Inter-District Play for 2016

Sep 10, 2015 Written by FIRST Staff

Today's blog comes from Miriam Somero, FRC District Manager.

A cross-functional task force, which included volunteers from all eight FRC Districts, met to evaluate the 2015 inter-district play experience and propose a plan for inter-district play for 2016.

In the 2015 season, Districts collaborated with FIRST HQ to fill any “open” district event spots with teams from other districts. An “open district spot” is defined as a spot that remains open after all teams in a district have had the opportunity to sign up for their two events plus any additional plays they desire. In 2015, we had seven district teams take advantage of this new opportunity and play inter-district.

In the 2016 season inter-district play will continue much in the same manner as 2015.

Teams playing at a district event outside their home district will treat the out-of-district event in the same way that an in-district team treats an additional district event, meaning no points will be earned, but with a few additional caveats:

  1. The event will be considered an “additional event” regardless of when it actually occurs. Example: A team from MAR signs up for its two official MAR district events, one on Week 1 and one on Week 4. Additionally, the team signs up for one of the open spots in New England during Week 3. Even though the New England event is before the team’s second official MAR event, the event will be treated as an additional event and the team would not earn any points at the New England event. We will retain the concept of teams only being able to earn points within their own districts. This concept will be reevaluated at the end of the 2016 season.
  2. Additionally, the out-of-district team would not be eligible for the three Culture Changing Awards: Chairman’s Award, Engineering Inspiration Award, or Rookie All Star. These may be earned only at events within their home district. They will be eligible to win all other awards, but again, they will not earn points for these. The task force feels strongly that these most prestigious of all FRC awards should be reserved for in-district and recognized that presenting these awards to teams from outside the districts would lead to complications at the District Championship level. This direction, though, as the one above, will be evaluated at the end of the 2016 season. 

The cost to register for an additional play at a district event outside a team’s home district is $1,000. Teams will continue to transport their robots to the event themselves. Each event may decide whether or not to provide drayage facilities for out-of-district teams. Drayage arrangements, if any, will be posted on the event’s website. If no drayage arrangements are available through the district, it will be the out-of-district team’s responsibility, logistically and financially, to make their own arrangements to get their robot to the event. 

The one change for the coming season that the task force did recommend is a change in the timing of registration. They had feedback from teams that they did not participate last year as registration for inter-district events was so late that teams could not make all the necessary arrangements for travel.

The registration process will be as follows:

In-District additional play registration will open Thursday, November 5th, 2015, the same day as unrestricted registration for regionals.

Inter-District registration will begin 1 week later, Thursday, November 12th

  • All teams registering inter-district will be put onto the waitlist

Registration closes & payments are due from the teams November 23rd

Teams will be notified shortly after December 11 as to whether or not a slot is available for them.  

Non-district FRC teams will continue to not be eligible to participate in events within districts.

These decisions are final for the upcoming season, but as noted above, this system will be reviewed once again at the end of the 2016. Please send feedback on possible changes to inter-district play for the 2017 season to If you are a District team, be sure also to give your feedback to your District management, as each District has direct representation on the task force making these recommendations.  

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