To clarify: The purpose of this paper is to bring clarity to the reasoning behind the current state of affairs relating to the District Competition System. Many of these details have never really been publicly discussed. Now that several other regions are considering migrating to similar system, many people have been inquiring on the specifics of these details and I thought it would be good to add some more awareness to this topic.
This is not intended to paint anyone in a negative light. It is simply a list of questions and answers. FiM has a good partnership relationship with FIRST NH and we work together to improve many things together. We hope to do more together in the future. One of the key points of this document is that there are items that FiM was allowed to change, and there were items which we were not allowed to change. Most people in the FRC community are unaware of this split. As other areas approach FIRST about forming new District zones, they will encounter some of these same limits and hopefully these explanations help the new regions to better craft their proposals.
Eric, to address your question/issue:
Q33: "Why can’t teams opt out of your District System if they would prefer to play at outside regionals instead; why are they forced to be included in the District System?"
A33: This requirement comes from FIRST NH, not FiM. When we formed the District pilot in 2009, FIRST insisted that all teams in our state be included in the system and would not allow any exceptions. FiM actually wanted to allow teams the option to be excluded, but FIRST felt that this would create too much registration complexity.
This question is an excellent example of why I wrote this paper. Perhaps I will include this in a future update. Eric’s team is in a difficult situation, being in a remote corner of the state. For years, I get the sentiment that they actually blame FiM for making their lives more difficult. In fact, we are well of their particular situation and we tried to address this with FIRST. Unfortuanately, this was not approved. I am not sure Eric’s team understands the details of the arrangement and who has control of this constraint. Under the current arrangement, FIRST insists on strict geographical definition of who is included in our system and who is not. FiM does not control this.