I believe, with no proof, that recognizing a rookie team is a big factor in that team’s continued participation in FRC. To test that belief, I’d like to commission** a study of the statistics of rookie retention.
Does receiving a rookie award (Rookie Inspiration, Rookie All Star, Highest Rookie Seed) increase or decrease the likelihood that a team will compete a year later?
To what degree does attending multiple regionals or the Championship event affect the likelihood of rookie team retention? Does notable on-field performance, like appearance in the elimination rounds, have an effect?
The above are first-order questions. Knowing the answers to them would allow us to ask some really interesting second-order questions, like: Do these effects persist for multiple years? Have the strength of these effects changed at all over the past years? Are these effects communicable to others; i.e. does the success of a rookie team have any measurable effect on the generation and/or retention of nearby teams?
All of this data is available, and a carefully reasoned analysis of the data would make a great white paper. I estimate that it would take me about 6 hours of work to answer the first-order questions, and another 20 hours to answer the second-order ones. Anybody up for it?
**No compensation will be offered