Registration 2019


You are treating individual team control as an absolute good and the waitlist as a rigidly linear (First-in-first-out, FIFO) waitlist.

Individual team control is not an absolute good because different teams have different capabilities and needs.

The waitlists are an opportunity for our RDs to make deals and satisfy as many teams needs as possible. Trust your RDs, get to know them, help them when you can, and reach out when your team has a need. They will do everything they can to help you.


Teams with one overworked teacher/mentor and twenty enthusiastic students need a system that can flex to fit the facts that they have better things to do than be sitting on a website at 11:17am on a particular Tuesday morning in the offseason and that they’re not going to raise the volunteers to fly anywhere. I’d prioritize that team getting their first local regional sometime in October or November over anyone lining up their second play, but that’s just how my sense of priorities (weighting sustainability and cultural impact heavily) line up. The vast majority of teams that would have had a mentor available at 11:17am on a Tuesday will also have the flexibility to make a different regional work on a couple months notice for their second play, if your RD needs you to - and if you don’t have that flexibility then reach out to your RD & make sure they understand your situation.


I’m am one of those overworked teachers with 20 students, and I almost always got online at the correct time to click the buttons. Usually I did it while students were copying some notes down :cool:

That being said, I’m very much in favor of some sort of home regional designation, even with the issues it may bring up:

  • not every team has a regional close by.
  • some that have a close regional have more teams than regional space.
  • regional comp venues can change year-to-year (Los Angeles is in its fourth venue in as many years, Orange County is in its third in four years.)

For first event reg, a team should get a spot at a nearby competition. For $5000 in fees, I think that is a fair request.
For second event reg, all guarantees are off the table.


Yes and no, individual team control is good, as it also solves the transparency problem is better than what we are doing now. It is absolutely better, but not absolutely best or absolutely good. (Just as the Preference system is not absolutely bad.) As far as the waitlist goes, I consider it rigidly opaque, not rigidly linear. I’m under no illusion that the waitlist is FIFO - far from it. Though, to be honest I could see how newer teams might get that impression.

(Put this way, if waitlist decisions became transparent I think CD would be a very different place.)

That may be true, but that is entirely within the team’s control, not a lottery outside the team’s control. Here’s another point - I can spend $2 on a Mega Millions ticket right now and know there is an independent auditor and controls in place to ensure a fair (and televised) draw. We spend $5,000+ and have no visibility into the process, or even if the draws are truly random.

There have been far too many threads/posts calling for more transparency for me to link. My argument is that FFA is good because it solves the transparency problem, and puts the controls back directly into the hands of the teams. The current process is opaque, and the fairness is not evenly distributed within the small number of iterations we may end up using it for, and is therefore disproportionately unfair.


Hey, I thought the waitlist system was opaque. :wink:


The best solution would be to have enough local(ish) regional play slots for the amount of teams that want second plays over a spread out time frame to help with scheduling conflicts. However that is difficult and likely wishful thinking. Most of these problems seem to stem from not enough slots or slots that conflict with each other. In the Mountain West Region we have Vegas Utah and Idaho all going on at the same time. Utah and Idaho historically have a lot of cross over that can’t happen now and all those teams need to look elsewhere for second plays. Additionally in Mountain West Colorado is the week immediately before Utah and Idaho which means teams who want this have to do back to back events. I’m thinking the best solution is more slots and HQ working with the RDs closer to make sure that events with similar team pools are spread out so that it doesn’t add pressure on the system elsewhere. However I don’t see this as particularly likely to happen any time soon. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ We can debate the lottery system as long as we want but its just a symptom of the larger problem of more teams wanting second plays than there are spots. (I’m aware that adding more regionals is not easy but it would go a long way to help alleviate the problems currently faced)


Whether it’s luck or skill in registering, a mismatch in supply and demand means we’re going to have winners and losers.

This year it looks like we may not be total “winners” – we are registered for our great nearby regional that we love, but we’re likely locked out of the handful of second events that we think are affordable for us in travel $$ and time (so yes I’m aware we’re also relatively lucky).

I used to oppose the idea of eliminating Stop Build, but I’m starting to think this would have been a great year for it - it would have relieved a lot of demand for multiple plays and made the allocation of practice/build time more equitable - especially if there was some anticipation of a significant shortage of capacity.


New England has had a steady net gain of about 10 teams per season since districts started in 2014. This season there is currently a net loss of 13 teams.

Is it possible to see what New England registration looked like at this time last season?


See thumbnail for FiM YoY #of FRC Teams growth figures since 2008. I expect it is too soon to be making comparisons that include 2019.

Edit: added adjusted comparison with 2019 based on same-date YoY early numbers.

FIM YoY 2019.PNG
FIM YoY 2019 A.PNG


NE had 190 teams a year ago vs 195 at the same point this year.
You can look at Justin’s team totals for the 19th for this seasons numbers.

Michigan had 419 teams showing at this same point in the registration process last year.

Here are the numbers from last year.
2017 registration as of 10/19

1741 – Regionals (less Texas/New Mexico teams who are now Districts)
190 — NE
419 — Michigan
123 — Mid-Atlantic
127 — Chesapeake
75 ---- Georgia
63 ---- North Carolina
153 — Pacific Northwest
49 ---- Indiana
58 ---- Israel
159 — Ontario
143 — Texas/New Mexico (as Regional teams)

NEteams_asof_10-19-18.xls (28.5 KB)


Things are pretty slow changing these past few days, but here’s today’s numbers.


I see there are now 23 returning teams, can you list all of them again?



Sure, here you go:



Not sure when this started happening, but it’s looking like Chinese teams have been officially pulled from the China events and started popping up in California and Australia (at least).


Here is a current tracking of registration for the teams that were registered for a China event on 10/16/2018 (the day before the announcement) compared to 10/22/2018:

Area breakdown of regionals:

Australia - 17
California - 10
New York - 5 (3646 was coming to NY anyway)
Hawaii - 5
Kansas - 4
Minnesota - 2
British Columbia - 1
Nevada - 1
Utah - 1
Wisconsin - 1
dropped registration - 22
no change in registration - 3


Thanks for the data jtrv. Note, this is just ADDS due to the cancellations. CA is now hosting 20 China teams, and they are not spread out very evenly. CALN just had 3 more added - now has 6 teams out of 26 (24%). That’s a lot for a new, small (36 team?) event with a waitlist. Yet the two largest CA events CASD and CADA (66 team events) both only have 1 China team each listed.:confused:

I do sympathize with these orphaned teams, but it is not good news for the 60-80 CA teams on waitlists looking for a 2nd play. Teams like 254, 330, 604, 1323, 3309, and 3512 are on that list (yes, us too). ::rtm::

FYI by my calculations 49% of NorCal teams are already booked for a 2nd event, but only 25% of SoCal teams are. (Historical demand is 55-60% 2nd events) Sadly, I’m guessing there will be 20+ SoCal teams unable to get a 2nd event within 500 miles of home. :frowning:

It’s frustrating, but we’ll all just have to sit tight and hope for the best. I do not envy the RDs jobs right now. And we can’t even go to Idaho again (30-40 openings) 'cause it is week 5, same as 1/3 of all the US regionals west of the Rockies.:ahh:


Do you have year by year data on the percentage of California teams that play at 2+ regionals. I’m curious to see which direction those numbers are trending, especially since most other regions have seen the 2+ regional rate traditionally be anywhere from 25-40%.


Karthik - At home I have a 2017 file and I pieced together the 2018 numbers when looking at the current CA registrations. I’ll post it tonight.


Interestingly, as of a couple of days ago, we were “prequalified for the 2019 FIRST Championship”, but I guess someone caught the typo.

Still waiting to see if we get in to our home event. We’ve not been home in a long time - none of our current team members have ever competed at the regional that is two miles down the street from our school.

Does anyone know when they start filling regionals from the waitlist?


OK Here is what I scraped together from data I had. (I’m sure there’s much easier ways to pull this through the API, but …)

# Regionals	#  teams	% of teams	#  plays	% of  plays**
1	                120       	42.4%	        120	        26.2%
2	                151	        53.4%	        302	        65.9%
3	                 12	         4.2%	         36	         7.9% 
total	                283	         100%	        458	         100%
	      %  teams >1	57.6%	avg plays/team	1.62
# Regionals	#  teams	% of teams	#  plays	% of  plays**
1	                140	        44.7%	        140	        28.3%
2	                164	        52.4%	        328	        66.3%
3	                  9	         2.9%	         27	         5.5%
total	                313	         100%	        495	         100%
	      %  teams >1	55.3%	avg plays/team	1.58
**2018 vs 2017				
# Regionals	#  teams	% of teams	#  plays	% of  plays**
1	                 20	         2.3%	         20	          2.1%
2	                 13	        -1.0%	         26	          0.3%
3	                 -3	        -1.4%	         -9	         -2.4%
total	                 30	                         37	
% growth	         10.6%		                 8.1%	
	      %  teams >1	-2.3%	avg plays/team	-3.7%

Other fun facts:

For 2018, 61 of the 495 plays by CA teams were out of state. Basically an entire regional events worth.

For 2019 CA events (to date), the percentage of teams registered for a 2nd event varies hugely by event:
Low: Aerospace Valley Regional with only 12% teams w/ 2nd event
High: Central Valley Regional with fully 71% teams w/ 2nd event!


I find it interesting that 6179 did not compete last year, as they are from Shenzhen, China close to where the Chinese regional was last year, but they come back this year to then have the Chinese events cancelled. Luckily it appears that they are already transferred over to the Canadian Rockies Regional to compete at.