How Many teams Attend 2 Regionals?

Our team only goes to one competition for the following reasons:

  1. Money - Going to a second regional is alot of money, not just in the fees for registration but also for food, hotels, and travel. for a 50 member team traveling by bus to a competition is about $20,000. if you have to fly the number jumps again. you either need to get a sponsor to pay for this ( which i think is a waste of sponsor ship considering how some rookie teams as well as veteran teams have trouble getting sponsors), fundraise, or shift the burden on the members.

  2. Students missing school - I dont know how intense your school is but in northern virginia a student taking 3-4 AP classes (the vast majority of my teams juniors and seniors) cant afford to miss that much school without seeing a reflection in their grades. Even those taking regular classes would feel a burden. Just going to one regional is an academic burden for my fellow teammates and i.

I’m pretty shocked that the majority only do 1. My guess would have been at most 1/2 the teams only do 1.
I remember seeing a few teams doing as much as 4 regionals (non-Michigan teams).
We usually do 2 mainland regionals before coming back to the Hawaii one.

Our team usually does a home regional here in CT, and an away regional somewhere relatively close to us. This coming year we’re going to Washington DC as our away regional, same as last year. In 08 we went to Toronto. It varies by year, mostly depending on where the students choose to go, but obviously money is a very large part of the equation. For instance, it wouldn’t really be possible for us to fly across the country for an away regional, so we usually try to limit our choices to something accessible by train or bus.

There is definitely more than 76% of Michigan teams doing two district events. I published that data after the December 5th payment due date. FIM is still holding some spots open because there are some districts that more teams want to go to than there are spots available. They are trying to decide which teams should go where. There should be 40 teams at each district event, but the 7 districts were only showing 37, 33, 35, 34, 32, 34 and 38. From what I heard Michigan has close to 140 teams this year. With 7 districts of 40 teams capacity each, we will be able to fill most of the districts with 40 teams. Last year, only 1 of the 132 teams in Michigan attended just one event.

I can’t agree more. Having spent that kind of money and time into getting ready for the contest, then having it end in just 2 days, somehow leaves a feeling of wanting more.

1429 has been attending at least 2 regionals for the past 3 years, with the last 2 that included the Championship.

We are going to 2 again this year, Dallas and Lone Star, with hopes of going back to the Championship. We also have 3 VEX contests we will be attending as well. Our calendar is pretty full. :slight_smile:

Team 806 did two regionals for the first time last year, NYC and Long Island. They’re geographically close, so I didn’t consider it to be a long, team-building bus ride, though that sounds nice. When we went to Atlanta in 2004, the entire trip and stay was definitely a fun bonding experience, we need to do that again sometime.

I echo the sentiments of a bunch of people by saying that I considered the major advantage of 2 regionals to be extra real-game experience, the equivalent of which cannot really be found in any practice. (Maybe a full field scrimmage with a team who has the means to build a full field and invite teams who have a practicable bot by the end of build season, but we don’t know any such team locally.) The only downside was that our teammates were almost, borderline, showing signs of getting sick of each other by the 2nd regional. It’s just A LOT of time to be spending with the same people, meeting 46 consecutive days during build season as we did, plus regionals.

It’s also never a bad thing to see and scout a different field of robots and teams than you’re used to seeing, and making new relationships. I know the field crew at the NYC Mega-Celebration has a hell of a job and they do it very well, but we got several more qualifying matches in at Long Island and now we feel a little spoiled and want that at our home regional, somehow.

Unfortunately, our budget started off this year 1/3 less than what it was last year, which put a 2nd regional just out of our reach without some significant sponsorship…and getting sponsorship has always been an area of weakness for my team. So it’s not over till payment deadline comes around, but I’m not positive we’ll make 2 this year.

We’ve wanted to go to Las Vegas for a while, ever since I got a mini light-up Las Vegas sign and, for lack of anything else to do with it, made it a main fixture in our workshop. Kind of inspired everyone. But in addition to the lack of funds, the Las Vegas regional this year seems to be Easter weekend, and it’s against team policy to compete that weekend. Catholic school and all. I’m interested to check out those aforementioned white papers to see how many team travel long distances between regionals, maybe bypassing several other geographically closer ones.

Weren’t you driving that Las Vegas sign around on your robot at the Francis Lewis autonomous meet?

We also find that an “away” event is much more beneficial to the team than two events within daily driving distance. Last year, we too, did both LI and NYC and going into the city each day on the train wasn’t as valuable as bonding each evening at a hotel. Too many events close together can be wearying on every one. I like a couple of events in March, one in April, and a couple off-seasons in the Fall.

As to the Michigan double districts, 76% is just where teams stand currently on the public team lists - 243 slots assigned, 138 Michigan teams.
I’m sure they’ll improve, and travel to distant district events may be impacted by the continuing economic downturn, but at least a third of the one district teams are close to several venues. Mostly, it seems to be a scheduling problem.
As Ed mentioned, last year only a couple of teams (835 & 2153) did not end up attending their given two district events.

  • 2153 in Chassell, MI is an 8 hour drive from their nearest district event in Traverse City, and 10 hours from the next closest in Flint (as Andrew mentioned, Michigan is a big state to get across).
    *] 835 chose to attend the Kansas City Regional in lieu of their second district event (see new people, make new friends).
    15 teams were able to sign up for a third district event last year.

816 attends NJ and Philly Regionals normally. with Philly being so much more enjoyable being our second one.

MiM has mainly stuck to 2 and the championship. One year we tried 3 plus championship.
Next year will be interesting since the championship will be in St. Louis. It’s been a while since MiM was there:)

Something piqued my interest, so I did a quick analysis with the data from the Blue Alliance.

In 2009 10 / 12 division winners attended more than 1 regional.
In 2008 10 / 12 division winners attended more than 1 regional.
In 2007 11 / 12 division winners attended more than 1 regional.
In 2006 7 / 12 division winners attended more than 1 regional.

That means in the past four years only 10 teams attended only one regional and made it to Einstein (of the 48 teams that made it to Einstein.)

Only 2 teams (296, 971) in the last four years have attended only one regional and gone on to win a Championship (of the 12 that have won in the past four years.)

I won’t editorialize.


I personally believe that if you can go to more than 1 regional you should. I feel it is a terrible waste to spend 6 weeks building a robot and only compete at one regional for a total of around 10 matches (more if you are lucky!).

We have always done our best and worked tirelessly to fundraise enough for at least 2 regionals. That way the students get more experience and gain more from the season. If I could have it my way (money and all) I would go to an event every week! Alas, that may just be a pipe dream. :rolleyes:

When referring to the number of regional attended by teams that made it to the finals at Championships, you need to keep in mind that the better teams usually make the finals, and I suspect that the better teams also have the desire to raise the funds and make the second regional a priority. I don’t think that going to a second regional helps you win in the Championships if you have an average robot.

As for 433, this will be our 11th season. We will attend a second regional for only the 4th time this year, with almost all of the 2-regional years in the second half of our existence. It seems as if finances drives most of this decision.

In terms of picking a second regional, the timing of the regionals is very important in making that decision. The team members are often active in other groups that have activities in March. The students also have several days off in March and April (teacher’s workdays, etc.). We try to make sure that the girls miss as little school as possible, can make their other events to the extent possible, and space the regionals enough to guarantee that there will not be shipping issues with the robot.

Going to a second regional gives you more time to drive your average robot exceptionally well, or time to transform your average robot into something better.

For example: 217’s robot did not change after the Midwest regional, but it improved from a semi final performance to consistent district and division wins (including some of their first #1 seed performances). Granted, 217’s robot was far above “average”, but if they went to Midwest and then the Championship with no time in between, I doubt they would have performed at the level they did.

These are the same reasons that 1189 goes to two events each year - even before FiM. However, it kind of worked the other way around for us - in 2008, we went to the semis in Pittsburgh, and then did not-as-well at GLR, possibly because of the difference in the caliber of teams. However, last year, going two events (+ state championship) was incredibly beneficial. Our robot was still somewhat of a mess at Kettering, and we didn’t so so hot. We had some time to fix our robot both at the event and before Detroit, and did MUCH better the second time around. We then went on to states, and did, well, decent.

In regards to school work - missing days of school and being incredibly busy for all of those days can be pretty rough. My friends and I brought some homework to Pittsburgh, and did a little bit of it there. Make sure that students let their teachers know WELL ahead of time, and make sure that the teachers also know that the students will be incredibly busy on their days off. While the students may not get huge extensions, letting the teachers know of the caliber of the weekend may make them a little more lenient in regards to deadlines. Two regionals (Weeks 2 and 4) was a little bit rough for me as a freshman with two honors classes, and harder as a sophomore with straight honors classes, so I imagine that it would be a lot harder with back-to-back events, so plan for it. Do homework on the way to and from the events, and if you’re travelling, do some at the hotel.

With two regionals, funding is a huge element in it. Our team is only attending two due to a grant from NASA. If we didn’t have that I can’t see us attending two this year and don’t foresee it in the future unless we secure more funds with sponsors whom will work with us in for years to come.

As for the school aspect of it as some have mentioned, our mom’s just work us harder to make up for the lost time.:wink:

If you can find the money, going to multiple events is worth it. In years that we have only done one, it seems that you spend at least half the time working the bugs out of the robot and learning the details of the game. When you can go to a second event it seems like you can hit the ground running. You also know your robot is at least really close to passing inspection.

We did two regionals in 2008 and we’ve been doing it ever since.

If you win your first regional, it takes a lot of pressure off your second regional and allows you to get competition practice, make improvements to your robot, and try different strategies.

We’re double-regionalling as a rookie team at WPI and CT. Luckily (I suppose I’d call it lucky), week 5 falls on Holy Week, so we only miss a total of 3 days of school.

As a rookie team with very little experience, double-regionalling would give us valuable experience. Most of the people on the team haven’t seen or been to a regional event, so, by the second regional, hopefully most of the team will be over the initial shock.

Team 2339 did one our rookie year, 2 last year.
2 worked well and are doing 2 again this year.
both are within driving distance, San Diego and LA. making $ less of a challenge.
We have not qualified to go to Atlanta yet but may sign up for St. Louis next year.

We have traditionally done NJ week 1 and then a random east coast regional and then Championships. We have the funds for 3 regionals but it takes way too much out of the teachers and mentors and students. 2004 they did 3 regionals but the students’ grades reflected this.

Not only is it fun to compete at your second regional (along with what everyone has already said) it is a lot more fun to meet new people and for your team to learn from others.