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  • #31
    As one of the people, maybe one of the few people, who like this idea, I feel I should respond.
    You may have noticed that the same teams keep making it back to Worlds. Not always, but often, this is because they can afford to compete in multiple states increasing their chances tremendously of making it to the next level. This lottery spreads the wealth.
    FRC has done this for many years. We got to go to Worlds in FRC in 2007 because of this. So, this is a tried and true idea.
    If you have ever been to Worlds, you know it is a terrific experience. It has certainly been an amazing experience for the students on my team. I wish every student on a FTC team could experience it at least once. The students who were not the biggest contributors to the team actually were the most affected by the experience.
    I think there is a high probability that any coach that enters the lottery has a team of hard-working, deserving students. if they get the magic ticket, they will be inspired.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by NEOFTC View Post
      As one of the people, maybe one of the few people, who like this idea, I feel I should respond.
      You may have noticed that the same teams keep making it back to Worlds. Not always, but often, this is because they can afford to compete in multiple states increasing their chances tremendously of making it to the next level. This lottery spreads the wealth.
      FRC has done this for many years. We got to go to Worlds in FRC in 2007 because of this. So, this is a tried and true idea.
      If you have ever been to Worlds, you know it is a terrific experience. It has certainly been an amazing experience for the students on my team. I wish every student on a FTC team could experience it at least once. The students who were not the biggest contributors to the team actually were the most affected by the experience.
      I think there is a high probability that any coach that enters the lottery has a team of hard-working, deserving students. if they get the magic ticket, they will be inspired.
      We have been to Worlds 3 times and do not compete out of state. We work very hard to get there and have never taken progressing even to our State Championship for granted. I do understand that there is a bottle neck for many states to get to regionals. It is wrong to progress only the captain of the winning alliance since the whole alliance is needed to win. Pool matches are a luck of the draw and the results do not necessarily reflect the stronger teams on the field. Scouting allows for strong teams who have had weaker partners in pool matches still make it into the semis. However, with only the captain of the winning alliance progressing those teams get left behind. There are even situations where the captain team will run their alliance partners more than themselves and yet they get to progress. Not faulting this strategy. Sometimes its the best thing to do for the alliance. However, just moving on the capt team is not right.

      I would like to see some type of vetting for teams to get to Semi-Worlds. Is it too much to ask that any team going on a wild card has demonstrated some level of competence on the field or in the judging room at some level of competition?

      I think now that you are doing FTC and if you go to Semi-Worlds you will find that it is an FRC showcase with the other programs thrown in the mix. It is not nearly as inspiring for the other levels of play because this is very obvious for the FTC team members. I've heard it from many that going to Worlds really drove that home. That's okay because the vast majority of FTC teams are there to compete and that's the focus. Obviously HQ doesn't see Semi-Worlds the same way. It's a showcase and celebration, not a competition. This wild card for any teams with no consideration for quality is an example and will cause the competition aspect to decrease considerably. It's too bad and hurts the program in my opinion.
      Last edited by FTC4318; 10-15-2016, 11:05 AM.

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      • #33
        I definitely see your point. I too would like to see more teams advance from states to super-regionals. Our state sends a few more than yours: 2/3 of the winning alliance. But I have certainly seen good teams left behind.
        I suspect, but do not know, that there will be more super-regionals in the near future, and that more teams will advance from the state championship level to super-regionals. That will move FTC advancement in your desired direction.
        But this year is weird: doubling the teams going to Worlds but not doubling the teams at super-regionals. I think the lottery is better than sending practically everyone at the super-regional to worlds. Trying to subjectively decide which teams are worthy of entering the lottery seems unwieldy.
        We went to Worlds for FTC as well, before FTC got moved offsite to the hotel ballroom. We still thought it was cool, even though FRC does indeed get top billing.

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        • #34
          Consider the current breakdown of the teams at Semi-Worlds. There will be 36-48 random waitlist teams, while the number of teams who advanced from Super Regionals based off of robot performance could be as low as 34.

          So at the culminating FTC (robotics) event(s), there will likely be more teams who advanced "randomly" than teams who advanced through actual robot performance...

          FRC also has waitlists, but unlike in FTC, around 400 FRC teams will attend each championship, leaving plenty of room for all members of a winning alliance to advance from a regional competition. It seems difficult to justify sending 48 teams to each Semi-Worlds when in some states, the first pick of the winning alliance won't even make Super Regionals.

          It is probably too late to change anything this year, but instead of waitlists, could FTC maybe introduce a "skills challenge" (as vex has)? If not, could they expand Super Regionals, or send the top teams from states directly to Semi-Worlds? When so many deserving teams don't even advance past the state level, it seems unfair to send 48 "random" teams straight to each Semi-World Championship (out of only 128 spots).

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          • #35
            Originally posted by NEOFTC View Post
            As one of the people, maybe one of the few people, who like this idea, I feel I should respond.
            You may have noticed that the same teams keep making it back to Worlds. Not always, but often, this is because they can afford to compete in multiple states increasing their chances tremendously of making it to the next level. This lottery spreads the wealth.
            I don't mind the idea of the lottery, but I'd rather see more deserving teams qualify (see my proposal earlier in the thread) and more teams in post-season play in general to raise the overall level of competition.

            However, I've been to St. Louis the last three years - once with an FLL team, and twice with Dean's List Finalists + volunteering, so never competing in FTC. There is so much to see and do that we weren't able to experience everything at FIRST Championship even though we didn't compete in two of those years. Each time I've taken a group with first-timers, and each time all of them feel like it's a life-changing (or horizon-broadening) experience. So I get the desire by FIRST to invite teams that may not be very good. Of course, many of those teams will not apply for a wait list spot because they don't feel worthy or are just interested in competing locally or whatever. So it is probably a self-filtering proposition. Most teams that apply for a wait list spot will probably have some level of competence in robot and/or judging. (We have this issue in FRC -- we have 8 or 9 lottery tickets, but we won't apply unless we build a decent robot).

            However, the first time our teams made it to a state/regional championship was the same inspirational value, but just on a smaller scale. So I think that all teams can have an amazing experience, especially if they can somehow get beyond the local level of competition.

            Originally posted by NEOFTC View Post
            I wish every student on a FTC team could experience it at least once. The students who were not the biggest contributors to the team actually were the most affected by the experience.
            I think there is a high probability that any coach that enters the lottery has a team of hard-working, deserving students. if they get the magic ticket, they will be inspired.
            I agree with all of this. I just think the balance is wrong, but hopefully can be fixed in future seasons with more SuperRegionals that have a better geographic distribution.

            Side note on the multi-state comment: We competed out-of-state last year in FTC. If we had not, we would have had 2 matches the entire season because we were only allowed to attend one qualifying tournament in-state. Due to the Android bug with the wifi direct naming scheme that killed robots, we didn't move for 3 out of 5 matches. So we chose an out-of-state qualifier and their state championship. It was a lot of additional expense, but we made a ton of new friends in a different FIRST community and the kids still keep in touch. So I'd recommend it as another option if your team is one that may not get the opportunity to advance to a SuperRegional or Worlds.
            FTC 4962 / 3638
            FLL 11 / 21 / 9293

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            • #36
              There were a lot of good ideas in this forum chain. Considering that it seems a basic decision to use a lottery this year has been made, how about a hybrid solution then. Teams sign up for the lottery as FIRST plans to do already. This identifies the teams that would like to go AND who believe they will be able to go if selected. Since this list is finalized in December (too early to be based on State championship performance) but the lottery winners not announced until after Supers for their area, I suggest that performance can still be a decision criteria - just applied later. Teams in the lottery would get preference based on how they did at their State competition. Addressing NEOFTC's point of view, you could further hybridize it. Make 15 of the roughly 20 spots get priority based on performance and make the last ~5 a random draw from the lottery. Here is another key suggestion: to win the random draw I would say you have to have won at least one judged award. This last point I think is important. So summarizing, here is my proposal:

              1. Teams that would like to and could go if selected apply to be in the lottery to go to their championship event.
              2. Once States and Supers are done, if a team hasn't won any judged awards at States or a qualifier then they are removed from the lottery.
              3. Teams already advancing due to performance at Supers are removed from the lottery
              4. Majority of lottery spots go then to teams based on State performance (and possibly factoring in time since attending a championship?)
              5. Much smaller number of lottery spots go to a random selection

              No doubt there would still be logistical kinks to iron out with this approach (such as how to compare large state performance to small state performance) but I think this captures the concern about keeping a performance criteria in the mix while also allows some, but not and overwhelming number, of random spots.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Barry View Post
                Waitlists will open sometime in October (date tbd),
                With only a few days left in the month, when can we expect to see the waitlist open?

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                • #38
                  I agree with team 7182 (and others). I prefer a methodical merit based approach over random selection.

                  I suggest that teams that haven't advanced to their SR be required to submit their Engineering Notebooks to their SR in order to be considered for advancement to their Worlds. The judges at the team's SR will be in the best position to decide the teams that advance to Worlds for both teams that have and haven't advanced to their SR. No need to have a waitlist.

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                  • #39
                    There have been a lot of great ideas on this thread. I suspect it may be too late to use many of them this year. One thing I would like to ask for clarification on. If a team signs up for the wait list now will they only be considered if they progress to their Super Regional? I would like to think this is not the case but it is unclear to me. I totally agree that a team's ability to be competitive either in the game or the judged awards should be factored in but as a team from a state who only has 3 SR qualifying spots right now it would be good to know that there is another chance to make it worlds. Having been a state finalist alliance captain and 3rd place Inspire in the past we are hungry for this awesome experience! Picking some of the teams that came close to qualifying for the SR would seem to make sense especially from the states with very few qualifying spots.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by FTC5414 View Post
                      With only a few days left in the month, when can we expect to see the waitlist open?
                      Great Question! We've hit a couple of small speed bumps in the rollout of a waitlist program, but we're doing testing this week, and will have a system in place by Thursday. We'll add the details to the Team Email Blast that's scheduled for November 3rd. Since this isn't a first come first served list, teams will still have plenty of time to apply if they're interested. Sorry about the delay!

                      Barry

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Barry View Post
                        Great Question! We've hit a couple of small speed bumps in the rollout of a waitlist program, but we're doing testing this week, and will have a system in place by Thursday. We'll add the details to the Team Email Blast that's scheduled for November 3rd. Since this isn't a first come first served list, teams will still have plenty of time to apply if they're interested. Sorry about the delay!

                        Barry
                        No problem! I'll patiently wait until Thursday for the email blast and the system release!

                        Wait, what day is it? :P

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                        • #42
                          Thanks for your patience everyone! Check out the blog for our super easy World Championship Waitlist process and FAQ.

                          http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.c...mpionship.html

                          Sorry about the delays! This is not a first come - first served waitlist, and we'll take applications until midnight in your time zone on December 31st.

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