The practice field at North Star Regional

better have a flat upper goal shot, I guess!
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Another example of why there should be a place to review events. I know distance and schedule play a big role in what events teams attend, but there are some pretty significant differences between events. There are certainly regionals I’d highly recommend and others I’d tell teams to steer away from.

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You should be getting an email after each event with a survey- fill it out with feedback!

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Oh, I do fill those out.

I’m talking more about public reviews, similar to like a Yelp. Between practice fields, concessions, seating, volunteers, parking, pit space… there are lot of differences between events that teams don’t really know about until they attend.

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On the plus side, load in was far easier than I expected. And the pits are very close to the real field.

We had a full practice field at The Great Northern Regional in addition to some side field elements… When you compare what we had to this completely unusable setup, it’s hard to believe teams at both events spent the same amount of money!

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Autos will be a challange

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I’m generally up for any volunteer assignment, but managing that practice field is one I might balk at. Its location looks unsafe to me. The hub is too close to the storage rack on the left wall. I can’t see the queuing space but it seems likely to create difficulty as well, since the space itself is a cul-de-sac.


Do you have pictures showing how other spaces in the same venue were used? It may still be possible for the event staff to do better.

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It’s not. We really don’t have much room there. It’s a hockey arena, with the pits and field taking up the entire space. This is in the hall where the Zamboni drives in, with a ramp going off the side up to the loading dock. The practice field is always in this same spot at this event.

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+1 to what Jon said, I agree it’s unfortunate, but that’s the only space in Mariucci Arena that can host a practice field that is both accessible from the pits and isn’t also being taken up by something very important.

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Well that’s somewhat disappointing to see, going to need to make the most of the practice matches tomorrow I guess.

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Ever thought to switch the position of the two pieces? Shooting might be easier.

Must be a defensive venue. :thinking:

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Sounds to me like this event should be shrunk by about 3-5 teams in future years to allow for practice field space in the pit area. If districts can fit a practice field inside of a high school gym, a regional can certainly fit it inside of a college hockey arena.

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While I certainly understand that from the perspective of this year’s game… most games don’t have a height issue with that practice field. Steam works would have, if teams actually shot, and before that… perhaps Aerial Assist? But with that one you probably wanted more floor space than a practice field allows. That’s it for the past 10 years where this may have been an issue.

When an event has been at capacity after first event registration for years, does it make sense to lower that capacity because the ceiling on the practice field might be an issue for one or two games every decade? The concentration of teams around the Twin Cities means this and 10k lakes are by far the cheapest option for most of the teams at the event (no travel/hotel).

And it’s worth noting, 10k Lakes practice field really isn’t any better.

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As the driver and main programmer of our 2017 bot at North Star, I spent many hours on that practice field. While most of the time was spent tuning our auto to deliver the gear consistently, we did spend a bit of time shooting there and I don’t remember having a problem with the ceiling.

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That was my initial thought, too. Then a sidebar with Jon made me remember my former Regional in St. Louis, which was held in a hockey arena much like Mariucci, with extremely limited backstage spaces. We had practice areas on the main floor when registration was in the low 40s, but had to use a rather cramped backstage area when it was in the 50s. Limiting registration wasn’t ever really considered, mainly because we knew that many of our teams didn’t have other options – and we already had teams coming from 10+ hours away. Minnesota is in the same situation, has been for a long time, and will continue to be until they figure out another system. It is easy for us who have been playing in the District model for a long time to see its advantages, but what we don’t see is the local challenges of providing those in another area.

My old crew in St. Louis would love to offer the advantages of District model competition to their teams, and I expect they will eventually get there. They put on another great event in the Regional model this year. Minnesota does that, too, at multiple venues, year after year.

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1 whole food line too.

(insert obligatory Michigan-based response to OSU blah blah blah)

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Locating the practice field near food concessions would provide some great entertainment for folks waiting in that queue. Too bad the area isn’t realistically accessible from the pits. Maybe robots need to learn to climb stairs? Oh, wait.

Also I think I see your problem in that photo…

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On the bright side, looks like you already know your qualification schedule. That has to be the earliest I’ve seen it posted for a regional.

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