FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Week 7 Events and FIRST Championship Attendance

Sep 20, 2016 Written by Frank Merrick.


You’ll remember that we’ve said we were working on a way to allow some teams to attend their non-home Championship in 2017. The good news is that we have figured out a way to do that. However, we’re still working on the document and flowchart that will explain the system, as it does have a number of moving parts. We hope to publish this in the next week or so, after we’ve gotten through this very busy week with initial event registration and the teaser release.


Also, there is something about this process you really need to know now. Our goal is to have the Week 8 Championship, in Houston, filled the week prior to the event, just as we have done with Championships in the past. This helps us make sure all teams are ready to attend, with their robots where they need to be, and allows us to do such things as create and publish preliminary match schedules before the weekend prior to the event. This means, though, that we want the team roster for Houston set before the start of any Week 7 events that are taking place. For this reason, teams earning their way to Championship at Week 7 events will not be able to attend the Houston event. While there is a chance, despite our best efforts, that some slots in Houston may still be available a few days prior to that event, we would be very likely in that situation to draw participants from local teams who would require little travel preparation.


The events currently scheduled for Week 7 in 2017 are the Michigan and Ontario District Championships, and the Seven Rivers Regional in Wisconsin. In the cases of Michigan and Ontario, all teams attending those events would normally be assigned to the St Louis Championship in Week 9. In the case of Wisconsin, it is likely that most teams attending would also be assigned to St Louis. However, without taking special steps for the Wisconsin event, we can’t guarantee that will be the case, and we do want to ensure no teams sign up for the event expecting to be assigned to St Louis when, in fact, they are from a geographic area assigned to Houston.


For this reason, only teams that would normally be assigned to the St Louis Championship will be allowed to attend the Seven Rivers Regional. While we had hoped to automate this process, our IT resources were focused on higher priority activities, and we will not be able to do so in time for registration on Thursday. So, instead, all teams attempting to register for the Seven Rivers Regional will be placed on the waitlist and moved into the event once they have been checked to ensure they are not from a geographic region that would normally be assigned to the Houston Championship.


While I don’t think there are many teams that would be interested in finding out on Saturday or Sunday that they’ve qualified for Championship at an event in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Ontario, only to need to be in Houston a few days later, I can’t rule it out. I’m sorry for any concern this causes. However, I do believe it’s the best thing to do for the program at this time.


It is very important for teams to recognize that the Championship they are assigned to depends on where their team’s home is, not where they earned their way to Championship. Every team should be conscious of this when they start signing up for events on Thursday. You can find the map with your assignment here.


It’s an exciting week! More to follow soon.


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Hi Frank,

As a team from Israel who attended championship in the last 2 years we are starting to plan ahead of time in order to save costs. Last year the championship was in Passover holiday so plane tickets were hard to get (it is a peak time in Israel). We paid 1600$ per tickets instead of about 1100$ in a regular day (and it was not even to st. louis but to Chicago, and we had to rent a bus to get to st. louis.)

Houston championship this year is a few days after Passover so getting plane tickets will be also hard to get.

Is there a possibility you will change Israel Championship assignment to St. Louis for this year so it will be easier to get tickets not in a holiday?


I'm not part of an Israel team, but this sounds like a good idea - anything that makes it easier for an international team to lower costs is a good idea. 

We are three miles from the venue where the 7 Rivers Regional will held at and cannot attend because it falls on Holy Week. 

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