Two Championship Survey Results and Path Forward

May 15, 2015 Written by FIRST Staff

As many of you know, after we announced that FIRST would be moving to having two Championships starting in 2017, we released a survey to FIRST Robotics Competition teams on this change.

7,355 individuals responded. This represents about 10% or so of the total number of mentors and students we have in FRC. About 75% of the 7,355 provided a team number, and those respondents were from 1,501 teams, about 52% of the total number of FRC teams we had in 2015.

One question we asked was just a simple ‘How do you feel about having two FIRST Championships starting in 2017?’ with an answer of 1 representing ‘Strongly Oppose’, an answer of 5 identified as “Neither Oppose nor Favor” and an answer of 10 identified as “Strongly Favor”. The average answer to this questions among all respondents was 4.45, somewhat below the 5 "Neither Oppose nor Favor" rating. Here is a graph of the full results:

We conducted additional analysis to better understand the rating score. FRC Teams that had never attended Championship had an average rating on this question of 5.85, while teams that had attended Championship had an average rating of 4.05. Mentors and Students had ratings relatively close to each other, at 4.54 and 4.30, respectively. When we determined average ratings from individual teams, then averaged those ratings (essentially giving every team one ‘vote’, and assuming the average rating of all team respondents was the one ‘vote’ for the team), the average rating was 5.2.*

We also asked teams what elements of the ‘Championship Experience’ were most important to them. There were 22 elements to choose from. Teams identified these as their top 10, in order from most to least important:

  • Seeing and competing with the teams with the best robots in FRC
  • The experience of attending a major, multi-day event with my team.
  • Participating in a competition that identifies the best teams playing the game
  • Seeing teams you have built relationships/partnerships with over the years
  • Keeping attendance costs reasonable
  • Participating in a very large scale event with tens of thousands of others
  • Seeing and meeting international teams
  • Participating in a competition that identifies the teams most deserving of awards, such as the Chairman's award
  • Seeing and meeting top teams, like prior Chairman's Award winners (Hall of Fame teams)
  • Having your matches in an impressive, large scale space

Taken as a whole, I think there is nothing within these survey results that is surprising. They do reinforce the idea that some within our community are strongly opposed to the two Championships concept, and that we should be using the elements identified by teams as most important to them as a guide to refining the concept to help ensure the best experience for all teams as we work through this significant change.

Our intent is to form committees, including representatives from the community outside FIRST HQ, to make recommendations to FIRST leadership in addressing the two key challenges listed below.

  • Identifying what geographic regions will be assigned to which FIRST Championship as their ‘home’ Championship, including the way in which teams outside the United States would be handled
  • Identifying a potential way in which teams may volunteer and be selected to attend their non-home Championship

You will hear more about these committees over the next few months. As we noted in the Championship informational session, the facts that there will be two Championships starting in 2017, and that all FIRST programs will be represented at each Championship, will not be changing, and so won’t be part of the discussions undertaken by these groups.

Additionally, FIRST HQ will be exploring the possibility of some culminating event to take place after the two Championships, at which we would bring together the top teams from each Championship in some final competition of the season. This idea is still in the early exploratory phase, and we will share additional details, including potential areas for community input, as appropriate.


*The analysis of average ratings from individual teams was completed by our Director of Research and Evaluation. She was the only one to see individual average team ratings, and after completing the analysis, deleted the team numbers from the data set.

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