With No Bag, Could we have Two Day Regionals?

Quoted from the How will no-bag affect day 1 of regionals? thread -

With the advent of a no-bag future, one potential way to make the regional model easier on team’s resources (both personnel and monetary) is to structure regional events more like district events and make them into 2 day events.

The advantages are pretty simple:

  • Cheaper for the event to run (less days needed in the venue)
  • Cheaper for teams (less nights at hotels)
  • Less taxing on the mentors (less vacation days from work required) and students (less days off from school required)

The disadvantages I can think of:

  • Less time on a real field for teams to test their mechanisms
  • Fri-Sat events still require days off from work/school
  • Events still potentially cost the same, but for less time at the event
  • Potentially not enough time for teams to get inspected, especially at large regional events

I think the discussion of the idea merits it’s own thread.

District events typically all start the night before matches are played, with the venue open from 5-10pm or so. Getting 50% more teams unloaded, inspected, and up to speed in that short amount of time is inviting disaster.


The real discussion is 4 day to 3 day, as that’s the true time of an event.

Day 0: field arrives noon, setup the rest of the day. Teams arrive 5-8 for load-in.
Day 1: team load-in early, meetings in the morning, finish field detailing, practice matches in the afternoon.
Day 2: ceremonies and quals.
Day 3: ceremonies, quals, playoffs, packup.

Day 0 includes inspection and some practice if the field is ready, Day 2 runs long with minimal ceremony, Day 3 goes as normal.

I would personally say, as I said in the other thread, that I’d be OK with doing that, on the condition that it wasn’t for one or two years after bag elimination. The whole “no more than one major change at a time” sort of deal. Less vacation use sounds good to me.

You could make it work a little better by having field setup in the morning and start allowing teams in between noon and 3, with inspection as soon as they wanted and practice matches starting at 6. Reserve a couple practice matches before opening ceremonies for teams that haven’t connected to the field yet. That might work as a balance for a couple years.


This greatly depends on what you believe an event should entail.

Personally I think it would be great to have a more traditional sporting event system where you have weekly events that put you into a ranking system, and then playoffs for division, conference,state,national,international, etc.

I feel like that would give teams a higher more rewarding match count. Also match counts would be far more equal since it would not be constrained on resources.

For regular season games it would be setup like basketball where there would be round robins on Saturdays or Sundays. These would be played like week0s on sub standard fields. Then Playoff events would be like current regional events with official fields.

This is hardly a plausible idea, but a guy can dream.

TL:DR 2 day events? pssh… what about 1 day events!!!

Agreed here :slight_smile: The biggest thing holding FIRST back, I think, is also one of its strengths - there’s a different game, with different field elements every year. Sports can be successful in schools using the system you describe because it’s relatively straightforward - a large up-front investment when building the school for facilities that will last 50 years with regular upkeep. The game doesn’t change, they don’t need to go out each summer and rebuild the basketball court. If we wanted to get a FIRST field in every school (or at least the penetration that basketball, football, baseball, soccer, etc has), I think it would need to be standardized with no changes year to year. And that would take out a lot of the game variety and the engineering challenge!


I think it’s worth waiting to see what the no-bag rules are before all this speculation begins. We could see drastic changes like most seem to be expecting, or we could see some sort of half measure that doesn’t drastically change the landscape.


This is a very good point.

And it’s more scientific… technically.

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Short answer… no. Bag rules have nothing to do with event length. Number of teams and matches played (including practice time) drive event length. I’m also assuming robot inspections will still be required without a bag.

Championship divisions run from mid day Wednesday to mid day Saturday. All teams have been previously inspected which should in theory minimize inspection / re-inspection time. In recent years, no team had to wait for an inspector to remove their robot from the bag. All teams get one practice match. To finish by Friday night, you could drop down to 8 matches instead of 10.


Oops. Forgot another one - IRI.

In Thursday night and finish by Saturday night. No bag. No inspection. No practice matches. 9 qualification matches.


You mean like FIRST Tech Challenge’s league system?

I’m not really a fan of losing practice matches. Maybe when public practice fields are more common across the country, but this is the first time on a full field for a lot of teams. Of course, practice matches could cut into the time used for qualification matches, but not having many qualification matches is already a problem at regionals anyway.

If you don’t think you’ll need Thursday, I don’t think there’s any reason you couldn’t show up late on that day and set up then instead of on Wednesday night. Though I would probably contact someone in charge of the regional first so they don’t have to be left in suspense on if your team is going to show up or not.


We lost a 1v0 practice match once…
However, as a student, I say the longer the como the better, although maybe an extra half day at a regional of quals. I like playing the most matches possible.

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I’d like to move the events so they end on Sunday. Load in Thursday night, then Friday is the only day that is required off school or vacations.

Our district model already starts with Thursday night load-in, but ends Saturday. Because of the larger size of the regional events they would end up going Sunday to get all the matches in.

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There’s two schools of thought on that, though. Events ending on a Sunday isn’t a bad thing per se, but you do have to respect that a number of teams (and individual team members) are likely to have restrictions on their activities. I think it was 1519 a few years ago that basically said “we might only be doing one district event because they’re all on Sunday except two and one’s full, and we can’t do Sunday events”. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some folks took Monday off afterwards to recover/travel back, resulting in no change in vacation time used.

At least one event out my way seems to slide over in any given year. It’s nice to have the option.

Public practice fields could help convince teams they don’t need the practice day… if they utilize those fields. It’ll be interesting to see how that changes without the bag - there was a public field available in Minneapolis for anyone that wanted it, but out of the ~90ish teams that are within easy driving distance, only a handful actually did this past year. You can attribute a lot of that to the bag and not having practice bots… but until we get through this upcoming year, we won’t really know how much of an impact not having a bag has - team schedules and other factors may come into play to keep teams away. It’ll be interesting to see how the demand for the field goes!

Practice day is also used for seminars, judging, and training volunteers. You’d be surprised at the difference in volunteer crew performance between Thursday and Friday at a regional.

It’s not unusual for teams to have inspection issues that take all day to resolve. And that’s not including teams that plan for practice day to be “robot final assembly day.” Maybe that would change if practice day was eliminated.


I personally hate Sat-Sun events. I like having a day to decompress/travel instead of trying to drive 2-6hrs home right after a long day of elims just to get up for class 4 hours later. Dont need my Mondays to suck anymore than it already does.


In fairness, FIRST has always been able to run 2 day regionals if they wanted to. They just had to give the regional teams 6 hours of unbag time and tell them to show up ready to go like district teams.