Opinion: Regional Worlds Qualification Should Change

Indeed… there is a huge variation in the experience that regionals provide. Going to a regional in a sports arena (ice rink or similar) with 60+ teams is almost like competing in a champs division with a similar “wow” factor for teams and spectators alike. Going to a regional in a high school gym with 30-ish teams? You’re paying regional prices for the district experience. This is the transition that most (if not all?) California regionals have gone through in the last decade.


I am excited to get Midwest as a first timer under my belt. Who knows how long it lasts.

My experience as a student was ALWAYS in hockey rinks with a mix of hockey rinks and basketball arenas following that. I had it good and it took me a few years to realize what the trajectory of regionals were through my first ~4 years of mentoring.


Devil’s advocate: in a world with all districts, would First intentionally create a system to shuffle more of those less robot-competitive teams into the championship?

At the moment, regionals serve a large portion of this role via the winning alliance 2nd pick.


District-only model would be impossible for my team here in Hawaii and it would drive us out of FIRST. We come from one of the smaller, low-resource islands and only have a single airline. Our flight budget per trip is about 2-3k just from Molokai to Oahu, on top of another 1k for vehicle rental, and another 2-3k for lodging. So we would be looking at up to 7k per trip, with a normally 15-20k budget for the school year (we also compete in other robotics competitions). The Hawaii Regional gives us our only opportunity to compete in FRC currently. Sometimes you have to remember the smaller, lower resource teams like ours.

Edit: I realized I didn’t even mention our robot budget, our robot shipment (around $300 each way from Molokai to Oahu), and probably a few other things.


Not sure if this is the thread for but if FIRST was to convert to a wholy district model would there be a second smaller DCMP that the regional teams would compete at?

I dont see how it would fix the despair mid-high tier teams feel without it.

I did some calculations to see if South Florida qualified the top 5 teams based on District Points over the normal regional model what would change.

So 695 (Winner Captain), 179 (Winner First Pick), 3653 (Winner Second Pick), 2383 (EI), and 3932 (Impact) qualified for worlds. 2383 was also the 6th seed alliance captain, and 3932 was the 5th seed first pick.

If I did my district point calculations correct it would be:
695 - 73 points
179 - 72 points
5472 - 60 points
180 - 58 points
3653 - 49 points

So the three winners all still would qualify, and we trade out the EI and Impact for finalist captain and first pick. I am not sure I agree with removing 2 teams from qualifying about the awards aimed at it being about “more than robots” for 2 teams more who qualify based on robots.

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Disclaimer that the below is true for the Pacific Northwest district, I assume it’s true for all but can’t vouch for that personally

At least for advancement from District Championships, teams that win EI and Impact automatically advance to Worlds (along with the entirety of the winning alliance) regardless of points.

When looking at advancement from a District event to District Championship, District Impact winners fully advance to DCMP (to compete for Impact as well as with their robot) while District EI and District RAS winners only receive guaranteed advancement to DCMP to compete for those individual awards, and must earn their spot with points separately.

So the PNW DCMP roster will be the 8 District Impact award winners, and then the 42 teams with the highest point total after that (moving past those who won Impact or decline the invitation) fill out the 50 spots.


Which is better than FLL. With 2-champs, at least every championship event got to send 1 team to World Festival. I’m not sure how it is working now. Prior to 2-champs, Michigan FLL State Championships (yes, more than 1 because of the number of teams) got invites to Worlds only in alternate years.

NC district has always been good with venues. About half or more are held on college campuses in the basketball arenas. We also have a convention center event new for this year

All teams can register on the Open Waitlist to attend Worlds. It helps teams that have never been to Worlds an opportunity to go to the event.

This policy tells me that FIRST is more interested in all teams having an opportunity to go to Worlds than having only the top robots attend.


I think it’s pretty clear what people making proposals like this think about “teams like yours” given what they say about “less competitive teams”.

This is where I am. I spent all my student years at SVR in a pretty big college basketball arena. I wouldn’t trade that in for two high school gyms, and it wouldn’t have had the same impact on me. But if FIRST is unable or unwilling to provide that experience to most regionals anymore, then I guess there’s not much point.

In the regional system there already are teams that would NEVER go to worlds. There are many lower resource teams in regional systems that are good enough to play in playoffs ever year as a captain or first pick but lack the resources to beat whatever local powerhouse(s) controls their local regional or any visiting powerhouse(s). Outreach awards can have similar problems.


Given Hawaii population and location, I would be surprised if Hawaii ever goes to a full district. Hawaii is already has one of the highest team densities of any state, so it’s unlikely to get the number of teams that would be needed for a full district (~50), without a large money backing from the state like Michigan. Also given your distance from well anything, I wouldn’t fear FIRST throwing Hawaii into a CA district or the PNW district.

Hopefully for your team and others, FIRST moves to a district like point system for wild cards.


Same is true for Michigan, only on a larger scale.

Also, all judges awards give additional district points to encourage more outreach. Impact gives 10 (but impact award winners automatically qualify for DCMP so those points go towards CMP qualification), EI earns 8 points, and other judged awards give 5. Qualifying for DCMP usually requires 50-60 points so these provide a decent boost. Similar to the difference between finishing as fourth and third alliance in playoffs.

How would that work out here in the great plains FIRST desert? Iowa has maybe 2 dozen teams (most only a couple years old), ND, SD, NE, MT all are probably in single digits (as is Kansas save for the KC metro).

Invite them to conversations as the shape of the districts are being defined. Like how 568 joined the PNW district or how New Mexico is part of Texas districts.

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First, I’m a big supporter of districts. See the many comments above.

But for an individual team that can make a final as an alliance captain but not as likely to win the event, the solution is to schedule one of the events late in the season when a team on the winning alliance is likely to carry in at least one wildcard. Don’t front load your season before other teams have the opportunity to play their second event.


I plan on posting a full thread about this soon, but my idea would be to organize a “Midwest Superdistrict” that would allow teams in the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas to register into a district in a neighboring state or opt out and do Regionals instead.

Will you graciously accept my invitation to form the Quebec/Iowa/British Columbia district?

But in all seriousness, FRC has required division 1 & 2 for a while:

  1. Winner and first pick to Championship.
  2. Everybody else (winning second pick, finalist captain and first pick, EI, RAS, wildcard, next highest ranked team, etc.) qualifies for super regional (Division 2 championship).
  3. Impact winner chooses where they qualify.

“3 Champs” is the fix for regionals.