Handling Cancelled District Event?

Based on current forecasts and models there’s a decent chance that the CHS Southwest Virginia event may be cancelled this weekend due to potentially 10"+ of snow. That might not be much for some areas, but it’s a lot for us. :rolleyes:

The real problem though is that unlike MAR Hatboro-Horsham which was able to cancel and reschedule, that’s not an option for this event- CHS District Champs is scheduled to start a week from today. I haven’t been able to find out how cancelled FRC events are handled, and specifically cancelled events that could affect DCMP attendance, so I figured I’d ask here.

Does FIRST have a plan for handling a situation like this? If so, can we see it? Why isn’t it in the manual or in the evergreen documentation? Just having a published plan could go a long way towards helping teams plan and understand what’s going on in situations like this.

If VABLA does cancel then 30 of the 32 attending teams will only have one completed district event before DCMP. One team won’t have played at all. How are district points handled in this situation? CHS teams that have played two events will have more points on average, is there some way to account for this in the DCMP slot allocation? I’ve seen suggestions to only use district points from team first events, to only points from team best events, to average points for teams that have played two events, or to give the VABLA attending teams a static points amount. Does anyone have insight on what the best option for district points would be?

For the 30 teams that don’t get to play two events, and the team that wouldn’t get to play their only event this season will part of their registration fee be refunded or applied to other events?

Teams who have competed at two district events will have had significantly longer to drive, tune, and improve their robots while at their second competition event, would DCMP-qualifying teams from VABLA be allowed unbag time to make up for this?

As evidenced by Hatboro-Horsham, it seems there was no precedent (and as such there is no plan.)

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

In addition, what about awards? Some teams are only competing at VABLA for chairman’s, are they no longer eligible to compete at dcmp level?

On a similar note, a couple of us were speculating on what would happen if the truck taking the official field to an event wrecked or was stuck in a blizzard. Would the event be cancelled (if so, this reverts to the original question) or run with whatever juryrigged field elements the organizers could scrape up?

As far as the event being canceled, I believe an official decision is supposed to be made by 4:00PM tomorrow.

Our regional director said that they will not be rescheduling or moving the event, but that they have a plan if the event gets canceled. Unfortunately they aren’t publishing it yet, which is frustrating because the plan not only affects the teams at the event, but pretty much everyone right on the bubble of qualifying. I’m sure that whatever the plan for divvying up the points is, some teams will get the short end of the stick. Hopefully the show goes on and we don’t have to deal with any of this!

Does anyone know of any examples of this happening in the past?

It is unfortunate that the event will have to be cancelled. I don’t know of any precedent, nor any established protocol.

As concerned as you are about how this affects district qualifying, you can rest assured that those organizing the events are likely even more concerned.

If there has been no information posted yet on how qualifying (and Chairmans) and the like is going to be handled, then that is actually a positive sign that the organizers are working together to come up with the most fair and reasonable solution so that they get it as close to ‘right’ as possible. Believe me… every event organizer appreciates just how important the competition is to teams.

As painful as it may be to lose an event, I commend your district for putting safety first. It hurts to lose a chance to play, it’s awkward to deviate from published qualifying criteria, but it would be tragic if a serious injury were to occur due to driving in unsafe conditions.

Your district team won’t be able to do a perfect job of making up for a missed event, but you can bet they’ll do the best they can to be fair and reasonable.

Hang in there and have a bit of faith that it will all work out as well as possible,


I believe Hatsboro this season in week 1 was the first event ever to be cancelled.

Thanks Jason! Luckily the event is not confirmed cancelled yet, so we can still hope that it won’t be.

I’m a bit concerned that there isn’t an established protocol. As districts become more widespread and we get more, smaller events it seems likely that cancelled events will become less rare. I’d think that FIRST would want to have policy prepared for this eventuality.

Not every field is in use every week, so there is the potential to recover from this.

Story: at Medtronic Foundation (10000 Lakes) several years ago, the truck did not arrive until 1am on Thursday. Event ran largely schedule.

Added data point:

One field is very definitely NOT in use ANY week. FIRST is known to have a spare field loaded on a truck, ready to go in case of major snafus, at least in the past. Where is it? I don’t know. Might be more than one nowadays.

I don’t know the exact location, but I have heard it’s usually in the midwest somewhere (likely somewhere around Indy or St. Louis). The spare usually goes to champs (not sure how it works with #2champs) and is used as the pristine Einstein field.

As an aside to this, however, Districts are required to provide their own fields (excluding electronics), so I’m curious if there’s a charge to the district if they need to make use of FIRST’s spare.

FIRST CHS has announced that the event in Blacksburg will be cancelled, but they are attempting to relocate it to Richmond. 28 teams need to sign up for the event to be run.

Perspective provided from a poor memory of a district event that was nearly cancelled three years ago:
One of the options that would have been considered was for teams who were only able to attend one district event, that their points for that event be doubled.

3072 won’t be attending. Not enough money to go in such short of notice. Sucks to be #1 one week, then not be able to compete another. See you guys next year…

Is it not possible just send the drive team and a few mentors to support. This should reduce the cost and still allow your team to finish the season on the field.

We only have 12 people total. 5 drive, 3 scouts, and 4 mentors. We had everything planned out to not include those extra costs. Blacksburg is close enough that we do not have to get rooms, we only have to eat lunch at the event, and have some wiggle room for anything else.

We also don’t want to travel through the storm to get to Richmond, which is WAY farther than anything reasonable for an event in SWVA to be relocated to. An event closer might be an option for us, but as is, we’re out.

Source for this? Not seen anything on CHS’s public feeds or in private (I’m volunteering at the event)

EDIT: Thanks for posting; not sure why they didn’t send info out to volunteers first. (Sorry to sound confrontational, was not my intention)

It was announced on the CHS Mentor Facebook page and an email was sent to teams. They are working on a volunteer email as we speak.

we might be able to put you up with local team members. Would that be an option for you?

From Kristin Clemons…

Greetings Teams,

Thank you for your patience with FIRST and FIRST Chesapeake as we monitored the upcoming weather in Blacksburg this weekend. The forecast has deteriorated to the point that we no longer consider it safe for teams to travel to the area. Please cancel your hotel reservations at this time.

After extensive conversation with FIRST HQ we feel it is in our teams best interests to relocate the event to the Richmond area, rather than cancel it. In order for change of venue to be viable we need to have 28 teams at the event. I know it is incredibly short notice, but we are doing our best to provide our teams with two plays and work within the constraints that a week 5 district championship entails. We will need conformation by 4:00PM today to get the PODS rerouted and secure the venue. We will also have a need for volunteers if there is any way possible our local teams could lend a hand. Assuming that we can get 28 teams, here are the details.

Please email me your conformation one way or the other as quickly as possible! kclemons@firstchesapeake.org

Location: Arthur Ashe Center, Richmond VA
Dates: 2/23-25/2018
Regular schedule for load in
Full judging (no Dean’s list scheduled)