Standard District Points Ranking System – More Info

Blog Date: 
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 13:31

I’ve provided some clarifications and more information related to the FRC Standard District Points Ranking System below.  In addition, the summary document has been updated.  You may find the new version here.

Team Age

Team Age points are applied only once per season, not once per event.

If the new points system had been in place in 2013, Michigan would have had three Rookies (all Rookie All Star winners) at their Championship rather than the zero that qualified under the old system.  Also, no additional second year teams, other than those already present, would have made the cutoff.  As noted in the document describing the new system, the intent of awarding these points is to increase the chance that younger teams will make it to District Championships.  We can’t predict the precise effect this will have in 2014, but the team members assembling this approach felt the points we are awarding will provide a reasonable boost to younger teams without unbalancing the system.

Tie Breakers

In determining advancement to the District Championship, tie breakers are applied using data from the first two district events the team attends chronologically.  These are the same events considered in non-tie-breaking portion of the system.  Third or later events are not considered. 

In determining advancement to the FIRST Championship, tie breakers are applied using data from the first two district events the team attends chronologically, as well as data from the District Championship.  With the exception of tie breakers related to Match Scores (tie breakers 7 to 9), Points earned at the District Championship in tie-breaking categories are multiplied by three to highlight the importance of performing well at the District Championship in earning advancement.  The updated summary document expands and clarifies information on tie breakers.

FIRST Championship Slot Allocations for Districts

This topic is tangential to the points ranking system itself, but I did mention it in the points ranking system summary document, and it’s generated much interest, so I’d like to provide additional detail.

Historically, new Districts had been awarded a number of FIRST Championship slots equal to six times the number of Regionals  from their geographic region that were eliminated during the District conversion.  This approach is not sustainable, and raises questions of fairness when considering planned districts having Regionals of differing team capacities.

Our intent in the 2015 season is to move to a proportional representation system at the FIRST Championship, based on team counts.  Districts will receive the percentage of available slots at the FIRST Championship, rounded up to the nearest whole slot, equal to the percentage of teams they have in their district compared to all of FRC in the current season.  In calculating available slots at the FIRST Championship, pre-qualified teams will be excluded.  As a reference point, you can see the list of pre-qualified teams for 2014 here:  http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/championship-eligibility-criteria .  There are 27 pre-qualified teams in 2014, which means with our planned 400 teams at the FIRST Championship, we’ll have 373 available slots.

These allocated slots are guaranteed to the Districts.  These slots will be made up of qualifying award winners from the District Championship  (for example, the Chairman’s Award winners), along with any qualifying award winners among district teams who traveled to Regionals, plus the teams on the final District ranking list, as deep in the ranking list as the district needs to go to fill their allocation.     If a District team earns a slot at the FIRST Championship, but is not able to attend for whatever reason, the top ranked team who has not yet been offered a slot is given the opportunity, and so on, until all slots are filled.  As noted in the summary document, District teams earning FIRST Championship slots at Regionals do count against the District allocation.  Even though a District team may earn their FIRST Championship slot at a Regional, they are still from the District and can be considered part of the District contingent to the Championship.  Not counting these slots against the District allocation would allow District representation to exceed their fair share of available slots at the FIRST Championship.  Also, it’s important to remember that while a District team can travel to a Regional to earn a slot, it’s not possible for a non-District team to earn a slot within the District system.

Pre-qualified teams from a District do not count against their slot allocation.  Districts are able to send to the FIRST Championship the number of unique teams allocated to them using the proportional representation model, plus their unique pre-qualified teams.  Unlike the allocated slots, however, slots for pre-qualified teams may not be backfilled.  If a pre-qualified team from a District is not able to attend the FIRST Championship, it will not be replaced with another team from the District.  A pre-qualified team slot is reserved for that specific team only, not the District from which that team comes.

We will be easing the full transition in 2015 to the proportional representation system by taking a modified approach in 2014.  To eliminate uncertainty with the number of slots being awarded, we are using 2013 season team counts rather than current season (2014) counts.  Also, to make this change less sudden for existing districts, and to make the allocation more closely match early discussions FIRST HQ had with new districts being formed, I am adding a single FIRST Championship slot for each District to the allocations that were determined mathematically from the 2013 team counts.  As a practical matter, these additional slots will reduce by four the number of waitlist slots available at the FIRST Championship.

Final FIRST Championship allocations for Districts are shown in the table below.  Please remember that any pre-qualified teams Districts have are added to this total, assuming the pre-qualified teams attend the event:

District 2014 FIRST Championship Allocation
FiM 32
MAR 18
NE 24
PNW 24

 

I’ll blog again soon.

Frank

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