The District System

The dawn of the districts is upon us. There are many areas that are in the process of implementing the system, a system which has seen so much success in the past, despite a significant amount of resistance early on. So now, FIRST wants to slowly bring everyone into the model.

I encourage everyone to check out slides 4-8 of this slide show to learn more about what such a large scale implementation of districts is planned to look like.

So I am interested to find out about a few more things:

Is your area trying to go to districts? How close are you to seeing it actually happen? Is there anything that your area wants to do to break the mold set by FiM and MAR?

Do you want districts in your area?/Are you happy that your area has districts? What are your main reasons for this opinion?

Given the above slide show, which I am sure you all looked at, how do you think FIRST will deal with international teams?

Side note: I understand that some of these question have been discussed before in various threads around Chief Delphi, but I have not found a place which really looks at the district model and just tears it apart for its benefits and flaws.

Maybe I’m doing something wrong, But all I can see in the title slide and I can’t get the slides to advance.

My fault, I linked to the mobile version of the slide show. It should be fixed now.

I’ve seen the image in slide 8 a few times now, but where did it come from. It’s titled “FIRST’s Vision.” Is it an official FIRST document? If so, why was every team not located within US borders ignored? I sure hope “FIRST’s Vision” isn’t to close its borders to international teams…

They do say that Worlds will have 24 international teams. I don’t think they have thought that far ahead yet.

Funny, it worked great on my iPad…

IMHO international teams can be invited to specific “region” level events, or perhaps to the super regionals, to qualify for CMP. The big issue there is their inability to attend multiple events unless they are adjacent weekends.

“24 international teams” is mentioned in the top “bubble”. And I believe that it is either an official FIRST Document of NEFIRST’s graphical interpretation of an internal FIRST memo during District negotiations.

Also, having firsthand spent two years as a student in both regional competition and district system, despite initial hesitance towards the “feel” of districts, by my second district event, I was hooked and fell in love with the system.

24 teams=4 regionals. 2011 was the last time there were 4 international regionals (Waterloo, GTR East/West, Isreal). Since then, Montreal and Calgary have been added. We want districts too! :rolleyes:

I think that’s what it’s implying…that these teams would come from districts. Also, remember, 2011 was when this chart seems to be made(and it seems like it was a vision for 2013…ha…). From what I saw discussed here, no one could have expected the growth in Calgary-area this year(you go, 4334). I think it’ll be a LONG time before we see a system like the one in this chart come to life, and who knows what the area-specific team breakdown will be (ie. states splitting up, states doing double region championships[like the NEFIRST proposal])

I’m not sure I buy the idea that this is going to save all teams money. The new and smaller teams are going to get more bang for their buck. I get that. What about the teams that go to Worlds? It’s going to cost them more than it does now. Realistically, you can get to worlds with $9k in registration fees. With this new system, $9k will only get you to the State Champs. I’m guessing another $5k would be needed to pay for Worlds. This will increase the costs of teams going to worlds over the current system.

Another question: If you won Chairman’s or EI at the district level, are you allowed to compete on the field with your robot at the state level? Will the tradition of having RCA winners on the field at Worlds change in this new model?

Well, generally, (at least in MAR), there are grants available for teams from the region committee, and, from Jim Zondag’s (amazing) FiM whitepaper, an effort was made to make MSC free for teams. With the system being more widespread, FIRST could possibly allow it in the future.

Also, is that question about what happens currently? In both MAR and FiM, Chairmans autoqualifies you for region/state championships, but EI does not. Teams that win EI but don’t make it to region/states do make an EI presentation to judges, however, and can still win it(as evident by 321 winning it at MAR Champs this year)

I’m not positive about MAR or any new districts, but I know that FiM invites all district Chairman’s winners to compete with their robot at the State Championship. However, EI winners do not. They come and can compete for the State EI without their robot, which if they win will then get their robot invited to the World Championship.

This is would make a load of sense, but this is not the way things currently are, correct?

Correct. Also to note is that registration costs do not go towards running the events(this is known already, even outside of districts). Also, both MAR and FiM do not use official FIRST fields(except for, in MAR, weekends when there are two districts), but fields owned by the regional committee. MAR’s this year were transported in POD storage units.

Are these lower quality versions than what we are used to in a Regional? Do they have an FMS?

Hate to be throwing out simple questions, but I missed the conversations out districts during the VA and Baltimore Regionals.

No problem, if you have any more detailed questions don’t hesitate to message me.

To my knowledge, no, they are not lower quality, and yes, they run the full FMS, are “serviced” by FTAs, and all the ways the field is run is exactly like a normal FIRST field (save for venue-specific queuing arrangements). This year in particular it was nice to know that, with the slightly different pyramid heights, we knew 100% we were playing on the same field for 2/3 events, and will for all our offseasons.

Identical to every other FRC field except for ownership.

I’m glad that you are putting these “simple” questions out there. I am learning a lot about the district system, and I think it is really valuable for the community to have somewhere to look for a collection of various info about districts.

IMHO, you should continue to ask away for other people to see and learn.

I started in FRC when my local tournament was a Regional. The year after that is when the District model went into effect in Michigan. The biggest change everyone needs to understand is that there will be more District Tournament events with fewer teams at each tournament. FIM is usually around 40 teams with MAR averages a few less. In Michigan, you play 12 matches during qualifications at both of the two District events. The smaller team count at each District tournament means it is more likely you will be in the elimination round and play in additional matches.

More District tournaments, for most teams, will mean there will be a local tournament that will be close enough not to incur a hotel bill. This local event is great for family, friends and your sponsors to attend and see why we all do this.

The district model will close the gap between power house teams and all the other teams. Most District model teams make noticeable improvements in their robot between their first and second tournaments. Giving teams more chances to learn and improve.

The District Model is the next step for FRC and it will probably not end there.

I’m all for more time on the field. Running a small team for 5 years, I understand the disparity in FIRST. I’m just concerned about the economic strain for any team that makes it out of the State competition. There is a huge difference in 2 and 3 paid events a year. The only way this makes sense is for those who qualify for states to go for free. FIRST wants to follow the state athletics model. That’s what they do: competing in the State competition is free.