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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FIRST Championship Info!

We wanted to pull together some resources we've found through Chief Delphi, FIRST websites, and discussions with other teams.

First, if you're not going to St. Louis... All the matches will be broadcast live online.
Obviously, the links aren't up yet but they will be on there. Once we know our Division, we will let everyone know. Then, our wonderful fans can watch that Division's broadcast.

Ok... Now to the good stuff. We will post some links and then give a summary/commentary about that link.

FIRST Championship Website

Why is this important?
DIVISION LISTS WHEN THEY ARE RELEASEDDDDD! We're excited about this just a little bit.
Also, let's be honest, the website has all the links we include below...

What do we need you for then?
Our witty responses and good looks? But seriously, we have some commentary on each link below.

FRC Schedule of Events

Why is this important?
Well this is kind of a no-brainer. The schedule that FIRST made is going to be kept to as much as possible. This should be posted in your pit, in the stands, and in your hotel rooms. We even thought about getting a tattoo of it on the back of someone's head so we will always have it near. Basically, pits open at 7am each day and close at around 7 or 8pm. Be prepared for loooooong days.

Anything particularly interesting?
New schedule! Qualification matches are spread out to all day Thursday, all day Friday, and Saturday morning. That's a big change. This will allow for 10 matches for every team which is awesome. The load in, inspection, and practice matches are all on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Wednesday night is going to be super intense with practice matches, inspections, pit set ups, pit scouting, driver's meetings, and loads of other things. Teams better have a plan in place as soon as they enter the Dome on Wednesday afternoon.

You didn't even mention the Awards changes...
Right! Awards will be spread out and concentrated on the Division level as opposed to the Championship level. No super long breaks between Einstein matches! More teams getting recognized! But hold your horses, we will tackle that in depth down below.

FRC Championship A-Z Guide

Why is this important?
INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS OF INFORMATION. All head coaches/lead mentors/team captains should at least skim through this document.

Anything particularly interesting?

  • Teams are responsible for their own schedules. You have to know your match numbers and times. Very little audible queuing. 
  • Chairman's Interview sign ups are at 7am on Thursday morning at Pit Admin. The interviews will be from 10am to 6pm on Friday. Teams will get spread out between 4 rooms. 
  • If you're driving, there's awesome directions and parking help in the document.
  • Have to have robot's crated up by 4:30pm on Saturday (with a few exceptions). 

Weren't you going to talk about Awards again?
Oops! Got so excited about other things. So all the normal Regional Awards will be offered at the Division level. Your typical robot and outreach awards (Quality, Team Spirit, Rookie All Star, etc.) are all offered in each Division. These awards will be handed out before Quarterfinals and after Semis in the Division playoffs. The only major exclusions are Woodie Flowers (done on a Champs level on Friday morning), Dean's List (done on a Champs level on Friday at Noon), and Chairman's (done on a Champs level before Einstein Field on Saturday afternoon). One cool thing, all Engineering Inspiration Award winners at the Division level will be offered a spot at Champs next year (fees paid). That's incredible!!

2014 FIRST Championship Conferences

Why is this important?
FIRST teams have tons of great knowledge to share. Champs is a collection of the best of the best teams in the World. Listen to what they're doing and it might make your team a little bit better.

Anything particularly interesting?
All of the conferences will be wonderful! However, we have a few conferences that we are really interested in.

  • Chairman's Chat. We love Chairman's and are super excited to hear what other winning teams have to share about their processes and experiences.
  • Programming with C++ and Java on the RoboRio. Next year we get new controllers! WOOO! You can see more information about it here. There are a ton of changes associated with that. We want to be ready when that change comes.
  • Fundraising for FIRST teams. The Fundraising Toolkit that Renee Becker and others put together is awesome. Link here. We know Renee and Evan well. They have some great ideas to share with FRC and FTC teams about increasing funding and awareness. 

That's a lot of conferences... What if we have a small team?
Really narrow down on what you think will most benefit your team (that's what we are doing). Some of the best lessons are learned in the pits too. Don't sacrifice "pit wandering" time for a random conference that you're not that into. All the conferences will be great! Just keep focused, that's all we're saying.

FIRST Championship App

Why is this important?
It's an app with A TON of information. Schedule, map, events, photos, news, team lists, and a ton more. The UI isn't perfect but it's still pretty awesome!

We will try to add more links as we get closer to CHAMPS! If you have a link that you think we should add, please tweet at us @team3313 or email us at 3313coach@gmail.com. 

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