FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

A Tasty Schedule

Apr 13, 2018 Written by Frank Merrick.



Division Assignments FIRST Championship Houston FIRST Robotics Competition

You know what I think is a nice sausage? Kielbasa. Also known as polish sausage. My family on my mother’s side came from Poland, and kielbasa was a regular feature at many meals. I loved it. As a kid, I would eat it with ketchup. But now that I’m grown, I eat it with ketchup.

Whether ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut or plain, I think that’s one tasty sausage. On their own, the ingredients – pork, garlic, pepper, salt, marjoram – aren’t necessarily so exciting. But blend them, put them in a sausage casing and smoke them, and some kind of magic happens.


This is a little like what happens with subdivision assignments and schedules at Championship. Teams from all over the world and with wide varieties of experience get blended together in their subdivisions and in their match schedules. Each subdivision has a little flavor all its own, but magic is present in each.


This year, we’re taking this blending one step further. Rather than assigning teams to pit spaces in numerical order, teams are being randomly assigned. No longer will we have old timer alley and rookie row. This will give a greater number of teams easier access to our more experienced hands in their pits, and conversely, make it more convenient for more experienced teams to reach out and lend a hand to younger teams who may now be just a few pits away instead of in the equivalent of another zip code. No question, this will mean it will take an extra step to locate Team X. You won’t be able to just do it on the fly as you could in the past. You’ll need to look on the team list provided in every team registration packet, or use the app. I recognize this is a change to how we’ve done things in the past. I think this trade-off is worth it, but we’ll see how this style of sausage works out in practice.


I think, though, the main thing you want to know is what subdivision you will be in and what your preliminary match schedule looks like! And we have these details now for FIRST Championship Houston!

If you are attending FIRST Championship Houston, you can find your subdivision by going to this page typing your team number in the search box at the top and clicking ‘Jump’. This will take you to your team details. If you look for the FIRST Championship Houston information on the page you are taken to, you will see your subdivision.


Next, you can see your preliminary match schedules by going to the information here for your assigned subdivision.


‘Preliminary’ means just what you would think it does. These schedules are not final, as we may have some last minute changes to teams. We don’t change them without good reason, but we can’t rule changes out. If change is necessary, we would only be changing the schedule for the individual subdivision needing to be changed, not every subdivision at the event. And if this happens, we’ll be sure to get the word out to teams.


For teams attending Houston, I’ll see you next week!


Back to Blog


I think a good compromise would be to arrange the teams by team name. That way, teams are semi-random but still easily findable.

I like the idea of randomizing teams among the pits, but could you put up indexes both by team number and by country/state/city at the end of each aisle? In a lot of cases, people are looking for a team without knowing the team number and will refer to it as "the team from [city], [state]"
​It needs to be on physical signs, because aunt Trudy from Tulsa doesn't know the event app from her elbow.




With the pit location change, would it be possible to make up signs to place at the ends of aisles saying what teams are down it? In the past, you could tell who was in an aisle by the teams at the end of it, but with this not the case anymore signage would help a lot! This way, you could see where to go just by walking the main aisle.

It's about time you released divisions!

Nice to hear you have a Polish family and you like kielbasa! I hope to see you Detroit and soon in Poland! Szymon Spice Gears 5883, Poland

Add new comment