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View Full Version : QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!! [07-01-01]


Ken Leung
07-01-2001, 03:43 AM
Hi all, the Team forums are coming soon in August, so an early discussion seems appropriate¡K A chance to sort out your ideas and listen to what others have to say about the specific issue you have in mind, or any matters you never would¡¦ve though of. So, with that in mind here is the question of the week¡K

Question 7/1/01: What helpful suggestion can you give to FIRST for next year's competition? Anything regarding the rules, kit of parts, playing field, regional competitions, National competition, different awards, etc.

Let's see how this will work out here in the new forums...

Have fun,
-Ken Leung

P.S. I am open to suggestions of any questions you want as the "QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!"... So e-mail me at ken_leung@hotmail.com and show me what you got... ;)

Joe Ross
07-01-2001, 02:05 PM
My suggestion is to make sure that more than one robot can accomplish whatever the highest scoring task is.

In '99 multiple robots could fit on the puck, so there was no fighting who would try to get on (only fighting to get on ;))

In '00 multiple robots had room to hang.

in '01, with only a few exceptions, only 1 robot could balance.

This lead to much harder alliance negotiations. The situation would have been different if there were 2 bridges, or if each big ball was worth 2x, because then teams would be less likely to have to fight over balancing.

I don't care if the matches are 4vs0 or 2vs2 or even something like 3vs2, as long as there is room for multiple teams to do the higest scoring task(s)

Bill Gold
07-01-2001, 04:45 PM
I missed the defensive aspect of the game this year. I'd push for the return of defense, and that would add another award to each competition.

David Kelly
07-01-2001, 05:26 PM
I'd like to go along with what Joe Ross said. I liked in '99 how more than 1 team could get on/ grab the puck and drag it around. I'd also like FIRST to allow HS students go to the kickoff. It was a blast when I went last year, but I didn't find out until reciently that I wasn't supposed to be there. Oops:p I don't know how hard they are trying, but I'd like to see FIRST strike some kind of TV deal in the near future.

I hope I didn't give too many suggestions;)

Jessica Boucher
07-01-2001, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by David Kelly

I hope I didn't give too many suggestions;)

Nope, I dont think so....

And Ken, you were worried that noone would reply ;)

Pamela
07-01-2001, 08:30 PM
Sending students to kickoff would be really nice.... this game is for the students, isn't it? I get to go anyway as a volunteer so I shouldn't talk.... but I would like to see FIRST implement a program to get colleges more involved with FIRST. A team made up of high schoolers getting taught, college kids, learning to teach, and engineers mentoring all would make this program more multi-layered and add more of a purpose for the colleges involved with teams. I agree that their should be more opportunities in the game for teams to show off their skills, arguing before matches about who's robot does what better is just not the way things should be done, it leaves people angry when something happens and a task doesn't get done. hmmm... i think thats it, for now....

Andy Baker
07-01-2001, 11:47 PM
Make the game easier to understand.

It doesn't have to be simple... but it needs to be easy to understand.

There are many other points that I want to discuss, but this is the most important one, in my opinion.

Andy B.

Al Skierkiewicz
07-02-2001, 07:45 AM
Hi,
We have discussed the addition to the rules the use of anything contained in a catalog for use on the robot. Since we already use Small Parts for mechanical stuff, let's use DigiKey for electrical stuff. They have a wide variety of interconnect, display, and even Basic Stamp. It would allow electrical engineers to demonstrate modern components to students and give alternatives to control panel designs. Speaking of which, allowing a seperate power supply for control panel for display purposes would be a nice addition as well.
(Yes! I am on the electrical team!)
Al

Jessica Boucher
07-02-2001, 09:27 AM
...unlike the rather frivolous post I already made.

What I would really like (other than my normal "we need more females in strong roles" RCU-speech) to see is more colleges involved, so I am agreeing with Pamela.

Not only do more colleges need to be involved and we need to find a way to keep these FIRST alum around even though they may not be able to start a team right away.

Plus, we need more than just engineering schools involved. This is not saying anything against the engineering schools, because the majority of people really smitten with FIRST will more than likely go on to an engineering/technical type of career. But there are so many other roles on FIRST teams, and I know you all know that, but I think its time they were represented within FIRST as well. Business schools, art/animation schools, accounting majors, medical-related programs, travel agency (ok, so thats a stretch, but its early for me this morning).

I went to my interview with Babson all prepared to explain FIRST to the point and from a business (fundraising, teamwork, and presentation) aspect. The woman interviewing me surprised me, though...this was actually her 5th week on the job at Babson and before that she was working in the WPI admissions office, with a Dean of Admissions that was completely enamored with their team and told everyone in the office about it. She seemed shocked that I could spit right back to her their team number, the school they work with, and people I knew on the team.

In a perfect world, we shouldnt have to explain FIRST to any college. But I think if we opened our definition of what colleges you can go to by being in FIRST you'd attract more people and more colleges.

Ken Leung
07-02-2001, 04:17 PM
Without getting too deep into the issues, here's a list of things I thought worth changing for next year's competition...

An entrance for the 18" fence around the playing field.

A more descriptive Index in the rule book.

Allow animation awards at regional competition

Remove the torque motor from the kit

Modify the rules regarding Small Parts, such as not allowing re-use small parts from the year before...

More informative display on the big screens at National, usually they are just a broadcast of the playing field without a timer

Have the pictures of robots available when award presentation, awards such as the creativity award or similar ones regarding a certain design of the robot.

Any comments or other suggestions?

Pamela
07-02-2001, 04:24 PM
FIRST needs to find a way to make the animation team feel more included, I know from what I've heard from various teams and in my own opinion they are overlooked and underappreciated for the amount of work they put into their animation!

Carolyn Duncan
07-02-2001, 04:37 PM
Ken I like the idea of an entrance to the playing field especially if the robot sizes keep growing! But my suggestion would be not to limit us to using only the small parts catalog. If the same item can be bought at a hardware store or another catalog there would be less chance of selling out of something or having delays. It would also allow teams to get parts cheaper and immediately, if from a local store, to keep pepole in the work mode. Buying parts at competitions would be limited, but that's like going to a restaraunt, you drink the type of soda/cola/pop/beverage they serve.
C~ya,
Carolyn

Matt Leese
07-03-2001, 06:50 AM
First off, I believe I heard something about there being an entrance to the playing field this year and no one knew about it. Or something like that. This issue was brought up last year.

Anyway, as to what I think should change.

Bring back the unlimited sprockets, gears, pulleys, chain, and belting.

Move the media platform in front of Einstein because it makes it impossible for spectators to see.

Allow college students (those between ages 18-21) into kickoff and treat them as adult leaders because that's what they're doing.

Find a light where the shield stays on more readily.

Make the Chairman's Award and Animation Competition more integral to the competition.

Allow more awards to be given out at nationals (per division awards maybe?).

And that's all I can think of at the moment.

Matt

Tom Fairchild
07-03-2001, 09:42 AM
Out of all these different posts, I agree with most, by far, Andy Baker. Trying to explain this game to all the different people I've been required to do as such has been a tremendous chore, one much larger than it should be. I've done more demonstrations than I can remember, and all of them ask two questions: "What does your robot do?" and "How do you play the game?" If these people have an hour to spend learning, then I teach them the game. But unfortunately, most of the time I have to give highly over-simplified answers that make our robot sound MUCH more simplistic than it really is. Just my two cents, ihmo.

~Tom~

Jessica Boucher
07-03-2001, 11:14 AM
....Im in the same boat as Tom in relation to "Ive done more promos than I can remember".

One of 237's hallmarks is going to do promos for elementary school students. I have come to the conclusion that general speeches about the robot towards little kids as well as full grown adults can have the same outline, just different wording.

In 1999, we brought the puck and the floppies to most promos, and the games rough ideas would be outlined.

In 2000, we brought yellow & black balls as well as the center section of our balsa wood scale version of the field (to explain the troughs & the bar).

This year, I explained what FIRST was, how it is different from Battlebots, then another person described what the robot was made out of and what it did, and then described what you learn by being a part of a FIRST team. We only described the balls/goals, the "end zone", and the bridge.

mike o'leary
07-03-2001, 03:26 PM
i know that this has been almost beat to death, but next years game has absolutely got to be spectator-friendly. no ands, ifs, or buts about it. people need to be able to see the game once and not only understand whats going on, but also to be able to get into it. cuz lets face it, this years game was not spectator-friendly. people who saw the game for the first time were completely baffled. and if by some miracle they did manage to figure out more then the basics, then they were practically bored to tears. it was exciting for the participants, but the game was both horribly complex and mind-numbingly repetative. how many different stratagies were used in all the matches combined? in the elims and finals at nats? not too many. the game was quite simply not designed ith an audiance in mind. it needs to be designed with one next year.

David Kelly
07-03-2001, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by mike o'leary
i know that this has been almost beat to death, but next years game has absolutely got to be spectator-friendly. no ands, ifs, or buts about it. people need to be able to see the game once and not only understand whats going on, but also to be able to get into it. cuz lets face it, this years game was not spectator-friendly. people who saw the game for the first time were completely baffled. and if by some miracle they did manage to figure out more then the basics, then they were practically bored to tears. it was exciting for the participants, but the game was both horribly complex and mind-numbingly repetative. how many different stratagies were used in all the matches combined? in the elims and finals at nats? not too many. the game was quite simply not designed ith an audiance in mind. it needs to be designed with one next year.


It's hard for people to get excited and watch something that they don't understand. Kinda like soccer (for me). I dislike soccer VERY much. I could be that I don't understand it. I don't know. I've always been into auto racing (NASCAR, IRL, F-1). Easy to understand. Drive around in circles, fine tune your car till it's perfect. Sorry if I may have offended ony of those soccer buffs out there.

Tom Fairchild
07-03-2001, 11:19 PM
Okay, okay, I know this really isn't about the question of the week, just a comment on David's post. To say that NASCAR is more of a sport than soccer to me just seems odd. Yes, I like soccer and yes, believe it or not, I even enjoy watching NASCAR now and then (don't worry David - I liked #3 too) but I simply don't think that NASCAR is an actual sport. Great as it may be, it just doesn't seem sporty. Just imho,

~Tom~

P.S. On second thought, this might be a good poll for the random post section..... Look for it soon. ;)

patrickrd
07-04-2001, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Matt Leese
Allow college students (those between ages 18-21) into kickoff and treat them as adult leaders because that's what they're doing.
Matt

I agree with this point.

First, I'm glad they're letting us go to the team forum. If they kept it as over 21, our team would be unrepresented at the forum.

I know, for my team anyway, we only have one "adult" member on the team, and he might not be willing to drive 6 hours to go to kickoff. It would make much more sense financially for the college students (who, by the way, run the team) in the new england area to attend kickoff and then bring the parts when they are traveling back to college after winter break. I know my team is not the only one... there are a number of teams that are almost entirely run by students less than 21 years old. Dean wants us to start teams... Then chooses alcohol over our teams?

Patrick

mike o'leary
07-05-2001, 11:26 AM
before i make this post i think i have to start by checking to see if i have it right: from what im understanding from this thread theyre letting the college students attend the team forum but not kickoff? is this the case? if it isnt then the following post might not make sence, but im just clarifying that if thats the case its because i have the facts wrong in which case im sorry...

our team has had only 1 person over 21 the whole time (unless we count mr benson, but all he does is try to get us sponsors...he has nothing to do with the designing or building of the bot or anything like that)...last year we had 6 college students who coulda gone (though im not sure if any of them except for anton wouldve). this year unfortunately we still only have 1 eligable attendee (even if college students are allowed to attend), because our college conection was lost

Pamela
07-05-2001, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by David Kelly



It's hard for people to get excited and watch something that they don't understand. Kinda like soccer (for me). I dislike soccer VERY much. I could be that I don't understand it. I don't know. I've always been into auto racing (NASCAR, IRL, F-1). Easy to understand. Drive around in circles, fine tune your car till it's perfect. Sorry if I may have offended ony of those soccer buffs out there.

Sadness.... don't like watching soccer..... soccer=all time not spent on FIRST....I've played soccer since I was 3 years old and watched it even longer, I love it so much, It's such an exciting game, i'll explain it to you sometime, make you love it too. From a strategic standpoint it is such an amazing game, watching and coaching it has helped me to gain more perspective to be a coach on the field for FIRST.... cool how things like that work :)

Colt007
07-06-2001, 12:18 AM
I agree on the importance of getting more colleges involved, but I would like to see it done on a more advantageous level for the colleges themselves. As a college student, I know how hard it is to find the time to volunteer, especially for something as time consuming as a FIRST team, but if FIRST were to work with colleges to design an engineering course, to be taught at the colleges, which would involve the college students undertaking the engineering role on a team, I believe that more colleges would jump aboard. If students were able to earn credit for their hard volunteer work (and I believe that it is well worth the credit, based on the time FIRST involves) than colleges would have a number of students signing up to help out on a FIRST team, and it would offer them hands on training for a work environment. Unfortunately, the course could only be offered in the semester between Jan. and May, but I think it is something that FIRST should definitely look into . . . especially since Kamen wants more college teams participating!

Ken Leung
07-06-2001, 09:48 AM
The idea about getting more college involvements is a really good idea... I believe colleges can and should be as supportive as some of the sponsoring companies, because the colleges either already have professors who can provide the engineering support or there's already machine shops available.

However, about getting the college to support their student for doing FIRST, I am not sure how plausible that is. Trust me, I want it just as bad as anyone in here, I am going to face the problem of time management between FIRST and college next semester. It's just that, for example, the college that I go to, UC Berkeley, its policy for their engineering students is to get those students out of the school as soon as possible. So what are they going to think? Will they want the student concentrate more on his/her major's courses so they can finish the school year as soon as possible, or will they let those students do FIRST for extra credit?

I think the most FIRST can do is to ask colleges to sponsor teams... Mean while, the students will have to talk to their professors themselves about doing FIRST and going to classes at the same time. ;) After all, Dean hand out his homework assignment to us every single year¡K

One thing the Society of College FIRST-a-holic will do is to help students go through those tough time... Sorry for advertising about SCF right now ;)

Sam Lindhorst
07-10-2001, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by mike o'leary
i know that this has been almost beat to death, but next years game has absolutely got to be spectator-friendly. no ands, ifs, or buts about it. people need to be able to see the game once and not only understand whats going on, but also to be able to get into it. cuz lets face it, this years game was not spectator-friendly. people who saw the game for the first time were completely baffled. and if by some miracle they did manage to figure out more then the basics, then they were practically bored to tears. it was exciting for the participants, but the game was both horribly complex and mind-numbingly repetative. how many different stratagies were used in all the matches combined? in the elims and finals at nats? not too many. the game was quite simply not designed ith an audiance in mind. it needs to be designed with one next year.

True Dat. Real, real true. When I finally got to a competition last year, I left after 4 matches. True, I had things to do, but if it had been really interesting I could have and would have put them off. Frankly, I was bored.

I'd say go back to competing teams on the field, allowing defense/offense, which is pretty interesting to watch, and giving that incredible variety in strategy for interest. I think also it's an advantage for weaker teams, and allows them to meaningfully participate. Also, the conflict isn't so abstract, and that's way easier to grasp and thus to cheer for. Exceitement has to be built into our competitions, because excitement is what we are trying to generate.

Sam

Carolyn Duncan
07-11-2001, 07:54 PM
I guess you could call me a soccer buff. I like to spend sooooooo much time playing, watching, and hopefully this year coaching. Soccer is eally a great sport, maybe even great for next year's comp.... Unfortunately I had to give up playing soccer this past season because the coach was unwilling to work with me around FIRST. I guess you could compare soccer to hockey, minus the icing calls. This year at nats I'll bring my soccer ball, we'll start a small pick up game, if anyone's interrested.
C~ya,
Carolyn

mike o'leary
07-11-2001, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan
I guess you could compare soccer to hockey, minus the icing calls.
C~ya,
Carolyn

...and minus the contact, which is the best part.
anyways, if you think icing calls are bad in hockey, at least they are consitant. explain the whole offside thing for soccer, i cant understand that one at all...

Carolyn Duncan
07-14-2001, 04:25 PM
Soccer has plenty of contact, you just have to be more skilled to get away with it. I didn't mean that icing calls were bad, just that they are not a part of soccer.
Off sides is fairly easy to explain. You have 2 teams, red and blue. If there is a red forward between the blue goalie and the next closest blue jersey, he doesn't have the ball, he's just standing there waiting,"cherry picking". If someone kicks the ball to him and there is no blue jersey behind him, other than the goalie, he cannot turn and shoot. If, however the red player and the blue player are parallel on the field and the ball goes behind them, the red player may run ahead of the blue player. It's really simmilar to a combination of a back court and a goal tending call in basketball. Does that help you any? If not the only suggestion I can make is ask someone who can draw it for you or wait until comps next year and I'll show you.
C~ya,
Carolyn who could talk, and play soccer for an eternity.

mike o'leary
07-14-2001, 07:03 PM
if the particulars of soccor confuse me, then the rules of basketball really confuse me...
but can you answer this question for me? in soccer why do they hide how much time is left...like they add on for dead ball time at the end. why not just stop the clock or something?

Joe Ross
07-14-2001, 08:38 PM
In soccer, the Ref is the person who keeps the official time. The Ref can stop the clock when he feels it is justified to do so. Unfortunately, the TV doesn't know what time the Ref has and so they just keep the time running and make up for it in the end.

Pamela
07-14-2001, 09:02 PM
Straight from the Refferees rulebook, the offside ruling!

LAW 11 – Offside
Offside Position
It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position.
A player is in an offside position if:
he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent
A player is not in an offside position if:
he is in his own half of the field of play
or
he is level with the second last opponent
or
he is level with the last two opponents
Offence
A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
interfering with play
or
interfering with an opponent
or
gaining an advantage by being in that position
No Offence
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
a goal kick
or
a throw-in
or
a corner kick
Infringements/Sanctions
For any offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred. * (see page 3)

Carolyn Duncan
07-15-2001, 10:14 AM
Well, where's page 3? Just joking. Do ya get it now Mike?
C~ya,
Carolyn

mike o'leary
07-15-2001, 01:21 PM
close enough...seems sort of wordy to me though

oh well, thats just me, and i never really ever got into soccer

Carolyn Duncan
07-15-2001, 04:41 PM
Soccer really is a great sport imho. It's too bad some people don't really like it. Oh, well. Thus is life.
C~ya,
Carolyn who couldn't imagine life without soccer. :(

EddieMcD
07-15-2001, 05:53 PM
Soccer is good, but lets not forget that this post is about improvments for next year. And The High Priest agrees about one thing: simple scoring. Probably the most complicated sport (scoring wise) is football. You have 3 basic ways of scoring (not counting conversions, which are prettymuch the same anyway). When's the last time we've had a FIRST game that simple? Probably not since 1996.

David Kelly
07-16-2001, 09:28 AM
thread getting stale, eventhough i sorta started the staleness:)

EddieMcD
07-16-2001, 02:33 PM
And now your unstaleing (if that's a word) the staleness by telling us to stop making the thread stale.

-Ed "10 bucks says that made absolutely no sense" McDonnell

David Kelly
07-16-2001, 07:10 PM
i guess so

Carolyn Duncan
07-16-2001, 08:21 PM
Many things have gotten stale lately. I think soccre came up because I suggested that we play an already established sport, like soccer. Dean has mentioned turning FIRST into robot olympics, why not play olympic sports. Most people will be able tounderstand the rules and scoring or be able to find people outside of FIRST to explain.
C~ya,
Carolyn

David Kelly
07-16-2001, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan
Many things have gotten stale lately. I think soccre came up because I suggested that we play an already established sport, like soccer. Dean has mentioned turning FIRST into robot olympics, why not play olympic sports. Most people will be able tounderstand the rules and scoring or be able to find people outside of FIRST to explain.
C~ya,
Carolyn

Exactly, I think the easiest way for FIRST to appeal to audiences is to have a game that is easy to follow and understand. people the like things to be complicated.

EddieMcD
07-17-2001, 11:39 AM
Hmm... could football go as a FIRST game? Think about it. Take teams of 5, and use regular football strategy to play. Imagine the field goal kicker.

-Ed "ok, he'll stop ranting now" McDonnell

Carolyn Duncan
07-17-2001, 12:44 PM
That would be really tough for the first time. You'd have to have great accuracy throwing, recieving, and kicking. At least with soccer you can chase a ball down and the goal is on the ground, don't have to figure out lifting a kick. The other sport that might be easy is rugby... even that would be tough though.
C~ya,
Carolyn