Most Competitive Regional

Okay teams…

Now that we have been able to scout the team lists at FIRST’s site, which regional is going to be the most competitive in the 2004 season?

Here is my opinion after much analysis:

Now, each year the Midwest produces the greatest amount of strong and competitive machines. So, the Great Lakes Regional (GLR) has been notorious as being the “most competitive” or “hardest regional to win” for the past few years, but I think things are changing. This year, GLR will be the first regional that is hosted in the Midwest area. Usually, GLR is the second regional held in the Midwest area, which allows teams to practice more and to attend their first regional. I know from experience that the Cleveland Regional (usually the first Midwest-located regional) has less competition because teams are still “finding bugs and getting in their precious practice.”

Of couse, the most important thing to factor in are the teams that are attending each regional. It is my opinion that there is more strength in the GLR team list, but the Midwest Regional’s team list isn’t too shabby!

Finally, it is my opinion that the Midwest Regional will be the most competitive regional this year because of its similarly strong team list to GLR, but also because the GLR regional will prep teams beforehand.

Hey - that’s just my opinion… what’s yours?

i agree with you that the midwest produces awesome teams. however with the addition of the new detriot regional, a few teams have decided to go there rather than GLR. that takes away some of the competetion but not very much. also the midwest regional is going to be more competetive than other years, but still not quite up to the level at GLR. i would say that the great lakes regional is once again at the top of the list, followed by the midwest regional/

Uh oh…
worms… (as someone else has said)

What defines most competitive regional?
Number of quality teams?
How to define quality team?
Deepest field (top to bottom)?
Past performance?
Most parity?
What teams from what regions of the country do better at the Championship?
Is there any way to know these things?

Anyone want to make a pitch for the NJ Regional as one of the most competitive in the country?

-Steps back waiting for Big Mike, WayneC, Aignam, and the others…


Of course this is a vague question, that was my intention! I just wanted to see there was a consensus as to which regional is the most competitive. My understanding of the question (because I did write it after all) is essentially, “What regional has the strongest team list?” This can be done by using previous knowledge from past years. Just a thought…

The Florida Regionals have always had some amazing things happen. lots of tough bots

the first regional where 4 bots got ontop of the ramp at the end of the match

The NJ Regional is definitely amongst the most competitive. Don’t believe me? Come and see for yourself. :wink:

Yea I always thought the Florida regionals were very competitive.

Are you suuuuuure?
Last year, week 1, day 1 we had that happen in New Hampshire.
Be careful when you say stuff like that…

The most competitive regional will be in the midwest.
Simply because, that is where there is the greatest concentration of “competitive” teams, that build competitive robots. Nowhere else in the country can match it.

This isn’t to say there are’nt strong teams elsewhere in the country, just that there are less of them attending the same regionals. I remember looking at the team list for Midwest last year and thinking: “this is like a list for 'who’s who among FIRST teams”. Can’t compete with those Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana power-houses!

Go New England FIRST!


I am a big fan of the New England regional as among the toughest in the nation (er ah… …world).

But then again, now with the NH regional and J&J right in the same neighborhood, it is not the same as in the “old days” of '96-'98…

Now that I think about it, I come back to numbers and statistics. With the exception of newish regionals where rookie and 2nd year teams are over represented, I think that good teams are more or less evenly distributed over the set of regionals so…

…which one will be the toughest to win? Easy, the Canadian Regional because it will have the most teams to beat.

I am not saying that this will mean that the winner of the Canadian regional will be odds on favorites at the Championships however…

…I reserve that spot for any team with the audacity to win both the Detroit and the San Jose Regionals…

…now who could that possibly be? :wink:

Go Chiefs!

Joe J.

why would you think that teams from one area of the country would be more competitive than from another area?

Engineering and technical sponsor companies exist all around the world - the midwest doenst have a lock on engineering expertese

as a matter of fact - there are plenty of automotive corporations in the midwest who make cars and trucks - but the equipment they use (the machinery) is often from other parts of the country, or from other countries.

The machines that detroit uses to make gears, for example, are made by our sponsor, Gleason - here in Rochester, NY

with the addition of auton mode last year, and more emphasis on SW and sensors - the playing field is staying pretty level across all the teams.

It’s the simple fact that the Midwest just has more opportunities for teams to be created or started - there are more resources. I am in no way trying to slam other teams in “non-Midwest regions”, but I feel that the average level of competition is greater in the Midwest. The past three years, we had Beatty (from Indiana) win the national twice along with last year’s winners which were:
111 (from Illinois)
469 (from Michigan)
65 (from Michigan)

Its my opinion that there is a greater CONCENTRATION of competitive teams in the Midwest, but counter if you feel I am wrong! I am certainly biased because I am from Michigan and have only been to Michgan/Ohio regionals and Nationals for the past three years.

I think it would be a mistake to equate winning the championship with being the best team

out of the 800 teams last year, less than 300 went to the championship - thats means only 3/8 ths of the teams were represented

and not because the other teams dont have the resources to qualify for the championship - many teams choose NOT to attend, preferring to spend their money on attending another regional instead - spending their funds on things that directly benefit their team or FIRST, instead of airline tickets

I dont understand what resources you think only exist in the midwest? machine tools? engineers? machinists? money? corporate sponsors?


BTW - if you have never been to an east coast, west coast, florida or texas regional, then on what basis would you form an opinion on which is the most competitive?

personally I think the most competitive regional is probabally the last ones played before the championship - they will have the most teams that have been in more than one regional, and will have their machines optimized for best performance.

The way I interpret it, he’s not saying that these resources don’t exist in other areas; rather, they exist in far greater qualities in the Midwest (especially Michigan) than in other areas.

The reason why is quite simple: the Big Three auto companies. Ford, GM, and DaimlerChrysler are all headquartered in Michigan. Beyond that, other companies that supply the Big Three (such as Delphi) also have a major presence in the state.

It’s fair to say that the Big Three and their suppliers sponsor a good number of FIRST teams. It’s also fair to say that some things come easier for those teams. My team, for example, worked in the GM Tech Center last year. This is, if I recall correctly, home to the largest group of GM engineers in the country. Needless to say, we had no problem getting intelligent and talented engineers to work with our team. The Tech Center is also home to more than a few shop areas, and we were able to do most of our work either in the Tech Center or in the nearest GM plant (can’t recall exactly where it is).

Because of the numerous auto plants in the state, Michigan does have many machinists and machine shops…far more than some other areas.

With Ford, GM, and Delphi in the area, among others, it’s also somewhat easier to find a corporate sponsor who will be reliable and support the team fully.

To answer your question, I’d say that the Midwest actually does have more everything you listed than other areas of the country. It’s just the way things have worked out.

I dont agree - cars are not made in machine shops, they are made on assembly lines with equipement that would never be taken offline to build a part for a FIRST robot

I cant think of any part or component on a FIRST robot that could not be made in any basic machine shop - there are only a handfull of different types of metal-working machines

and they are used in machine shops all around the world.

or maybe Im looking at this the wrong way? by ‘more competitive’ do you mean more aggressive and less cooperative maybe? In most of the regionals I have been to we would rather spend our time and energy helping a rookie team get their bot running well, than to focus all our attention on winning

now that I think of this, teams from the area you are talking about have been know to be, well… snooty? aloof? not as friendly?

is this what you mean by ‘competitive’? or maybe this is a part of it?

Don’t be too hard on Tytus. We were told by the announers that no one had four bots on the ramp at that point. Tytus was correct, as this was the information he was going off of.

well i suppose the tedency is to equate the winners of the championships with being the “best” teams in FIRST simply because there is no other way to measure them. No matter what anyone does, it would be impossible to compare team statistics and what not to form an idea of what really is the “best” team in the organisation. its the same thing you can see in amature sports. Still, id have to rank winning the championship as one of the best/if not only way to accurately see how good a team is. The problem with anything else lies only if you havent seen which teams are being compared to etc. video and hear-say can only get you so far.

*just as an aside. *

while it might be true that a huge majority of engineering firms are located in the midwest, a team does not necessairly need them to be succesful. im going to use woburn as an example… mostly cause i dont know any other team :wink: our primary sponsor is a bank and trust, with three or four mentors at one team, all former teachers @ woburn. and we took 2nd in canada, and 1st in west michigan. so im sure that having that tech base to work with is superb, but not necessairly a big reason for success.

edit: oops, used reply to thingy twice.

now that I think about it, the way the games and the competition are setup, having to play with an unknown alliance partner, and the amount of chance involved, with variables that are outside your control

its almost as if FIRST is not really intended to be a robot building contest at all!

like maybe there is some deeper hidden purpose behind this whole program? something elusive and yet, profound.

I cant quite put my finger on what it could be

but maybe being the most competitive team out there is not what its all about?

J Flex - Thanks for the complement ( I guess) but I have never been a teacher.

Asfor the most competetive thats easy. It’s the one in which you are competeting at the moment. All the rest are a breeze cause your not there. As for the Canadian Regional as being the most competetive because of more teams, I’m not so sure. It will be the Best regional though. I have seen a lot of teams and believe me when I say that I never saw 1 not being competetive. Even the teams that could barely run were pushing in the pits and doing their very best to help their alliance partner during matches.

Where will the best robots be? We won’t know till it’s all over. The best robots may not be at Championship but they will still be the best robots.


I didn’t know I was being hard on him?
Sorry Tytus, didn’t mean to be mean, just issuing a clarification.

If you look here:
You can see that Florida was a 3rd week regional.


How about the Canadian Regional? It’s the only one in another country but it’s full of competitive teams like 48, 188, 783, 639… :slight_smile:

This year, the 70+ teams, 2+ fields, and up to double the qualifying rounds should make it one great regional. I don’t know if anyone can judge a regional’s competitiveness with clear objectivity but I at least know that the Canadian Regional willl be highly entertaining and fun. As it has been the last 2 years.