact we still have traditional events that are called “regionals” that subscribe to no border.

Yeah, that’s obnoxious to think about.

You call it “cross-region” play. Regionals are competitions, regions are areas where districts happen.