Recently, our club has recently announced a rather large (and to some, upsetting) change - we will no longer be allowed to go to the US Create Open tournament after this season, even if future teams qualify. The only championship events we will be allowed to go to are the state and world championships.
There were a few reasons regarding this decision:
Worlds and US Create both take place in April, there’s quite the amount of class time missed
US Create is run by the Create foundation, and not VEX/RECF, so it’s not as important
Administration doesn’t like us travelling 7-8 hours away with school property and competing
I guess this is just context/background information that might be nice to consider -
Our school funds the club’s budget for parts, 1-2 tournament registrations per team (7 in our organization) and state championships - in the past when teams wanted to go to US CREATE or Worlds, they had to pay for it themselves (registration, transportation, lodging, etc.) with only some costs covered by the administration. This season they almost stopped us from going, but we barely got it past the administration and teams are now covering the full blow of the cost.
Our organization has had several consecutive seasons where teams have participated in the US Open, starting at the latest in the Starstruck season, all the way to now.
Our organization doesn’t always qualify to worlds every season, so if we are not allowed to go to US Create and we don’t qualify for worlds at the state championships, everyone’s season ends there.
This change accompanied several others, but this change seemed to bother everyone the most.
Club coaches have brought up the idea of creating a private team if current team members are dedicated enough to the idea.
I just wanted to hear the opinions of the more experienced people on the forums, because a lot of the current team members want to find a way to repeal this. Has anyone else gone through a similar situation before?
** Preface - we’re a small, independent team that is self-funded, so the situation is, of course, pretty different. I think the general gist is relevant, though!
We’ve never gone to the US Create, despite having gotten a bid for it every year for many, many years (Vex IQ at first then Vex VRC for 3 seasons). Pretty much every year we’ve had the same back and forth, should we / shouldn’t we discussion, and the points raised have always been very similar to those you’ve listed above. We end up making the decision every year not to go, since we’d rather go to Worlds (if we qualify) and we can’t easily afford the time and money to go to both.
That said - my general thoughts:
I think it is reasonable for the school to just make that determination before it ever becomes a question, since they have a lot more bureaucracy to wade through and a lot of “behind the scenes” things they are likely dealing with. (Although I will add that if we WERE part of a school I’d be miffed about it being a pre-made decision! Lol)
If we had enough extra funding to easily afford both, we’d probably push harder to do more traveling (in your case, the fact that it sounds like the school doesn’t have to pay for any of it, which is basically extra funding).
If we DID get a bunch of extra money for traveling, we’d probably choose to go to a Signature Event over US Create. Those have at least the possibility of getting a Worlds bid and are generally far enough before Worlds to make timing easier.
My guess, based on the facts you’ve presented, is that there is more to this with your school than meets the eye. I would guess there has been / might be some specific issue that is causing the decision to be made; perhaps something like kids falling behind on school work, the Admin getting dinged for having kids away for over xx days in a year, or the State taking an issue with having kids gone more than xx days in a specific month. I don’t know enough about what a school must have to deal with for traveling to have a good idea of what the issue might be (and I would assume each district is different), but if I were in your situation that is what I’d be researching / asking them about.
See if you can find out what the core problem the school is concerned about is so that you can address it directly.
Ask if maybe you can set it up so that you can go to US Create only if you don’t get a Worlds bid. Since the time away, cost, and (probably) distance are at least fairly comparable, if you were only going to 1 maybe that would be allowed. This does mean that your pre-payment to US Create will probably be lost (non-refundable after a certain point) if you get Worlds qualified, but that might just be a “cost of the agreement”. We did do it that way 1 year - paid for US Create, got a Worlds bid, could only do 1 so we lost most of the US Create reg fee.
Ask if you can go to a Signature Event. That would solve several of the issues listed, as they take place earlier than April and are run by Vex/RECF, plus it adds the benefit that there is a Worlds qualifier.