Frank Answers Friday: Championship Slots

Aug 28, 2015 Written by FIRST Staff

Today’s good question comes from Jon Stratis, a mentor on FRC Team 2177, The Robettes, from Mendota, Minnesota, USA:


Frank -

With the way championship slots are allocated to District teams versus regionals, we're seeing areas that are still doing regionals vastly under represented at champs when compared to District areas. For example, Minnesota in 2015 had 192 teams, 6.63% of all FRC teams, but only sent 24 teams to champs - 4% of teams at champs. That's 16 teams less than the state would have sent if it was a district! What plans does FIRST have for future District expansion or to remedy this situation and provide regional areas with more equal representative attendance at champs?


~Jon Stratis


Hi Jon. Thanks for the question.

One of the advantages of the District system is the ease with which we can proportionally allocate Championship slots to teams. The standard points model, used for ranking, makes this a breeze, and if a District team that earns its way to Championship on points declines the invitation, we’ve got the next ranked team that has not yet received an invitation to make the offer to, and so on down the line, until all allocated slots are full. This is why we call these slots guaranteed.

While the District model has this and even more impressive advantages going for it, it has its downsides also, a major one being the amount of work and planning it takes at the local level to stand one up and keep it running. While FIRST HQ and the local organizations work together to get a District up and going, by far the greatest amount of work is done at the local level. So, while there are a few good candidates for 2017, and we’re certainly encouraging District transition for those areas that are ready, I don’t feel comfortable listing who those candidates are, as we are still uncertain they will become a reality at this point for 2017.

For Regionals, we will be staying with awarding slots based on performance at events themselves. I understand that this does not proportionally award Championship slots based on geographic representation. However, I think to award based on geographic representation under the Regional system we would need to take some type of pseudo-District ranking approach, which I believe is not a good fit for a competition model in which teams may be attending one, two, or more events, and there is no competition level between Regionals and the FIRST Championship. I envision such a system as being complex and getting us away from the immediate satisfaction and excitement teams can get at Regionals of learning they’ve got their golden ticket. However, I’m not closing the door on this forever. I’m willing to take a look at any specific proposal anyone has on this, or any other concern.

Thanks again!


Frank Answers Fridays is a weekly-ish blog feature where I’ll be answering ‘good questions’ from the FRC community. You can e-mail your questions to Please include your nameteam number and where you’re from, which will be shared, if selected.

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