Making Suggestions to Regional Committees

So, I’m seeing a lot of threads about various subjects, and I would like to suggest that you try to find out who your regional planning committee is, or find out who the Regional Director in that area is so they can point you in the right direction. I’m sure you can contact FIRST and they can let you know who to contact. Most regions should be having a team forum as well where teams can attend and comment on the season.

I suggest this because complaining on CD doesn’t really accomplish much, in my opinion. There have been some good suggestions on how to make things better at regionals, but it’s not gonna help anyone if committees don’t see it. And after complaining about something, you might even get an explanation as to why something was the way it was, rather than assuming that nobody thought about it.

I invite anyone who is on a regional committee to identify themselves here, if they are willing to take the suggestions back to their commitees. This is not a thread for actually making suggestions, but more so to point people in the direction.

One suggestion I have is to ask committees to have a suggestion box AT the event, as well as a main regional email address that the committee reads. Boilermaker does this and we get good feedback - some comments we even try to address during the event. Keep in mind that some things like music, A/V, scoring, reffing is more within FIRST’s control, but comments can be passed on.

If anyone has comments regarding Boilermaker, feel free to PM me. I know there are several other commitees who have active CD members. If you hit a brick wall and can’t find any contacts, PM me and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks.

Thanks for the great suggestion, Amy.

For an example of how this can work please see this thread started by Waterloo regional planning committee chair Rob Gorbet.

I will encourage the STL regional planning committee to start a similar thread. In the meantime I would appreciate it if anyone on CD who has comments regarding St. Louis would PM me.

I agree those threads will work IF the commitees are on here. If those threads are to be started/created, they should be done by the COMMITTEE MEMBERS only. (I suppose I should do one for BMR - I did last year, just didn’t get around to it yet).

Also - if you have a suggestion that you honestly think will benefit ALL regionals and can be applied to all regionals, go ahead and make the suggestion here. I am trying to avoid long discussions, debates, or arguments in this thread.
Thanks.

I agree with Amy – threads like the one that I linked above should be started by the regional committees themselves, not by others. I am a member of the STL regional planning committee, but I’m not the chair or co-chair, so I won’t start such a thread for STL until I get approval from the chair to do so.

BTW, I wonder how many regional committee chairs are currently registered on CD? I’ll be encouraging mine to register.

Any teams with suggestion/comments about the Chesapeake Regional, feel free to PM me. I’ll pass it on to the rest of the regional committee. Thanks!!!

Amy,

I would maintain that if each and every student and adult team member does not already know who these people are, then the FIRST organization has done itself a disservice.

I would also maintain that very few of us know who our representatives are and that this lack of a feedback conduit is one of the main sources of frustration for many of us.

On another recent thread, discussion was about how to limit “internet anonymity” among CD posters and make people responsible for their actions.

“FIRST anonymity” is a far greater threat to the success of the program.

JMHO,

Mike

I will post one for all regionals. Alliance selection should be after a break of at least 15 mins if not 1/2 hour. Teams just do not have enough time to evaluate Saturdays matches and finalize their picks. I believe, after the PM’s I got, that there are many who would like to see this happen. I was told that it use to be that way. There should still be time after to set up strategy but it can be 30 min instead of an hour.

This has been suggested many times over the past few years, and while I agree with it, it’s FIRST’s call. I believe that FIRST gave a reason for this a while back, but I do not remember what it was.

Mike - teams can email FIRST to find out who their regional director is. That regional director then has links to all the committees for their area. I think some committees are not made up of all dedicated FIRST participants (yes, could be a problem in itself) and don’t make themselves known. I will find out if a Regional Director list can be made available publicly to teams, or at least to team leaders. I agree that all teams should know who their rep is, and I’m not sure yet if there is a reason for it being unknown.
Heck, as a chair, I would not be against anyone AT a regional to ask the volunteers if they can point you in the direction of a committee member. Hopefully they are around and available.

It is a good idea to contact your regional’s planning people, but I do think discussion on these forums can help too - someone else might have a better idea or information on why something is the way it is before you talk to the planners.

Yes good point - my main intent was to avoid more complaint threads from popping up and try to inject some constructive way in getting their comments heard. There are a number of regional specific threads that everyone can discuss things in, if desired, before contacting committees.

Some do, some don’t. If the commitees, like yours and mine, send out email updates and such, then team leaders have the contact. If there are committees that don’t do this, then they are as good as anonymous.

(ps - i keep editing my post so I don’t keep adding new ones to the thread)

It is a good idea to contact your regional’s planning people, but I do think discussion on these forums can help too - someone else might have a better idea or information on why something is the way it is before you talk to the planners.

[quote=“AmyPrib”]

This has been suggested many times over the past few years, and while I agree with it, it’s FIRST’s call. I believe that FIRST gave a reason for this a while back, but I do not remember what it was.[/quote]

Maybe FIRST’s reason has to do with wanting people (teams and volunteers) to have some time for lunch?

Anyway, I think Steve is right – 15 minutes to compile Saturday scouting results would help a lot and would not delay the event too much.

Amy,
I’m suprised that team leaders don’t have contact with someone on the regional planning committee. I like to send all the teams a welcome and thanks for signing up to attend our (Arizona) regional. And then when the regional is over follow up with a, how did things go, what can we do better email.

If anyone has comments or concerns about the Arizona Regional we are always willing to listen. dwkii@cableaz.com

Don Knight
Arizona Regional Planning Committee

Amy et al,

Almost every FRC regional committee has a regional web site. You can go to each regional’s web site from the list of regionals on www.usfirst.org. On those web sites, there are points-of-contact any team can get in touch with the committee.

Once a team is signed up for a regional (via www.usfirst.org), the regional committee very often initiates contact with that team…If you signed up for a regional and that committee hasn’t gotten in touch with your team directly, you should feel free to contact the commitee (or elevate to FIRST H/Q if necessary)

At the event, the regional committee members should be identifiable via special shirts.

Yes, having a suggestion box at the event is nice. But, each regional committee is also chartered with conducting a ‘forum’ after the regional do do lessons learned and ‘customer satisfaction’ from the annual event. Some regional committees also conduct online or paper-based survey/polls of the team’s experience at the regional.

As an example of the good use of Chiefdelphi, our regional (Finger Lakes) could not afford a team social last year, so I used CD forum as a way to ask everyone in the world about “what type of things would you like to do at a social?” in order to cretae some direction for the 2007 FLR…

Lastly, there are a LOT of things about running a regional event that are NOT controlled by the regional committee, that are mandated for consistency by FIRST H/Q. Therefore, making suggestions to a regional committee should be backed-up by making the same suggestion to FIRST H/Q.

Anyways, your regional committee should be only a mouse click away!

I am the FVC Affiliate Partner and chair of the FIRST Vex Challenge Championship Tournament planning committee in Connecticut. We want to make our tournament the best experience for our teams! Please send any suggestions or comments about the FVC program or tournament to me at kentfieldk@earthlink.net

One need for improvement area that I have seen at all regionals that I have attended (maybe there is a solution already out there at other venues) and mentioned it last year to some members of my local regional planning committee, is the need for a location for teams to put their non-technical stuff. Basically anything that doesn’t belong in the pit, but is an annoyance and safety hazard in the stands.

Many of you know what I am talking about when you have tried to sit in the stands and there is a bunch of coats or 5 seats full of team ABCs unused spirit items in a great spectator location. I don’t think it is anyones fault that this occurs, its just the fact that people don’t have better homes for these items while at competition.

So, my request is to have a place to put these items, especially the coats. On top of being tripping hazards these items are often moved by other people and sometimes not found again by the original owner. This is obviously not a necessity as we have dealt with it for many events now, but I think it would be great if a venue had a place to accommodate these items.

I also want to thank all of the regional planning committees who take their time to make these events as good as possible.

-Eric