I’m going to state what I “think” is correct, based on my reading of the registration guidelines put out by FIRST and observation of what’s currently listed. I’ve found some confusing language, so please comment and quote your source if you think anything is incorrect.
When you signup for your first regional, your team is shown as “registered” for that event. I assume the status will stay that way until the Dec. 9th payment deadline.
Any subsequent events (including the championship) that you sign up for will show your team as “pending” until FIRST receives payment for the first event that your team registered for and that event, at which time it will change to “registered”.
The event capacity equals the sum of the “teams registered” and “open capacity” columns
If you register just to get “pending” status, it doesn’t gain you anything. Other than your first regional, you have to pay to get registered. For example, today there are 24 pending teams for 10 open slots at Chesapeake. The first 10 to pay get in, the other 14 are put on a waiting list.
So, there are right now 203 available spots for the championship, even though 131 teams are pending for some of those spots.
My experience agrees with all but part of #2.
You can actually pay for specific events out of “order” so to speak.
We guaranteed our second regional first by P.O., moving us to the Registered/Unpaid category in TIMS. A partial payment is in and our remaining checks are cut, but have to be approved by State auditors before they can be sent to FIRST.
We paid explicitly for Championships next, moving us to Registered/Paid.
FIRST then received our payment for our “first” Regional (Registered/Paid). We didn’t bother to send them the P.O., since we start off as Registered/Unpaid.
P.S. See if these TIMS attachments clarify what I meant. Note, Philly filled up faster than we could process a guarantee or payment, so we dropped ourselves off the wait list there.