Making heads or tails of the new announcement...

This morning, after I got home from work, rushed home to the dorm to see if the registration was up (I thought it was today, not the 26th).

Instead, I found something I wish I hadnt.

I know it was inevitable, but still…that doesnt make it hurt less to see.

I guess thats all I have to say.

I guess this is what you mean.

I’m not sure what to think now, except that my team will probably not be going to nationals.

I agree.

Just one thing that I noticed hadn’t been brought up here yet…

FIRST seems to be easing us into the idea that not everybody is going to be going to nationals…there’s 12 ways to be guaranteed a slot, and that’s not counting the first-come, first-served for the even numbered teams(this year)…not counting the “point system” method of getting a spot, 173 slots(max) are pre-assigned. But the questions remain, how many of the 28 teams the first year still are competing? How many of the teams will fall under more than one category?(ex. chairman’s award finalists) While I’ll readily admit that I’m not the biggest fan of having to “qualify” for nationals(as anyone who has been watching my previous posts on the subject here well knows,) I have to admit that the way FIRST has gone about it for this year seems a lot better than the many other ways that they could have handled it…

I heard rummors of this kind of policy floating around. And they say that this is fair?

Come on.

Team that have won, just to win again. You could have had a suckie Regional, jeopardize you going to nationals. Plus how are you going to tell if you won awards.

Come on, plus you don’t know if you are going to Florida until the very end, that will mean more expensive plane tickets and last minute plans. That could teams not to go down to Florida. Plus this means people who are lucky, can attend multiple regionals and increase there chances of getting down their.

This policy will not stand, and I know it, when people come out and complain. It should go back to the way it always was, first come first serve, at least we will know in advance instead of this stupid 5 points system.

Look I am not dissing FIRST or anything…

but come on, it will really let a lot of people down.

But the main thing that if you do make it, it will be too late for you to do anything about it. At least with first come first serve, you can at least know what is going to happen, so you can plan around it.

Also, it said in the FAQ that they were shotting for 288 teams, that is almost a hundred less before. What has happened here? That is about the same size as the 99 national. That is a significant reduction. I was hopping that they shoot for 400 teams. And I can see that happen, but 288, that is very sad.

I think the thing that is going to hurt the program the most is the rookies. I don’t mean to take a shot at FIRST or anything, but I think we’re going to see a lot of this season’s rookies drop out.

I knew FIRST would eventually move to qualification to get to Nationals (excuse me, it’s now known as the Championship according to FIRST), but I didn’t expect changes this big for this year. I thought the big changes would come next year (2003). If you’ve read my previous posts, you’d know I’m in favor of limiting Nats (I can’t get used to calling it the Championship) in order to bring the excitement back. But regardless, I was shocked to see the announcement.

I won’t get into any debating about the changes yet, I’ll save it for another day. But I’m pretty sure the changes are here for good, FIRST is not going to go back to the old system.

My personal reading into the announcement is they want people to attend regionals and are turning Nationals into a tournament for the top contenders. Thus the name change to the Championship.


When they say 28 original teams, does it have to be school and sponser, or just school…and also if your team won the chairmans award then changed sponsor ship does it still count?
any one know?

Team 151

Well, I hope people find the reasons FIRST provided reasonable…

It is something that had to be done, in my opinion, when the bads outweights the goods if nothing is done.

Cheer up, everyone. The odd/even qualification gives teams a chance to go at least once every two year. And teams with good competition records and chairman awards will be present at National, which mean there will still be tough competition…

But you are right, there won’t every teams around the country in the pit area anymore… However, looking at the amount of time it take to really walk through that kind of pit area and really meet those other teams, it’s going to take more than 5 days if FIRST keep the growth rate from last year.

I know this isn’t the time to say this, but I am going to say it anyway… FIRST learning experience isn’t just about going to National, it’s also the 6 weeks of hardwork you put into the robot, the rest of the year trying to prepare the team for competition, regional competitions, and/or promoting FIRST through out your community.

If you really want to meet other people, I suggest you go to another regional far away if you don’t think you will be going to Nats that year. Meet those others through a much smaller competition and really get to know them. There is something different about regionals that Nats can’t compare to, the sense of family and bonding between teams that are close to each other. And then, when you are prepared or when your year number comes, go to Nats and take a look at how FIRST have changed all those young people around the country…

Even though FIRST cap the size of teams going to National, they will never cap the amount of volunteers and spectators going. Therefore some of you can still go if you decide to observe the competitions and awards ceremony, or even just plain old volunteering…

to make sure i’m understanding this correctly, if you accumulate 5 points, you are able to attend the Nationals? (sorry, Championship?)

*Originally posted by David Kelly *
**to make sure i’m understanding this correctly, if you accumulate 5 points, you are able to attend the Nationals? (sorry, Championship?) **

Yes. Since 234 won MWR last year, you’ve got 3 points, then add in all the awards you got for your control system (which I believe is a ‘Judged Award’), your team qualifies.


*Originally posted by David Kelly *
**to make sure i’m understanding this correctly, if you accumulate 5 points, you are able to attend the Nationals? (sorry, Championship?) **

I think your tense is off. If you ACCUMULATED 5 points (in the 2001 season), you are eligible to attend the 2002 Championship. As I read it, CyberBlue is qualified to attend the 2002 championship with 3 points from a regional championship, 2 points from a Driving Tomorrow’s Technology award, and two more points for a special Judges’ award.

I played around a little bit at the end of the day to try and figure out how many teams from 2001 are already qualified for 2002. I get about 65 teams with 5 or more points. I will not post the list because I’m not sure if I interpreted everything correctly (ie - do Division Champions from Nationals get 3 pts?).

Overall, I think that this is the right move. I wouldn’t want to qualify for nationals on April 4th and then try to make arrangements to get there though. Hopefully FIRST/Disney will come up with a way to help out these teams.

Based on this point system, my team has no points. Yeah, we pretty much stink in terms of winning anything. I never knew winning meant so much to FIRST…makes you really wonder if FIRST’s focus has shifted to something besides teaching kids to love music, science, and engineering…

~Angela who has a sinking feeling that SPAM will not be appearing at nats, though she vowes to go anyway (living two hours from nats has that advantage)

This is a problem where the solution can’t possibly be fair to everyone out there. It will be nice if we live in a perfect world, but the fact is that we don’t.

About winners just to win again, those winners should be given a chance to try to win again, or else there’s going to be speculation about “if that team have gone to Nats, they would’ve win the championship”, that sort of thing. The best teams should be allowed to prove that they are the best.

And looking at next year’s probably going to be back to Head to head, I am pretty sure the best teams will be able to climb onto the top… Sure teams can go to different regionals, but there probably won’t be a lot of time to modify their robot or anything like that to help them improve dramatically.

You have to understand that FIRST’s success shouldn’t be based on how many teams win awards or competition. It’s the experience that counts.

With next year’s schedule, there are going to be three weeks between regionals and florida. The first 10 regionals will have more than a month to plan their traveling. As for the other 7 regionals, which is about 56 teams going to Nats, it’s true that it won’t be as fair for them… But given enough planning I am sure regionals will be able to reserve flights to Nats just for the teams who qualify, so whoever ended up going will be able to take tose reserves without paying more.

I admit FIRST can lossen up a little bit and expand the list somewhat bigger for the teams that can’t quite be the winner of regionals but always just right below that position… But, I am not going to complain to FIRST and demand them to remove this rule.

All these discussion start surround a point of discussion: What’s the point of having a national?

I am going to avoid driving this thread off topic, so please go back to the General Forum and start the discussion in the new thread: “What’s the point of having a national?”

I believe my first response to this, when I heard about it, was dissappointment. Namely, the first reason is that my team doesn’t qualify to go. But I think the larger part of it is the way that they were picking teams to go. Perhaps I miss read the feelings of the team representatives at the New England Team Forum (and obviously I was not at the other forum locations), but the distinct impression I got was that very few people wanted nationals limited based on past preformance; and this is precisely what FIRST gave us. I suppose we can ignore the fact that this virtually excludes any rookies from competiting in nationals. We can also overlook the fact that teams that have large amounts of money have a much easier time going to nationals (multiple regionals = multiple awards much more easily). I think my biggest problem with this is that winning is what FIRST is not about. And this is what this arrangement for nationals rewards. Or perhaps I’m just still a bit upset over not being able to go at all. See you guys in Florida in 2003.


I have to prepare for a team meeting tonight where I unfortunately have to break the news that we are not going to nationals, so I do not have sufficient time to go into detail… But here’s an analytical look at what this limitation does… I don’t mean to protest the decision, but rather to critique it’s likely effects (and these are NOT necessarily bad effects)…

(1) Teams that receive certain awards in previous years qualify for nationals automatically. Some of these awards are only awarded to teams that attend nationals! Therefore, teams who do not attend nationals this year will have a decreased chance of attending nationals next year.

(2) Given this, probability believes that next year there will be more even numbered teams at nationals than there will be odd numbered teams at nationals this year. Even numbered teams will in fact have a permanant advantage over odd numbered teams in the future (although this advantage does decrease every year, and eventually it will even out).

(3) The same logic applies to 2002 rookies and all future rookies. Rookies will have a much more difficult time qualifying to go to nationals than other teams.

(4) Current year regional winners – how many teams can afford to go to nationals on three weeks notice? I know the logistics of getting air tickets would be virtually impossible, or extremely pricey. Instead, nationals will be a collection of pseudorandom teams (depending on the modulo of the year) and teams that performed well in past years but not necessarily this one.

(5) The term “National Champion” should no longer be attributed to winning teams – given that not all teams are allowed to go to nationals. You may argue that one such team could qualify by winning a regional, but i don’t know any teams that can pull $15k+ to get there. Plus, probabilty will tell you there’s probably about a 60-80% chance that the winning team this year is an even number. That alone suggests that there can be no national true champion – only a winner of the Epcot Invitational Competiton.

(6) Wealthy teams who attend multiple regional will qualify much more often than less-wealthy teams – not because of a better robot, simply because they have more chances to qualify for the current year’s nationals as well as future nationals. I would strongly urge FIRST to use only the first regional that a team attends as a qualifier for nationals.

Given all these, and the situation FIRST was faced with, I honestly think they came up with an alright solution. Every solution with regard to limitation will have it’s disadvantage and built in biases. While I do think the FIRST community would have been better served if FIRST had split nationals over two weekends (very little additional cost; all teams can go), if we have to limit nationals, my quarrels are minor points only. I also think it is great that we have more regionals! This is one very positive side effect of limiting nationals, and I look forward to attending some of these new regionals. And if your team cannot go to nationals next year, you can always elect to travel to distant regional in it’s place (and probably a lot cheaper than Disney accomodations).


PS Let’s hope the scoring for the 2002 game is a lot simpler than the qualification-to-nationals.

Most likely the reason behind this is the cost for Disney.

I remember in a ABC News report said that Disney was cutting back or canceling funds for its usual donations because of the poor economy, and now this fear of someone blowing things up, which lead to few customers, meaning fewer dollars to give away.

If its money, here is what you should do to cut cost

  1. Get rid of the team party, yeah it will be a downer but I rather be there than not be there. We can always locate a simple team party off any Disney party.

  2. Get rid of the air-condition, I am sure that was a high cost. I can bring a fan with an ice cube in front of it.

  3. Get rid of all the dizzily effects, light the lights, fireworks, and the doves.

  4. Get rid of the big screen and just replace it with a high-resolution rear-projection model.

I don’t know, any other way to cut cost?

A response from an old teammate of mine:

hey, i want my free can of soda
dean better mail it to me

I think FIRST had to do smoething in order to cut down on people, because too many people will also break a fire code and it would look really bad for the Fire Dept. to come and shut down Nats. So FIRST did what they had to do.

To all of you odd number teams who are saying you can’t go to Nats and having to break the news to your team, YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE!! Don’t lose hope, you can still do very well at regionals and have a chance to go. If you’re not able to go to Nats, try going to two regionals, sure it won’t be the same but it will be better than nothing.

Two regionals brings up another question. If you register for two regionals, then find out you can go to Nats, what happens if you had two competitions in your budget, and the second regional you win and have the chance to go to Nats, what happens then?(I hope you understand my question:) :confused:

FIRST could cut down, is to limit the number of people from each team allowed to go, like give the team a limit as to how many people to bring, is that a good idea??:confused: