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David66
03-16-2003, 08:26 PM
For about an hour now I have been reading posts from the AZ regional...to my dismay a great many of them voice concerns about "fixing matches" and ruining the spirit of FIRST. There has also been mention of this happening (although more obscurely, and less frequesntly) at annapolis. Is it happening at every regional? If so is FIRST planning to let it continue through nationals or are they going to do something about it? I am also worried because if this happened at AZ, which is a 37 robot regional, what is going to happen at one of the largest (67 robots) regionals (Great Lakes) this weekend? I know that this regional has several high quality teams that believe in FIRST (ie Teams 47, 71, 65, 67, 68, just to name a few). What do those of you attending this regional think? I think we should all come to an agreement, before the first match begins, not to do it. Let me know what you think!


*Views expressed above are the views of one individual, and are not necessarily the views held by Team 66 as a whole.*

Koci
03-16-2003, 08:29 PM
I agree that something should be done about it, and I believe that the petitions provided by us and team 68 at the AZ regional were effective. It should be made clear to every team before the competition begins, however, that most teams do not want to tolerate it.

Make sure all of the teams understands the implications of what this collusion incurs.

Ben Mitchell
03-16-2003, 08:33 PM
Mind explaining yourselves a bit more?

Koci
03-16-2003, 08:35 PM
Check out the "Fixing" matches thread...it explains it in great detail, and I explained my position fairly explicitly there.

Amanda Morrison
03-16-2003, 08:41 PM
To be honest, a lot of teams don't see what is wrong with coming to a compromise. That really depends on the person or the team. One of the great things about FIRST is that it can be whatever you make of it...and I don't see a reason for that to change. There a lot of things that might affect your standings at a regional - agreements between opposing alliances, bad referee calls, random robot parts breaking, etc. That's part of the fun. Getting past all of that and still winning, or getting past all of that and knowing that you did the right thing, is what a team should aim for. It's like a Disney movie. There's always a bad guy in the way, but the good guys always come out on top - win or lose.

The teams that you listed at the Great Lakes Regional are mostly teams that have been involved with FIRST for an extended amount of time. They know the meaning of 'gracious professionalism' inside and out, and I don't think any of them would agree to a gameplan if it didn't fall within the standards that FIRST upholds.

David66
03-16-2003, 08:44 PM
Ya, thats why I named them, they are teams that i know (or at least hope i know) would never be involved in fixing matches because they have been involved in first so long

Koci
03-16-2003, 08:51 PM
Lets put this into a different context. Suppose two NFL football teams knows that they will make the playoffs if they each tie in their final game against each other. Is it right for the two teams to discuss, and decide that they will play the game, and predetermine that it ends in a tie? First, this is against the bylaws of the NFL. Second, (in my opinion) this is completely unethical, and unfair to all of the teams who played fairly. The game should be played, and the team that wins should be allowed to go to the playoffs. If the game happens to end in a tie without any form of collusion, then it would be fair.

This fixing of matches is unfair to all the teams who spent time building a robot that plays the game correctly. The teams that have the best robots, the best strategy, and the best driving ability are no longer the teams that win.

Not only this, but it is not fun to watch a game that is fixed. There is no element of surprise, or anything to attract interest.

Good luck to all of those teams out there who play the game to the best of their ability.

Alex1072
03-16-2003, 08:56 PM
The NFL does not give you twice the opossing team's score if you win. This rule encourages cooperation between opposing teams.

Arrowsmith
03-16-2003, 08:56 PM
I didn't see or hear of any match fixing during the Buckeye Regional. Then again, I wasn't looking for it.

Carpe Budweisium= Seize the Beer.

Clanat
03-16-2003, 09:02 PM
I agree with all of you about the "fixing" that is occuring. It is totally against the spirit of FIRST and Gracious Professionalism.

There are laws against price fixing in the real world, and I think it is totally unacceptable in FIRST, even if it is an agreement to not knock down boxes.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on that, and I hope that in future regionals, and at Houston, that teams who get an offer to "fix" a match would let officials know immediately.

Amanda Morrison
03-16-2003, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by Alex1072
The NFL does not give you twice the opossing team's score if you win. This rule encourages cooperation between opposing teams.

It might encourage interaction between teams, but that doesn't mean that FIRST is encouraging plans made to help each other into the top eight.

Of course, this is debatable. But the elimination matches are there to encourage kids to think about strategy and competition while working on their engineering skills (i.e. the robot). The robots that usually win regionals, invitations, and nationals are the teams that are very hard to beat, and that have a good strategy and good design going for them...not the teams that helped each other along the way.

You shouldn't need to sign a contract saying, "hey, if you don't cheat the system for points, neither will I." I think that goes with the reason that FIRST even exists.

David66
03-16-2003, 09:07 PM
Carpe Budweisium= Seize the Beer.

try again, carpe cerevisi=seize the beer....but back to the post....how many teams would actually be willing to sign an agreement on thursday afternoon at Great Lakes to help deter this fixing? Also, are there any teams at other regionals this week that would be willing to help curve this? Leave your name and team number (for GL) and ill be sure to come see you thursday morning

goldalex
03-16-2003, 09:29 PM
I think that the fixing that these people are trying to make go down is fully and completly against what first or any other sport itself is about. I can see why teams would want to win first is a competition and the goal of a competition is in the end to win. Yet still though to win, you should win fair and square without the fixing which in my opinion is infact cheating. After reading about this i discussed it with other members of my team and they all agree with me on this topic.

Alex1072
03-16-2003, 09:37 PM
I don't believe this is "cheating" the system. I would agree that it is an unintentional part of the game, but I think it is a valid strategy. The only reason I'll opt against agreeing not to wreck stacks, is that there seams to be a general concensus that it is unfair. I do not agree with this, but I will go along with it. (I do believe it is unfair to make agreements like this when other teams are purposefully not doing it.)

I think this only serves to make the games more interesting. There is nothing stoping the teams with the better robots from applying this as well. The way I saw the game played out at the Sacramento regional, the bins played an almost negligible role in the outcome of the game. All of them were shoved into the gray zones, and matches were decided by who had more robots on the HDPE. The score in our QF match was: 51 - 6. With the other team having both robots on the HDPE. I don't think that makes for an interesting game. Agreeing not to destroy stacks encourages a higher scoring game that is imo equally competitive.

Rook
03-16-2003, 10:05 PM
Fixing matches is a load of @#$%!

Teams that use this practice are admitting defeat.

David Brinza
03-16-2003, 11:50 PM
What I found surprising in AZ was the team that was first involved in the "fixing" had a very capable robot and a good driving skills. They did stop making agreements and scored a very respectable 166 pts in the first qual match on Sat a.m. They certainly would have made it into the elimination round (if not as a seed, then an early pick).

The price for being No. 1 seed might have been a bit higher than they thought....

punarhero
03-17-2003, 12:29 AM
You know what fixing means? Fixing means you make sure certain partner of yours loses in qualifying matches to help my ranking, and I'll pick u as my alliance partner. That's what fixing is, and I COMPLETELY agree that it is against the FIRST spirit.

But just making an agreement of leaving each other's stacks alone and competing for the rest of the boxes is not. Maybe I'm not from a 6 or 7 year old team, but I've been in this competition for long enough to realize what FIRST spirit is, I think.

Making an agreement is just a strategy that maintains the sense of uncertainty and competetiveness in the competition. And again, why would FIRST make your score your score + 2 X loser's score if they didn't want the cooperation? Making agreements is just taking that cooperation to another level.

David66
03-17-2003, 12:25 PM
*think about it*
at the larger regionals, and especially at nationals there is no garuntee that you will compete against every team. these agreements may occur betwen two consenting aliances. In the next match there may be one alliance that wants to "fix" the match, and another that refuses. this gives the teams in the "fixed" match a great advantage over the alliances involved in the match that was not "fixed." This is why this practice needs to be regulated (and by regulated i mean eliminated)...you are not going to come to a 100% consensus that this practice should continue, so as long as it does some teams will have a large advantage over others. this is why it should cease.

Marc P.
03-17-2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Alex1072
The NFL does not give you twice the opossing team's score if you win. This rule encourages cooperation between opposing teams.

One match at UTC ended in a tie (fairly, I presume, I was a volunteer onstage all day, I didn't hear anything otherwise) and I guess the scoring is the same- two times the loosers score plus your own score... in the event of a tie, double the "loosers" score, and add your own score- both teams end up with 3 times their score in QP's... that may encourage some teams to try to work something out, but I do believe it discourages the spirit of what FIRST stands for: a fair and even competition in which the best robots can win.

Libel
03-18-2003, 07:18 PM
agreements aren't necessarily bad (theres too much black and white going on here without enough grey...)

when we found that other teams were doing it we decided we should do as well because if we cant beat them on our own grounds well then why not go at them with their own strategy?

anyhow, one deal that was made was when one of the alliances only had one robot because the other robotic team didnt have their robot functioning (something broke was what i heard).
so when they and we realized we could take advantage of this situation we came to a compromise which was, since they knew they couldn't get many point on a two to one match, they decided that getting as many points as possible would be great while the two robot alliance could enjoy a big boost in their average of points...

is this not one of the good aspects to stacking pacts?

David66
03-18-2003, 07:31 PM
True, this is a good thing, however, wht I am referring to is matches where both alliances have functioning robots and STILL make this pact....that is what concerns me....it would be one thing if it was allowed and EVERYONE did it, however, some teams efuse, giving he ones that accept an advantage

Cory
03-18-2003, 07:41 PM
why does making an agreement to keep stacks up make the game uninteresting? I just had to play devils advocate on this one, even though I generally agree that making agreements is not really in the spirit of FIRST. I guarentee you you could make an agreement to keep stacks up in a match, and noone, not a single person in the audience would know it happened.

Cory

Ryan Dognaux
03-18-2003, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by punarhero
You know what fixing means? Fixing means you make sure certain partner of yours loses in qualifying matches to help my ranking, and I'll pick u as my alliance partner. That's what fixing is, and I COMPLETELY agree that it is against the FIRST spirit.

But just making an agreement of leaving each other's stacks alone and competing for the rest of the boxes is not. Maybe I'm not from a 6 or 7 year old team, but I've been in this competition for long enough to realize what FIRST spirit is, I think.

Making an agreement is just a strategy that maintains the sense of uncertainty and competetiveness in the competition. And again, why would FIRST make your score your score + 2 X loser's score if they didn't want the cooperation? Making agreements is just taking that cooperation to another level.

Originally posted by tenfour
On behalf of Team #696, The Circuit Breakers, I acknowledge that we have not and we will not engage in points fixing and/or collusion, and we have played and will play all of our matches graciously and professionally using only our own abilities and those of our robot, Heather. This decision is based on the general consent of our robotics team by the authority of our Team Council, where the vote passed 4-0, with one member absent.

Thank you!
-696

It seems like your team is contradicting each other...?

Jim Meyer
03-18-2003, 09:31 PM
Since you mentioned us by #, I'll try respond to the original question. We discussed this as a team and I'm going to attempt to express the results of this discussion.

First, we are a little concerned about these petitions as they may be used to shed a negative light on teams not wishing to sign them. Our team has decided not to sign any of these petitions for this reason. We don't think there should be any negative repercussions for teams who choose to enter these agreements.

Second, we have decided not to participate in any before-match agreements to leave stacks standing. I think it boils down to the fact that we like the stack building/guarding aspect of the game and want to include it in our matches. A personal analogy is that I prefer to play in, and watch football games where a team relies primarily on running the ball (maybe it's because I'm a Husker), but I don't have any hard feelings against teams who prefer to pass.

Redhead Jokes
03-18-2003, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by Jim Meyer
First, we are a little concerned about these petitions as they may be used to shed a negative light on teams not wishing to sign them. Our team has decided not to sign any of these petitions for this reason. We don't think there should be any negative repercussions for teams who choose to enter these agreements.

Second, we have decided not to participate in any before-match agreements to leave stacks standing.

So far 5 mentors, including me, have concluded the same thing. We're having a team meeting Sunday.

DougHogg
03-18-2003, 11:06 PM
Originally posted by Jim Meyer
Since you mentioned us by #, I'll try respond to the original question. We discussed this as a team and I'm going to attempt to express the results of this discussion.

First, we are a little concerned about these petitions as they may be used to shed a negative light on teams not wishing to sign them. Our team has decided not to sign any of these petitions for this reason. We don't think there should be any negative repercussions for teams who choose to enter these agreements.

Second, we have decided not to participate in any before-match agreements to leave stacks standing. I think it boils down to the fact that we like the stack building/guarding aspect of the game and want to include it in our matches. A personal analogy is that I prefer to play in, and watch football games where a team relies primarily on running the ball (maybe it's because I'm a Husker), but I don't have any hard feelings against teams who prefer to pass.

How will your team feel if you win and legitimately score 186 qualifying points, and then you see 2 other teams score 322 qualifying points by making a pre-match agreement to leave 6 bin stacks at each end?

The purpose of the petition at Arizona was to get agreement between the teams there on how we were going to play the game. Although a few teams wouldn't sign it, they did stop the practice. And I would like to thank them for that. Basically I think that they could see that it was upsetting to teams who wanted to play a 2-on-2 game as originally envisoned.

The problem seems to be that it needs to be all or none, or the teams wind up playing 2 different games, with 2-on-2 teams scoring much less. If you don't mind that, I guess there is no problem. Our team worked really hard to make a competitive robot, and while we don't mind being lower in the seeds to robots and teams that were better, we didn't like the idea of that occurring because teams were making agreements to preserve each others stacks. Also quite frankly, we didn't want to play that game ourselves, where things were orchestrated between the alliances, and we predicted that it would spread to letting all 4 robots up on the ramp and eventually to sharing the bins. That sounded boring to us. I mean how much challenge is there to build a 6 stack, knock down half the bins on each side and then roll all 4 robots up on the ramp. Not much, but the score would be impressive (until everybody started getting the same score).

I find myself somewhat amazed that I didn't see any sign of opponent agreements last year.

Have a great regional.

Clanat
03-19-2003, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by DougHogg
I find myself somewhat amazed that I didn't see any sign of opponent agreements last year.

Unfortunately, at Nationals last year, we were approached with an agreement like these ones, "You leave our ball collector alone, and we will leave yours alone."

We didn't feel this was really Graciously Professional, and politely declined.

It is often a smart thing to leave the stacks alone, but agreements to artificially inflate the score hurts everyone else, and mostly the Stackers. This seems to kind of defeat the purpose of innovative designs, when the same end can be achieved by unwarranted "cooperation."

As said in other threads, FIRST didn't like the idea of agreeing to not knock down stacks, or "Fixing" the matches.

One thing you have to ask yourself is: What if everyone did it? What if everyone took it to the extreme? I think the result would be some fairly boring matches in which no stacks got knocked over, no boxes ended up in the neutral zone, and every robot got on to the ramp. What kind of "Made for TV" competition is that? FIRST has a vision of becoming mainstream, and it won't happen if agreements are made to make it less competitive.

About the FIRST wants teams to cooperate, they want teams to help each other solve problems, or plan strategies with teammates, but they didn't intend for opponents to cooperate with each other, and thus cooperate against everyone else at the competition.


True, it may be a good idea to be able to maximize the score to not knock down stacks, and even to let robots on the ramp, but it sure isn't to have everyone eliminating possibilities for matches just because they won't help the score.

Redhead Jokes
03-19-2003, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by Clanat
As said in other threads, FIRST didn't like the idea of agreeing to not knock down stacks, or "Fixing" the matches.


*confused* I know about FIRST addressing fixing the match to get a tie
link (http://jive.ilearning.com/thread.jsp?forum=2&thread=740&tstart=360&trange=15)

but where does FIRST address not liking the idea of agreeing to knock down stacks?

DougHogg
03-19-2003, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by Clanat
Unfortunately, at Nationals last year, we were approached with an agreement like these ones, "You leave our ball collector alone, and we will leave yours alone."

We didn't feel this was really Graciously Professional, and politely declined.


Thanks for the feedback. I guess we lucked out last year. No one approached us at all. In fact no one approached us this year in Arizona either.


It is often a smart thing to leave the stacks alone, but agreements to artificially inflate the score hurts everyone else, and mostly the Stackers. This seems to kind of defeat the purpose of innovative designs, when the same end can be achieved by unwarranted "cooperation."

As said in other threads, FIRST didn't like the idea of agreeing to not knock down stacks, or "Fixing" the matches.

One thing you have to ask yourself is: What if everyone did it? What if everyone took it to the extreme? I think the result would be some fairly boring matches in which no stacks got knocked over, no boxes ended up in the neutral zone, and every robot got on to the ramp. What kind of "Made for TV" competition is that? FIRST has a vision of becoming mainstream, and it won't happen if agreements are made to make it less competitive.

About the FIRST wants teams to cooperate, they want teams to help each other solve problems, or plan strategies with teammates, but they didn't intend for opponents to cooperate with each other, and thus cooperate against everyone else at the competition.

True, it may be a good idea to be able to maximize the score to not knock down stacks, and even to let robots on the ramp, but it sure isn't to have everyone eliminating possibilities for matches just because they won't help the score.

I agree.

I wish you were coming to S. Calif. but maybe we will see you and your team in Houston, and we can work on keeping the competition a 2-on-2 game as per the kickoff.

David66
03-19-2003, 12:29 PM
I would like to apologize to those teams mentioned by number in this thread. I never meant to "call you out" I made an assumption based on my knowledge of FIRST and those particular teams. I only wished to acknowledge teams that (from my individual experience) believed in and follows he message of FIRST. If it is causing you or your team any trouble let me know and I will delete this thread.

Again, I would like to reiterate my original disclaimer

*This tread was started by a single team members. the views presented by this member are those of a single person and do not necessarily reflect the views of team 66 as a whole*

Koko Ed
03-19-2003, 12:31 PM
*Looks at watch and counts down to when Brandon will find it and lock it up*

Ben Mitchell
03-19-2003, 01:44 PM
Yeah, seriously.

Give it a rest, people - go argue on another forum, leave this one in peace.

Brandon Martus
03-19-2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Koko Ed
*Looks at watch and counts down to when Brandon will find it and lock it up* Sometimes I don't know until people tell me.

-- begin default 'fixing' closing message --

I think the 3+ threads have accomplished enough discussion about this.

Let's put it on the back burner and bring it up in a week or so if there's more to be said.

Ken L said it best:Take a few steps back, spend a day or two reading what's been posted, organize your thoughts and think about it, and then figure out what's the best way to fix this problem. And I think locking some of the threads for a day or two will help folks think more clearly.