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View Full Version : Survey of the 2004 NJ Regional- The good, the Bad and the So-So


Rich Wong
03-09-2004, 07:52 AM
Survey of the 2004 NJ Regional- The good, the bad and the so-so

To ALL NJ Regional Teams, volunteers and visitors:

I think everyone’s NJ FIRST hangover have cleared up by now so I would like to collect some opinions about this year NJ Regional, compile all it, then pass it on to the NJ Director & Organizer.
Your opinion counts! :D

I’ve already started collecting many posting from CD (like the food situation, the accessibility, parking and sound system.....)
So please post your constructive opinion on CD or e-mail me directly (please no IM; it is difficult to cut & paste :ahh: ).
:)

nuggetsyl
03-09-2004, 08:16 AM
Also guys for every problem can you come up with some type of answer. I work on the reagional commity and this would make our job 10x easier to have several different solutions.

shaun

PS with regards to the food we had no choise in prices or type that was a soverbank thing

Rich Kressly
03-09-2004, 08:18 AM
1. Volunteer staff/inspectors/refs/judges/innovationfirst staff - awesome, especially when dealing with the problems that came up

2. Food situation - needs improvement - no breakfast options, over priced, can't even eat you own food on a bus in the parking lot (At least try to get the venue to lighten up on food in the parking lot)

3. Venue - very nice, good viewing, a more direct route from seats to pit would be nice (Maybe keep first row of seats empty?)

4. Field/software issues - This one is not related specifically to NJ, but let's try to have major field/software bugs worked out prior to week one.

5. When Autodesk animations are played is there any way to use the real sound for the entries? (This is an easy fix, isn't it?)

jfischer
03-09-2004, 09:43 AM
1. The staff and volunteers were great. They worked hard to keep things organized and on schedule.

2. The food situation was awful. Poor quality, long lines, limited selection, and overpriced. The food was much better at the RAC last year. Something really needs to be done about this.

3. There was only one exit from the pits to the stands. This was very congested and could represent a safety hazard.

4. The arena had good views from all the seats, and the seats were comfortable.

5. The glitches in the scoring and standings software need to be worked out before the first regionals are run.

6. Overall, it was a very successful event. I would like to thank all of the people involved in organizing the NJ Regional.

RoboMom
03-09-2004, 11:08 AM
1. The staff and volunteers were great. They worked hard to keep things organized and on schedule.

2. The food situation was awful. Poor quality, long lines, limited selection, and overpriced. The food was much better at the RAC last year. Something really needs to be done about this.

3. There was only one exit from the pits to the stands. This was very congested and could represent a safety hazard.

4. The arena had good views from all the seats, and the seats were comfortable.

5. The glitches in the scoring and standings software need to be worked out before the first regionals are run.

6. Overall, it was a very successful event. I would like to thank all of the people involved in organizing the NJ Regional.


Hey you wrote mine already!
A few more comments.
1. I've already beaten the food and WATER issue to death. See the other strands.
2. Safety. We had a bad scene on our hands on Sat. I tried talking to some of the volunteers but nobody really seemed concerned. There were HUNDREDS of people pushing, in a nice way, but pushing, their way back to the pits after the alliances were chosen on Sat. down those steps. It was EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. One line of people became 2, then 3, then 4, lines of people streaming down the stairs. All it would have taken was one person tripping and you would have had a big falling mass.
There needs to be at least another exit/entrance into the pits at this venue for SAFETY. Also, the pits need a way to circle the perimeter. Teams were blocking off flow routes.
3. Judy did a great job as ?pit boss? or whatever her title was.
4. I appreciate that there were major software glitches so the rankings couldn't be updated. Can these been tested, say on Wed?
5. They should not have delayed the practice matches so long on Thursday. I know there were problems, but...
6. Thanks to all the hardworking volunteers.

RoboMom
03-09-2004, 11:13 AM
Also, the inspections seemed efficient. Thanks for coming to us for most of it. How come the box was changed to go in sideways?

Andy Brockway
03-09-2004, 11:58 AM
1. Pit exit - one on each side to the stands would have helped.
2. Robot flow - best I ever saw, Two staging areas per side allowed time to gather your thoughts plus gave the scouts time to see who was coming up. In one side and out the other kept the congestion to a minimum.
3. Pit boss - first week bugs hindered her but I think she did a great job! If she had the info to give out, it was there!
4. Sound System - there was some echo from the field to the pits and sometimes you could not hear in the pits. This was still better than the having a speaker in your pit turned up loud for the rest of the pits to hear.
5. Volunteers - They all did a fantastic job, friendly, helpful, great sense of humor. I wonder how many lost their voices?

KathieK
03-09-2004, 12:22 PM
Have consistency in enforcing the venue rules as outlined in the manual, ie noisemakers and not allowing food to be brought in. To disallow it one day, then allow it the next is confusing at the very least. Either allow it or disallow it, but be consistent!

I agree about the animation clips being played with their music - the music is an integral portion of the piece and is worked on very hard by the teams. I hope it was played as intended for the judging. And perhaps they could be shown just before the awards ceremony so everyone could see them. One of our animators was also on our drive team and never got to see it on the big screen.

Everything else was fine - especially appreciated the efforts of the police outside who stopped traffic to allow us to cross the roads.

petek
03-09-2004, 12:33 PM
PA & DJ: Easy to hear from the stands, without being too loud. Thankyou for managing this aspect so well. This was the first regional I've gone to without suffering hearing loss. I thought the tunes were pretty good, too.

Crowd control in stands/aisles: Very good and not overbearing. Much better than at the Rutgers fieldhouse where the security staff sometimes acted like stormtroopers.

I know the food thing is out of your control, but please send our feedback to the arena management. The food was really awful!

Bus unloading/loading & morning queue: very good traffic flow, at least when we were coming and going.

Kudos to the person(s) who thought of limiting the crate-opening crew to three per team. The pits were much less congested Thurs AM than usual.

RoboMom
03-09-2004, 12:35 PM
Kathie, thanks for remembering to mention the police outside. They were very helpful, especially when we were leaving.
Also, we were unfortunate to have the pit speaker right by our heads. It was awful. All the teams in the area took turns climbing over the railing and turning it to face away. And then someone would turn it back. There has to be another way.
Thanks again.

Carol
03-09-2004, 01:02 PM
Some consistency in noisemakers is needed. Banging sticks together was banned, but horns, drums, rattles and cowbells were allowed. And the rules changed day by day. Perhaps a clear explanantion of what is allowed and what is banned - with specific examples - would help.

GBJedi375
03-09-2004, 04:40 PM
I thought the regional went pretty well. I enjoyed it. My only complaint is to please do something about the pit to stands access. It wasted a lot of time walking from the stands to the pit. They should have allowed another exit from the pit from the other side. It would have been quicker and that one stairway would have been less congested.

dez250
03-09-2004, 04:50 PM
On behalf of all the NJ FIRST Volunteers, espically the scorekeepers (myself included), we are sorry about the match and scoring system problems. Many problems arose during the whole competition that were not expected. We did our best to resolve the problems that could be fixed and made temp fixes for those that were fixed later in the days. Also we hope that these problems do not occur again and i am sorry that they did happen during the competition(s). We do thank everyone that understood and were patient with the problems, and their solutions.

Keep those messages coming in...
~Michael "Dez" Dessingue

mikew
03-09-2004, 05:05 PM
It felt like this stadium wasn't as loud as the RAC, which is a good thing.

On the other hand, our pit area had a speaker pointed at us from a short distance away. It was deafening every time there was an announcement. I think they raised the height of that speaker on Saturday, but it was still annoying, though slightly less annoying than before.

Ditto what everyone else said about the pricy food ($3.50 for a soda at a vending machine?!) and the limited access to pits.

Mike Schroeder
03-09-2004, 05:30 PM
I thought the regional went pretty well. I enjoyed it. My only complaint is to please do something about the pit to stands access. It wasted a lot of time walking from the stands to the pit. They should have allowed another exit from the pit from the other side. It would have been quicker and that one stairway would have been less congested. unforturnatly with the way we had to set up this year, that was not an option, the only way that would have happened is to open up the panel, on the other side, on the playing feild half, which would have opened up a whole new set of problems, with getting robots to their matches.

Some consistency in noisemakers is needed. Banging sticks together was banned, but horns, drums, rattles and cowbells were allowed. And the rules changed day by day. Perhaps a clear explanantion of what is allowed and what is banned - with specific examples - would help. That is weird, here is the thing, FIRST made that rule, regarding venues similar to rutgers, where The Venue was coincerned about the noise, the night before NJ when all the volunteers met, we were told, noise makers of any kind were allowed, Sovergin bank didnt care, information, that was left out to the teams, trust me, i dont think 150 pairs of moe sticks could get too noisy in this place :p now your new noise makers, sound like the noise when i blow into my straw,in a cup of soda :p

Jessica Boucher
03-09-2004, 05:55 PM
We had this problem when I used to work in the Media Tent at Nationals, dealing with the flow of traffic around the smaller fields so that view wasnt obstructed but at the same time, flow was kept moving.

I honestly think that a roped off walkway that is monitored by some volunteers could serve as the solution to the alternate route to the pits. Or, roping off a row of seats from the stands to the pit staircase would work similarly.

The Lucas
03-09-2004, 06:36 PM
I had a problem with this one volunteer who Bearhugged several members of our team after we won the special Judge's Award. Now, I understand that some people get caught up in excitement of the moment, but that does not justify the number of bruised ribs our team sustained. I didn't catch the name of this volunteer, but he was "Big" and wore this crazy yellow flowered hawiian shirt. Just kidding Mike :p that was pretty funny :D .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo
Some consistency in noisemakers is needed. Banging sticks together was banned, but horns, drums, rattles and cowbells were allowed. And the rules changed day by day. Perhaps a clear explanantion of what is allowed and what is banned - with specific examples - would help.


Almost as funny as you misquoting Carol by calling her "Carlo". She looks nothing like Carlo Sr. or Carlo Lite. In fact Carlo Sr. is almost as big as you. I am glad you like our new MOE Wobblies noisemakers. We will make sure you can hear them in your sleep just like the MOE Stix. One nice feature of the MOE Wobblies is: Lexan is significantly harder to burn then wood (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1409).

On a more serious note, I think the NJ regional was a great success. All the volunteers did a great job, especially those brave enough to deal with the new scoring system. I loved how you they let people go down onto the field to dance. Its great for the energy of the competition. Some of those people were nonstop and they must have danced for 2 hours straight. The food fiasco was a bit of a downer but it could have been worse (just look at those poor people at VCU). I like the size of the new area, pits had a decent amount of space (I still remember NJ 2001 when we had fire code issues and they limited attendance). Finally, the way the robot inspectors came around to your pit was very nice.

Mike Schroeder
03-09-2004, 06:51 PM
alright the whole dyslexic thing was fixed, and what can i say, your team members just looked like they needed a hug, to be honest you guys looked a little green with envy after loosing :p (this would have made more sense if you guys wore bright blue, then i could have just said you guys looked blue)

JohnBoucher
03-09-2004, 08:26 PM
Rich,
I thing that you and the other volunters deserves a HUGE thanks for all the pictures that you've posted from the NJ regional. I know a lot of my questions about scoring and penalities were answered by looking at the pics you posted.

jb

galewind
03-09-2004, 08:39 PM
To add my thoughts in the appropriate section:

On a whole, the volunteers, procedure, etc, was run fantastically! For the first event of the season, it seemed amazing.. the volunteers at this regional are some amazing people, and I loved every single one of them! The queueing and pit people were great, the staging and field setup and layout was nice, etc!

I hope that for next year:

1) we make the pit accessible on both sides to keep a traffic flow and to not bind up one set of steps

2) FIRST can negotiate with the SBA to at least provide "non-fried" food alternatives, or to be more flexible with food being brought into the venue.

3) FIRST can get the final details of the computer scoring system completed before the first event.

Aignam
03-09-2004, 09:59 PM
Volunteers - excellent! Thank you all!

Pit flow - seemed quite smooth. Again, great job by the volunteers.

Food - slightly beyond your control, again, but overpriced and limited.

Noise - very well controlled.

One of the things that I don't like, but won't be limited to this regional only, is the field reset. Getting those eighteen balls into the ball drop was so tedious, and they kept bouncing every which way when the volunteers went to reset it. I hope next year's game is designed with field reset in mind to allow for more efficient competitions.

Overall, excellent job! This is what keeps people coming back to New Jersey year after year, aside from the competition.

mtaman02
03-09-2004, 10:28 PM
as mentioned in previous posts by me and others

Seating and Location. Seating was excellent plenty of room for an additional 10 teams (estimated). Location for the arena was easy to get to, since i wasn't the one who had to drive.

Pits, Neatly organized and plenty of space. Pit flow ran quite smooth. Pit noise was under a controlled level. However the Teams by the field could've been louder.

Food, WAY TO EXPENSIVE in the arena nevertheless thats their prices and almost certain non-negotiable, As far outside food sources scarce in the immediate area but with somewalking i and a few others found a pizzeria and chinese food place, spanish food place and a 99cent store lil did i realize there was a mc-donalds not to far away from that. It woulda been nice to let some outside food in doors since there were no tables outside to eat off of that i could find and weather conditions were iffy.

Otherswise you get a B+ to an A- rating


Edit:/ Coming from Rich. He says he is taking all the comments and forwarding them to the Regional Director.

Mike Schroeder
03-09-2004, 10:29 PM
it wasnt really all that difficult, at NJ we were running 10 minute rounds, in 5,6,7 minutes (although i will admitt it had to do ALOT with the speed we got robots on and off the feild, 2 seconds after the match ended, the teams were already taking their controllers off, and the new teams putting theirs on, as soon as the head ref gave the goahead, the robots went on to the feild for the next match :)

not to sound annoying, but i would just like to point out, that like rich said the food was beyond FIRST control, you cannot sign a contract, with most places, and have it not include food, that is a contract that the venue has with the food companies, and somthign they are likely not to break, for FIRST unfortunatly

KathieK
03-10-2004, 06:23 AM
One more thing that seems to be a problem this year is the automatic release of the balls when the small yellow ball is knocked off the tee. There were issues with it at the UTC Scrimmage, and the balls did not release at least once when we successfully hit the ball off the tee during autonomous mode.