Poll: How likely to compete in 2021 (September edition)

Hey CD. Now, that we’re closer to 2021, I’d like to get an update on my poll: I’m curious how likely everyone thinks it is that they will be able to compete next year. What do you think is the probability that your team specifically will be able to attend at least one official event in 2021? There is both an anonymous and non-anonymous poll, feel free to vote in both or either of them.

Anonymous poll

  • 0%
  • <1% but more than 0%
  • 1-10%
  • 10-25%
  • 25-50%
  • 50-75%
  • 75-90%
  • 90-99%
  • >99% but less than 100%
  • 100%

0 voters

Public poll

  • 0%
  • <1% but more than 0%
  • 1-10%
  • 10-25%
  • 25-50%
  • 50-75%
  • 75-90%
  • 90-99%
  • >99% but less than 100%
  • 100%

0 voters

July poll (please don’t view until after voting to reduce bias): Poll: How likely to compete in 2021


The 10-25% of the hope I once had has quickly dwindled to none.


this is a good general summary of 2020


Can we get a 2022 sooner, please?

I like to think that 2021 doesn’t end until December, so even if things aren’t quite ready for competitions in March-April, it seems like there’s a good chance of official events happening in fall/late summer.
FIRST also seems very serious about attempting to make small, 18-team events work, which potentially could happen before things return to 100% normal (for example midway through vaccine distribution, or even with greatly expanded rapid testing).
Of course, this revolves around either A. a >80% effective vaccine being approved or B. rapid testing being hugely expanded.
I’d say I’ve tentatively gotten more optimistic about a potential 2021 season since July.


The chance the team competes? Maybe 10%, probably less. The chance that I compete? 0%.


I am curious as to why you think there is no chance. With 5 months remaining and many vaccines on their last stages before they can get manufactured and distributed, wouldn’t you have some hope?

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Something more along the lines of what @Andrew_L is getting at. Can we compete? I mean, to some degree we could right now! I just don’t think the events are going to be at a level that is worth any associated risk or cost. I’m thinking we might hold off until 2021 offseason, and I know many others in the same boat.


Bookmarking for when the April 2021 edition poll comes out!


I will have 0 hope as long as anti-vax nutjobs exist.


“Will be able to” is very different than “are going to” so I’m saying 25% that things look at least a little better by late spring. Whether or not we get details on protective measures and cost and refunds will be a big factor. Its sounding more and more like motivation to hold some form of a competition is on the rise, but without knowing what that looks like…

I find it interesting that FiM said a virtual or non-traditional competition of some sort will be available, but we won’t hear about it until kickoff when teams will have to refuse a KOP if they want a refund.

My guess for California, especially norcal:
Chance majority of community teams can meet (Jan-Feb): 30% (all gatherings are currently banned)
Chance majority of school teams can meet: 10%
Chance majority of school teams can attend ~200 person events (Feb-April): 0%
Chance events will be held in state: 0%
Chance events can be safely held in any state: 0%

Reasons I don’t think regionals can/should happen:

1. School guidelines:
Of norcal’s 2020 venues, 4/5 were at schools:

SVR: CSUs are online for spring 2021 [1]
Ventura: MPUSD is currently online, CA school opening guidelines currently bans all events [2]
SFR: SF is currently online, and has an even more conservative school opening policy [3]
Sac: UC Davis is currently planning for mostly online, no events [4]

CVR is the most likely, at a convention center in a county not going past state guidelines [5].

2. Gathering ban:
California currently bans all non-cultural/faith gatherings [6]. Gatherings of >250 people were banned in mid-March [7] when when we averaged 50 new cases/day, which we are now over 70 times higher [8]. (Although we ended SIP with cases 13x higher than when we started…)

3. Social distancing rules:
If gatherings are allowed pre-vaccine, the likely restrictions (the current faith gathering rules [9]) make competitions basically impossible:

6 ft distancing: some Very ScientificTM analysis [10] shows that only 3 drivers + 3 coaches + 1 HP per alliance can properly distance, and everyone must stay perfectly centered
Disinfect shared items between each person: at the absolute minimum, one HP from each alliance would touch the same game pieces. Only one person per team (and no inspectors/FTAs) would be able to touch the robot, since it’s unrealistic to completely disinfect the robot
Discontinue singing/chanting/similar: even without music and MCs/GAs, coaches/drivers are likely to yell, especially from six feet apart

4. Vaccine timeline:
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently require two doses, 3-4 weeks apart [11], so a vaccine would need to be distributed by late Jan-early March for regular regionals, mid June for Houston. Since children are in last group to get the vaccine, they likely won’t get it until mid-2021 assuming the fastest vaccine timeline [12].

Additionally, an approved vaccine could have an effectiveness as low as 50%, and as few as 40-65% of Americans plan to get the vaccine [13, 14]. A study showed that at a 60% vaccination rate, a vaccine would have to be 80% effective in order for social distancing to no longer be necessary [15]. Basically: a vaccine would need have the best case timeline, effectiveness rate, and public willingness to take it, to be ready in time for Houston.

[1] CSU Chancellor announces 23 campuses to remain virtual for spring term | EdSource
[2] Industry guidance to reduce risk - Coronavirus COVID-19 Response
[3] San Francisco schools will have to apply to reopen, with elementary schools first in line - SFChronicle.com
[4] Campus Ready Plan
[5] Salons & Barbershops Reopening After Mayor Brand Texts Newsom - GV Wire
[6] Stay home Q&A - Coronavirus COVID-19 Response
[7] California bans mass gatherings to slow spread of coronavirus | Reuters
[8] California Covid Map and Case Count - The New York Times
[9] https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship--en.pdf

[11] Coronavirus vaccine booster follow-up shots may be needed over time - Business Insider
[12] Most people likely won't get a coronavirus vaccine until the middle of 2021
[13] How effective Covid-19 vaccine must be to end pandemic: study
[14] One in Three Americans Would Not Get COVID-19 Vaccine
[15] How effective does a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine need to be to stop the pandemic? A new study has answers


It’s hardly guaranteed, but the delayed Championship will give us as much runway as we can get. More details on the competition format will really inform our choices.


We have just received news here in Quebec that sports and after-school activities will be permitted under some conditions.

First, students will be permitted up to two activities outside their class bubble.

Secondly, activity will remain available as long as the school administrative region is in the green or yellow state. Orange or red will mean no sports or activities.

Right now, most regions are in the green with about 5 (out of 16) in yellow. We will probably be able to start the season. Still waiting on our events details, by i’m guessing that we will follow somthing allong the line of FiM and First Canada’s plan.


I’m gonna go out on a limb at risk of things going south in Michigan again, but fall sports are currently running and we’ve received a rough outline of FIM’s plan, and I am hopeful for the first time in months about this season. Going to start meeting as safely as possible next week after we had our COVID safety/concerns meeting this week. For context, we’re located in a rural area that isn’t in danger of being overwhelmed.

I think it has about a 70% chance of happening based on how things are right now (of course we’ve seen things can change in an instant). Basically, if they can run sports, I think we’re most likely good with 'bots.

I’m curious too (since you aren’t that far north of us) and I’m still doing the “Hope Springs Eternal” mantra.

That great feeling of having both an FTC an FRC team and knowing virtual FTC events are a thing : )

My high school is currently planning on our juniors and seniors full virtual. I know nothing more, but if it’s 100% virtual, there’s little chance a club would be allowed.

Based on high school sports trying to have some sort of season in our state I do think there’s a decent chance we see an attempt at the smaller events FIRST has outlined as possible in our area. With the extension of the season postponing events until May or June gives 9 months for things to improve, and Arizona has shown they aren’t going to be as restrictive about gatherings as some other states. So I think we could see an event or two here.

I’m much less certain about us competing. Regardless of what we as a team decide our District is seeing higher rates of the virus than other parts of the state so there is a good chance we will not be allowed to meet or attend events into next year. I’d say we’re at 50% on odds of competing.

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According to the students, football and girls’ volleyball are pushed to March. No knowledge of any Club activities.