As I was looking through the registration of the various regionals the other day, I began to think of what happens at these regionals with small numbers of teams (Las Vegas for example).
With only 24 teams attending, does this mean all of the teams will be in the elimination rounds? Same thing for the other small regionals, as we are currently registered for Houston along with 26 other teams. I guess that means all but three teams will be in the finals?
2004 Sacramento Regionals was fairly small, all but two teams (I believe) were choosen to proceed onto the elimination rounds. The WRRF Cal Games only had 24 teams, everyone was choosen as an alliance partner.
I think all in all, smaller regionals are sometimes better. It’s a more intimate setting so you get to know other teams really well, you play more matches, and it feels more like one of those off-season competitions that everyone loves.
But to answer your question, if a regional only did have 24 participating teams… yes, everyone would be in the finals.
Regionals do have spots reserved for rookies (and I believe for local teams as well, it would be horrible to register and find out the closest availible regional was 500 miles away) but small regionals are fun in two ways:
They allow you to be more active with your robot- more matches = more practice
less teams there = less data to memorize for scouting = more free brain space
Also, with less teams being there in the first place, the pits feel a lot less hectic when theres only 30 gone-wild FIRST teams instead of 60.
When we had 27 teams or however many there were at Sacramento in 2003, we had somewhere around 13 or 14 qualifying matches along with 3 six minute practice matches, which was basically 2 regionals worth of experience.
It was insane though. You’d finish one match and be called to que up for your next one almost immediately.
If memory serves me correct, it seems like regionals are smaller this year than in previous years, even during the registration process. I think I remember FIRST officials stating at the Team forum this past summer, that they prefer the regionals to be 30-40 teams.
Consider the Toronto Regional. When registration started, it showed 72 available spaces. I looked a day or two ago and it showed as filled , but with only 60 registered teams. Hmmm? As the thread here has said, does that mean 12 spaces are being held for rookies?
Also as a super regional, Toronto operates two fields, so in effect it is two 36 team regionals in one. Lots of matches for everybody. And when it comes to eliminations, instead of only 8 three team alliances, they pick 16 three team alliances.
First year the Sac Regional was up was quite fun :O. Very intense regional, especially for the rookie teams. We never thought it would be that intense. Well the Sacramento/UC Davis Regional has changed from that first year however it will still keep up its cheering intensity.
Speaking of small regionals, the Waterloo regional seems to be in need of a few teams. I believe that the minimum for a regional would be 24 teams. Right now they are a little short. I know the team putting together this regional and what a great job they are doing. If there are some teams looking for a third regional Waterloo is the place to be. It won’t be a cakewalk to win though. It seems that it’s a who’s who of Canadian teams and Team 1188 from the US. Let’s make this regional go.
I’ve always been a big fan of small regionals. When you spend 6 weeks building a robot, it’s nice to get as many matches in as possible. Along with this benefit, these small regionals have a real community feel. You get to know all the teams and volunteers pretty well. We went to Pittsburgh last season (34-36 Teams), and we had an amazing time.
For those teams still considering doing another event, give small events like Arizona and Waterloo a look.