I’ve noticed lately that people have been talking about the status of FIRST world champs going into 2021. Some people have suggested that FRC could switch to a Super Regional system in the future instead of 2champs, but others are concerned about how much this system would cost FRC teams (source: FTC Super Regionals & their effect on FRC)
Anyways, I have an idea for a competition model that could work like a super regional system but would (hopefully) be a bit more cost-effective for teams. It’s not very well fleshed out, but I wanted to see what y’all think of it.
I call it the Super District System! Here’s how it might work…
EVERYONE in FRC moves to a district system. However, districts are rearranged so that each district contains roughly the same number of teams. For example, FIM could stay the same due to its high team density, while Ontario, Quebec, and the northeastern US states like New York and Ohio could form a northeaster super-district. This would hopefully keep events cost-effective for the majority of FRC teams.
Teams compete within the super-districts like any normal district system, but each district’s championship event would be FIM-sized and could be like mini-world championships. For example, each district champs could have its own innovation faire, scholarship row, ect.
Finally, world champs becomes a more exclusive and competitive event like IRI but still stays large (i.e, on the scale of 300-500 teams). I know this isn’t a great compromise, and it means more teams won’t be able to have the real world champs experience, but it’s the best compromise I can think of right now.
Anyways, that’s how a super district system might work. I have no clue if a system like this would work, but if there’s any issues or critiques you might have with this competition setup, feel free to let me know!
Unfortunately for this model (particularly bullet 1 sentence 2), most districts are inherently state-wide, nation-wide, or a limited number of states by the way they are organized. FIRST has encouraged this all along, and in many (most?) cases the state(s) themselves or state-defined educational or athletic organizations provide topcover if not actual implementation.
You must also consider countries with very few teams (e.g. UK). Do they form a district with other low density countries?
On one hand traveling to a centralized location in Europe would be more cost effective than traveling to…Orlando.
Districts are run by a partnering organization (aka another non-profit), no FIRST itself. That’s why they’re typically restricted in scope - it’s easier for a non-profit to operate in one (or a few) states than it is many. Those partner organizations aren’t in place in many areas, and would pose a big impediment towards creating such a system.
You also have the difficulty of increasing the number of events in the areas that are currently regoinals. Finding venues, sponsors to pay for the events, volunteers to run them… that’s a huge undertaking that can’t be done everywhere, all at once, overnight.
I imagine you could potentially keep existing districts intact under a super district system, but that kinda kills the idea of “mini-championships”, and it doesn’t help out other regions scrambling to find resources.
Either way, I do not envy the job that FIRST HQ has when it comes to accommodating the growing number of FIRST teams.