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Andy Grady
09-17-2005, 05:18 PM
Good morning class!

Welcome to a new discussion gimick which I am calling FIRST 101. Each week I will be posting a lesson on FIRST in order to enrich your young (some not quite as young) and able minds as to why FIRST has become what it is today. The beauty if FIRST 101 is that it is totally interactive! Feel free to ask the professor anything you want to know about subjects, ideas for future subjects, questions on various things in FIRST, and just plain old goofy things you want to know about life in general. Be forewarned...if you ask the professor, your answer will not always make a load of sense!

Todays Lesson...

Rumble at the Rock!

OK kids, its time to open up your text books to chapter 1, and notice the heading of Rumble at the Rock and a picture of a Woodie Flowers Award winner that many of you don't recognize!

Many people in FIRST today do not understand how much of an impact this event had on the competition as we see it today in general. First, lets go back to the year 1996, and be introduced to a hall of fame team known as PNTA out of Plymouth North High School. Plymouth North was a team who was well known for its beautiful machines, excelent defensive capabilities, and more importantly known for its innovative ways of promoting FIRST and science and technology. PNTA was also the home of Woodie Flowers Award winner Mike Bastoni. Mike's leadership along with current all star FIRST announcer Ron Partridge made for excelent direction with the team. They were at the forefront of the pack when it came to promoting FIRST, even traveling outside of the mainland USA to drag teams in.

The most influential creation of PNTA was Rumble at the Rock...the first ever offseason competition! The innaugural Rumble was held in a shopping mall in Plymouth Mass. during a hurricane. The field barely fit inside, and there was litterally a pillar sitting right inside the field! The competition was small, only a handful of teams made it out...however, it was the spawn of something that would never be duplicated in the history of FIRST. In 1997 the field was taken outside near the shore of Plymouth MA only a stones throw away from the Mayflower 2 and the famous Plymouth Rock. It was also probably the only time in my life I have ever seen a field endure major downpours overnight and still be competition ready the next day. The site of robots zooming across the rug with water splashing up behind the tires was amazing. As the years went on, Rumble became more and more popular. Teams would come from far and wide. The final Rumble hosted such superstar teams as the Technokats, Beatty and Hammond, GUNN robotics out of California, Wildstang, Buzz, Gael Force, Aces High, Robo Raiders, HYPER, Aztechs...the list goes on. It was a virtual all star game which many people considered winning as having more value than even a national championship.

Soon after Rumble, competitions started spouting up all over the place. River Rage which is the current oldest running competition, Battlecry, IRI, BOMB...they all led off the example set by PNTA and Rumble at the Rock.

Without offseason competitions, can you imagine what FIRST would be like?

Its a scary thought!

Class dismissed.

-Professor Grady


Any questions or ideas for future classes, e-mail me at skrach42@aol.com, IM me at QuietRiverRage1, or PM me!


NERD '06' Gonna hit you when you least expect it.

artdutra04
09-17-2005, 09:08 PM
This is great! I think that you should consider adding this to a History of FIRST (http://www.firstwiki.org/History_of_FIRST) FIRSTwiki page for everyone to see.
NERD '06' Gonna hit you when you least expect it.
Like as easter eggs in your weekly chapters?

Or will taking a shower at a Holiday Inn Express lead us to one of those genius moments, when we find the true meaning of NERDS? ;)

Wait, I got it! Exactly one week after Brunswick Eruption! At Saturday, November 26, 2005 at exactly 12:01 AM? Right? ;)

Kyle Fenton
09-17-2005, 10:00 PM
One thing to note, before 2000 you had to return your RC at the end of the season, which really limited off-season competitions, especially if they weren't near Manchester.


Good Job explaining Andy. I have never been to a rumble at the rock, but it did seem good from the videos.

Kims Robot
09-17-2005, 10:04 PM
Ahh the good old days!! Great idea for some new threads "FIRST 101"... I would go so far as to say we should compile these to make a handout booklet for all teams to give to their new members!! hehe.

Rumble at the Rock was amazing... I couldn't find the exact post, but I did post somewhere here the story of the hurricane, The old Aces High (then RoboRaiders) packing the robot in the back of a pickup truck with a tarp over it and driving 2.5 hours in the hurricane to make it to rumble... running in with minutes to spare, wiping the robot off with rolls of paper towels!!

One thing to add to that year, was that it was before the no pinning rule was put in place. Our team was probably one of the first to use it to win a match... we scored fast then shoved the other team into the corner for the last 45 seconds... it was the longest 45 seconds, the last 30 of which people started booing! But at the time, it wasnt against the rules!

Andy, we should try and dig up the histories of who won the old Rumbles :) that would be a neat addition!

dk5sm5luigi
09-18-2005, 12:19 AM
Good morning class!
They were at the forefront of the pack when it came to promoting FIRST, even traveling outside of the mainland USA to drag teams in.

What ever happened to the people from their sister city in what I think was Japan? Weren't they trying to have them start a team?


It was also probably the only time in my life I have ever seen a field endure major downpours overnight and still be competition ready the next day. The site of robots zooming across the rug with water splashing up behind the tires was amazing.

That was a site to see. I remembered the rain and the vacuuming in the morning but I forgot that there was still water on the field when the robots went out to play. Thanks Andy for the memories, this looks to be a good series of posts.

Jessica Boucher
09-18-2005, 08:48 AM
This is fabulous.

There are many promising young minds in this competition, but only those who take the time to understand our history and utilize it will truly be innovative. The rest will only end up acting in a reactionary fashion to current cultures, which does very little in the long run.

John Gutmann
09-18-2005, 10:20 AM
this is an awesome idea for new people, maybe you can talk to the webmaster(his name escapes me) and you can get a sub forum for this so you can make a new thread each week.

Matt Leese
09-18-2005, 01:30 PM
One thing to note, before 2000 you had to return your RC at the end of the season, which really limited off-season competitions, especially if they weren't near Manchester.

That's not entirely true. You were allowed to give FIRST a deposit (I think it was $1000) and keep the control system until roughly September. You then had to return the control system.

Matt

MissInformation
09-18-2005, 03:22 PM
What a cool idea for telling the history of FIRST! Our head teacher resigned this past year and we put together a scrapbook for him of his 6 or 7 years on the team. We ended up at Dave's house because his wife, Carol, does scrapbooking and offered (was volunteered?) to help us with it. I had photos from 2001 and onward, but we wanted some earlier ones too. Dave brought out stacks and stacks of photos from all the years he's been involved in FIRST, and I finally got to see some photos of games prior to 2000. Wow! I could have spent all night looking at those pictures, they were too cool! The game that involved putting the "donuts" on the spinning coat rack type thing looked like a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, there is usually not enought time to teach a lot of FIRST history to the team, not with everything else they have to learn, but having threads like this one for anyone to read is a good idea!

Heidi

team222badbrad
09-18-2005, 03:52 PM
Soon after Rumble, competitions started spouting up all over the place. River Rage which is the current oldest running competition, Battlecry, IRI, BOMB...they all led off the example set by PNTA and Rumble at the Rock.


Yup, River Rage has us beat by one year.

The Pennsylvania Robotics Challenge AKA PARC was started in 1998 by the TIGERTRONS 222, PARC will turn nine years old on some Saturday in May of 2006.

Go PARC for being the 2nd longest running off-season!

What I think would be cool to do is to create a chart that contains all the off-season competitions.

It would be cool to see how the off-seasons have grown from the first year to what they are today. I wonder how many off-seasons were hosted just this year and what the growth rate is?

Kevin Kolodziej
09-18-2005, 11:36 PM
I had the priveledge of attending Rumble at the Rock IV and it was certainly a competition I will never forget. They even had some skills competitions going on that year too, which were really neat (I wish more off-season competitions would reduce their amount of teams so that they can spend some time having fun competitions like that). The BOMB in 2000 featured a whole day of robot dancing, 1v1 matches, races, obstacle courses, and others. Sorry...got a bit off topic there!

Somehow I got a floppy from the Rumble that year...a very nice piece in my collection.

Way to go on this great idea to bring back excellent history that the younger members may not know about.

Kev

AmyPrib
09-19-2005, 12:39 AM
Just a sidenote - look for some serious history "stuff" or "compilations", etc. from Team 45 in the coming months/season. It's a work in progress, and spans 15yrs... :eek:

I have now seen a lot of things in the old days that are verrrry different today.... Oh, and I've seen a lot of you veterans and mentors back in the early years too... :)

Andy Grady
09-19-2005, 04:13 PM
What ever happened to the people from their sister city in what I think was Japan? Weren't they trying to have them start a team?

To be quite honest I am not really sure what happened with that. I do believe though that PNTA was responsible for the introduction of teams from Puerto Rico...though I may be wrong. Goes to show ya...even the professor sometimes doesn't know everything!



As for the comment and question about NERD....lets just say...pay no mind to the website clock...lets just say that something big might be hitting a little earlier than anticipated...but you won't be able to find it....it will find you...

-Professor Grady