Thanks for the clarifications!
My situation is possibly a little unusual, in that I'm new to FLL and apparently doing things backwards. :-)
My son starts 4th grade next month, and I'm confident enough that he will find enough classmates to start a team that I've signed up and paid for an EV3 set, the field kit and registration out of pocket. (Ouch).
When school starts, he will be recruiting other team members, and I'll be talking to parents to get them involved; to help with the coaching, fundraising etc. I would have preferred to recruit a team first, then fundraise and finally do national/regional registration and pay for the field kit and robot, but the timeline didn't seem to work; if I started fundraising when school starts in early September and ordered/paid for everything (hopefully) a few weeks later, it would be October by the time the kids had the robot and field kit, and they'd only have about a month to get ready for the tournament.
Anyway, the reason I was asking for clarification about the tournament(s) is that I want to make sure I give the other parents accurate information about what is involved. Thanks for all the responses!