Now that the 2018-19 season is upon us, we have had a chance to see how the Early-Bird system is working and feel some adjustments are warranted. We have seen several scenarios regarding Early-Bird.
There are regions that continue to need a system to limit the registration of teams to events, so that all teams have a chance to play in at least some events. Early-Bird has successfully done that.
However, we also have regions where events never fill to capacity and where teams are regularly able to find events to participate in. In regions with sufficient capacity, Early-bird does not prevent teams from eventually signing up for events, but it is causing unnecessary frustration as teams now have to wait for the regular registration period. We understand that this has frustrated teams wishing to pre-plan their season well in advance. The REC Foundation feels that in these regions Early-Bird is not necessary to assure teams a chance to play and that the Early-Bird registration should be shut off.
We have been listening to our event partner and team feedback. Based on this feedback the REC Foundation is adapting the Early-Bird system to make it more flexible to the meet the needs of the various regions in our programs. The Regional Support Manager in each region will be able to implement the Early-Bird registration process that best fits the needs of their region.
For those regions where events fill as soon as they are posted, and where teams that start later in the season will be left without a place to play, we will keep Early-Bird in place.
For regions with specific events that are not anticipated to fill, where late starting teams will still have a chance to play, the Early-Bird registration period will be turned off and all teams will be given the opportunity to register as soon as registration for that event opens.
It is important to realize that under the relaxed Early-Bird registration guidelines a region may have events both with and without Early-Bird registration periods. The REC Foundation understands that there has been confusion among teams trying to register during the Early-Bird period as to what constitutes two events. During the Early-Bird period for an event, Robot Events simply counts the number of events a team is registered for and does not differentiate between Early-Bird events and Standard registration events.
Simply stated, if a team is trying to register for an event during the Early-Bird period for an event, Robot Events will look to see if that team has already registered for 2 events. If that team has registered for two events, then the team will have to wait to register during the Standard Registration period 6-weeks prior to the event. If that team has not registered for 2 events, then the team will be able to register during that Early-Bird period. If the event has Early-Bird turned off all teams will be able to register, just like last season.
We have received many great suggestions for improving the Early-Bird system and are looking into incorporating those that are feasible into next season. Our goal is to make the system as simple and as fair as possible. We strive to maintain the accessibility and availability of our programs to all teams.
The REC Foundation also strives to assure that our event partners who run tournaments are able to have their teams play at events they host. We also wish to reward event partners for their dedicated service to others. To achieve this goal, event partners are able to register their teams for their own events as well as 2 other events during the Early-Bird period.
The REC Foundation