Wild Card Slots for the 2013 FIRST Championship

Blog Date: 
Friday, September 21, 2012 - 12:30

I think this is an exciting one.

We have many veteran teams in FRC who work extraordinarily hard year round to put themselves in a position of being able to attend several Regionals each season.  These teams sometimes also do well when it comes to awards, occasionally earning Championship qualifying awards at more than one Regional.   These teams absolutely deserve all the accolades they receive, and are rightly looked up to and respected.  However, when a single team wins more than one Championship qualifying award over the course of several regionals, it does reduce the total number of teams attending Championship based on merit.

We’ve developed a Wild Card system for the 2013 season that will provide broader distribution of merit-based Championship slots.  More details will be forthcoming, but I wanted to provide you with an outline of the system now.

If a team who wins a Regional in 2013 – in other words, if a team who is a member of the Winning Alliance – has already qualified for Championship at an earlier Regional in 2013, a ‘Wild Card’ slot is created at the Regional which they just won.  Wild Card slots are filled in the order of Finalist Alliance Captain, Finalist First Pick, Finalist Second Pick, and Finalist Backup Team.   Wild Card slots are passed to the next team in order only if the team occupying that Wild Card slot has, itself, already qualified for Championship at an earlier Regional in 2013.  The number of potential Wild Card slots created at each Regional is equal to the number of teams on the winning alliance who had already qualified for Championship at an earlier Regional in 2013.   Only teams on the Finalist Alliance are eligible for Wild Card slots.  It’s possible for a Wild Card slot to go unused, and unused Wild Card slots will not be replaced or backfilled.

Teams who are part of the District model and attend a traditional Regional are eligible for Wild Card slots in the same way as all other teams at the Regional.    

Note that only performance in the 2013 FRC season is considered in creating and awarding Wild Card slots.  Championship status based on pre-qualification (Original and Sustaining Teams, Hall of Fame Teams, 2012 FIRST Championship Winners, etc.) has no bearing on this system.

I’ll blog again soon.



I've been hoping that they would go to this model for a few years. Very excited to see it at work!

don't like this idea at all. Why is a team who gets one of these slots just because they are lucky enough to be at a regional where there is a duplicate winner deserve the spot any more than a team that wasn't lucky enough to be at a regional with a duplicate winner? This will also favor teams who attend late season regionals.

This will also leave very few spots (if non at all available) for wait listed teams.

Please don't do this. But if you do, at least give the spot to the team who is the highest seed that didn't earn a spot by being lucky enough to win.

So to be clear, a pre-qualified team that wins the regional does NOT open up a wild card slot? Not that I expect to see too many pre-qualified teams next season, but you never know.

What a great idea, much better than having teams lottery into championships based on nothing more than their ability to pay.

Do Wild Card teams get free shipping to Championships or is this simply a replacement for the previous lottery system?

Doesn't this seem inordinately biased toward the later-week regionals? Week 1 regional attendees would never benefit from wild card slots.

Our team is in it's fourth year and just now doing well, now we may have sit out a season just because we haven't won a regional.
I think we are just hurting our kids by not giving them the chance experience to grow and learn!

Hi Jorge, I just wanted to help clarify the issue for you. Although there may be some flaws in this system, it definitely does not involve excluding teams from competing. Your team will not have to sit out a season for any reason handed down from FIRST. The only real consequence is that there are less spots at championship for teams who didn't qualify for any reason. Hope your team does well this year.

Let's get everyone on the same system. Big disadvantages to the district model - now we also do not receive a wild card slot?? And all rooms will be booked by the time a championship is held in week 7

I like the idea of wildcards, but not the way they are assigned. I would suggest that at the end of the season, determine how many wildcard spots are available (either by number of duplicate Regional winners, predetermined number, or other means), then pick that number from all the Finalist Alliance Captains nationwide not going to Championship. This can be random or based on other criteria. This gives late season Finalists equal opportunity. It also prevents a Finalist Backup team (seed 32?) from one regional getting in when a Finalist Captain (seed 2?)in another did not.

I am confused about the following situations.... Are wild cards also introduced when any of the following qualifiers are on the winning team? A team could also win Chairmans, Engineering Inspiration or Rookie All Star and earn a slot. Theoretically you could have a winning alliance composed of all three of these winners. Would that mean that 3 wild card slots would be created?
If a regional chairman's winner is also the winner on the field does that open a wild card slot? The statement above seemed to indicate that you had to be a winner from some other regional...???

From the original post: "The number of potential Wild Card slots created at each Regional is equal to the number of teams on the winning alliance who had already qualified for Championship at an earlier Regional in 2013." Multiple qualifications at a single Regional by one team do not generate Wild Card slots.

thanks for that clarification... one last thing. Suppose a team has won EI or Chairman's or Rookie All Star at a previous regional. If that team now ends up on the winning alliance at a 2nd regional... will it open up a wild card?
I am not trying to be picky... I just want to know what to tell the teams I am working with.

Robert, you're killing me. And I thought we were friends :)
'Qualifying for Championship at an earlier regional' would include being part of the Winning Alliance, winning the EI, Chairman's, or RAS awards, or earning a Wild Card slot itself at the earlier event.

Thanks for the clarification... one last thing... if a team has already qualified at an earlier regional by winning Engineering Inspiration or Chairman's or Rookie All Star AND they are on the winning alliance for a subsequent regional... does THAT open up a wild card? Or is it only pre-qualified by winning a previous regional. I don't mean to be picky... I just want to have the correct information to give to teams we work with.

I think this is a great idea. How will the finalist alliance know when a wild card position is available for them to utilize?

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