You may have heard the rumors about New England moving to a “District Model” for the FIRST Robotics Competition… Well, we are going to make it official: The six states of New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) have organized into the New England Region and will be implementing the District Model for this coming 2014 FRC season.
We are very excited about this transition and all the great things this brings to our New England FRC teams.
To all NEFIRST teams: Be sure to give very serious consideration in your 2014 design to durability and repairability. Now your robot will have to endure at least two events, possibly 3 or, if you make it to STL, 4 and a half. All with more matches than usual.
The robots you used to build might just fall apart, so think Robust.
Yes - also think about maintenance. Not only are there more matches in districts, there’s less time between them. It’s not actually true, but think perpetual quarterfinals. It’s definitely a change! You do (presumably) get unbag time at home, though.
There are still many details to be worked out, but this is what we can share right now. We will have a total of 9 District Qualifying Events throughout New England 2 in New Hampshire, 1 in Maine, 2 in Massachusetts, 1 in Rhode Island and 3 in Connecticut. Teams will play in two of these events, collect points from both on- field play as well as awards and the top teams will then have the opportunity to play at the Region Championship to be held at the Agannis Arena in Boston. Teams from the New England Championship will then qualify for the FIRST Championship in St. Louis. We in the process of finalizing contracts and as soon as we do, we will share the locations of the District Qualifying Events.
Interesting choice of Boston for District Champs, How many teams can the Agannis hold? I personally loved Boston when my team went there in 2012 but I’m having trouble remembering how much space there was.
Hmm… so either they will have to have the District Championship be a fair bit smaller than initial hopes, or they plan to somehow house another 10-20 teams…
Boston seems like a reasonable location. Ideally it’d be closer to Connecticut though… I’m sure there’ll be a significant contingent coming from CT who would all be well out of “daily-commute” range. That said, even teams that do live in the 30-60 miles range will have to consider whether or not they want to fight there way into Boston on Thursday and Friday morning…
MAR Championships this year(and next year) is ~1 hour away for most teams, to put things into comparison.
And in regards to team numbers, in FiM last year, there were 207 teams registered. Of those 207 teams, there were 64 region championship spots, meaning 31% of teams made it the region championship. In MAR last year, there were 110 team registered with a total of 50 teams registered, so 45% of teams making it.
In New England(data taken from this map, there are 151 teams currently in NE, so 53 teams at Region Championship would be 35% of teams making it. (realistically, I assume if 53 is the max capacity it would be bumped up to 54 teams to limit the usage of surrogate matches)This blog says their goal was 60 teams(I believe this was the initial number MAR was going for), so that would be about 40% of all teams. Overall, this provides a fair/similar percentage of teams in comparison to FiM and MAR.
Yea, the Boston pits were a little crowded with 50 teams last year, but I can definitely see “our new overlords” finding the space for 10 more teams. Even if they have to downsize the pits a little from the usual 10x10, I think I would be OK with that. And I think that having the champs in a big city will do good for publicity. But mostly I am just biased towards Boston because my team is in Boston (I did a little dance when I found out the champs would be here :D).
Also, am I the only one surprised that the number of events south of MA went from 1 to 4, but there was only 1 event added for the rest of New England. I’m not an expert on NE FRC geography, but I just find it very strange.
The first year for FiM, there were about 120 teams and 60-64 at MSC. in other words about 50% of teams were invited to teh state championship. Somewhere between 33%&50% feels about right. much lower than 33%, and it starts making it so that one bad event requires a spectacular event to qualify…