Going to Multiple Regionals

This year my team is planning on registering for two regional competitions, Buckeye (our home regional) and Greater Pittsburgh. We were just wondering if anybody had advice on the whole process of registering for and going to multiple regionals as this is our first time going to two.

Team 1787 The Flying Circuits

Second Regional Event registration is on October 23rd (NOON). if you are planning on getting in to Pittsburgh be refreshing the registration page at that time. Unrestricted Event registration is October 30th (NOON) its good y’all have picked regionals that have a gap week between them. otherwise it is the same registration process as the first regional.

Remember you have 30-40lbs* of spare parts you can make to modify what you broke/changed at the first regional and bring it to the second.

*we don’t know the rules for this years game yet.

Some of the more obvious points to consider: does the team have the budget in place for a second event? (travel, accommodation/meals); do you have a plan in place for robot and pit transport? If both answers are yes, we examine historic fill rates of the events under consideration in order to help guide our selection for our first event registration.

One other suggestion, develop a comprehensive pack list for each functional group: mechanical; electrical; firmware. Each of these sub-teams should be responsible for the development of their respective list. All lists should include the necessary tools, parts and supplies to support their operation at the more distant event.

One final consideration is to allow time between events for team recuperation, design iteration and strategy reformulation. Good luck in 2015!

I would suggest volunteering for Pittsburgh first, then Buckeye later.

Consider carefully the order in which you decide to register. If you feel/know that one event is likely to fill up quickly, you may want to register for that one first. This can be a bit of a gamble for popular events, and you might guess wrong.

So, if Buckeye is your “home” regional, then I would recommend contacting your RD to see if they are willing to hold a spot for you in the event it fills up quickly. Then, go ahead and register for Pittsburgh first. Reaching out early like that helps show the home regional that you aren’t running away to another regional and simplifies your registration process. They may say no, but at least you are making your intention clear.

Plenty of teams register for multiple regionals, as I’m sure you know. It’s important that you’re at the ready to register as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance at ensuring your spot at the events you wish to attend.

As for the prep, make sure that you’ve got things packed in an orderly way, and pack for both events at the same time if they are close together. I might sound silly and you might be thinking “oh, we’ve got the time, we can just pack again.” But, speaking from experience, it’s a lot easier to pack for an event, attend it, and leave everything still packed in your shop for the next event. It removes a huge headache (packing twice), and of course you can bring additional things to the second event if you forgot them or decide you need them.

At the second event, take advantage of your experience by flying through inspection*. You’ve already passed once, so you should have an easy trip through the second time. Speaking as an Inspector, please don’t tell your second event inspector “but the staff at <insert event here> passed us”, as that will generally not be accepted. But, since you would have corrected problems at the first event, the time to pass should be shorter at the second event, which means more practice time, a more relaxing day, and a fuller night’s sleep going into the first day of competition.

And, the biggest thing IMHO is to make modifications to the robot and to your play between the events. You can’t open the bag to make the modifications directly, but if you have good documentation or good CAD models, or if you withhold a part of the robot before you bag it up at the end of the event, then you can bring your “modification” as part of your withholding allowance* to your second event.

*The aforementioned comments about inspection and withholding allowance assume that the 2015 rules are substantially similar to the 2014 rules in these regards.

This is where communicating with the RD’s can be very helpful. Tell them your goal and ask their advice on which to register for first.

Try to find historical data on chief of how fast events have filled in the past as well to predict which to register for first.

Planning for a second regional? Great! Do you have the money? That is important.

I have no indication of your operating budget size but realize that you probably want a good $2500 or more on top of paying for your registration fee.

Be acutely aware of strategizing how you register for regionals. You have picked two regionals in what I think is the most ideal configuration for a competition season of a regional team. A Week 2 event gives you time for FIRST and Week 1 teams to iron out the bugs while still giving you some experience other teams won’t have for your second event. Getting two weekends of time between competitions allows you just enough time to evaluate your performance at the first event, propose changes to your robot, and execute them.

While the regionals you have chosen fit well, be aware that Pittsburgh will almost definitely fill this week, while Buckeye will have half a dozen spots available after the initial wave of second event registration. Make sure the two contacts you have passed screening for YPP on TIMS. At 11:45 on Thursday, have them log into TIMS and get ready to ride out the annual fastest finger competition when registration opens at noon. If you don’t register for Pittsburgh as soon as you can, you’ll miss it. It’s a small event on a premium week (There are 5 regionals that weekend in a season with 57 regionals over 6 weeks. At an average of 95 regionals a week, that’s…significant).

However since I’m telling you to gamble on your home regional’s availability in October, make sure you watch the regional’s registration status. If it gets close, talk to your RD and/or pull your GPR registration for Buckeye.

First make sure that 2 mentors have been through the YPP. If they have not you will NOT be able to register. If it is not done tonight 9/22/14 it might be too late for the first round of registation.

The biggest help for our team has been a check list for loading our trailer. We have two people sign off as a double check. Its a real bummer when you are setting up and some ask where is the drivers station?:yikes:

As a member of a team who has gone to two regionals for the past couple of years (with our home regional being Buckeye as well), I would suggest registering for Buckeye first, and then Pittsburgh. It’s always good to secure a slot at home before working on other regionals. The only reason why it could possibly be beneficial to register for Pittsburgh first would be if the fill rate was higher than Buckeye.

I’m probably being repetitive in saying this, but always account for your team’s budget when registering for more than one regional. I don’t know how your team is planning on handling the financial stuff, but you want to make sure that you’ve got adequate funds for a second regional.

Once your team is registered, figure out how many members on your team will be able to go, and then plan accordingly. Stuff like transportation, lodging, and the always important food should be priority. If possible, plan ahead for traveling from hotel to competition location and back, as well as where everyone (as a group) is planning on eating breakfast/dinner. Also, make sure everyone has food during the lunch hour of competition. Make sure the pit crew knows when they will have a chance to eat. The only reason why I say this is because sometimes communication can get hectic at away competitions.

A benefit of going to Pittsburgh before Buckeye is that your team gets a chance to bond on the road, and then hopefully things will be a lot more streamlined and relaxed back home. My team has agreed on the fact that there is always a lower stress level at our second regional, and everything seems to run much better. Hopefully the same will apply to your team as well.

Downtime during away competitions is also cool. Just saying.

Good luck on your registration, and can’t wait to see you again at Buckeye!

Aside from the above piece pieces of advice I’ll echo that you should check the previous histories of which events fill the fastest. Last year we knew the Northeastern District event would be a high demand event due to accessibility to a large number of teams and the date which is why we registered for it as a Week 5 event before UNH Week 2.

Also come up with a backup plan come time for second event registration in case the second regional you register for fills up. If you’ve already discussed alternate plans and other regionals you might consider it will increase your chances of being able to register for a second event instead of waiting until your team meets again to discuss alternate plans. Every hour you wait after event registration opens the less options you have near you. Ever since 3467 started attending double events in 2012 we’ve always had a backup event ready in case we weren’t fast enough. Boston 2012, Connecticut 2013, Byrant/Lewiston 2014, etc were our backups events in case our top choice filled up but thankfully our Coach has quick hands!

Hope for the best; plan for the worst!

Pittsburgh will fill before Buckeye. Money in the bank. Not even a question. It always has and that was before Week 2 became a desolate wasteland for regionals and without the third closest event to Buckeye sharing the same dates. (Pittsburgh<Cincinnati/QCR<Rochester/FLR)

EDIT: The only exception would be a significant sudden increase in teams from the metro Cleveland area (doubly significant since anyone more than 2 hours in any direction will go to another event). I’m not really tapped into FIRST in Ohio so you won’t find that out until new numbers start popping up.

Watch for Mark McLeod to post the annual Registration thread. The turbonerds of the board (myself included) love tracking registration.

I would definitely always prioritize registering and locking in your place for your home regional. It’s always nice to show up there every year and be a consistent and familiar team. It actually kinda helps with alliance selection if you have a good reputation. I know my team has been picked before for eliminations, even though we didn’t do that well. Because we’re always at the Sacramento regional, we can get picked since we have a fairly good reputation. But we always hope to be the ones picking, and if not, we want to be picked for our scouted merits, not just for being there every season. :smiley:

My team generally does two or three regionals a season. On average, it’s two. Our budget was in a big deficit after the 2013 season since we went to three regionals, won two of them, thus ending up at champs, for a total of four events in a season, with champs being the huge expense. I wouldn’t recommend jumping to three regionals in a season anytime soon until your team knows that they either have enough, or can make it up in sponsorships and fundraising post-season. But two regionals is a good area to get comfortable first with having more than one chance at a win.

I am excited for your team’s progress and initiation into the fictional “two regional club!”

Hey, I know this is a old thread or whatever but from what I have read it seems like you know what your talking about. I have a question, my team is already registered for a regional event. A day or so ago one of my fellow team members told me that we might be attending another regional (that we are not already registered for) depending on if our budget looks suitable for it after some other money related thing occurs I do not personally know what that “money related thing” is but after whatever that is we will have our budget set. My question is, How can we attend another regional if we did not register by the additional regionals deadline? the team member says that we have to pay within 48 hours of registering and that the regional will let us do it to help fill spots, how does this work?

You contact the regional director for the regional you wish to attend. He or she will help you get everything sorted.