You’d see a lot of lines on that map between Oklahoma and Little Rock (and Arkansas and OKC) if those regionals weren’t on the same weekend. And add Tulsa to the mix next year. I think there is a strong case for an AR/OK combined district if MO/KS go to districts and we are essentially cut off from the outside world (but I’m the only one here who seems to think that, hah!)
If you had a 4 state district, you could rotate dcmps between tulsa, pittsburg, springfield and fayetteville.
I agree that going to the district model would be very good for our region I think we are still a ways away from it. I am not sure the area has the teams or the appetite. Being another team whose home event is in Colorado, districts would be so much better!! This is the first year that we were able to attend a 2nd regional and we had to travel a long ways to go to the second one.
While we had a lot of fun in Duluth, the idea of not having to travel 11 hrs to go to a second event is something we would be super interested in. We could look into hosting a district event up here in Rapid City! Being a tourist town there are a lot of hotels and prices drop like a stone in the winter.
Tulsa? I would love a Tulsa event as we are closer to Tulsa than Little Rock. This was the first year in the last few that OKC and LR were on the same weekend. It would be perfect if they were split up. Even better if they added a Tulsa event
The Green Country Regional (Tulsa) is just pending FIRST approval for 2020 but the people who are putting it together are top-notch so I expect it will happen.
The big issue is actually state pride. Lotta folks in Arkansas want to see their money stay in Arkansas.
(Stated without comment)
A big issue with anything like that would be how late teams would find out they’re advancing to the next level.
As it is now, one of the downsides of being in a district is you don’t find out for sure if you’re advancing to Worlds more than 2-3 weeks ahead of time. And when you do find out, you’re finding out alongside everyone else in the region. So you either have to have the money up front and book travel ahead of time (being ready to cancel your flights/hotels, or find someone else who can take them), or you’re paying the premium for it happening at the last minute assuming you can get the travel booked/school approval at all.
I think if FIRST was looking for a system where “the best teams advance to Worlds”*, a universal points system would lead to some of the best results. However, logistically I think it would become a nightmare for FIRST (for championship registrations), FedEx (going back to shipping more robots in a small time frame), and teams (booking travel).
*This isn’t the thread for that discussion, please don’t take my comment and run with it.
I will say this, my school is hosting a full-scale off - season event this fall in our gym(s), and I would be willing to look at hosting a district event too, were we to switch over in a year or two.
As far as team count- it looks like you’re at 40ish. So you could do 3 events + DCMP. That’s pretty small, and you wouldn’t have many champs spots. It would be the smallest first season in districts:
More teams would help the case, but they aren’t required if you want to start small and soon.
For density and spacing goes- look at the UP in Michigan. They were isolated and had some drives for awhile. Now they have a few events up there. I’m hoping New Mexico will have a similar outcome. CO teams are mostly along the front range, with a few in other spots. So, depending on growth, in 2021 you could run 3 or 4 events + DCMP in the front range, and push team growth to eventually add events in like, Grand Junction or Durango.
I say being in North Idaho, our team wants to join the PNW. We are 20 minutes from the West Valley competition, but alas, we cannot participate. We hope to change that for next year by joining the PNW.
True of the sponsors. And we have an Arkansas only non-profit.
Our team (from Grand Junction) has talked about the viability of a Western Colorado event, but we’re not sure if we’d get enough interest from other teams. There are 2 other FRC teams besides 4944 within a 3.5 hour drive from Grand Junction. If you expand this range out to a 5 hour drive you capture basically every team in Colorado and every team in Utah which would be ~50-70 teams. I’m not sure if we’d be able to get 40+ of those teams to travel out to GJ. I believe it would be the 2nd closest option for most of those teams besides their own home regional (SLC/Denver), with about half the Utah teams having Boise as a closer option.
Will, we would absolutely travel to a Grand Junction event, we’re already driving 9 or 12 hours to Salt Lake City, or Arizona, or Oklahoma City, or whatever. And an event that takes place over a Saturday and Sunday, costs only a couple thousand dollars, and is a short drive away, I would jump at. If we ever transition from regionals to districts, we could do one in the Northeast Front Range (Fort Collins, maybe) , one on the southern Front Range (Colorado Springs), one on the Western Slope. My team would go to all three and still spend a third of what we currently do on travel.
Isn’t this a problem with districts in general and not with universal points. It’s definitely an issue though. Maybe with no bag they could move everything a week earlier, to add an extra week between champs.
Oklahoma/Colorado region (since they are adjoining states, right?), with the District Championship in Boise City.
It’s absolutely a problem with districts - my concern with moving to a universal points system (and then presumably advancing based on that) is that more teams will be faced with the same issues that district teams currently face regarding advancing late in the season.
I’ve wondered whether the shift to not having a bag is one part of a larger movement to change the FRC schedule. It’ll be interesting to see how things progress over the next few years.
Apparently word on the street is a Midwest district in 2020 or 2021. Not sure what states it would encompass but certainly an interesting proposition.
What does everyone think of something like this? I’ve talked about it before with some people on my team and we’ve come to the conclusion that it would be difficult to execute well without including 4 or 5 states for which there isn’t really any precedent.
The teams in the Midwest are concentrated in such a way that getting every team two events within an hour or two of their home could be costly and inneficient. As it is now, a significant number of teams only play one regional even with the addition of two more Missouri/Kansas events in as many years. Despite that, I think a district including teams from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois would be super competitive and awesome and it’s something I would really love to see in the next few years. Those States are home to so many teams that are consistently great but not quite to the point of being able to regularly take one of the Champs qualifying spots from regionals. It would be amazing to see this region with more representation and Champs.
I think in that case you’d be best to add Nebraska into the district (don’t think they really fit anywhere else). The Dakota always can go to Minnesota.
You have about 200 teams (so 400 slots) needed. I think you’d need to add 2-3 events. Likely 1-2 in Illinois. Possibly another one in Iowa.
If you had 10 events, two each the first 5 weeks, like the TX district. I think would be a good model.
I also don’t mind the idea of a OK and AR included district (but wasn’t thinking with IL or IA put with KS/MO).
Oops I meant to include Nebraska in my previous comment, I’ll edit that in. I do like the idea of including Oklahoma and Arkansas and doing so would prevent having to change any boundaries for champs assignments.
Something else I’ve thought of is having the 4 state district with Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, and giving the teams on the East side of Missouri the option to stay in the regional system or allow southern Illinois teams to join into it. It would be a bit difficult to either take away the STL regional from those southern Illinois teams and to remove most of the STL teams from the Illinois regionals they attend. The geographic separation between Eastern and Western MO teams has always seemed a bit odd and I don’t think it’s too off target to consider them separate regions, sorta like North and South California.
Heck, let’s just have one massive Midwest district. Everything between Michigan and Texas (including Minnesota because why not). Then nobody gets left out in the cold and everyone gets to play in districts. That would put the size at around 450 teams I think, probably more. Michigan has over 500 working fine so I’m sure we can figure it out over here. (In case it wasn’t clear this last paragraph was in jest and I totally don’t expect this to happen, even though it would be pretty cool).