NEDCMP Townhall - What was discussed and what we can take away from it and what else can we do?

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

Overarching goals

  • 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

Hybrid Model

  • 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

What If…

  • 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.


first wasn’t willing to rerun but was willing to toup teams halfway across the country and give them 4 days to get there seriously?

Could you clarify what you mean by this?

HQ wasn’t prepared to reroll the event process but was prepared to cancel an event and move half their teams planning by a week and make a incredibly challenging schedule that a lot of teams would not be able to make

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reschedule 4 district venues plus 1 dchamp venue, then reroll the event processes for 100+ teams

…because of the impact of the rescheduling on maybe ~20 of them who will advance?

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From a outsider’s view (down here in PCH), I think it’s a great solution given the hand they were dealt.


Is it just me, or is cancelling DCMP and sending the top 20 not an obvious solution?

From my limited experience with districts this seems like a fairly reasonable compromise given the circumstances, especially if outright cancelling several events was considered.

Ig this is touched upon with the awarding slots a week early question, but DCMP always seems like it was designed to not exist if necessary.


60 of the 80 CHMP teams won’t go to worlds, so they still get the extra event. And potentially another 14 teams could get a slot at CHMP if all the worlds pre-qualifiers choose to skip CHMP


What if you just hold the DCMP after CMP? Loses a little bit of its luster but negates the big ol headache. Advance your top x teams by district points straight to Champs, and then battle it out in a summer DCMP for fame and glory.


So they did talk about this. One of their concerns was that they wanted to keep the ability for teams to still have the chance at higher level play. Since that would give 60 teams one more event.
As well they wanted to keep the importance of the district championship.

This was also brought up, but they felt it also lost that importance. As well as they didn’t want to mess up the schedules of any potential off season events that might be planned.


Its likely a lot harder to convince a school district to allow the kids to travel across the country (or just to texas) compared to one state over, and would be for sure cheaper for the teams.

I’d also argue DCMP is more inspirational and is almost a better event of the two to go to anyways, regardless of district.


thats cause it was killing dcmp was jim zondags emergency financial escape if the economy continued to decline in michigan

DCMP (especially for NE) has been a highly prestigious and highly energized event for the NE teams. Only ~10% of the district is likely going to advance to CMP. Designing the entire season (by cancelling DCMP) around just that top percentage takes away the opportunity for having that prestigious event for the ~50% of teams that will qualify for DCMP.


Wow so this is what competent Program Delivery Partner leadership looks like! Seems like a ton of thought and effort went into exploring many alternative ideas, with an emphasis placed on optimizing the experience for all the teams in the district. The open communication and transparency is awesome.


From my time in districts, the DCMP was always the most fun in-season event (even over World Champs) because 1) every robot could play the game and 2) the depth of play. Regionals and districts by comparison are often runaways for the #1 seed or are sometimes just a competition between 2 alliances.

Glad that the NE team is preserving the district champs experience for their teams. Love the analysis and thought that seems to have been put into the current plan.


Fully agreed! Speaking for my own opinion and not for 177’s as a whole - I am really glad the NE leadership is moving forward with this perspective. They want to keep the experience as positive as possible for as many teams as possible. Focusing on just those teams who typically make it to CMP would be a disservice to so many students. Canceling DCMP would be an awful idea for many reasons.

I’m now on a team that typically gets to attend CMP, but I’m grateful that all teams are considered as NE moves forward with different ideas.

Big props to NE leadership for their transparency and urgency in this discussion.


Is this FIRST HQ or NE HQ?

As far as I’m aware its FIRST HQ.

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I would assume this is the “normal” hotel booking solution that FIRST offers. Where you log in to their website and can book out a block of hotel rooms for your team.

I would imagine what’s happening here is they will just put aside “enough” of these for NE teams to register for.


Yes. FIRST HQ has done their normal booking. The district is still determining how involved they’ll be in the process of getting people to worlds, while we’re more sure about getting robots and tools there. People is a bit harder to plan for, with teams being different sizes and bringing different amounts of people and whatnot. Also transferring everything to teams. It may be doable, and is being investigated, but it’s more logistics than “were transporting this many robots at this time and they’ll take up this much room”, so more planning and feedback is necessary for anything revolving around people.