No, I don’t have access to any of that data.
Perhaps I’m naive and I’m not exposed to the conniving that kids (or more likely, coaches & parents on behalf of their kids) engage in with the goal of gaming the system in order to win events. Will this lead to a bunch of 6th grade teams that are in a 6-8 school playing against the elementary school kids? I’d think that the kids would want to play with their own age. I know that when I got out of elementary school, I didn’t want anything to do with those ‘young kids’ (and same for leaving middle school, and high school, …).
You are going to have complete seventh grade teams competing in Elementary School. Whatever they can do to be on top of the playing field.
It’s not that I think a lot of teams will “exploit” the change, but the ones that do will be experienced teams with the eye on the prize. You may only have a couple of 7th grade teams in a region but they will be dominant.
I’m a 6-8 teacher and I’ll run them as middle school. I would be personally and professionally embarrassed to have my Westwood Middle School teams winning awards in elementary. I won’t even bring it up as an option. But the elementary teams won’t have the option to choose a k-5 or k-6 or k-7 bracket. They’ll get what they get.
Now middle school teams will have to compete with a small number of 9th grade teams. I can’t imagine, but maybe some of my kids will continue on for a year after they leave 8th grade. I have a number of kids that have kits at home and could give it a go.
I agree that age is a better way to go. I also that that a 2-year window for middle school is too small. I also know this is a really tough question, and all I’m doing is poking at it. It’s impossible to get right, so we will work with wherever it lies.
I would rather see the age range stay as it was prior to this announcement even though it benefits us as a team. I like the 6-8 MS range and under that ES. I see these ES students being intimidated by this age bracket and I love to see them enter robotics and want them to have fun. I’m not pandering, our first year as ES in 4th grade we competed in five blended tournaments with ES through 8th grade in FL and went undefeated. But I am trying to think of it more as the entry range instead of the competitive range (we had some advantage there).
Garrett will be playing up. To me, it is not about the winning- It is about progressing! They love the challenge!