Hey CD, I have a question to those that have already been in the district system (Michigan and MAR). Since teams don’t find out whether or not they make it to world champs until after district championships, teams only have a week and a half to prepare for champs. I’m wondering how teams have adapted to this since in the regional system you could know as early as week 1 and only as late as week 6. Thanks!
In Michigan we find out shortly after awards I believe. What we have done is reserve enough rooms at champs to cover our full team as early as the next couple of weeks when you can start booking. This assures us that if we make it, we will have a place to stay. Now if we don’t, we eat the cancelation fee. Students will also pay their “trip money” ahead of time so their expenses are covered, if we make it then we are all set but if we don’t make it, then the money is refunded to the students. All parts for robot are stocked ahead of time with worlds in mind, that was we already have what we would need to easily swap likes wheels for example. Hope this helps!
I assume you’re asking for the sake of planning purposes? I can speak for one of the teams that I am involved with, 4967, as I am more knowledgeable about their logistics than I am about that of my other team, 2771.
On 4967, we are tentatively planning on both States and Worlds. We have hotels reserved and schedules set aside. I’m not aware of any other plans further than that, but we at least expect to attend MSC.
For Michigan it is a bit easier as St Louis and Atlanta were bus trips. I would suspect some of MAR might fly. As others have said, what seems to work best is planning on making it then refund if you don’t. You could also plan on attending the championship regardless though some schools have policies that wouldn’t allow that (maybe a college visitation loophole for juniors).
As the head mentor, I just put in all of my paperwork and was board approved pending qualification for the overnight travel. I have already booked hotel rooms for both MAR Champs and St. Louis. We eat the cancellation fee at St. Louis if we don’t qualify. I would love to purchase 30 airline tickets out of Newark Airport now using group sales and if we don’t go, just sell them to some other team, but if I can’t find another team to use them, then I am in big trouble. Using group sales, I only need to put the names on the week before and can change them once for free. I have actually looked into purchasing 300 tickets for “MAR”, 1/2 out of Philadelphia and 1/2 out of Newark, for teams to reimburse us when they win their place, but we certainly don’t have liquid assets to put out that kind of money and we decided that it would be better to have teams do it themselves. It would be cheaper overall for MAR teams to have them pre-booked, but I certainly don’t have a black American Express to put it on.
In MAR at least, since about half the teams qualify for the Region Champs, there is a good number of teams after their first competition who are pretty sure they will qualify. And at least half of the teams (if not more) are within driving distance so they don’t use hotels.
Last year MAR (actually, the poster right above me did) arranged blocks of rooms at local hotels for Region Champs, which was a big help for some teams. I don’t know if Michigan does as well.
As do others who have posted, we reserve our rooms early and will pay the cancellation fee if necessary - it isn’t that much.