What is Lottery?
[updated for 2015 Trash Trek Season]
If your team was announced as advancing and/or your team received the “Advancing to Championship Event” ACE Certificate, your team is invited to the Championship. You do not need to concern your team with the lottery at all. Your team is “in”!
The issue is that the number of announced advancing teams does not quite fill each Championship.
The easiest district to understand is the Capital district which had 10 tournaments, each with 16 teams. (Note that each district has a similar problem and this has been true for a couple of years).
There is a 48 team Championship. In the Capital district, there are 10 qualifier tournaments, each with 16 teams. How do you fill the Championship in the most equitable way?
The advancement rate is an average – not the individual average from each tournament. So in the example with Capital district, there are 160 competing teams (10 qualifiers each with 16 teams). The percentage of advancing teams to fill a 48 team Championship is 48/160 is exactly 30%. However there is no equitable way to give every tournament 30%, so we run a lottery to fill the Championship as directed by FIRST.
This is true in each district with more or less number of lottery spots. There is no equitable way to exactly fill the 48 team Capital Championship giving every tournament the exact same number of advancing slots (48 /10 = 4.8). So, each Capital district QT advanced 4 announced teams plus one additional unannounced team. A similar issue happened in the other 2 districts as well.
So, your tournament may have had slightly less than 30% of announced advancing teams, but on average, after we fill the 48-team Championship, the average will be 30%. For the small number of instances where a tournament advanced at least 30%, then that qualifier did not get put in the lottery.
Which teams were entered into the lottery – the judges used the same criteria as the announced advancing teams: A team need to be eligible to advance (based on being in the top 55% of the robot game performance scores and the overall advancement eligibility criteria defined by FIRST), BUT was not announced as advancing, the judges then picked one more team (unannounced) and provided that information to Playing At Learning.
We then put all of these for each district together and did a random pick to fill the championship tournament.
There is a chance that if we have teams that decline to participate in the Championship that we will add additional lottery teams and then may even have to open it up to any eligible team.