What will be the next region to move to districts?

With the recent announcement of Texas transitioning to the district model. I thought I would make a poll to see what the next region everyone expects to transition to districts will be excluding Texas. We’ll see how optimistic/pessimistic everyone is about their home regions. The selected region is allowed to be in a district with one or more other regions, or join into an existing district structure. Your selected region must actually transition to the district structure before the other regions, announcements of transition do not equal actual transitions.

Ha! NOT California!

is everyone voting for a region that isn’t theirs?

I did. I think areas other than CA are more ready.

I’m thinking that if Minnesota goes to districts at this point, it’ll be with the rest of the Midwest as a huge district, and then the district championship can be somewhere central (like des moines), to avoid the issue of teams having to entirely redo their regional options if they aren’t in the district borders.

For all the hopefuls (including myself) who chose New York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV_PzRb1pLk

Well… My impression from what I’ve gleaned is that FIRST would prefer to have single-state districts (other than previously-formed ones) unless it makes an awful lot of sense to do multi-state. Additionally, they really don’t want to split states (cue CA folks commenting on how CIF–the HS sports folks in CA–split the state all the time).

Having an actual water game is more probable than Minnesota going to districts so you better buy a life jacket everyone

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Pretty sure there are already preliminary plans in place for West Virginia, Ohio, and western Pennsylvania to go to districts (the WOW District). I thought I had heard this would be happening in 2019. Perhaps someone from that area who is more in the know can verify this.

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Caleb… most Minnesotans look to avoid confrontation… This thread is asking for a fun discussion… I love it.

For the 15 (18.29%) of you who voted that Minnesota will be the next region to move to Districts as I’m posting this, I laugh in your face. I promise we will not be next.

Let me be clear, I have a great respect for the FRC leadership in Minnesota. I’ve worked with many of them on many different projects. They have a great passion for this program and they’re doing an excellent job of advocating for FRC in Minnesota.

With that said, I don’t see districts in the near future for Minnesota. Contrary to popular belief, FIRST HQ isn’t advocating for regions to transition to the district format to my knowledge. I would love for somebody to provide first hand information that disputes that.

The discussion about districts in Minnesota has been had on CD before. I have a feeling it’ll be rehashed on this thread again (which is why I’m posting now). To start, volunteers are not the problem as many might claim. Minnesota has a fantastic volunteer base with a strong foundation and many young volunteers aspiring to fill key volunteer roles. This is largely due to Minnesota’s great VC and our volunteer training structure that we have in place. So if volunteers aren’t the problem then what Is?

In my opinion the two things preventing Minnesota from moving to Districts are organization and desire.

I hear it all the time… Minnesota FIRST this, Minnesota FIRST that… in reality, Minnesota FIRST is nothing more than a website, and a handful of passionate volunteers. There really is no Minnesota FIRST, and the passionate people that are in “Minnesota FIRST” will tell you the same thing. Minnesota might have more than 200 FRC teams, but we are far from organized. I do, however, think that’s starting to change with the formation of new hubs, coalitions, and conferences within the state. Teams are starting to work together, and organize, and it’s only a matter of time before they begin to advocate for themselves. A perfect example of this can be found with the Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference. A bunch of teams who have never been known to provide volunteers at events, or run off-season events, came together this year to run a fantastic off-season event that will surely lead to more volunteers/contributions from these teams in the future. There really is a grassroots organizational movement in Minnesota that will hopefully translate to more competitive robots, and a better future for FRC in the state.

The other obstacle I see that I preventing Minnesota from making the transition to Districts is motivation/desire. As it stands, the leadership in Minnesota is of the opinion that Minnesota runs the best events in all of FIRST. I have only ever been to Minnesota events or the World Championship, so I’m not in a position to comment on whether or not this claim is true. I can say that Minnesota events never disappoint, and that the production value is always very high. The same can be said for other Regionals in the Upper Midwest. Honestly the transition from an event like Duluth (123 teams) to the world championship (400 teams) isn’t all that great. I imagine the jump from a 40 team district event to a district championship feels much the same as the jump from Duluth to the world championship. I would love to hear an account from somebody who has experience the Duluth Regional and has also experienced a district/district championship (somebody from RUSH maybe?).

I wouldn’t rule out Minnesota ever transitioning to Districts, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Berating the leadership in Minnesota will do nothing. The only positive action that can be taken will be from teams in the state that have the motivation to step up and do some work. Step up and provide some volunteers at your events. Step up and host an off-season event. Step up and organize your local teams. Step up and show a commitment to FIRST beyond your own team. Until that happens, and until a desire/passion for districts is shown by teams in Minnesota, we will continue in the Regional system.

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The Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia area is perpetually 3 years away, so there’s that.

At this point the delay of NY districts is just getting a tad ridiculous. When you hit the point of having back to back fegionals in the same venue its definitely time. NY in 2016 had 4 events, in 2017 had 5 events and in 2018 has 7 events. The regional model isnt sustainable. That said I am pretty cynical about it all.

You are correct in the geographic region. 2019 is projected at the earliest, last I heard. I was heavily involved on the front end trying to pull together documentation and a draft proposal when it stalled due to lack of financials. I since stepped away for sanity sake. In our region it has been difficult to secure funding to support the District Model.

From talking to the previous regional coordinator of the Greater Pittsburgh Regional and the region coordinator for Ohio Western PA and West Virginia, I have heard the region will be moving to districts near 2020. We are still lacking teams (we have about 70), and most importantly, volunteers. Once we fix those numbers we will surely have a district soon!

If only there was a region adjacent to WOW with 60 more teams who already travel to Ohio and PA every year and that has some very eager volunteers… I know the directive from HQ is not to split states, but once WOW goes it’s going to be impossible for NY teams to find events outside of NY, making us one big expensive district without actually switching to districts.

To be clear, the “60ish team region” I’m talking about is Western NY (the teams that typically travel to Ohio and PA). NY as a whole has closer to 170 teams.

Maybe a split between NE and MAR?

I personally dont like to cost of regional fees, so that is why I am all for WOW, but I 100% understand. Hope to see you at one of our PA and Ohio events.

Having talked to people who help plan multiple New York regionals, one problem lies within transport for intercity teams. Upstate teams are used to travel so districts would help them. Long Island does a bit of travel so it helps them. But NYC doesn’t do much so its hard to get it going that way.

Another problem is not all the regions of New York communicate with each other all the time, so trying to plan out volunteers and everything is another problem.

The first point is valid although traveling to long island or even the Hudson valley is really nothing too crazy for the majority of inner city teams. Both have public transportation networks that could be utilized. Ideally a dcmp would be in nyc (probably queens) to accommodate everyone.

Id say your second point is the real reason NY’s moving so slow. 4 different RPC’s are planning the events and cordinating anything with that many hands is hard.

This is what I keep running into whenever I try to dig deep enough into the issues. It’s not that the RPCs/local organizations aren’t coordinating together at all, but one thing New York is lacking is an overarching state-wide organization.

Look at the Texas announcement - “FIRST in Texas Board of Directors, FIRST HQ and FIRST in Texas staff, created a strong financial and operational plan to move to the FRC District Model for the 2019 season.”

There is no “FIRST in New York” to organize this type of movement. There’s Upstate NY FIRST, Tech Valley FIRST, NYC FIRST, and SBPLI/Long Island FIRST. All districts have a central organization. Even some regions not in districts have some sort of a central organization - FIRST Minnesota and WOW Robotics Alliance exists and host off-season events, among other things.

I don’t profess to know enough to speculate as to why New York State doesn’t have a state-wide organization. It’s possible that there’s a very good reason for this and I’m completely ignorant of it. However, until there is some sort of central state-wide body, transitioning to districts is a non-starter.

This brings up a whole slew of problems in it self. NYC tends to be expensive. Hotels, meals, transport, where to park a tour bus etc… This is why Upstate teams rarely travel to NYC regionals; it’s not the distance, its the cost.

For the cost of 2 district events, a NYC DCMP, and champs, I’m sure some teams would rather have a two regional experience plus champs which is likely about the same cost.