Should teams with deeper pockets be allowed to pay to play extra competitions? Why shouldn’t they be? Your already paying for 2, why can’t you pay for another? Why would they even want to compete again, all they are doing is taking away trophies from others?
As I’m only familiar with the district system, I have opted not to comment on the regional system, but the problem is prominent within the district system: Many teams with vast resources often times pay their way into a 3rd competition.
Often these teams are the most competitive of the pack, and this only makes them more so as they get more practice/out of bag time. Not only this, teams that end up losing to the pay to players lose out on blue banners, awards, and valuable ranking points. Plus these teams get way more playing time than the rest of us, how is that fair?
However there is another side of the coin, why shouldn’t teams be allowed to play more if they raise more money? Is that not how FIRST works anyway? Plus, if FIRST takes this money from wealthy teams they could re-invest the money back into struggling teams to help them register. More time to compete helps draw more students to FRC, and brings up the level of play (at least for the teams that can afford). It helps FIRST fill up comps that might otherwise go empty. Ranking points they earn don’t go towards these teams, so they aren’t really taking anyone spot at Districts Champs. So what’s the harm?
I don’t know what the correct answer, but i’d love to see how others feel about the subject!
Full Disclaimer: This post is in no way a response to my teams recent loss in the finals to a team that was at their third comp. The majority of this post was wrote before the comp, and there is absolutely no hard feelings towards the team in question. They were a pleasure to play and absolutely deserved the win. We were just happy to get as far as we had, and will now be going to District Champs for our first time in 5 years.