Early-Bird Adjustments

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.

Regards,

The REC Foundation

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@JimCrane Thank you Jim for the consideration.

I had a question about early bird. Is a team held off from registering during early bird if they have used two early birds during a season OR if they have two early birds pending? Meaning, if I sign up for an early bird tournament that is on 10/6 and one on 12/16 I am now held off to only sign up during the normal registration times for any future events. Now, on 10/7, after the 10/6 tournament, do I now have one more active early bird I can use, i.e. is it released?

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@TriDragon you have identified one of the greatest causes of confusion, so I thank you for the question.

Early-Bird is part of each event, not something that you have to use or spend.

When you go to register for an event that is in the Early-Bird period, the system will look to see if you have already registered for 2 other events, past or future. If you are registered for 2 other events it will not let you register for any more events that are still in their Early-Bird period.

Specifically to your hypothetical. If you sign up for events on 10/6 and 12/16, you are now in the system as being registered to two events. You will never be able to register during the Early-Bird period of any other event this season. You will have to wait for Standard Registration to open before you can register for a 3rd event.

I hope that this answers your question.

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Got it, thank you

This doesn’t apply to EP teams correct? Per the document, I can still register my teams for 2 events and then an event I host, right?

I mean document or not, I can let my own teams into my tournament up and until I run the event schedule.

no piece of paper will tell me I cannot do that, that is half the reason we host events.

although I imagine it would lock you out of early bird registration if you haven’t already used them.

I have three events, and I can put my teams in all three. Once I put them in two, they are locked out of early bird registration for other tournaments.

you should be able to use the early bird registrations on other tournaments and then sign them up for your own.

If not, I’d just drop the max registrations and then add them when I’m making the event.

Absolutely. However, I’m in Florida, where this kind of thing isn’t as much of a problem.

Yeah, same up here.

In California it’s a bigger deal because there are teams that travel constantly, but things are pretty slow right now because of the v5 rollout

Hopefully they take us off the naughty list…

Its a huge issue for our VIQ program. As of today we have 1,044 IQ teams and 2153 tournament spots available.

If each spot were allotted fairly each team would only be able to go to 2 events.

I and my other colleagues have argued that each team should go to at least 4 events to facilitate healthy growth in the states program, but some teams don’t go to more than one.

We just don’t have enough EPs. For reasons that escape me, we will have FEWER IQ events this year and the program is expected to grow beyond last years 1,200 teams. We are currently projecting 1600 IQ teams. My coach from High school and I are hosting 8 IQ events in our town of 25,000 to support those teams and give them an opportunity to compete multiple times. We are also hosting an unofficial weekly league to support the countie’s 30+ unofficial IQ teams. These teams will not pay the $150 fee to register to only be able to go to one or two tournaments.

we got an email a night or two ago that early bird was no longer in effect in Indiana (for VRC). I got 16 event sign ups the next day :slight_smile: