Inter-District Play for 2015

Sep 18, 2014 Written by FIRST Staff

I’ve got some good news. A cross-functional task force, which included volunteers from all five FRC Districts, has developed a way to allow district teams to participate in district events other than their own.

In the 2015 season, FIRST In Michigan, IndianaFIRST, Mid-Atlantic Robotics, NEFIRST, and Pacific Northwest FIRST will collaborate 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. 

Points and Awards

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 changes:

  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. In this first attempt at an inter-district play option in 2015, we wanted to retain the concept of teams only being able to earn points within their own districts, though our standard points system will facilitate our ability to move toward more comprehensive inter-district play options in later years.  
  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 felt strongly that these most prestigious of all FRC awards should be reserved for in-district participants in 2015, 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, may change in later years. 

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. 

Unrestricted Inter-District Play registration will be open January 9, 2015 and close January 12, 2015. Teams will be notified shortly after the closing of this registration period 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.

As you can see, this is a very small step into inter-district play in 2015. I’m sure some of you will be disappointed at its limited nature. Keeping in mind one of our guiding principles for district events, that they be less expensive for teams to attend, we wanted to make sure in-district teams had first dibs on in-district events. This is the reason, for 2015, that only “open district spots”, as defined above, will be available to district teams from the outside. As we see how this first attempt proceeds, we are committed to reviewing our approach, and hopefully expanding it, for 2016 and beyond.

Frank

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