What If: South Carolina District 2019

Because everyone else is doing it, and because TBA exposes district points for non-district events, I present the stats for South Carolina.

With no adjustments for single-event teams
Team # Event 1 Points Event 2 Points Age Points Total
4451 2019scmb 67 2019alhu 76 143
3490 2019scmb 46 2019tnkn 53 99
342 2019scmb 43 2019alhu 44 87
281 2019scmb 16 2019lake 48 64
6366 2019scmb 31 2019alhu 30 61
4965 2019scmb 31 2019alhu 28 59
1293 2019scmb 28 2019tnkn 30 58
3489 2019scmb 10 2019tnkn 48 58
1051 2019scmb 52 None 52
1758 2019scmb 8 2019tnkn 27 35
2815 2019scmb 13 2019alhu 22 35
1287 2019scmb 29 None 29
1319 2019alhu 18 2019tnkn 5 23
4083 2019scmb 12 2019nyut 11 23
1539 2019scmb 12 2019tnkn 9 21
283 2019scmb 13 2019tnkn 7 20
6222 2019scmb 20 None 20
4073 2019scmb 19 None 19
7085 2019scmb 13 None 5.00 18
343 2019tnkn 16 None 16
3976 2019scmb 16 None 16
1398 2019scmb 14 None 14
4748 2019scmb 14 None 14
6626 2019scmb 14 None 14
4533 2019alhu 13 None 13
4582 2019scmb 13 None 13
2187 2019scmb 12 None 12
4267 2019scmb 12 None 12
4075 2019scmb 11 None 11
5130 2019scmb 11 None 11
1553 2019scmb 10 None 10
4243 2019scmb 10 None 10
3651 2019scmb 9 None 9
4074 2019scmb 8 None 8
6961 2019scmb 3 None 5.00 8
4823 2019scmb 7 None 7
5327 2019scmb 7 None 7
6167 2019scmb 7 None 7
5317 2019scmb 6 None 6
5777 2019scmb 6 None 6
5063 2019scmb 5 None 5
4847 2019scmb 4 None 4
Double the single event
Team # Event 1 Points Event 2 Points Age Points Total
4451 2019scmb 67 2019alhu 76 143
1051 2019scmb 52 None 52 104
3490 2019scmb 46 2019tnkn 53 99
342 2019scmb 43 2019alhu 44 87
281 2019scmb 16 2019lake 48 64
6366 2019scmb 31 2019alhu 30 61
4965 2019scmb 31 2019alhu 28 59
1293 2019scmb 28 2019tnkn 30 58
3489 2019scmb 10 2019tnkn 48 58
1287 2019scmb 29 None 29 58
6222 2019scmb 20 None 20 40
4073 2019scmb 19 None 19 38
1758 2019scmb 8 2019tnkn 27 35
2815 2019scmb 13 2019alhu 22 35
343 2019tnkn 16 None 16 32
3976 2019scmb 16 None 16 32
7085 2019scmb 13 None 13 5.00 31
1398 2019scmb 14 None 14 28
4748 2019scmb 14 None 14 28
6626 2019scmb 14 None 14 28
4533 2019alhu 13 None 13 26
4582 2019scmb 13 None 13 26
2187 2019scmb 12 None 12 24
4267 2019scmb 12 None 12 24
1319 2019alhu 18 2019tnkn 5 23
4083 2019scmb 12 2019nyut 11 23
4075 2019scmb 11 None 11 22
5130 2019scmb 11 None 11 22
1539 2019scmb 12 2019tnkn 9 21
283 2019scmb 13 2019tnkn 7 20
1553 2019scmb 10 None 10 20
4243 2019scmb 10 None 10 20
3651 2019scmb 9 None 9 18
4074 2019scmb 8 None 8 16
4823 2019scmb 7 None 7 14
5327 2019scmb 7 None 7 14
6167 2019scmb 7 None 7 14
5317 2019scmb 6 None 6 12
5777 2019scmb 6 None 6 12
6961 2019scmb 3 None 3 5.00 11
5063 2019scmb 5 None 5 10
4847 2019scmb 4 None 4 8

In North Carolina, 60 turned out to be the magic number to qualify for NCCMP. If that’s the bar, six of our 42 teams would’ve made the cut even under the double-single-event metric: 4451, 1051, 3490, 342, 281, and 6366. Four more are living just below the cut-line: 4965, 1293, 3489, and 1287 are all sitting on 58 or 59, which is above the 56 that was the first team out in North Carolina (ignoring 5544 who seems to have declined NCCMP).

The conclusion I draw from all this Steiner math: The numbers don’t lie, and they spell disaster for us.

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Hey Billfred. I’m not sure how you did your math. But the one thing you need to consider is that earning district points at a 30-something team qualifier is different math than a 60-something team regional. I think SC teams would do fine. Not to mention that it is likely that some of the qualifiers would be in SC and would be mostly SC teams, so the odds go way up from there.

Going districts here in NC has been a huge positive. Teams get more matches each season which has led to a general improvement in the overall quality of all the teams in the state. We also have gotten to know each other really well and made a lot of friends. It is great to see teams helping each other with technology and design ideas.

Don’t sell SC short. You guys would do fine in Districts…

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Just because that is the number NC doesnt mean it would be for a theoretical SC DCMP. I would rank all SC teams on district points which it seems you’ve done already, and make up a theoretical dcmp team capacity (45? 50? I don’t know how many teams are in sc and what a good number would be). Once you have those two you can see what your cutoff would be.

Plus in a SC district the teams would only be playing mostly other SC teams in internal district events, so the distribution would be less whacky then looking at an area that’s currently in regionals and trying to apply district points

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Keeping with the 2019 season…

How many SC teams qualified to the World Championship this year that competed in the Palmetto Regional in 2019? One team.
The other teams had to travel outside of SC to qualify for a Championship slot.
Looking at the three closest regionals to our area (Rocket City, Smoky Mountain, and Orlando):
No SC teams entered in the Orlando Regional.
Rocket City = only 1 team qualified (the SAME team that qualified at Palmetto).
Smoky Mountain = no teams qualified.

Please correct me if my research is wrong.

Anyway, 6 teams is better than 1 team.

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There fixed it for you. The number of events is the relevant metric, not the number of matches and certainly not the cost per match.

Hi @Mr_V. I did actually mean matches, not events. In the district model, we get 12 qualification matches per event and 2 qualifier events, so even if you don’t get picked for elims in either qualifier and don’t qualify for DCMP, you still get to play in 24 matches. Given that there are typically around 30 teams attending each qualifier and 24 will play in elims, the odds of playing in the elims are greater so, on average, teams are getting several more matches each season. And about half the teams in the state will qualify for DCMP which has another 12 quals and then elims. We played 57 matches this year in our district. That is a lot of driver practice and fun before getting to Worlds.

Yes, we also get more events. But it is really the time on the field in match play that, I believe, has been the benefit to our team and the other district teams.

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You may have meant matches but my experience shows that it is the number of events that is the true benefit of the district system. I was there doing the heavy lifting of getting the PNW district off the ground. As the FIRST Senior Mentor during this transition I spent a lot of time over the next two years talking with Coaches, Mentors and Students as well as continued to support rookie and young teams. Yes the fact that the events are smaller means that more teams play in eliminations and while that means more matches played it is the act of playing in the elims that is inspiring and not playing a few more matches. Similarly the act of qualifying for DCMP is more inspiring than the extra matches that will be played.

Now if you were one of the 30~40% of teams that were already going to 2 or more then yeah your main benefit will be a greater number of matches, but for the majority of teams, the 60-70% that are one and done, the primary benefit is the extra event.

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SC is in an interesting spot. Honestly, I think if SC was to make a district alone you would simply have to have more teams. It is certainly what SC needs for their FRC teams. The days of playing your 8-10 matches a season and going home defeated every year are not inspiring for middle of the pack and lower performing teams and it is really tough to get better with such a short time to try.

What about a Carolina district? Adding 42 teams to an already mature district NC system that is already about to add another event would certainly work. Many Eastern and Western NC teams (like our Charlotte teams) would opt to play in Greenville or Columbia given the option if SC added 3 events on top of Myrtle.

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This would work great. NC could get Asheville, something in the Greensboro area, something in the Raleigh area, the Pembroke one. SC could get Charleston, MB, Columbia and Greenville. DCMP in Charlotte. In a few years the # of FRC teams in both states would likely be large enough to hold a ninth district event, meaning meaning something like the Pitt county event could be added. As of now, with a little estimated growth, an NC/SC district could hold 8 events with about 31 teams apiece. Here is a map of these 8 locations plus DCMP

As a western NC team that has to make the 3+ hour on a bus trip (buses go 55mph max, so google maps drive time is wrong) to Greensboro every year, a Greenville or Columbia event along with a Charlotte DCMP would be huge.

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The reason that I paid attention to the NCCMP cutline is because I foresee South Carolina being merged/absorbed/annexed/pick-your-verb into North Carolina whenever the conditions are right. We’re in nowhere near fighting shape to be our own thing; there aren’t even 45 teams in the whole state this year.

Even with whatever growth there might be at a joint DCMP, I have a hard time believing more than 10 of 42 teams would’ve made it to a DCMP in any scenario. (It assumes 1051 and 1287 could back up their performances at a second event, although 1051’s 52-point Palmetto combined with a rock-bottom four-point second play would’ve gotten them in for Indiana, Georgia, and would’ve gone to a tie-breaker in North Carolina.)

I used The Blue Alliance’s calculations; they expose it for all events (not just district ones) through their API. I agree that some things would be different in actual district play, but until people at a higher pay grade than me get their stuff together that won’t be happening.

Considering the number of teams that qualified for Championship on merit (1), and the length of the statewide RCA drought that just ended (Palmetto 2012 to Rocket City 2019), I think it’s fair to be concerned about the state of things down here.

No joke. The last rumbling I heard is that any new district needs 100 teams.

To me, a combined district is not “if”, but “when”. The more interesting questions:

  • When does it happen? It won’t be until 2021 at the absolute earliest, and that would require close to a full rebuild of the South Carolina FRC power structure in record time (or for FIRST North Carolina to expand its operations dramatically). 2022 wouldn’t shock me.
  • Do NCPEM and/or NCASH (both achingly close to the state line) get pulled to venues south of the border, or do we see two events close to the border on one end of the state?
  • Do the Myrtle Beach teams, notorious for their unwillingness to travel, play a second district event at no additional charge?
  • How many South Carolina teams advance to DCMP in the first year of unified play? I can think of a short list of usual suspects (the Bosch teams save maybe one team that has an off year, 343, two of 1287, 1293, 1319, and 2815), but I don’t think we’re within 10% of proportional until year three.

Love the idea! you are not the first to suggest it. We’ll see what happens.

One observation - a combined district would be more than 100 teams. The size of the DCMP would therefore be larger than any of the college arenas could host (i.e. too big for Campbell). The venues that would be big enough would be Myrtle Beach (where the Palmetto Regional is played) and the Dorton Arena in Raleigh (where the regional used to be played before NC districts). There may be other venues between the two states, but I am not aware of a venue in Charlotte that would be big enough.

Maybe @OccamzRazor could give some insight as to whether or not Charlotte has a venue that would work.

If not, the DCMP could always just swap between Raleigh and Columbia (I say Columbia instead of MB because I know Columbia used to be the location of Palmetto many years ago and is a much more central location than MB)

SC has grown by about 2 teams/year for the last 5 years, but no new team this year?

It’s rather uninspiring that 67%, 28 out of 42, of the teams in SC are single event teams?

If Northern Idaho is having such a problem joining PNW, what makes SC joining NC possible?

You can have the DCMP at just about any small college with a fieldhouse. There’s got to be plenty of them in NC/SC.

Oh Charlotte has the venues but the price of them are cost prohibitive currently. If the champs were larger, maybe this would change.

We’ve been pretty stalled out in the 40s for nearly a decade. This year, we shrank as no rookies replaced the folding veterans.

  1. It would be the whole state in the deal.
  2. There is little if any power structure trying to stop it, at this point.

If Dean is all in for the district model at what point does FIRST step in to help grow FRC in South Carolina by having SC be annexed by another district, since it seems that SC will have a difficult time growing to the point of creating their own district?

Funny, IN still is making things work with our <100 teams (which grows a bit every season, but certainly not close to 100). AFAIK all is well. Sure, more teams is always better, but I’d hope that HQ doesn’t look at IN and see “failure”. It doesn’t feel like “failure”.

Less than 60 or so? Probably not going to work. But 60 ≠100.

Just saying.

There are two key things that make your point irrelevant:

  1. Indiana is already a district, where South Carolina is not. While I don’t know FIRST’s attitude towards existing sub-100 districts, possession is 9/10 of the law.
  2. Indiana punches insanely above its weight. It has three Championship WFAs, an Original and Sustaining team, five Championship wins if I remember right (45, 71 x4), one of the Crown Suppliers that teams interface with the most, significant automotive presence throughout the state to enable grant funding, and a cadre of mentors and state-level leadership who are about that life.

I have lived in and been a part of the FRC scene of both states. They are not comparable.

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I know (us in Indiana miss you)… My comment was more along the lines of “gee, what prompted that decision?”. Sure, we have 3 WFAs, 1 OAS team, and 5 champion wins (albeit all in prior FRC era’s)… and a crown supplier (granted, we don’t have any HoF’s though :frowning: ). We also (from what I was told) were originally intended to be the guinea pig to prove/disprove that a ~60 team district could work, and to be the example of how one would work. Not to say a SC district ala carte would (or wouldn’t) work… but at least I’d hope the line is set on a case-by-case basis.

The convention downtown could definitely hold the a larger DCMP