wow… I woke up and saw all these posts.
@Dave_Flowerday guess I am one of those in your list of spoilt whiners. lol.
It took a while for me to reply because there is so much that I want to talk about…
Well… to all those who might still not be aware or notice - my “whining” is my last bid attempt to keep VRC alive in Singapore.
I have been in VRC since Elevation (and of course, in robotics much longer than that). I do love VRC. I like the focus of VRC as compared to FIRST - more about robots, more (relatively) affordable, structured, a long enough season for me to use as a tool for my robotics club, etc.
In the initial years, there was a push for the international teams. That’s when the number of china teams shot up and even in Singapore we had a peak of about 80+ teams.
I do understand that all organisations will need to review their mission, vision, strategic plans from time to time. And that’s why I mentioned in my earlier post that RECF has done nothing wrong and it is up to the international teams to decide if they still want to continue with RECF’s new direction.
Think no one can deny that worlds is increasingly becoming more and more US-centric.
One might say that it is only fair - going by the number of registered teams in the respective regions.
But there are so many factors involved when we are talking about growth, in fact, it is the rate of growth that we are looking at. It is just too simplistic to look at the number and say - it is fair.
Fairness and equality is when everyone has equal access and has a fair chance of qualifying for worlds (since the context is about making it to worlds, then I will use this as the end goal).
So in this sense, is it really equality at work?
This notion of equality then leads to the next point - the notion of meritocracy.
In the earlier years of VRC, there was this sense of meritocracy. It doesn’t matter where you are from, if you are good enough, then you deserved to be in worlds.
The focus was more on robots’ performance than other judges’ awards (except for excellence and design - which have always been highly regarded).
But nowadays we are hearing so many “whining” about the unfairness of the judges awards, the focus of worlds seems not to be looking for the best robots, etc.
I would like to think skills challenge or worlds qualifications via global skills ranking is meritocracy at work.
I really think the root of all these could be traced to this issue at heart - is RECF and VRC still holding meritocracy as their number 1 priority? (or maybe it has never been… I wouldn’t know… since I was not in the discussions with the founding members).
The “Singapore Issue” - it should be renamed as the “Small regions issue”.
In another post quite some time back, I tried explaining why for Singapore, and also the smaller regions, it is so difficult to grow.
The constraints that we have etc. I am not going to bore all of you with the details again.
Just to simplify the entire thing - let’s just remember Singapore is smaller than LA or NYC or HK.
And now throw in the government’s changed in policies regarding schools going overseas and pragmatic approach regarding KPIs, etc. it is not difficult to see why schools would rather opt for easier options (i.e. competitions that allow them to go for international level tournaments easier).
Another example I can think of will be Hawaii. No matter what you do, there is only so much they can grow.
They have strong teams as well… Hawaiian Kids, Pearl City, etc…
Committed mentors and kids… Coach Edwin, etc…
But is it fair to expect them to grow as fast as the rest of the states?
Every small regions has their own set of unique constraints. By default, nobody wants to remain “small”, but there must be some unique situation that caused them to remain small.
So let’s not just brushed aside the small region issues and say - you guys are just lazy… just go and grow your region instead of whining.
Right from the beginning, the yardstick used is already unfair to the smaller regions.
I have never exactly whined about the number of spots allocated to Singapore. Even when they cut it down to 1 spot few years ago, I just accepted it and won the spots via skills challenge. That’s because I do understand the rationale behind all these changes by RECF.
All I am asking for is a fair chance for my teams (and those from smaller regions) to qualify for worlds (am I still asking too much?), and signature events is not a fair chance.
Back to the topic about signature events…
The idea of giving kids the “worlds” experience without going to worlds is great.
But the idea of using them as a worlds-qualifying opportunities is bad.
I would rather have the signature events as the 2nd-tier worlds events, something like US Open.
So even if the teams couldn’t make it to worlds, they can go/qualify for a signature event.
It will still be a great experience and end goal for all the teams.
Think I will keep the future plans of 8059 in a separate post… nearer to worlds.
I am 90% sure it will be our last worlds and involvement in vex.
No hard feelings here… I am old enough to understand things and situation evolved. No matter how long we have been involved or like the programme, when it is time to move on, then we just got to move on.
But @Anomaly - thanks for speaking up for us. really appreciate it.
And do drop by during worlds to take a pic!!
In fact - to all out there… do drop by and say hi and take a pic with us