95 is looking to host an off-season event in 2019 in our home town of WRJ at the Wendell A Barwood Arena or Hartford HS in collaboration with a number of other teams.
We would like to get a general idea on what teams would like to see. One or two day event? 24 teams? 32 or 40 teams? Special twists? Mentor-only drivers? Rookie-only drivers? You’re our customer and we’d like your input!
We are aiming for August or September of 2019, possibly early October, in an effort to allow teams to bring rookie students to an off-season event. We feel strongly that this will help with recruiting a raising awareness on top of giving everyone a much needed rest.
Two day events would obviously be more involved and a lot more fun, but if you are going to have a two day event you are going to have to invite more than 24 teams. 40+ teams would be good for this kind of event just to ensure that there is enough variability in play. That way, you can have a schedule/experience much like a district event. This two days will also give your event more variability in the teams that come since teams will be more likely to travel further for a two day event as opposed to a one day event (especially during the school year).
This two days also poses an issue. A student that has just joined the team may not be allowed to go on and/or spend money on a trip for a club that he/she has just become a part of. So if the rookies are what you are trying to appeal to, you may want to consider a one day length so that it makes more sense for rookie students to be able to participate.
That being said, if my team were to sign up for an off-season event, I would personally like for the event to be two days. I think that two day events just make more sense on all levels (minus the rookie involvement).
Now when talking about changes to the game, something that would be interesting to see is the elimination of the protected cube zone. Perhaps you could line the cubes up along the platform in the center much like they are lined up against the switches, and then line the remainder of the protected zone cubes along the side of the switches where the protected zone used to be. This would make both autonomous and teleoperated more interesting in my opinion. However, I understand that this is a large change to the way the game is played.
I love that New England’s awesome variety of off-seasons will keep expanding.
Personally, I’d like to see an off-season with more than 24 teams. It does require more resources and space (and also opens the possibility for teams to not be in playoffs, but events like Battlecry@WPI handle this just fine), but I really like when teams can bring two robots to compete with. It’s a great, easy way to get more new students onto the floor, and allows for teams to grow and try out new designs in a competition setting.
One of 4564’s largest growing moments was bringing our WCD off-season robot to Battle of the Bay 2014. That was our first event win, and it definitely sparked a fire in multiple students (me included) to strive for more success, which has worked out well these past few years.
So, yeah, I think bigger is better when it comes to team count. A September date is cool as long as it dodges Mainely Spirit.
One day, in late September, 32 team max and the only rule to change would be to put a launch tape line around the switches. Allow pre-rookies and practice robots to play (waitlist them first). Avoid rules that will turn off teams (i.e. rookie only drivers).
Thank you all for the replies thus far. We’re going to be aiming for a one-day even later in September with 24x teams. We’d like to start smaller and grow the event in the future if there is the demand for it!
The only NE offseason in the summer right now is Summer Heat. It seems like there are already so many scheduled for the fall especially since Beantown moved to November and Battle of the Bay and Bay State Brawl were new fall events a couple years back.
While we wouldn’t be attending in either case, for other reasons, I did want to point out that May/June events can be tough due to other school activities and things going on… We’ve got exams (AP, finals, state tests), graduations (HS and college), and families looking to take vacations (gone after the last day of school)…