Post of the minutes from New Englands town hall tonight. (Thank you Bri and Paige for the minutes)
(Minutes are still being reformatted so it might look different than what is quoted below, Id recommend giving it a look directly just in case)
- We went from 2 world championships to 1 in Houston
- This championship is only one week after our district championship
- DCMP is week 7, World Championship is week 8
- 4 days between the end of District Championships, and the start of the World Championship.
- Houston is a 29 hour drive
- Lot’s of logistical issues for teams
Celebrating 2 Field District Championship @ The Big E
Create a hybrid model to help teams that progress to Houston
Create a robot and equipment logistic plan to help teams get to Houston
Houston planning task force
Investigating things like hotels, transportation to Houston, etc
We won’t have answers to every question right now, but the goal is to open communication and try to help teams alleviate some of the issues this change brings
- Leave the district schedule the same
- Concentrate on helping 20-25 teams who advance
- After week 6 allocate a set number of teams to automatically advance to Houston
- Top 14 teams in the district that aren’t chairmans or EI or rookie all star
- These teams can go to district championship or bypass the championship and go straight to houston
- 6 slots that will advance out of our district championship as usual
- Cultural awards TBD
- Focus on getting robots and tools to Houston
- Whether a truck straight from District Champs or FedEx or something
- If it’s a FIRST truck it needs a crate, if it’s a district truck it will need to be on pallets
- If it’s FedEx it won’t leave until Monday
Tried to move District Championship to week 6
- Would have caused 4 different events to have to be disrupted
- 40% of the total # of events
- Relocating 120-130 teams who already set their district schedule
- Only fair way to do that would be to reroll the event process all together
- HQ was not willing or prepared to do that
- Unfair to the district to relocate so many events
- Were not even sure if we could move our district championship from the Big E
- Had to make that choice before we could find out
- There was discussions and it was determined this was too disruptive to the overall schedule and teams
NE FIRST pre-booked flights
NE as an entity has tried to secure charter flights and seats on plans before, but it has never worked out for us before
We have some resources with travel agents, but it gets tricky to change the name on a seat on a plane on such a quick turnaround
- FAA security issue
Houston planning task force
- Investigating transportation logistics
- HQ has blocks of hotels
- They will be held till the beginning of week 8 for teams
Anyone who has any companies who would potentially help sponsor this entire thing please reach out to us
- Can teams bring their own robots?
- Teams would still be allowed to bring their own robots
- Is there any consideration of awarding all the slots at the end of week 6 versus waiting until week 7
- We considered doing this, but it diminished the importance of the District Championship
- Teams who are prequalified can still attend District Championship
- Season needs to be supportive of all of our teams not just the teams who are going to worlds
- Is there a fear pre-qualified teams won’t go to the District Championship
- Maybe, but it is also more important to allow plans to team ahead
- Do we have an indication of capacity limits from FIRST (will team size be limited)
- No Covid protocols have been announced yet
- Would shipping weight and size limits be the standard FRC and the same for both shipping methods?
- Most likely
- Could NEFIRST Charter a plane?
- It’s not off the table
- Liability and insurance are a concern
- What happens to the # of teams at the district Championship if people decline?
- It will be the top 80 teams who don’t qualify
- Any consideration to teams who cannot attend because it’s Easter Weekend?
- Unfortunately there is not really much that can be done
- Could NE FIRST Provide crates for teams who qualify for after DCMP
- Not going to say no, but we likely don’t have the bandwidth to do it
- If you’re one of the top 20 teams going into DCMP, we suggest building a crate
- Or if team’s could build a crate and give it to someone
Key take-aways from tonight
- The district WILL help teams get robots and things to Houston
- Transporting people is a bit trickier due to FAA regulations, but it is something we are looking into
- Ultimately, if a team qualifies for the world championship, the goal is if they want to go that they can (though recognizing the immense challenges this entails)
My question to everyone here is what can other districts take away from this, and is there anything else that the people within NE FIRST might have missed that could be a possibility.
Edit: I do want to add that I am very happy with everything NE FIRST has done in the last week regarding this series of events. While its not what everyone wants to see, I feel its the best they can make of a bad situation.
And hopefully if there are any suggestions within here it can become even better.