I think one of the biggest reasons that FIRST stands out to so many spectators is the overwhelming enthusiasm of the students.
I do not see harm in putting up banners on railings and around the arena. Most teams take care of their banners and don’t really ‘mark their territory’ with them as much as they just want them to be seen.
Noisemakers that interfere with the events, particularly ones that can be very loud so that others can’t hear (MOEsticks, Beatty Cowbells, airhorns, etc.) shouldn’t be allowed during matches, opening ceremonies, etc. But during lunch breaks and other breaks, I don’t see a problem with them. What about outside of the arena in the mornings? After a hard day of competition is officially over for the day? In some of the arenas, they are connected to the pits, which makes it hard to hear pit announcements. Then again, there are some where the pits are in a seperate part of the arena.
Candy and water… FIRST also has to appease the arena owners.
Saving seats: where this can be a nuisance, it’s almost inevitable. I still maintain that a team that wants to sit closer to the action should get up earlier. Saving seats not only gives the rest of the team somewhere to go to watch matches, but it also provides a number of other factors: somewhere for team-related spectators to sit with the rest of the team, a place to meet up and account for everyone, a central place for the kids to check in with a sponsor or teacher, etc. While I don’t agree with this rule, I didn’t exactly see it being enforced last year, so I am not as worried about it.
Fundraising at the competitions also SEVERELY limits some team’s fundraisers. Here’s a group of a couple thousand people who are potentially very interested in your fundraiser - let’s say, for instance, selling your team shirts, or selling raffle tickets for something team related. When involved in a fundraiser like this, you want to find a target audience and sell, sell, sell. This is really shutting down some marketing strategies.
Here’s a nickel, I’d like my three cents back,