Pacific NW District (Official)

***Several weeks ago it was officially announced that FIRST WA and Oregon FIRST will be working together to create a new District system for the 2014 competition season. Tonight at 8pm PDT, there was a webinar about the new district model.

*Note: Everything from the webinar and the notes below are subject to change.

My Webinar Notes:

-Moving to the district system will reduce costs for the teams and reduce the professional overhead.
-It will also increase playing time for the teams and improve the quality of the FIRST experience for all teams.
-FIRST HQ has asked both the PNW and NE FIRST to move to districts for the 2014 year
-The district system has invited, but not mandated that teams in Idaho and Montana join (currently a total of 21 teams).
-USFIRST’s goal is for the entire country to be in a district model by 2017
, we’d like to be one of the leaders, along with FiM and MAR.
-The PNW Championship is likely to be a week 7 event (April 9-12, 2014), hosted at the Rose Coliseum (Current home of the Autodesk Oregon Regional).
-World champs: (April 23-26, 2014)
-Washington and Oregon had 156 active teams in 2013 and is projecting growth to 185-200 teams in the 2014 season.
-There is likely to be 10-12 district events (depending on size). The current projection is 10 districts, 2 each week.
-The tentative location breakdown: 5 in the Puget Sound, 1 in Central Washington, 1 in Spokane, 3 in Portland.
-Each event will host 32-40 teams.
-Districts will have similar Friday and Saturday schedules to a regional, but Thursday will be different. Thursday will be from 5pm-10pm. Inspections and 1-2 practice matches will occur.
-Teams will get 6 hours of unbag time during each week they will be competing (similar to FiM and MAR).
-Approximately 120 volunteers will be needed per event, please sign up!
-The District Committee has already visited 7-8 possible schools to be used as venues.
-Cost Breakdown: $5,000 per two District entries ($6,500 for rookies), $4,000 for State Champs, and $1,000 for a third district event (will not count towards ranking points, like FiM)
-State Champs will invite the top 64 teams based on the PNW ranking system, USFIRST will have an idea of the National Standardized Point Model by the end of July. This is likely to take the best from the FiM, MAR, NE FIRST and PNW ranking systems.
-PNW has not disclosed the point system yet, but has noted that awards are likely to be at least as important as they are in FiM and Mar.
-Chairman’s awards will be judged at districts. The district winners will then present again at State Champs, and 3 Chairman Winners will qualify for Worlds.
-PNW is debating a point reset for State Champs, unlike FiM.
-If the venues are smaller, teams may be expected to reduce pit sizes to 8’x8’ (rather than the standard 10’x10’).
-Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer!

That’s a little past my eastern bed time, do you know anything about this so far? I love the concept of the district system but I am curious if there would be enough teams in Washington and Oregon to just use those 2 states?

Slides and video are to be posted on the website.

Thank you all for posting all this great information. For those of us not in the district system yet, the more information and examples we have the better.

Minor nitpick: The two major arenas in Portland are the Rose Garden, and the Memorial Colesium. They’re located adjacent to each other in an area called the Rose Quarter. The Memorial Colesium is the one that all the previous FIRST events have been in.

some other region will adhere to the district system in 2014 or 2015?

If anyone from FIRST Washington reads this MAR came into existence in 2012 season not 2013

The plan is for a lot of the largest/densest regions will be supporting the district system by 2015.

I was expecting PacNor to have districts by 2015, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they implement it all over the summer while other parts of the continent are hesitant to take the leap until the end of the next competition season.

-PNW is debating a point reset for State Champs, unlike FiM.

Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Michigan does a points reallocation system where they weight points in district play at a split of something like 65/35 in favor of their CMP.

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In MAR at least, point values awarded at the Regional Championships are tripled from the normal District Event point values.

Points at MSC are worth 3 times what they are at other FiM events (ie: a win is 6 pts).

Directly from the supplemental rules on the FiM site, as linked above…

To re-compute the state rankings following the State Championship, points earned at the State Championship will be multiplied by three (3) and added to the total points earned at the team’s two district events. This will allow performance at the State Championship to count for 60% and the district events to count for 40% of the total.

Edit:| Didn’t see Littleboy’s post. Leaving this one up because it has the percentages in it as well.

Well this sucks for us. Where we hade 4 regionals within driving distance this year with this new district even a second event is out of the question.

the same goes for us, probably in 2017 we can only compete outside the U.S., but until then we will have regionals in Mexico and Brazil, working for it!

I have a great deal of faith in the PNW organizers… they have always been gracious, welcoming and inclusive. I don’t think a district system will change that.


A few important clarifications.

It is not yet official that the PNW district will exist for the 2014 season. The intention is to go to the district model but there are many details to work out before it is official.

Northern ID and western MT teams have been invited and are encouraged to participate while southern ID and eastern MT teams will likely continue attending traditional events for the time being. Many of those teams have not traditionally played at the PNW events the district is replacing but they are certainly welcome to join the district.

The goal is to have at least one of the events in OR be outside of the greater Portland metro area.

The goal is to try to have all district events have the capacity for 40 teams but if necessary there may be events with only up to 32 teams. Having 32 team events, depending on the number of teams that participate, could require more than the 10 district events that are currently under consideration.

There is a national committee that is discussing a unified points system for the long term, but that does not mean that the system will be used for all districts for the 2014 season.

Some people in the PNW region have suggested restarting points for advancement to CMP at the district championship but it is far from being debated at this point.

Criteria for advancement to CMP is still under consideration as is the number of teams that will advance. It is likely that the two runner ups for the District Chariman’s Award will advance but that has not be finalized yet.

We definitely do need many more volunteers and sign up for that will be through the organization commonly known as FIRST WA. If you are interested in being a key volunteer you can apply here. general event volunteers can sign up here You will also need to sign up in VIMS however that system is not fully functional at this time and we need your information on a local level sooner rather than later.

The Girl’s Generation events in OR, held by The Flaming Chickens FRC 1540, and WA, held by Bear Metal FRC 2046, will be used as an opportunities for training volunteers. We do hope to hold at least one week zero scrimmage, to practice set up of the season’s field and FMS and as another volunteer training opportunity, but again that is far from finalized.

As mentioned by others, FiM and MAR triple the point values of any achievements at the FiM/MAR championship events, creating a “60/40” split in points between the championship and districts. The logic behind this is that, while district performance still plays a factor in advancing to the FRC Championship event, it’s mathematically impossible to advance to the FRC Championship without attending (and doing well at) the FiM/MAR Championship.

FIRST wanted the PNW district to start for the 2013 season but we were not confident that it could be done at the quality level desired in that time frame. A number of people from the area attended a FiM district event in the 2012 season and scouting for suitable locations for district events has been on-going since then with dozens of locations considered and visited. As I mentioned above it is highly likely that we will do the district model for the 2014 season but there are still a number of details to be worked out and is still not official.

I am aware of this. I was making the point that restarting the points at the district championship was something that was just brought up recently and is not yet being debated, as Navid indicated initially.

I’d like some clarification from folks who are more familiar with FiM and MAR than I am regarding how teams playing in a third+ district event affect point distribution.

Currently, teams accrue points at only the first two events they attend; they may compete in a third event, but any points that would be earned seem to disappear into the ether. Since there are a finite number of points available for teams to earn per event, the presence of one or more teams that are competing at a third event has the effect of shrinking the number of points available to the other teams. If a team attending its third event seeds first, for example, and wins the event, that’s 46+ points (or so) that disappear.

How does this affect teams competing in their first and second events in later weeks? It seems to me that, given that they’re competing against more experienced teams, they’re likely to not perform as well and will receive fewer points than did the the teams that have already completed their two ‘real’ district competitions. This has the effect of lessening their chance of attending the district and world championship.

Is this tinfoil hat stuff? What is the argument against taking a team’s two best performances for point accrual?

You are right, it’s currently slated for the “Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum”.
They chose this venue because the costs are much lower than anywhere else, the venue is large and has been great in the past.

I apologize if I didn’t make it clear at the beginning. As Mr. V. noted above, none of this is set in stone yet. I just wanted this information to be available to the CD community at large and that it would hopefully foster further discussion.

Absolutely. Kevin and Deb noted that the district system is being created to improve the quality for local teams. After every team in Washington and Oregon is taken care of, and Idaho/Montana teams have received their invitations, there is a possibility that others may be able to join. We have always been glad to have teams travel to our events, but we are growing fast. I was glad to have 4334 in Seattle and I hope we will see more of you in the future!