New Championship Layout 2015

FIRST just announced that the 2015 FIRST Championship in St. Louis will take place in 3 venues. FLL & FTC will be in different venues while FRC will remain in the Edward Jones Dome and Convention Center.

I think it’s a big change that could be a sign that the FRC Championship will be bigger next year. 6 fields? 600 teams?

I’m interested in what people think about this change.

Be prepared for 8 divisions next year. This move by FIRST is massive.

Playing field will be double the size. Gotta have room for the splashes of the water.


But in all seriouness this is crazy. Good crazy. Interesting how it seems like this means the field of teams will be bigger when it seems like FIRST has been trying to downsize Champs…

I hope that having dedicated venues means that FLL and FTC will have their championships grow as well. Both, FLL especially, have had a criminally low number of championship teams given the size of the programs.

I believe it’s FLL in the Renaissance Grand, with JrFLL and FTC at Union Station. The latter venue seems a bit far, doesn’t it?

If they want to use the entire America’s Center for FRC, I think there’s one big implication: 8 fields (either 2 per division or 8 divisions). Which is an awesome idea. We get to expand AND increase matches/team.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. St Louis does not seem to have the infrastructure to support another 200 teams.

It also seems questionable whether there are another 200 teams that deserve to be at Champs.

I love the thought of 2 fields for each division. That would be awesome. I hope you’re right!

You really want to have to scout 2 different fields at one competition?

As long as the fields aren’t too far apart, it might not be too bad. A pain, yes, but I’m all about more matches.

If I were FIRST, I’d go to 8 divisions of 60 teams. 80 more teams means Championship won’t overflow (which it was probably going to). Fewer teams per division means there’ll be easily 12+ matches/team.

Thats exactly what I was thinking.

And Justin, I dont think the EJD can handle 8 full FRC fields. Can it?

If I’m not mistaken, this is what the footprint layout will look like. The yellow line is about 1 mile, as-the-crow-flies from the entrance to the Dome to Union Station.

It can house ~10 FRC size fields around the perimeter the floor (assuming 40x80 allotments). The problem is noise pollution from adjacent fields, as they’re pretty close together.

Personally, I think 4x doublefield divisions are more likely than 8x singlefield.

Using doublefield divisions reduces the noise pollution issue (since 2 fields share a common audio feed), doesn’t add a round to Einstein (which is already pinched for time), doesn’t need as many volunteers as 8 divisions (but DOES need some more than 4x singlefield).

Additionally, doublefield divisions have much higher match throughput. 8x singlefield gives more matches/team by reducing the number of teams playing in a division. 4x doublefield improves utilization.

Also: I don’t understand why people say scouting a doublefield division is too difficult. The fields are adjacent to one another, you can sit centrally and watch both. In 2004 and 2006 the Canadian/Toronto regional did exactly this, and it worked just fine. They played with 12 and 16 Elims alliances too.

Eh, I don’t know about 10 fields…I don’t even know about 8. Chief Dephi users have argued about this in the past:
(Image credit: Patrick Flynn)

Are you expecting the FTAs, Refs, Field Reset, Game Announcers, Emcees, and Queuing Volunteers to constantly run between the two fields?

If a single field has one division of 120 teams with 10 matches each, and a double field has two divisions of 60 teams each with 10 matches each, wouldn’t it still result in the same amount of matches played per team? A doublefield may decrease the wasted time between matches though, which could increase the total number of matches player per team.

The 2006 Greater Toronto Regional only had 72 teams total, while having a doublefield division at Champs could be almost double that. Seating is already cramped as it is with 100 teams per division. I don’t see having two fields with 150 teams total cramped together working out. Only a small majority would be able to actually sit centrally to both fields, most spectators will probably be towards the end of one of the two fields.

Depends entirely on how much space you allot per field. Double field divisions allow you to put them a bit closer together.

I calculated several years ago (2011 IIRC) that you can fit 10 FRC fields (I think I calculated on 40’x70’ plots), on an NFL Football field. Both Georgia Dome and EJD have floors considerably larger than an NFL field (EJD is bigger).

IIRC, when it was done in Toronto (in 2004, 2006, and to a lesser extent 2011), you needed less than two regionals worth of nearly every volunteer type.

Instead of doubling the number, you increase it by some (say, 30-50%), and give the people (who will be working harder due to the non-stop nature of a double field event) more breaks more often.

Remember: We’re getting a new control system (and likely upgraded/new FMS to go with it). There is no reason that it couldn’t be designed to support 2 sets of field hardware from a single scorpion-case-replacement.

That’s exactly what I was getting at. The time that field reset is doing their job is wasted for teams. Double field divisions significantly reduce that. 2x Single Field Divisions to replace one singlefield division will give twice the matches in the same time, sure. But it does so at the cost of doubling ALL of the field equipment PLUS all of the volunteers.

Doublefield divisions don’t need to double SOME of the field equipment (mostly the computers) and don’t need to double the volunteers, just increase it some. They don’t generate quite 2x the throughput though. They get maybe ~85-90% of the way.

I worked out last year, that each of our four divisions could go up to 140 teams/division, 12 matches per team by doublefielding the divisions, without extending the schedule at all. Additionally, doublefield divisions allow you to run a 16-alliance elimination bracket in approximately the same time frame, which gets more teams into CMP elims.

While I agree seating is a bit of a challenge, you’re comparing seating 140-150 teams to watch two fields, regardless of whether its 2 divisions or 1. Most spectators are not scouts, and thus aren’t as picky about vantage point.

Toronto used to be played in an OHL Hockey Arena (Hershey Centre) with 5,500 seats. From what I recall, there were plenty of open seats still. EJD seats 66,000. (AFAIK, we stick mostly to the 1xx series sections, which represent maybe 40% of EJD’s total, still ~6x bigger than Hershey Centre for an event a little over 4x the size).

I’m more curious about how the extra teams will be chosen. More than six qualifying awards? Just more wildcards? Quantity of regionals increasing that much?

Very much looking forward to it. I’m sure we’ll hear more once plans are solidified. I wouldn’t be surprised if FIRST was still deciding what the setup will be. I’ll have to wait until we get more detailed plans, but on paper this looks like a seriously good thing for the program.

I’m also curious about how much FLL/FTC visiting will be eliminated by this change. One of the cool things about Champs has been being able to visit teams from the other programs. I’m guessing separate venues will severely reduce that.

The 2014 regionals/districts combined were already sending >400 teams.

Several new regionals are coming online each year.

As more district regions come online, you can dial up or down the amount of teams sent to CMP based on team density and available space at CMP easily. Plus in the early years of increased capacity, you simply go to the waitlist again.

There’s a convenient train system that takes a total of 2 blocks walking - a station at EJD and (of course) Union Station.

2 fields per division? Really? Why not just 8 divisions? :confused:

As for 8 (or 9) fields on the floor, no problem. Plenty of room.
Or maybe smaller fields…:ahh:

Wouldn’t it be nice to have 8 alliances on Einstein? It would be more of a traditional elimination, with a standard schedule (no need for a mandatory 6 minute timeout between matches).

I’m gonna be that guy to interject for a moment and say, just because they’re moving the other programs to other venues, doesn’t mean FRC is expanding.

A. In terms of in the Dome, we’re only really losing FTC, so space doesn’t become that available. Einstein will still have to be there. Yes we could physically fit in more, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we want too. Noise pollution, and just the feeling of being butted up against another field would detract from the experience.

B. In terms of pits, yes this opens up space for a lot more teams. But also this allows FIRST to add a lot more features utilizing that space, including displays, a practice field for each division, space to make an epic Finale, and other things like that.

I think this move is more about letting the other programs grow their championships/Festivals, and less about FRC getting to grow. I could be wrong, but that’s my $0.02.