FTC Super Regionals & their effect on FRC

For those of you know do not know, the FTC program is running under a new structure next with Super Regionals. You can read more about the changes here. There is also a discussion in the ChiefDelphi FTC Forums on how this will effect FTC teams.

But my question is how will this effect FRC? The Super Regionals have to take place after all other FTC competitions except champs. To me it seems these Super Regionals could take place during the 7 weeks of FRC competion. There are many FTC teams who are partnered with/mentored by FRC teams, this new structure may make it difficult to run both types of teams at once.

Personally I think this is a step in the right direction for FTC but I am concerned about my FRC team’s continuing involvement from a mentoring prospective.

On another note, could this possibly be a precursor to switching FRC to the same structure? There should be around 3000 FTC teams worldwide this year, and FRC is quickly approaching the same number.

As I posted in the other thread, I am hopeful that these super-regionals become joint affairs, with FTC and FRC (and FLL, which is in desperate need of this model as well) under the same roof. May not happen immediately, but I hope FIRST moves in that direction. Would save on travel for teams that participate in multiple competitions, and give these super regionals more of a championship event feel.

It’s inevitable that FRC will also move to this model eventually. FIRST’s plan for this setup was outlined in a presentation done by the NEFIRST district planning committee.

I think the introduction of the Super Regionals tier for FTC will be a great way to look at and exaimine what FRC will be like under FIRST’s vision for an all district United States.

I kinda am excited to see how FTC is with these in place. I think FRC will be able to learn a lot from FTC over the next several years, so that when the point down the road comes for us to implement Super Regionals, we will be prepared and ready.

We’ve created this. We’ve been passionate about how competition robotics can change people lives. The FLL concept has been a runaway success. FTC and VEX are grabbing as many of those roboteers as they can. Both FTC / VEX programs are on a HUGE growth cycle. Now VEX/FTC are doing states and Super Regionals to accommodate the growth.

So I’m happy to see Super Regionals, but I’ll bet you a sprocket that in a few years you see Penultimate Super Regionals ™ feeding into the Super Regionals.

And some of those VEX / FTC roboteers want to be in FRC, there is a boom coming and we will soon see regional / district FRC events feeding into Super Regionals. It’s the law of numbers, you just can’t take all those teams into a Worlds event.

So back to us. We created this and now there are not enough of us to help run all the events and keep things going. But wait, there are a crop of roboteers that have been through FTC/VEX/FRC that are getting out of college and starting lives and families. Some of them are starting to show up now as volunteers. Once the rest have children and start doing robotics, they will come and help us. We just need to tough out a few years until they all show up.

It’s a happy problem to have, too many people wanting to do competition robotics. We are all very smart people, lets think of ways of making events and competitions less labor intensive. (Don’t be a robodashian whining about about how successful we are and how hard our lives are because we are successful. )

The biggest problem I have with the FRC super regional ideas is that not enough teams can afford to travel to all the events you’d have to attend to qualify for Worlds. Districts->District Champs->Super Regional->Worlds = 5 events. If current pricing sticks, we’re looking at something like this:
$5000 for KoP + 2 districts (or 3)
$4000 for district championship
$4000 (or $5000) for super regional
$5000 for World Championship

That’s $18000 in registration, plus plenty of travel costs. Plus that’s 5 (maybe 6) competitions to go to, which is a lot of missed school days and vacation days, plus a lot of general fatigue. We’ve done three competitions a couple of times, and that’s pretty draining for a team that has to travel out of state for any event. OUCH.

Districts already makes it a three tiered system. I am not in favor of going to four tiers. District championships will do a great job of selecting a good mix of teams for the World Championship.

A key piece of missing info is how many FTC teams advance from the Super-Regionals to World Championship?

Is it 6-8, 8-10, 10-12… 20-30 per Super-Regional?

I suspect we’re looking at a smaller inventory of FTC teams at Champs and maybe some increased capacity for more FRC teams/divisions at World Championship?

–Michael Blake

There is already a pretty small inventory of FTC teams at Champs, I believe 100 is the max.

I am assuming 50 teams at a Super-Regional, they run 2 divisions at champs each with 50 teams in it. Each Super-Regional then sends 20-25 teams to champs. (Remaining spaces filled by international teams)

128 teams, 64 per division. I figure a super-regional will have up to 64 teams, no more. 20-25 teams = 80-100 from super-regionals. This year 26 teams were international; I figure the number will only go up for next year.

Just received this email… looks like World Championship will probably remain at 128 FTC teams…

-----Original Message-----
From: “Andrew Schuetze”
Sent: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 5:38pm
To: “Patrick Felty”, “Mike Henry”
Subject: Re: Update on FTC Qualifier dates 2013 - 2014 season

Greetings to all Alamo FTC coaches and main contacts.

By now you all should have received a blast from FTC regarding a new competition structure for next season that includes a Super-regional between championship events such as the Alamo FTC Championship and the World Championship. http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/super-regionals

This decision which was not fully approved until a week or so ago and is the reason why I previously sent out the email informing you that the qualifier window for the coming season would likely be shorter and earlier in the year. No way around adding in a new level and giving everyone time to make travel plans without making time in the schedule.

So that I don’t have to follow up with each of your valid and reasonable questions individually, let me reply to all with some FAQs not on the FTC Super-Regional page. So yes, Please read all of the facts on the FTC Page before reading this email!

The Texas FTC Affiliate partners submitted a collaborative proposal along with the Oklahoma FTC Affiliate partner to host the FTC South FTC regional. As announced by FTC, Texas was awarded the opportunity to host the FTC South Super-Regional. The host city will be announced early in the fall by FTC.

FTC has not given affiliate partners any specifics on numbers advancing from championship tournaments to the super-regional and then to the world championship at this point in time. They have said that the goal is to not reduce the existing numbers of teams advancing.

FTC World Championship is likely to remain a 128 team event.

FTC growth has reached a point where they could not add any new championship events due to space at the World Championship. They began the planning process some years ago and this season they reached the limit where a decision had to be made.

I will join many of the other FTC Affiliate Partners from across the globe this next week up in New Hampshire for partner conference where I will undoubtedly learn more specifics about the Super-Regional events. I will share what I can as soon as reasonable possible.

enjoy your summer and looking forward to another great FIRST Season,


Most FTC State Championships are already occurring during the FRC season, typically March. The FAQs say that the super regionals are planned for March through early April, so the state championships may be pushed a little earlier. They can’t realistically hold the super regionals any earlier - it would create too much of a time lag before the qualified teams go to World Championships.