In this week’s Team Update, you’ll be seeing some additional changes we’re making for the FIRST Championship.
The two significant changes we wanted to make from an FRC perspective with respect to the FIRST Championship was to get all teams 10 qualification matches and to make the closing ceremonies shorter while still maintaining the excitement and impact of the Championship overall. We’ve already blogged about the schedule changes we’re making to get teams their 10 matches. Today, we’re announcing changes to awards and timeout rules to help keep us on track during the final day of the event while still making this the best Championship experience possible for teams.
Last year we moved a few awards, including the Rookie awards, to the Division level. This change was generally well-received. It sent a greater number of teams home from Championship with the recognition they deserved. At the 2014 FIRST Championship, only the Chairman’s Award winner, the Finalists, and the Winners will be recognized during closing ceremonies itself. Most other team awards will be presented at the Division level, including the Engineering Inspiration Award. Some awards will be presented at other times during the event. Please see today’s Team Update for details. Any team award marked ‘FIRST CMP” that is not Chairman’s, Finalists, or Winners, will be presented at some other time during the event, rather than at closing. More details will be provided later on this.
The awards ceremony on the Division fields will feel more like a traditional awards ceremony, and a greater number of teams overall at Championship will be recognized. This supports our goal of ensuring teams are appropriately honored for their accomplishments, while at the same time helping us keep the FIRST Championship closing ceremonies to a reasonable length. With the move of the Engineering Inspiration Award, this award becomes unequivocally the top award at the Division level. To help recognize that, all four Division Engineering Inspiration Award winners at the 2014 FIRST Championship will be awarded an automatic berth at the 2015 FIRST Championship! In addition, thanks to the efforts of FIRST friend and supporter Dave Lavery, NASA will be paying the2015 FIRST Championship Registration fees for those four teams. Wondering about sponsorship for the Chairman’s Award winning team to the 2015 Championship? We can’t make any promises, but we are working on that.
In addition, in place of traditional timeouts called by teams during the Einstein matches, a field timeout of six minutes will automatically be inserted between every match. This will help us reduce the variability in the amount of time between matches and allow us to better plan the flow of those matches. Also, because of the reduction of the number of awards being presented during closing ceremonies, we will no longer be ping-ponging between matches and awards or speakers. Once the Chairman’s Award has been presented and our limited number of speakers have spoken, we will switch to matches with some fun and interesting elements during those planned six minutes between matches. We’re definitely going for that ‘Less Talk, More Rock’ vibe during the 2014 FIRST Championship closing!