NE District Cancels all Week 3 and 4

So NEFIRST has cancelled all Week 3 and 4 events. How will this affect district rankings? There will be teams that have both of their events cancelled, and I’m wondering, how will this be resolved. In addition, if a team gets only 1 play, can they expect to see a partial refund?

4 Likes

I think it’s safe to say that no one has answers to those questions at the moment. We’ll have to wait for further communication from NEFIRST.

5 Likes

Many people do but NEFIRST made the right call with an abundance of caution.

They also made it due to the state of emergency declared in MA and CT because the events would have more than 100 people.

6 Likes

image

21 Likes

This is a fact. It is cited as a reason in the email that was sent out from FIRST.

“Given the Governors of both Connecticut and Massachusetts have declared a State of Emergency and the directive by Connecticut schools…”

My opinion is that this was not really up to FIRST. They are trying. Look at the other thread. FIRST is going to have to continue to innvoate to stay safe and for this season to go on. Luckily, that is why we are here right, innivation? Mybfirends frequently call me PollyAnna, but I do feel we as a group (including FIRST) have the ability to (I almost said Rise, sorry) make the season work in some way. Remember, this is bad for us, but there are literally lives on the line.

5 Likes

I believe that the main goal is to flatten the curve. My old team’s mentor did not attend probably the only event my old team will end up playing at this season because of possible exposure to SARs-CoV-2. One of the events cancelled was the WPI District Event. Currently WPI is on spring break and students will be returning to campus next week (so a few days before the date of the event). I know this because I’m an undergrad at WPI. This also lets me know for sure that there are WPI students who are currently traveling internationally that will be coming back from spring break, having just gone through major transit hubs. WPI has not communicated any necessary measures for those coming back, so it is presumed that they will be living, walking to class, and even working out in the same building as the event. Additionally volunteers eat at the same dining hall as students. That sounds like a nightmare if there were any asymptomatic carriers. Additionally, there are rumors that WPI will be making an announcement regarding the rest of the semester, especially as major universities across the country have begun to vacate their undergrads from their campus as they shift to being online-only. If WPI makes that call, then I, someone currently registered as a key volunteer, will not be able to attend the event. Of course the event can still run fine without me, but how many other CSA’s and FTAA’s are WPI students? A lot of students volunteer at the event in other necessary roles, and I’m not sure what would happen if all of those students were suddenly gone with a few days notice. IMO cancelling the event is the best approach when you’re not even sure if students will still be allowed on campus next week.

1 Like

Makes sense. I’m just wondering if it’s only a matter of time that they call it all off…

2 Likes

honestly seriously disappointing with this outcome, i don’t even have words to say.can not disagree more with this

3 Likes

Unfortunately, I have to say that it’s very optimistic to assume that qualification to a district championship event is going to matter

21 Likes

FMA had a comp cancelled this week and the plan was to put those registered teams in the remaining district comps and refund other teams 3rd event to allow for teams to get at least 2 district events. Pits are said to get smaller, practice matches won’t occur at some events and events may run longer. Additionally they said in the event that teams only get 1 district play, there is a contingency plan built into the district ranking system to give every team a fair chance to move on. Hopefully your region will do something of the sort. It would be a shame if this season was ruined by this virus.

2 Likes

We were to compete in Springfield MA in Week 4 and then in ME Week 6. These are our first two competitions of the season and we most likely will never get wheels on the field. I feel heartbroken for the seniors that have worked so hard to get to this point. I hope and pray that FIRST comes up with a plan. It is understood that the states have the responsibility to protect their citizens and I hope all stay safe. May this crisis pass quickly. Go Power Surge 4-H Robotics 2712!

6 Likes

Really holding out hope for Bedford week 5. Was really looking forward to Reading. Telling the team that we wouldn’t be competing this weekend was not fun. This is probably one of our best robots to date, and I would love to see it on the field. Disappointed a bit at the results, but I understand that FIRST has to put the safety of its participants at the forefront. I am wondering how they will handle Dean’s list and Woodie Flowers nominees. Will they be pushed to another event? What if teams don’t have another event? Questions I hope will be answered in the coming days, but I expect FIRST has more important things to worry about in the meantime. Tough tough decisions made from all, and I hope to see things work out in the end.

9 Likes

Maine has zero cases of the virus at the moment so there’s a good chance pinetree will go as planned. As for DCMPs though…

With MA and CT in states of emergency I suspect that most or all of their school districts will prohibit travel to events with large gatherings. Might be a pretty lonely event.

1 Like

This is correct. Our school has banned us from traveling to any events in the coming weeks because of the virus. Pinetree will definitely be a lonely event without many teams who would have wanted to compete.

I am interested to see how the rest of the district will work out with many teams not being allowed to travel or only going to one event. DCMP and CMP team qualifications will be interesting.

2 Likes

At the moment the school which 5687 is based out of has indefinetely postponed all field trips (it’s a small school so they specifically said, sorry students & mentors :frowning:) . I don’t have too much hope for Pine Tree, it seems like Maine currently being free of cases is just more incentive to cancel the event. Of course I don’t even know who is on the planning community for Pine Tree so this is all speculation. But I do agree with the cancellation of the WPI district event based on my knowledge as a student there.

2 Likes

Yeah, while this is massively frustrating for teams, mentors, volunteers, and sponsors, unfortunately, there are real constrainsts here.

To hold an event, you need:

  1. Teams with robots
  2. Venues
  3. Fields
  4. Staff
  5. Volunteers

So far, 3 and 4 are fine, 5 is taking a modest but workable hit, and 1 and 2 are unworkable. That’s why all the cancellations.

I can guarantee you that nobody at NEFirst wants to cancel events, but events all over FIRST are getting hit with teams whose policies (or districts’ policies) won’t let them do overnight or interstate trips, or trips to large gatherings, venues that are having to close for similar reasons, or general region bans on large gatherings.

Worse, it’s hard to know what the situation is going to be like weeks from now, so even postponement is extremely iffy right now.

So much of this is uncharted territory, and if it seems like The Powers that Be are “winging it”, well, they are, and trying to do the best they can with their hands mostly tied.

3 Likes

I’ll remind everyone that while it’s really disappointing that our events have been canceled, there are actual lives at risk. Following the CDC’s guidelines by canceling large events can prevent spread of the disease, flatten the curve, and ultimately save lives.

See the section from flattenthecurve on not attending public gatherings:

7 Likes

0 cases in Maine right now. All states will end up with this. My guess is by the end of today or tomorrow that will change.

1 Like

The most important thing to remember is that slowing the rate of infection will save lives, even if the total number of cases over the course of the epidemic is unchanged. 20 car crashes in a single day would overwhelm an ER that could have handled one car crash each day for 20 days.

8 Likes