It’s official: Ontario is moving to the District Model for 2017!
Our team received an email today with the announcement. We are excited… I think!
FIRST Robotics Competition Family in Ontario,
The FIRST Robotics Canada Board of Directors would like to formally announce that the program in Ontario will be moving to the District Model for the 2017 competition season. This decision culminates almost three years of preparatory work. We consulted with the FIRST Robotics Competition community in Ontario as part of this process, and the feedback we have received from you has been thoughtful and constructive, helping shape our decision. At this time, most of the community is ready to welcome and embrace the District concept, and we hope that eventually, all of you will feel the same way. The biggest result of this change will be that Ontario teams will play a minimum of two District events vs. just one Regional event. The result of this will mean that, on average, teams will play approximately 3 times the number of matches than under the traditional Regional model. In addition, a new Ontario District Championship event will be held, where based on a common ranking points system adopted by all districts, the top 60 teams in the province will be invited to compete.
The District Championship will take place at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, the original venue of our inaugural regional in Canada back in 2002. The City of Mississauga has come on board as a sponsor for this event and we would like to thank them for their support. After the District Championship, the top ranked teams in the province will be selected to represent Ontario at the FIRST Championship Event. We have worked hard to add 3 new District events in Ontario as well as a District Championship in order to support this transition. This will guarantee two District event plays for each existing team as well as allow for growth in the Ontario region. We are working to confirm another GTA District event and will be releasing the details as soon as confirmed.
We are thrilled to announce and thank the following event locations for hosting a 2017 District event:
Nipissing University, North Bay
University of Windsor, Windsor
Ryerson University, Toronto
Durham College, Oshawa
University of Waterloo, Waterloo
University of Western Ontario, London
Georgian College, Barrie
McMaster University, Hamilton
The team registration costs under the District model will be significantly less than the traditional Regional model on a per-event basis. (e.g. In the District Model, teams attend two events, versus the Traditional Regional with one event). We are also working on a process that will allow Ontario teams to pay in Canadian dollars directly to FIRST Canada.
Key takeaways: looks like all the existing Ontario regional events will become District events, with a few new ones added. Since we went to two regionals (Greater Toronto Central and North Bay) it will feel very similar to go to two district events again.
The combined cost to attend two of these will be cheaper than it used to be to register for two Ontario regionals.
The new Ontario District Championship event will be held in Mississauga at the Hershey Center.
No more teams from out of province (who are not in Districts) Sorry Quebec and NY state.
What I want to know is if a team competes in their 2 district events (and district champs if applicable) could an ontario team go and compete at a regional (not district event) elsewhere. In the FAQ sent out, they said you can’t ignore the district model and go off to regionals instead. But if we competed in our district events, could it be allowed?
District teams can do as many regional events as they want but they can not sign up for the events until they already signed up for their two district events. Its somewhat common for teams to do a single travel regional along with their 2 district events and DCMP.
The closest regionals for Ontario teams are going to be Ohio and NY events. There is also most likely still going to be a Montreal regional.
I’m amped up about this possibility. We enjoyed partnering with 1241 when they came to the Girls’ Competition a couple years back. Looking forward to being able to play with more Canadian teams here in Michigan. With the lower cost, we might even be able to reasonably travel (to Windsor at least).
Here in the region I’m in (halton region, just a little west of Toronto) we only have one school that could host such an event comfortably. The rest are too small IMO. The local colleges and universities offer a much more comfortable venue.
Yup, In the GTA at least if your school has more than one gymnasium or a pool it is considered to be a huge school. Most public schools aren’t setup to handle a sports event attended by more than a handful of people. IRI’s venue was the biggest high school I had ever seen by far.
Absolutely. Obviously this is going to vary somewhat by region and there are a handful of outliers, but it is generally true. In particular, we don’t put as much emphasis on our athletic facilities, which means that many high school gyms only have a seating capacity of perhaps 500 or so. A single high school in my area has a gym designed for almost 2000 people (in a single-court basketball configuration), and that’s a huge rarity in the province.
Ontario regionals have always been at these University venues, so it makes sense to maintain them in the district system since they will likely be the same size of event in terms of number of teams. The alternative is cramming smaller events into high schools, which is technically possible, but not as comfortable. As was mentioned in the announcement, a challenge will be to maintain the regional quality on a smaller budget, but I’m confident that FIRST Canada will sort it all out.
As an aside, I’m thrilled that McMaster University (just down the street from our school) will be hosting! I know a lot of people worked for a very long time to bring that to fruition, and they did a great job!
Maybe. Very few open spots were available this past year for MI teams to get a 3rd event. I’m curious how this will be handled. With how FiM is run I would imagine MI teams would be given the priority.