9 16 07 Note

September 16, 2007

Kristen, Steve, Dave D. and Dave A.

How Many Teams Can We Handle in Our Tournament?

One of the questions we need to answer early, to be able to do detailed planning, is how many teams will we be able to accommodate at the Tournament (DART).

Limited size of the areas available for the pit area and the robot competition
The number of volunteers we have
The fact that we are just getting started. How limited are our "courage" and "effort" resources?

On the other hand, no one want to leave an interested team out.

I have created a sample schedule (at http://robotics.wikidot.com/schedule) based on the assumption of ten teams. That is our five teams plus five more. To put this in perspective, Steve has a total of 2 - 4 teams in Enfield, in addition to his own. Kristen gave me a list of 8 or 9 teams in addition to her own. So a plan for 10 teams would leave at least 10 -12 teams without spots (if they are interested).

Look at the schedule. How many teams should we create capacity for. If we want to increase the number, what changes should we make.

1. Shorten the times teams can spend in each venue (cycle times in the schedule contain some fixed requirement for moving teams in and out of the venue, so reducing these times means subtracting from student contact time, the heart of the tournament)

2. Work through lunch. Do we have the stamina and volunteer resources for this?

3. Increase the number of venues. Is this even possible? Besides space, it requires increasing the number of highly competent volunteers required.

4. Lengthen the tournament day.

The above approaches adjust the variables in the current equation. We can also change the equation: the tournament structure. For example we can double the number of robot competition tables (by eliminating the audience) and reduce the scope of the other judging venues by combining Technical judging and Project judging into one combined judging exercise. This reduces logistical overhead but also reduces the the realism of the experience.

I'm sure you guys can all do the math. Please let me know what you think. Do the five of us need to sit down together when Kristen get back to campus next week ?

I have also added some detail to the DART website. The Technical Judging , Research Project Judging and Robot Competition pages show my initial thoughts on what the organizer of each venue might need to decide on.

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