PDA

View Full Version : Championship 2007 - Atlanta - What Needs To Be Improved


dangerousdave
04-14-2007, 11:45 AM
At the 2007 Championship event, tell us what needs improvement before next years Championship's in Atlanta, April 16-19, 2008.
Dave

kawelch
04-14-2007, 02:11 PM
The weather needs to be better.

And my team needs to qualify.

Joe Matt
04-15-2007, 09:09 AM
1.) Team wrap-party. Lets not kid ourselves guys, the awards/finals WILL NEVER END AT 6PM. Face it. Schedule it for 7pm when it always gets done by, and have the guests lined up.

2.) Was it just me or were there a lot less people than previous years?

3.) VEX Opening Ceremonies at noon.

Bongle
04-15-2007, 09:30 AM
2.) Was it just me or were there a lot less people than previous years?


There were just as many FRC teams as 2006, so perhaps teams could afford to bring fewer people this year. A cyclic downturn in sponsorship revenues, perhaps? Another possibility is that your own pit/field combination gave you routes that exposed you to less people. Someone walking from the furthest end of the pit to the farthest field will think there's a lot more people than someone walking from the near side to the near field.

Since I only watched the webcast, the only thing I could think of to improve would be to increase the capabilities of the webcast director. Apparently during finals on Newton (I was watching Galileo) they trotted out split-screen so that both autonomouses could be viewed close-up. Keep working on that so that it is available to all fields and regionals, and that'd be great. Too many times I missed something exciting on one end of the field when the webcast was centered on another exciting thing.

Otherwise, the webcast was pretty good.

Koko Ed
04-15-2007, 10:04 AM
In the HOF I would like to see the bios of the Woodie Flowers Award winners displayed so we can hear thier stories.

Philimator
04-15-2007, 10:10 AM
At this years FRC championship it seemed like there were things missing, Such as those sweet hats they give to the seeded alliances, this year they had a first hat with duct tape on them. Also, the confeti they had last year? gone, I know that the 3 years i have been there there has been more of a show with Dave Verbruggie (sorry if i slaughtered his name). The championship was a little disappointing this year but nonetheless the most fun I've ever had!

Bongle
04-15-2007, 10:35 AM
At this years FRC championship it seemed like there were things missing, Such as those sweet hats they give to the seeded alliances, this year they had a first hat with duct tape on them. Also, the confeti they had last year? gone, I know that the 3 years i have been there there has been more of a show with Dave Verbruggie (sorry if i slaughtered his name). The championship was a little disappointing this year but nonetheless the most fun I've ever had!

The confetti last year was super-annoying because the balloons it was stored in obscured most of the field for some people in the upper level. I'm happy to hear it is gone. The whole time I was thinking "those balloons had better be REALLY important, because I can't see the near goal or half the field".

dangerousdave
04-15-2007, 12:12 PM
I was very disappointed in the few thousand people that got up and left the dome following the finals last match Saturday night. That was disrespectful of the teams that competed and had not yet received their trophy's and very disrespectful of the 37 teams competing for the Chairmans award. These people were making a lot of noise while they exited and could easily be heard in the stands during the ceremony. Perhaps First should have mentioned not to leave following the last match but most everyone should have known this. There was only an additional 15 minutes of awards following the finals last match

The individual screens on each field showing the video of the game and the scores are very difficult to read the team numbers and scores.

The weather needs to be better.Perhaps a little more info here? While the weather was not perfect, I saw hundreds of people sunning themselves, playing Frisbee and enjoying themselves in the area between the pits and the dome all 3 days when it reached the low 70's each day. Yes the mornings were chilly but there was no rain until after the awards ceremony Saturday night.

The confetti last year was super-annoying because the balloons it was stored in obscured most of the field for some people in the upper level. I'm happy to hear it is gone. The whole time I was thinking "those balloons had better be REALLY important, because I can't see the near goal or half the field".This actually appears to be a positive observation and maybe in the wrong thread?
Dave

DonRotolo
04-15-2007, 12:13 PM
they trotted out split-screen so that both autonomouses could be viewed close-up. <snip> Otherwise, the webcast was pretty good.
What's the plural of autonomous? Autonomi?

I too only watched via the webcast, and was disappointed at the image quality, to the point where I could not read the team numbers most of the time - everything looked like team 1888. If there was a possibility of a higher quality feed - I have plenty of bandwidth - that would've been nice.

I second the idea of starting Vex a bit later

On the match results screen, it would've been nice to have the match numbers instead of just the time. It would also have been nice if the schedule was posted somewhere.

What was good will be posted elsewhere.

Don

Bongle
04-15-2007, 12:19 PM
This actually appears to be a positive observation and maybe in the wrong thread?
Dave

I was showing how the lack of confetti might not be a negative thing. Otherwise you'd have a 2006 negatives thread where I posted about how the confetti balloons were annoying, followed by a 2007 negatives thread where someone said they wished there was confetti. Poor FIRST would be all confused.

I too only watched via the webcast, and was disappointed at the image quality, to the point where I could not read the team numbers most of the time
Seconding this. The only way I could figure out the team numbers most of the time was to consult with the schedule with the digits I was sure of. 6's REALLY look like 8's when the compression is on. NASA has lots of bandwidth, surely they could up the bitrate a bit.

...which reminds me:
It would be really nice to have the match schedules posted in such a way that we don't have to pester poor dangerousdave all friday to get our team's schedule. If you're going to have a webcast, the schedules should be online.

Another thing: The ads on the non-galileo fields were kind of annoying. They were like someone else channel surfing during a show you want to watch. You're never sure if they're going to get back to the field in time to catch the start of the match. The ads during lunch and breaks were fine and pretty interesting because they weren't obscuring something you wanted to watch. Potential solution: keep the ads, but have a little picture-in-picture in the corner showing the current status of the field so that people don't freak out.

AndyB
04-15-2007, 12:30 PM
I loved the widescreen on Einstein and the driver cams were a very nice touch.

Something I would change however would be some way to try and keep teams in the stands after the competition is over to watch the chairman's award presentation. This is the most prestigous award in FIRST and should be recognized as so, and not just something that can be skipped so we can all go eat some noodles and cake...

Also, I'm sure this has been said (I haven't read the whole topic yet), but the numbers were going the wrong way on the rack on Einstein.

One last thing, it was rediculous on Curie, waiting for everyone's alliance captains to get there, teams should be prepared.

Robocat1
04-15-2007, 01:23 PM
I agree that it needs to be emphasized, SEVERAL times, during finals/awards that the Chairman's Award will be announced after the Champions receive their awards and that ALL teams should remain seated until after that time. I know that when our team was vying for the award in 2004 we did notice, with disappointement, that so many were leaving. The noise takes away from the moment.
Grascious Professionalism dictates, I would think, that all teams stay to honor the winners of our most prestigious award.

The lack of confetti for the Chairman's Award really disappointed us - the whole confetti/balloons spectacle really emphasized the importance of winning this event (congrats MOE - well deserved!)

I also find it troublesome that so many people come and go from their seats during speeches - making noise and blocking views.
Perhaps "ushers" could be instructed to allow people to enter the stands only during applause and other "breaks", which I think is just common courtesy at any public assembly, unless an emergency arises.

Finally, we were very frustrated by not being allowed to bring in our "signs on a stick" and then finding all these teams around us with "signs on a stick".

But, overall, considering the vast number of people and things going on, its a well organized event.

Zyik
04-15-2007, 01:36 PM
-moved from other thread-

I vote for more dancing. Honestly, watching that webcast, we need to dance more. The people in the stands dancing looked to be obsurcing veiws as well, not that this was a big deal as they looked to only standup at the breaks.

Ok in all honestly I do meen that, at SVR and Davis there were areas for dancing team-members, there should be one per divison at championships to. However, space in the dome makes this unlikely, but dancing allows the teams that arn't on the feild to still participate, move around, jump up and down, etc. allows them to keep the adrenaline going. I think that if this was in place, the crowd might be even more responsive. *shrug* just my two bits. I don't even know if non-crazy-california regionals have alot of dancing.

pythagoras
04-15-2007, 01:55 PM
the only thing that I had major problems with, was poor judging. For example, while in the semi-finals on curie their was a lot of commotion near the rack and 1114's arm was broken, we only got a 10-point penalty. Later on Einstein 71 got knocked over and the refs declared a red card.:confused: I have seen issues similar to this one and would just like some clarification on the topic.

rfolea
04-15-2007, 02:09 PM
I was very disappointed in the few thousand people that got up and left the dome following the finals last match Saturday night. That was disrespectful of the teams that competed and had not yet received their trophy's and very disrespectful of the 37 teams competing for the Chairmans award. These people were making a lot of noise while they exited and could easily be heard in the stands during the ceremony. Perhaps First should have mentioned not to leave following the last match but most everyone should have known this.

Dave

Suggestion: They should do the Chairmans award BEFORE the last match, and finish on time (or at least let folks know the doors won't be opend until the event is over). While it is disrespectful for people to leave early, it is equally disrespectful to take 1 hour away from a 4 hour party the folks paid a lot of money for... respect works both ways ...

s_forbes
04-15-2007, 02:20 PM
Being one of those who is only able to watch matches from a dorm room, I'd really like to see an improvement in the webcasts. The quality doesn't bother me as much as the camara choice; it seems that whenever a robot is disabled and not moving the camara has an urge to zoom in on it while robot X on the other side of the field does a backflip and scores 5000 points. I'd really like to see some better choices in camara angles next year.

chaoticprout
04-15-2007, 02:22 PM
My biggest complaint was the announcement of the free for all for the tubes on the field right before the chairmans award. Many people ran for it and didn't come back to see it and it really took away from the importance of the award.

FIRST Rocks
04-15-2007, 02:43 PM
the only thing that I had major problems with, was poor judging. For example, while in the semi-finals on curie their was a lot of commotion near the rack and 1114's arm was broken, we only got a 10-point penalty. Later on Einstein 71 got knocked over and the refs declared a red card.:confused: I have seen issues similar to this one and would just like some clarification on the topic.
Indeed there were some very poor calls by the referees. On Archimedes, in semifinal 1-2, team 254 was tipped over by the opposing alliance, and no penalties or DQs were called. Then, in the very next match, 254 was tipped again by the same robot, and still no penalties were called. Watching the same thing happen to 71 on Einstein, only the aggressor being disqualified, made it even worse.

Here are some other things I noticed this year. There were no "special effects" for the Chairman's Award; in the past they've had the aforementioned confetti balloons or fireworks. Why nothing this year?

Lastly, I wonder why Dave didn't wear a suit for the finals this time.

VanMan
04-15-2007, 02:46 PM
Don't put the awards in between the Matches. Makes it boring and less energetic.

AndyB
04-15-2007, 02:53 PM
Don't put the awards in between the Matches. Makes it boring and less energetic.

Teams must be given some amount of time to fix and repair their robot for their next match. Awards give them this time. You'll notice that in between the 2nd and 3rd finals matches, they didn't have any awards to give out, so they played music and let people dance. They need some sort of buffer between matches.

By doing awards during then, this adds suspense, spreads out the action, gives teams time to fix their robots and alter their strategy to make the finals, as fair as possible.

seraphim33
04-15-2007, 03:03 PM
Teams must be given some amount of time to fix and repair their robot for their next match. Awards give them this time. You'll notice that in between the 2nd and 3rd finals matches, they didn't have any awards to give out, so they played music and let people dance. They need some sort of buffer between matches.

By doing awards during then, this adds suspense, spreads out the action, gives teams time to fix their robots and alter their strategy to make the finals, as fair as possible.

thats a really good idea

Chris Fultz
04-15-2007, 03:15 PM
Don't put the awards in between the Matches. Makes it boring and less energetic.

mixing in the awards with the matches keeps it interesting and makes the event shorter. FIRST used to do the awards after and it was a very long afternoon, because there has to be a lot of time between matches for teams to get ready.

yes, i know this is a positive in the negative thread, but just responding to the previous post.

Joker[eS]
04-15-2007, 03:26 PM
This first point isn't really about the championship, but rather a suggestion for the GDC.

On the Newton Field, a red card ended the competition between two teams in the final rounds. I think that it would be nice if the red card meant that the match needed to be replayed without the third robot. Sure, a red card is bad, but if you look at a sport like soccer, a red card penalizes the individual and the team, by having them play with less players. Perhaps calling a red card DURING the match, instead of afterwards, and then replaying the match 2v3 without the robot who committed the infraction.

A point on championships:

I would've found it nice if the pits ran perpendicular to how they were this year, if only because it would've meant less crossing the aisle. I can see where this might be bad for rookie teams, and higher numbered teams, but I would've felt like the divisions (Newton, Curie, etc.) were divisions that way.

Another point on championships:

The sound system. Depending where you sat at matches (I was at Newton) or at Einstein at the end of the competition, the sound system could either be way too loud, or way too soft.

*Props to the camera guys. The on-screen video coverage of what was on the field was amazing.*

XaulZan11
04-15-2007, 03:28 PM
Indeed there were some very poor calls by the referees. On Archimedes, in semifinal 1-2, team 254 was tipped over by the opposing alliance, and no penalties or DQs were called. Then, in the very next match, 254 was tipped again by the same robot, and still no penalties were called. Watching the same thing happen to 71 on Einstein, only the aggressor being disqualified, made it even worse.

As for 1114, I heard they were also pinned for much longer than 10 seconds, and the referees didn't start a count, make the aggressor back off, or call a penalty.

Here are some other things I noticed this year. There were no "special effects" for the Chairman's Award; in the past they've had the aforementioned confetti balloons or fireworks. Why nothing this year?

Lastly, I wonder why Dave didn't wear a suit for the finals this time.

About the semifinals on Curie and 1114. First, since I was the human player I didn't get a good view of what happened, so I don't know if it was legal or not. I do know that 48 did get a 10 point penatly, but that was after it was challenged by 1114. The 10 points didn't matter since we still won and moved on.

Billfred
04-15-2007, 03:35 PM
Some of the things I saw:

1) Something needs to be done about opening and closing ceremonies for FVC. Opening ceremonies are during the FRC lunch break, which is marginally passable from a noise standpoint, but closing ceremonies during FRC matches is just not as awesome.

2) The FVC World Championship as it sits could benefit greatly from being extended or split into its own divisions. With four matches, one bad match could kill a team entirely. (Granted, a truly great scout would catch a team with promise regardless of one bad match.)

3) It would be nice if there was a way to scratch FVC teams that did not show up for the competition, as one of the teams from China did. Not so much for the teams that don't show as the teams who're playing with them.

4) Branding. You've got the Rack 'N Roll logo on DaVinci, folks in FLL shirts on FRC fields, yellow representing both FIRST and FRC in the Championship program (with FLL in blue and FVC in red), and so on. Give each competition and the Championship at large a color, and don't switch them around--this can also be quite useful for other things, such as signs that only apply to one competition. Make the crew shirts intentionally non-competition-specific while you're at it (and perhaps do something with the backs--they don't have that visual appeal that the FRC regional shirts do).

4a) I recall the FRC-specific logo being introduced right around Kickoff, so this year, just as when FIRST changed logos in 2005, I'm not griping much about the signage with the FIRST logo and "ROBOTICS COMPETITION" below it (even if it does push the logo standards). But in the interest of keeping things matched between the three competitions, it would be nice to have FRC-specific signs receive the FRC logo and FIRST signs get the FIRST logo.

5) I agree, I miss the visual flair for the Chairman's Award winners. However, skipping the balloons this year was an improvement for the sake of those up in the stands.

6) To go back to FVC in a way, I was confused a bit with the change in meaning of dots on the operator badges. (For those who weren't on DaVinci, badges with dots were used for drivers, while coaches did not receive the dot.) This became a bit more of an issue when those who coach for both FVC and FRC came out wearing both badges--with the visual distinction between the two limited to black text on a purple badge, it was tricky to distinguish. Keeping this parallel across competitions (and perhaps changing the badge color across competitions) would be lovely.

That's all I can think of, mostly of a nit-picky nature. Overall, I highly enjoyed it--and I can't wait for next year!

ebarker
04-15-2007, 03:49 PM
interlacing the awards with the matches is a great idea. It saves a ton of time because you don't sit there doing nothing waiting for the next match and then having to start the awards from scratch.

Signs need to be posted and people reminded that the FIRST protocol is NOT to save seats. I went to Newton and there were a ridiculous number of seats claimed with no one in them. We only needed a few seats for a short period of time to watch our match and leave. I talked to a woman that was trying to guard 50 seats and their team wasn't in sight when I arrived and later when I left.

So please everyone be a little respectful and take it easy on the seats.

DougW
04-15-2007, 03:53 PM
On Curie, if there is not a match or the score posted there are commercials, the same ones played over and over. I would rather see my kids setting up the robot or there team in the stands cheering for them. Most of the time they don't make it back to the match before announcing the teams and you miss seeing the kids all together.

jw

Caio
04-15-2007, 04:08 PM
one of the perhaps most frustrating occurrences during the competition was that at one point they were AHEAD of schedule on Friday. It was very awkward when we showed up 15 minutes before our scheduled match time, and nearly missed our match. We had to run out onto the field. When you have that much noise in the pits, and an announcement about things being ahead of schedule is known to just be considered white noise, they shouldn't do that. I'm all for being on time, or ahead, but they should have sent someone to our pits and told us "we are ahead by 10 minutes, be out there extra early..."

but hey, they were trying not to run late, but they should be careful about making people almost miss their matches, especially when you only get 7 of them.

Luckyfish05
04-15-2007, 04:17 PM
I think we were missing some of the magic this year at the Championships. Yes there were lots of good things, but we were missing much of those things that people have already talked about in this thread thus far. But I'm going to state them again plus add some observations.

1. The Closing Ceromonies-
We're was the specialness of the Chairmans? No confetti? No balloons? Wow, this is suppose to be the most special award and half of the teams left before they even showed Wildstangs movie (which was pretty awesome by the way). It's last because it's the most important, people should treat it as such!

2.In the stands-
It seemed quieter, at least on our field (Newton), this year than past years. IMHO, I don't think teams we're yelling as much. Our team was part of the problem, so I'm not trying to say anything about the teams on our field don't get me wrong here. But, I think that's some of the magic, hearing the team get up and cheer. The few times we did try to cheer there were people back behind us that were yelling for us to sit down. Guys, yelling for your team on your feet is good. Getting excited is good. The music was rediculously quiet, but the announcing and MCing were good. That has me confused. There were times I couldn't even tell the music was on.

3. Random thoughts:
Why weren't the lights on in the consession areas for Saturday??? It seems really weird that they didn't have them on. Then for Closing ceremonies when the upper decks are openned up. The guards on the ends, I understand what they were there for, but where they ended the seating wasn't the smartest. It left our team with only one entrance to the aisle, and to get out you had to walk over every other team in that aisle, when there was another entrance out. Caution tape needs to be used to cut an aisle in half when they don't want people past a certain point, but getting yelled at because someone needs to use the restroom and is trying to be considerate by not climbing infront/over of 20 other people doesn't make much sense.

Just remember these are just my negative thoughts. As usual there are so many more positive thoughts than negatives! I can't wait for next year, and I know that much of the rest of the team is the same way. They want to start tomorrow!

Luckyfish05
04-15-2007, 04:20 PM
On Curie, if there is not a match or the score posted there are commercials, the same ones played over and over. I would rather see my kids setting up the robot or there team in the stands cheering for them. Most of the time they don't make it back to the match before announcing the teams and you miss seeing the kids all together.

jw


That is totally agreed! I understand the need for the commercials! But get some crowd shots!!!! It's just as much about those kids in the crowd as the robots on the field!

whytheheckme
04-15-2007, 04:23 PM
IMHO, pushing/pinning penalties were not called evenly on Galileo during the Eliminations. During Qualifying matches, there was 1 or 2 refs in particular that would be SCREAMING the count for how long one bot had been pinning another (which is fine... This is the rule.) Then, during the Eliminations, a bot would be pushing another one for 8 or 9 seconds, and the ref(s) had not even started the count. It would be up to 15 or 20 seconds before one bot let go of the other, which calls for a penalty according to the rules. Perhaps the refs were distracted with looking at other calls, but in my opinion, this is huge (BTW, I'm not complaining because my team got screwed by it (which we didn't), I'm just saying it doesn't seem fair.)

Other than that, I felt like the end of the Final Finals could have been a bit more exciting (confetti perhaps, although I have read all about the evil balloons), or perhaps fireworks, or something. But I've never attended champs, so I don't have anything to compare it to.

Having to walk to the GWCC from the floor to get up to the stands was annoying; Perhaps they could take a section on the side of the fields where no-one was sitting and open the stairs there. Seeing 1-3 hour breaks between matches, and our pit crew being able to handle our bot, it was annoying, not to mention tiring, for drivers to have to walk for half an hour each way to just sit with the team.

Perhaps color-coordinating the operator badges by division (and then FVC and FLL) would have been helpful. Not sure what difference this would have made, but when in the tunnel to get over to the dome, it would have been nice to know if a bot was in your division, so that you could pay a bit more attention to the design, drivers, etc.

Parking price reduction. Not sure how. But I had some friends in the ATL area (within an hour away) that were turned off by coming to simply watch the event because of parking prices. I think that offering some kind of compensation would increase outside spectator participation.

Covered already, but the LED displays were horrendous. It was painful to watch the screen, let alone tell what was being displayed on it.

Audio on fields. Seemed like the music on Newton was really loud (good in my opinion), while on Galileo, it was barely audible. There should be some kind of standard between the fields. Or play one song throughout the whole venue, really loudly.

Tube supply. Was really confused by this. Why were so many Keepers blown up :confused: ... Seemed to me that very few of these were popped/cut away, but it seemed like every time I was in queue, there was someone on one of the fields blowing Keepers up. Not really a complaint. Just confused.

Queueing time announcement. The people in the pits emphasized that we leave our pit AT LEAST 40 minutes prior to a match, and then when we got to the dome, the queuer looked at us funny because we were 6 matches early. And then we sat. I guess if you knew not to listen to the people at pit admin, you would have been OK, but as a rookie team, we followed this every time.

I know I shouldn't complain about this, but my sister was just bugging me about it. The Food. I will now quote her. "It tasted like someone threw it up, and they refried it, and served it to you in a cardboard box." That's all I'll say. I personally was not offended by this venue food (I have seen worse.)

That's about it for now. I know I started off saying that I didn't have too much to complain about, but I guess I really thought about it. I was EXTREMELY happy with the event. Just suggestions for improvement.

Jacob

DeAnnaC
04-15-2007, 04:26 PM
Our family attended the Nationals though our team didn't, so we moved from field to field to check out matches during all 3 days.

I think the rule that is used during hockey games (maybe in other sports) should be followed - no standing/walking to a seat while a game is in play. We were trying to watch matches and would have a handful of people stand up after their team played and just stand - I don't know if there should be an announcement about that or ? but it was very frustrating for us to try and keep up with the action on the field.

We did find it funny that the speaker from Coca Cola encouraged us to visit The World of Coke, as it's currently closed and will not be opened until late May. :)

Vikesrock
04-15-2007, 04:28 PM
Being one of those who is only able to watch matches from a dorm room, I'd really like to see an improvement in the webcasts. The quality doesn't bother me as much as the camara choice; it seems that whenever a robot is disabled and not moving the camara has an urge to zoom in on it while robot X on the other side of the field does a backflip and scores 5000 points. I'd really like to see some better choices in camara angles next year.

This is something I definitely noticed. Myself and a few members of my team gathered on Saturday to watch the webcast of the eliminations. The biggest thing we noticed was a LOT of excessive zooming. There would be extended periods (5+) seconds where all you saw was an electronics board or some pneumatic accumulators.

We want to see robots scoring! Not a random section of some teams bumpers.

JackN
04-15-2007, 04:43 PM
I have a handful of complaints for this year's championship.

1. Consistency in Calls-The consistency in reffing was very strange. What was a penalty at regionals was not at Championship and what was a penalty on one field was no problem on another. It is impossible for two fields to make the same calls, but things that are called on one should be called on another.

2. Chairman's Presentation-I can understand not putting the balloons up, but we need something to go along with the presentation. Fireworks, confetti for the ceiling, the band playing, something. I love to hear the Chairmans finalists, and for them to get rid of it is upsetting. Would you rather finish second or not at all. Maybe the three judges awards become Chairmans finalist awards, just a suggestion.

3. Signs on Sticks-People, having spirit is great, showing off your team is sweet, and showing love to your drivers is fun, but during the match put down your big signs and sit down. It makes it easier to see the field and watch the competition.

4. Alliance Draft-This is a two part problem. I hate to see an even field. No more serpentine draft please. Two eight seeds won in the first round, something that should rarely happen. The Number one seed has only a marginal advantage, when everyone is even. My other problem was with teams showing up late. If you are in the top eight, be there extra early, please to get through the process.

These are just things that bugged me all weekend. It was still a great competition and I am excited for next year.

ScoutingNerd175
04-15-2007, 05:15 PM
2. Chairman's Presentation-I can understand not putting the balloons up, but we need something to go along with the presentation. Fireworks, confetti for the ceiling, the band playing, something. I love to hear the Chairmans finalists, and for them to get rid of it is upsetting. Would you rather finish second or not at all. Maybe the three judges awards become Chairmans finalist awards, just a suggestion.

I agree. I was watching on the webcast and the award felt totally anticlimactic. Firstly because I was wondering about honorable mentions, and secondly because there was almost no production. I realize that the balloons bothered people, so that should not be repeated, but there were fireworks in 2005 when HOT won, and that didn't make it hard for anyone to see. The chairman's announcement is my favorite part of the year, and my team isn't even in the running for it. But this was just not exciting.

On that note, considering that EI is supposed to be the 2nd highest award in FIRST, I don't think that it should be wedged in between matches. I think that they should finish the matches, then do EI, then CA. Although I do understand the time constraints and I like that awards are done in between, I don't think that EI should be.

The commercials on the web cast were definitely an issue. I wanted to see teams cheering and people dancing and teams setting up their robots. Instead I got to see the same commercials over and over, and I couldn't even hear them. Not to mention missing part of the match. I agree with those who suggested split camera angles. During one match, my team scored in auto, but I couldn't see it because the cameras were focusing on the other alliance, which didn't even move.

wheeler
04-15-2007, 05:41 PM
My biggest issue is with the FVC competition
They were late with the match list anyway so why did they not remove the no show so that teams in a Championship competition where left solo. I know at our qualifier they ran the match lists about 30 min before the start of the matches to assure that everyteam was at least present.
For the awards you could not hear a thing because of the FRC fields.
They could have allowed the teams to play one more match each then do eliminations and awards on Friday night. Our team had both FRC and FVC so during awards most of our team was split between the two instead of celebrating the team that was ending their competition.

MGoelz
04-15-2007, 05:42 PM
I think the only improvements that I suggest are made are:
1. Explanation of the penalties. There were times on Curie when the match results weren't even shown. I know it only happened a couple of times, but if you aren't able to hear well, it is vital to see who won. And there were quite a few penalties that I had no clue as to why they were called. Just a little explanation, especially for those who aren't directly involved in FIRST, and don't know the rule book inside and out.:)

2. I also think that they should not have even made the announcement about the tubes until after the Chairman's Award. It caused a lot of commotion, and even when they went back and said to wait, there were still people running down to get them.

3. Maybe show a quick schedule in between finals matches on the screen to show what awards will be given, and between which matches... and so on. And the Chairman's could be in much larger font, bold, and underlined for emphasis on its importance. Or something so that teams wait and the winners can experience the true feeling of winning this prestigious award surrounded by teams that know exactly what you've been working for and can appreciate your win with respect.

David Kelly
04-15-2007, 05:52 PM
I wish the fields would show the current rankings through out the day. Or at least have some monitors in the stadium dedicated to that. There was absolutely no way to see them unless you went into the pits. I didn't want to spend the time to walk back and forth after matches. I wish that they would show the scholarship award winners on the screens like in previous years. Have they even given out scholarships yet? Between matches they would just keep repeating those commercials. I appreciate the need to show them, but they were a little excessive.

Lil' Lavery
04-15-2007, 05:52 PM
About teams leaving before Chairmans:
This has always been an issue, but it isn't really avoidable. Many teams had flights they had to catch, and were not able to say later, they had to leave when they did.


My biggest complaint is the lack of Chairman's honorable mentions. Bring 'em back!
Also, some of the reffing was questionable (at best).

PizzmasterP27
04-15-2007, 06:06 PM
I was knida bummed when in chairmans award interview we did not get a 1 minute warning. From talking with other teams and also my own experience, all the regional chairmans interviews got 1 minute warning.
I mean it was no big deal but we got cutt off a little

santosh
04-15-2007, 06:06 PM
I too agree about the honorable mention award.

I was dissapointed in the fact that there semed to just be less energy towards the end of the competition and in the lack of confetti.

I thought the wrap party was good, it coulda used some more lighting but I guess that would have changed the effect.

Also, ther were some calls that I thought should have ben called, such as when Wildstang was tipped over during elimination matches in the Newton division with no call made.

Other than that I though it was great.

Gabe
04-15-2007, 06:28 PM
My biggest complaint was the sound system in the pits. Our team brought extra motors, BB transmissions, and other extra stuff to share with other teams, but I never could understand a single thing they ever said on the microphone. Most of the time I can only hear about half of the team number and can never make out exactly what they need. I want to help other teams!!!

I gave up on the announcement system and simply went from pit to pit (To the team with 3/8" steel rod in Curie, thank you!). I think there would be a lot more of teams helping other teams if something was done about this.

LightWaves1636
04-15-2007, 06:28 PM
1. Better ref calls, there were so many penalties the refs didn't give until after our match scores were announced and penalties that weren't given in the first place, like one robot rammed into ours and tipped over, refs told us they don't get the penaltie for that because they weren't at full speed:confused: .

2. "Field Faults" - I don't know, something happened during the Curie final, replaying match 2 of the finals

3.Alliance algorithim(sp?) - there were so many bad alliances and it cause so many good teams to be lower than they should have been.

4. The tube annoucements near the end, they should have done that after all the awards because immediately everyone stood up to rush down to the field.

5.The "commercials" - I think it would have better if they did close ups of the drivers getting ready, the crowds cheering, I don't know, the energy seemed lower than it could have been.

6.Teams staying within their pit area with their robot, cart, decorations, and etc. - just some of the teams I noticed.

Jon Anderson
04-15-2007, 06:42 PM
A nuisance at the championships was the ridiculous lengths that people are extending to in order to win the safety award. A fine line between safety and annoyance exists and the line was crossed. The award should be done away with completely or modified to include words like professionally or "not in a way that bothers everyone while contributing next to nothing in terms of safety."

Wiirage
04-15-2007, 06:46 PM
[QUOTE=dangerousdave;617071]I was very disappointed in the few thousand people that got up and left the dome following the finals last match Saturday night. That was disrespectful of the teams that competed and had not yet received their trophy's and very disrespectful of the 37 teams competing for the Chairmans award. These people were making a lot of noise while they exited and could easily be heard in the stands during the ceremony. Perhaps First should have mentioned not to leave following the last match but most everyone should have known this.

well we kinda had to leave early. i really wanted to stay quite frankly but some ppl had to be somewhere on sunday so we didnt even get to go to the party

JBotAlan
04-15-2007, 06:59 PM
The close-ups of the bumpers have to stop. Although, I thought it quite interesting--our pneumatics depressurized, and at the end of the match the camera settled on our pneumatics board. I would've thought it even more funny if I could see the problem from the stands, but there's no way I'd be able to see anything on those horrid LED displays (that have been there since I was a freshman). I mean, there are hundreds of regionals with hundreds of projectors. Why not use them? The resolution on the LED screens was just barely high enough to read the score. And the projectors in the pits needed to be doubled up, like at a regional, because when alliance selections came up I could not distinguish a 6 from an 8.

There were no dedicated speakers towards the left side of the seating for the finals and awards. We heard the echo (which might not be able to be avoided) from the other speakers and understood roughly 50% of what was said.

And I would've liked to see confetti. But I don't want it to get in the way, so leave it out if it's going to block the view.

Overall a great event; I have more positive than negative things to say.

JBot

BlondeNerd
04-15-2007, 07:01 PM
A nuisance at the championships was the ridiculous lengths that people are extending to in order to win the safety award. A fine line between safety and annoyance exists and the line was crossed. The award should be done away with completely or modified to include words like professionally or "not in a way that bothers everyone while contributing next to nothing in terms of safety."

I think I received the same safety sheet from 5 different teams. Safety posters are fun, unique safety sheets are OK, but I agree, it was a bit excessive to the point that Safety Kate didn't even read it all. I was also a bit disappointed with the lack of Safety Judge involvement. I saw them congregating quite a bit, but only one ever came to my pit. I spent a lot of time preparing for their visits. Yes, we should be safe anyway, but after being visited twice a day at the regionals, I had prepared the things that I had been missing before and felt it was for nothing when our pit was never evaluated.

I also agree that the sound system in the pits was awful. I realize that there is a lot of noise involved with that amount of people, but I never once could make out an announcement.

Overall, though, this event was one of the best experiences I have ever had!

KTorak
04-15-2007, 07:04 PM
It's a fact that nothing can be done about, people will leave before all the awards are given out. Most of the time, it's to catch a flight or some other reason related to having to leave to go home.

Kelly
04-15-2007, 07:06 PM
A nuisance at the championships was the ridiculous lengths that people are extending to in order to win the safety award. A fine line between safety and annoyance exists and the line was crossed. The award should be done away with completely or modified to include words like professionally or "not in a way that bothers everyone while contributing next to nothing in terms of safety."

Our team was thinking of talking to a safety adviser about this very problem.

Woody1458
04-15-2007, 07:18 PM
I thought it was wuiet disrespectful when people were jumping over the wall to get tubes DURING the awards. but thats my opinion.

Mr MOE
04-15-2007, 07:28 PM
I agree with many of the comments made so far. Here is my list, which may be a bit repetitive, but from a different perspective.

* FREE TUBES
It was disappointed that someone like Mike Wade from NASA Goddard, who works so hard to supply field and field manager for many events on the East Coast, was not able to get ANY of the tubes that FIRST was using during the Championship. I don't mind if extras were given away. However, they would definitely be put to good use if Mike W. had a full-field set of them. Have someone truck them over to the wrap party and distribute thre rest if there were extras.

* TIME FOR FINALS / AWARDS
Either FIRST should shorten the awards/finals or incorporate the actual running time in the program. For the past X years, this part of the Championship has taken longer than allotted in the schedule. Let's just modify the schedule to indicate their true length. Then teams can plan accordingly and, perhaps, will not need to leave before they are complete.

* ENGINEERING INSPIRATION / CHAIRMANS AWARD
Last year, MOE won the CMP Engineering Inspiration Award. Since FIRST considers is the second highest award they present, this award should come right before the Chairman's Award and be given the honor it deserves.

Having won the Chairman's Award, our team was more excited than concerned about teams leaving early. I can understand why some might leave if they had transportation issues and needed to go to the wrap party, which they may have paid for but, due to the length of the finals/awards, could not stay at for long before they had to leave.

With all the emotion at the time, I hardly noticed teams leaving, but considered the comments here, I wish that it would have been run more effectively. Confetti, fireworks, or some special effect would have been nice to demonstrate the importance of the award. I can understand why confetti balls would not be used, but there are also confetti "shooters" which are unobtrusive and just as fun.

The best part of Houston Championship a few years ago for me was the balloons falling all around at the end of the Chairman's Award presentation. That was a reason to stay!!

* GETTING DOWN TO THE FIELD
Due to seating, our team stayed in our Curie seats throughout the finals. When we learned we won the Chairman's Award, we thought we could use the stairs right in front of us to get down to the field. Unfortunately, they had been locked up, so we had to walk up to the concourse, through lots of people, and back down the main aisleway. This took a long time. I felt bad that we did not have more MOEboteers down on the field, but we could not get their easily. It would have been very easy to have someone open the stairs for us. We could have saved 5-10 minutes.

Alternatively, it was very nice to walk by many teams who gave high fives and congratulated us.

* FINAL VIDEO COLLAGE
I remember the video collage at Disney World in 2000, our rookie year. It was awesome and was followed by fireworks and laser lights. It had a profound affect on me and reinforced what was so special about FIRST and the event my team had just completed. It was a fitting close for the event. It's a shame for the people and hours it took to compile that video to not have it more prominently displayed before everyone took off for the wrap party. I only caught glimpses of it as I made my way down to the field.

* WRAP PARTY
Not enough drinks (one whole row was empty) and the sound from the main stage was too loud to have a decent conversation (might be my "old ears").

FIRST did some great planning and execution for much of this event. However, the issues above bring down their overall rating for me.

Daniel Brim
04-15-2007, 08:11 PM
The Algorithm
Seriously, FIRST, this has got to go. A lot of people are complaining about it, and rightfully so. In no world should somebody in the top 10 in tube scoring in their division seed 66th (125). Putting a team at a purposeful disadvantage is borderline ridiculous.
This led to other issues as well. To be quite frank, the finals were boring. I miss the days of the 2005/2006 finals, where it was a clash of the titans. The most deserving team got the #1 seed, and then picked who they thought was second best. Now it's normally a random team at #1, who will either pick a begrudging team that deserved to be #1, or will pick several of the best teams, who will decline (Newton 2006, Curie 2007 are examples, although the former didn't have the algorithm of doom).

The opening ceremonies
Please, show them on Galileo and Newton. I missed the WFA because I was in the stands in Galileo keeping some seats for the team. It would also make for a much faster transition from opening ceremonies to the first match. Speaking of the WFA, I would like to see it moved to Saturday afternoon. It seems devalued to have it when so many people can't see it.

The schedule
I don't like the way that the championships is structured. Practice day seems a bit pointless. I think that Thursday morning should be used for calibration and open practice, and then Thursday afternoon should have the opening ceremonies and a set of matches until about 6 or so. It lets all of the teams in a growing championships get more matches in.

The awards/finals
I don't like how *all* of the awards are intermixed with the finals. If the opening ceremonies are on Thursday, it gives more time to judge technical awards and they can be given Friday afternoon.


That's all I can think of for now, I'll post again if I can think of more.

234smidget
04-15-2007, 08:28 PM
there should be more excitement when the team wins nationals...confetti balloons and i think there should be better announcing of the winning teams

Also i think the announcers should announce all the regionals win for [U]each teams it seems sometimes they didnt do that

Finally i notice a few times the possesion rule wasn't inforced and it could of made a difference of the mathcs but besides that ATLANTA IS AWESOME better weather than indiana :)

LightWaves1636
04-15-2007, 08:30 PM
The Algorithm
Seriously, FIRST, this has got to go. A lot of people are complaining about it, and rightfully so. In no world should somebody in the top 10 in tube scoring in their division seed 66th (125). Putting a team at a purposeful disadvantage is borderline ridiculous.
This led to other issues as well. To be quite frank, the finals were boring. I miss the days of the 2005/2006 finals, where it was a clash of the titans. The most deserving team got the #1 seed, and then picked who they thought was second best. Now it's normally a random team at #1, who will either pick a begrudging team that deserved to be #1, or will pick several of the best teams, who will decline (Newton 2006, Curie 2007 are examples, although the former didn't have the algorithm of doom).



YES!! Gah, so many good teams were in places they shouldn't have been and they lost those matches due to bad alliances. We were greatly suprised how low Robonauts were, but at least they got picked, I wasn't able to watch their matches though.

jill399
04-15-2007, 08:53 PM
A lot of the things I'm going to say have been said before, but it's a way to let everyone know how important these few things are.

1- Algorithm. Really good teams that I have personally seen perform were seeded very low in Championships because of alliance partners. One or two bad matches are to be expected, but when good teams lose almost all of their matches through weak alliances, something has to be wrong.

2- Sound. I missed almost all of opening ceremonies because the sound on Newton was music and not the ceremonies. I couldn't hear anything Dean Kamen said, or any of the other presenters. By the time i walked from Newton to the back of Galileo, the national anthem was being sung and the ceremonies were over. It was my first time at championships and missing the ceremonies really irked me. Also, during the FVC awards, I couldn't hear anything the judges were saying. We were seated off to the right of the stage, closer to Newton, but not close enough that you would expect to only hear what's going on in the FRC match and nothing from the section you were sitting in.

3- Projection in pits. It usually took me 3 times to read the seeds in Newton because of the lack of quality. One time, after standing for 10 minutes, i gave up trying to find where my team was because i couldnt distinguish an 8 from a 9 or a 6 from a 3. Also, Newton and Curie had two different systems for showing the seeds. Newton showed two pages of scores that divided the 86 teams in half. This is good for teams that know where abouts theyre seeded but when you have 3 seconds a shot to find your team number out of 43, it tends to take a while. But, in Curie, they were showing the seeds one team at a time. Although this gave more time to find your team, it took forever to go back to a number that you may have missed.

4- Lack of gracious professionalism in the stands. I know some teams dont like to stand up and cheer, but for those that do [like mine] we try to sit in the back somewhat so that we dont get in the way of others. However, my team needed to get up and leave one time, and the team behind us started yelling at us to sit down and "what are you doing?!" "this is our match!! get out of the way!!" and when we started to apologize they kept on yelling. I can understand their mentality, but yelling at another team is not something FIRST teams should do. Especially when there are three rows of empty seats in front of us.

5- Saving seats. Before championships, word was that Curie was the powerhouse division this year. Therefore, three friends and I wanted to go watch a couple finals matches. However, in the only seats we could find [to the very very left of the field] there were at least 15 rows of seats saved for teams by 2 people each. When we tried to explain that we were just sitting there for the finals, and not to worry, our team isnt going to sit here for Einstein or anything like that, team mentors/advisors/parents (not sure which of those they were) continued to tell us to move, they were saving those seats. It states clearly in the rules that saving seats is illegal. I know that making sure your team sits together is important and it's hard to have everyone in the stands at all times, but when four students want to sit in one of 3 rows youre saving for a team and an adult yells at you to leave, there's something wrong. A FIRST volunteer sitting in the back of the stands saw us move from empty row to empty row looking for seats and being told theyre saved, and she told us to go ahead and sit wherever we wanted. Turns out, we were only there for 10 minutes to watch. And no one from the other teams had come to claim their seats yet.

6- Free tubes, leaving stands. Everyone has said pretty much everything to say about this topic.

7- Chaiman's Honorable Mentions. Our team was going for National Chairman's, and although we figured that we wouldn't win this year, we were waiting for the Honorable Mentions. That would let our team know how much we needed to improve our program. If we got the Honorable Mention, then we could scope out which of our programs are Chairman's worthy and which of them need a lot of improvement. I'm not saying we wouldnt do this otherwise, but getting a grasp of where we stand was something we were hoping for as soon as we won Chairman's in LA. We were one of the last teams in the stands because we were waiting for those Honorable Mentions. If FIRST decided it was in the better interest of its teams to nix them, they should have made an announcement somewhere to let teams know who were going for Chairman's. We were all disappointed when the ceremonies seemed to just be over without someone saying it was over and without the Honorable Mentions. Congratulations to MOE, and I wish more teams could have understood the importance of that award for you. I understand that some of them had flights to catch and places to go, but guaranteed that at least a few teams headed over to the Wrap Party.

8- Schedule of Events. For first-time Championship goers like myself, I was oblivious to what was going on, for the most part. I knew the series of events that happened in each divison- practice day, two 1/2 days of qualifiers, and finals- that I learned from regionals. But, outside of that, everything was quite confusing. I heard about a parade but no time, I didnt know how the Einstein finals went, what awards were given when, when the pits opened and closed etc. until the events were actually going on. A schedule of events posted at the entrance to the Dome and at the Pit Admin would have helped a lot of newcomers get a grasp of what was going to happen during those days in Atlanta instead of being rushed along.

I had an absolutely awesome time, but there is always room for improvement.

shawger
04-15-2007, 08:53 PM
The Algorithm
Seriously, FIRST, this has got to go. A lot of people are complaining about it, and rightfully so. In no world should somebody in the top 10 in tube scoring in their division seed 66th (125). Putting a team at a purposeful disadvantage is borderline ridiculous.
This led to other issues as well. To be quite frank, the finals were boring. I miss the days of the 2005/2006 finals, where it was a clash of the titans. The most deserving team got the #1 seed, and then picked who they thought was second best. Now it's normally a random team at #1, who will either pick a begrudging team that deserved to be #1, or will pick several of the best teams, who will decline (Newton 2006, Curie 2007 are examples, although the former didn't have the algorithm of doom).


I like to think of the sorting algorithms and ranking systems as part of the challenge of the game. Yes, it's entirely possible that a poor performing robot gets lifted up because of their match schedule just as it's entirely possible that a well performing robot will get torn down. I think every team who's been around for a couple years has been on both sides of the fence.

If you are a truly amazing team who is ranked poorly, more often than not people will notice that. If they don't notice it, you can help them by passing out fact sheets to the highly ranked teams. My team did a considerable amount of scouting at the Championship and I can assure you we looked foremost at the robots ability.

You talked about 1114 and 330 rejecting us (1732) in the Curie division. When we picked them we knew full well that they were both going to reject us because they had told us that before the alliance selection. Since we (of course) wanted to win, we decided to make sure those two got split up. Again, it's just part of the strategy of the game.

If FIRST came up with a way of ranking teams from highest to lowest ability in perfect order I think the game would lose an entire dimension of strategy.

Daniel Brim
04-15-2007, 09:02 PM
3- Projection in pits. It usually took me 3 times to read the seeds in Newton because of the lack of quality. One time, after standing for 10 minutes, i gave up trying to find where my team was because i couldnt distinguish an 8 from a 9 or a 6 from a 3. Also, Newton and Curie had two different systems for showing the seeds. Newton showed two pages of scores that divided the 86 teams in half. This is good for teams that know where abouts theyre seeded but when you have 3 seconds a shot to find your team number out of 43, it tends to take a while. But, in Curie, they were showing the seeds one team at a time. Although this gave more time to find your team, it took forever to go back to a number that you may have missed.Agreed entirely. The list of seedings was nearly impossible to read. In addition, the way it scrolled, it was even nearer to impossible to determine who the number 1 seed was, because it was gone in an instant. I liked the way it was displayed last year much better.

If FIRST came up with a way of ranking teams from highest to lowest ability in perfect order I think the game would lose an entire dimension of strategy.It's not going to be in perfect order with any system (see: Aces High last year), but it is the most fair to all teams to make the matches completely random. I don't think that any other system can come remotely close to matching that.

Mike Hendricks
04-15-2007, 09:24 PM
The close-ups of the bumpers have to stop. Although, I thought it quite interesting--our pneumatics depressurized, and at the end of the match the camera settled on our pneumatics board. I would've thought it even more funny if I could see the problem from the stands, but there's no way I'd be able to see anything on those horrid LED displays (that have been there since I was a freshman). I mean, there are hundreds of regionals with hundreds of projectors. Why not use them? The resolution on the LED screens was just barely high enough to read the score. And the projectors in the pits needed to be doubled up, like at a regional, because when alliance selections came up I could not distinguish a 6 from an 8.

Because the LEDs are brighter. There is no way they could run projectors in the dome and have them any better than the LEDs. Look at the screens in the pits, and how much the ambient light effected them, even when the lights near the screens were shut off. Regionals use the projectors because they're in dark arenas - because of the dome's semi open ceiling, there would just be too much ambient light.

I think that they could of adjusted the text size on scoring computer to better suit the LEDs though. The wide screen display on Einstein was very impressive though.

My complaints -

The dynamic matches. I understand the field running early/late, but at one point its running TOO early. The communication system needs to be greatly improved. FIRST should take a look at Sundial and consider the possibilities for it. Every team has at least 1 laptop with them .. we used it at both of our regionals and it greatly helped us.

Pit announcement system. It's too much. The announcer reads things off non stop, and it seemed very quiet this year. Maybe they need to add a 3rd "message" display for each field that specific messages can be posted onto (at least for part requests). Some kind of a clock that shows how close the field is on time (*cough* sundial *cough*)

Teams leaving early. I realize that some teams have a plane to catch. In that case, they should be seated in an area where they can make a quiet exit. I was very disappointed in the teams that left Einstein before the Chairmans award was given, that was totally disrespectful to the team that wins the highest honor FIRST can give out.

JaneYoung
04-15-2007, 09:46 PM
Just one or two comments -
I'm reading a lot about teams having to leave before the Chairman's Award was announced. From years past, I have been on a team that had to leave the ceremonies early so that we could make our departure deadline. This year I traveled in a manner that allowed me to stay for the Chairman's and I was thrilled to be a part of it. I'm not sure that what we are seeing is disrespectful or rude, it just is what it is. To manage everything we all do at the Championship, juggling teams' individual schedules, demands, and contending with the weather - is something that has to be taken into account. It is my thinking that FIRST has tried hard in several areas such as the awards distribution and recognition, to try to schedule them in a way that can benefit as many as possible.

Also, regarding the confetti - I had the privilege of doing a little bit of volunteering at the Championship this year and discovered that many of the employees of the arena arrive at 4:00 a.m. to begin preparation for the day's events and attend to our FIRST specific needs, such as the pit. They stay until after we are gone, making for a very long day for them. If confetti is rained down into the stands, those employees have to clean it up. We leave, they stay and clean. I understand that we want to have a very special closing celebration but just the fact that I could stay and participate was enough for me this year. I understand that many events celebrate with confetti but, to me, monies can be better spent on other things and I'm glad no one had to clean it up.

Jane

Cartwright
04-15-2007, 09:55 PM
I think a big improvement that could be made for next year is more clarification and reason for each penalty. In our division at least, they announced the penalty but not its cause, confusing the entire audience if it wasn't obvious.

Scott Carpman
04-15-2007, 11:09 PM
7- Chaiman's Honorable Mentions. Our team was going for National Chairman's, and although we figured that we wouldn't win this year, we were waiting for the Honorable Mentions. That would let our team know how much we needed to improve our program. If we got the Honorable Mention, then we could scope out which of our programs are Chairman's worthy and which of them need a lot of improvement. I'm not saying we wouldnt do this otherwise, but getting a grasp of where we stand was something we were hoping for as soon as we won Chairman's in LA. We were one of the last teams in the stands because we were waiting for those Honorable Mentions. If FIRST decided it was in the better interest of its teams to nix them, they should have made an announcement somewhere to let teams know who were going for Chairman's. We were all disappointed when the ceremonies seemed to just be over without someone saying it was over and without the Honorable Mentions. Congratulations to MOE, and I wish more teams could have understood the importance of that award for you. I understand that some of them had flights to catch and places to go, but guaranteed that at least a few teams headed over to the Wrap Party.



Change LA to NYC and you just captured my feelings exactly.

Nuttyman54
04-15-2007, 11:50 PM
-Opening Ceremonies: I understand that they want everyone on Einstein for opening ceremonies, but it would be nice if they could put them on the Newton and Archimedes screens so those of us that are watching the team laptops and jackets can see what's going on, instead of trying to listen to the terrible reverb

-Chairman's: I would prefer that there be more celebration. I understand the problems with confetti, but what about something like dropping balloons (I think they did this on 03), or at least some small pyrotechnics or something?

-Chairman's Honorable Mention: It's been said. We like to know where we stand compared to the winners (Congrats MOE 365)

-Match pairings: Random please. No more of this A B C categorizing. If the official manual specifies random partners, we expect random partners.

-Awards: Here's one I haven't seen yet. While the concept of showing video of each team's robots as they received the awards was nice, they picked probably the WORST video clips I could've imagined. Dropped tubes, showing other team's robots, it made people focus on something useless that was playing on the screen.

-Free Tube Announcement: Honestly, I missed this announcement, but I was wondering what the commotion was about. Agreed with the above, please wait until AFTER Chairman's

-DQ's: I believe this is an issue with the scoring software not being able to do this, but for the two red cards that were handed out, I would've liked to have seen the actual match scores. I don't believe either call actually made a difference, but I would've liked to have known who won each match, regardless.

George A.
04-16-2007, 12:03 AM
From a Game Announcer standpoint (and I know there's a lot more of you then there are of us) I didn't like that the refs showed the number that corresponded with the amount of the lift, and even worse the score announcer announced it to the crowd (nothing against Don Knight, who's an amazing announcer, it just irked me). I understand the refs need to communicate, but they could just walk over and tell the other ref instead of broadcasting it.

I know from past experiences (3 regionals this year) that during elims the crowd is on the edge of their seat, and if you can build that suspense it really helps the excitement. The crowd can obviously tell who won on the rack just by looking at it, unless the ringers are really scattered that the quick math is almost impossible to tell. The thing they DON'T know, is whether the robots got the 15, or 30 point bonus, which in many cases decides the match.

So by announcing what the bonus was, it totally defeats the purpose of the score slide. Granted you may not know the exact numbers...but you could pretty much figure it out. I think they should've kept it a secret until the slide is projected.

Sorry about the rant, it's just my 2% of a dollar.

falconmaster
04-16-2007, 12:28 AM
Since consistency in complaints does indicate the seriousness of the issue, I am going to put in my part. The Chairman competitors would really like to know where they stand. The Honorable mention really did that. We too did not get any post evaluation documents indicating where we were weak or where we were strong. We did not even know there were going to be no honorable mentions. We were kind of stunned but we will get over it. Thats all I want to chime in on. Thanks

PS does anyone know why there is no honorable mentions any more?

FIRST JerseyKid
04-16-2007, 12:33 AM
Things that need improvement:

-My team only had 1 judge stop by our pit.
I know there job is hard but I don't know how awards are given out fairly if they don't talk to our students and see our robot.

-I'd like it if sundial could work in our pit.
I know they fixed it but we couldn't get a signal from our pit.

-Round schedule shouldn't have teams ever seeing each other but they did.

-They sped through the awards and didn't give them much value.

John Wanninger
04-16-2007, 06:50 AM
The Algorithm
... I miss the days of the 2005/2006 finals, where it was a clash of the titans. The most deserving team got the #1 seed, and then picked who they thought was second best. Now it's normally a random team at #1, who will either pick a begrudging team that deserved to be #1, or will pick several of the best teams, who will decline (Newton 2006, Curie 2007 are examples, although the former didn't have the algorithm of doom)....
Ouch.:(

GRaduns340
04-16-2007, 07:33 AM
Not having been in the stands for much of the competition I don't know how things went out there, but I do agree that the algorithm really hurt a lot of teams. Just an example, team 316 was the second seed alliance at FLR this year, a well-deserved spot. Then at Championship they didn't win a single match and came in dead last. I might not know the whole story there, but that seemed more than a little unfair.

There were also 86 teams in the division. There should be no need for any team to play with or against another team twice. As it was I think we played with 1657 twice and against them once, against 49 twice, with 1885 twice, and with 1230 once and against them once. There may even be more that I'm missing. That's four other teams that we should have been able to see in our matches.

Steve Wherry
04-16-2007, 08:23 AM
The only way to avoid teams leaving early during the awards is to somehow redo the schedule so that the awards end earlier. Pushing flights later into the evening becomes a travel headache. It is also difficult to begin matches on Thursday because tech-inspection takes a full day for 340 robots.

Some suggestions that would affect the competition very little:


Start Opening ceremonies 30-minutes early and run Friday matches 30-minutes longer. This saves an hour to help end awards earlier on Saturday.
During the semi's and final championship matches, put the teams and awards on a specific schedule. Run two semifinal matches, then 15-minutes of awards; then two more matches, then 15-minutes of awards. This can similarly be done for the final matches. The teams then know exactly when they must be ready. There was much dead-time waiting for the teams to return to the field after awards had been announced.
Do not run back-to-back practice matches and then reduce the number of practice matches. Running two consecutive practice matches is no good to a team that is not functioning well. Opening ceremonies could then possibly be on Thursday evening. This would help Friday morning matches to start on time (although matches ran ahead of schedule this year) and the opening ceremonies would not need to be rushed.


Just some thoughts after experiencing 8 championships.

Alex Cormier
04-16-2007, 08:26 AM
i want to hear someone on the DRIVE TEAM from 48 speak out about this match.... i was on the field with a media badge, and so were others, and they heard some things that the 48 mentors said that the ref should have heard as well, bc if the refs did, there should have a red flag on 48, no doubt (note, thats what i heard from other media personal, i wonder if they recorded it, well the audio anyways.)

on other topics

CANADA GOT SHAFTED IN THE AWARD CERMONIES
The tubes should have been till last, (did someone get a video of the stampede?) they should have taken all those excess ringers and tossed them down instead of confetti or balloons, (if the game piece is soft enough, make it interesting...)
1732 DIDN"T DESERVE 1ST SEED
do the closing ceremonies/finals later, have that start at a fixed time, like 8PM (prime time spotlight for TV maybe...) and have multiple plans ready just in case matches go to 3 games.
1114 GOT SHAFTED, AND IM NOT HAPPY
have alliance selections done a little differently at nationals, for those of you who don't know the winning alliance was a 8 SEED alliance, not to be taking anything away from them, but that SHOULDN'T happen, go back to the old system, and get rid of this serpentine system for Championships
1732 SHOWED THEY WERE A WIMP BY DOING WHAT THEY DID DURING ALLIANCE SELECTIONS
well, thats all i got...

I see 95% of your post disrespectful and totally not needed here on the forums. If you have a problem with a certian team, PM someone on that team and keep it private.

At no point shall anyone bash a team for being 1st seed, that is totally wrong and i am surprised this is coming from a MENTOR. Hiding it in white is childish and also not smart at all.

Also on the topic of 48 and 1114, if you're not on either teams, what right do you have to worry about it? Im sure you don't know all the logistics of what went down, which you stated in your post, once again PM a person on the team and keep it private.


$.02, wish i was worth more.

ebarker
04-16-2007, 08:31 AM
5- Saving seats. Before championships, word was that Curie was the powerhouse division this year. Therefore, three friends and I wanted to go watch a couple finals matches. However, in the only seats we could find [to the very very left of the field] there were at least 15 rows of seats saved for teams by 2 people each. When we tried to explain that we were just sitting there for the finals, and not to worry, our team isnt going to sit here for Einstein or anything like that, team mentors/advisors/parents (not sure which of those they were) continued to tell us to move, they were saving those seats. It states clearly in the rules that saving seats is illegal. I know that making sure your team sits together is important and it's hard to have everyone in the stands at all times, but when four students want to sit in one of 3 rows youre saving for a team and an adult yells at you to leave, there's something wrong. A FIRST volunteer sitting in the back of the stands saw us move from empty row to empty row looking for seats and being told theyre saved, and she told us to go ahead and sit wherever we wanted. Turns out, we were only there for 10 minutes to watch. And no one from the other teams had come to claim their seats yet.

Hands down this is my NUMBER ONE complaint. There were displays of rudeness everywhere of this problem. I think part of the problem may be because people affiliated with a team, like parents, are not familiar with the rules and tend to hoard seats when they shouldn't.

Our team is small and didn't use many seats and generally only when we were competing. Once we sat down to the protest of a parent holding 50 seats. Later we tried to sit about 5 people down for one match under the protest of an EXTREMELY boorish and rude middle aged man wearing a bright orange shirt that was holding seats for a whole team that never showed up anytime we were around. (Newton)

I post this with great hesitation but at some point I think it excessive displays of rudeness requires recognition.

If we can't get this problem fixed then maybe we need to go to assigned seating based on a lottery for a fixed number of seats per team. If we can't start being nice to one another this is where is could wind up.

Everyone, PLEASE, PLEASE, work on developing a plan and communicating it to everyone traveling with a team, including friends and family.

ICE MAN
04-16-2007, 08:33 AM
Hey,


I was just wondering since i heard no offical mention of where the championships will be held next year. Does anybody know of the offical location of the 2008 Championships will be held at.

Thanks for your time,
-Cory

dangerousdave
04-16-2007, 08:43 AM
Hey,


I was just wondering since i heard no offical mention of where the championships will be held next year. Does anybody know of the offical location of the 2008 Championships will be held at.

Thanks for your time,
-Cory
Atlanta (http://www.gwcc.com/calendar/dome.html) April 16-19, 2008 and I hope Roswell and Wheeler are back there again in 2008!

sovierr
04-16-2007, 08:47 AM
My biggest issue is with the FVC competition
They were late with the match list anyway so why did they not remove the no show so that teams in a Championship competition where left solo. I know at our qualifier they ran the match lists about 30 min before the start of the matches to assure that everyteam was at least present.
For the awards you could not hear a thing because of the FRC fields.
They could have allowed the teams to play one more match each then do eliminations and awards on Friday night. Our team had both FRC and FVC so during awards most of our team was split between the two instead of celebrating the team that was ending their competition.

I can't believe we only had 4 qualifying matches. When undefeated teams are not alliance captains, there are needs to be more qualification matches! I don't know if any undefeated teams were left unpicked for eliminations, but that would be a lousy situation if it did happen.

The should have had moderators on the practice fields too. We had serious issues testing autonomous codes because we needed 1/2 the field. There were seldom times where 4 or 5 teams were not out at the same time. On the field with the field controls, the controls were never used since there was nobody to coordinate it.

I felt like this was still an FRC event with a Vex competition squeezed in the middle. They should try to coordinate this as 3 major events together. How about the openning ceremony being done for all 3 events together before any begin. Also, the lack of qualifying matches was explained as a way to not have Vex intefere with FRC on Saturday. This reinforces that FRC is king and Vex/LEGO must bend around FRC.

One last odditiy (not exactly a complaint)...why does FRC do alliance selections 1-8 in the first round then 8-1 in the second round and FVC does 1-8 in both rounds?

All in all, I had a great time, and I know that the Vex crew does a tremendous amount to put in this event. I just think some improvements can make it as special of an event as the FRC Championship.

dangerousdave
04-16-2007, 08:49 AM
Concerning the post by FreedomForce at 1:12AM EDT April 16.

I see 95% of your post disrespectful and totally not needed here on the forums. If you have a problem with a certian team, PM someone on that team and keep it private.

At no point shall anyone bash a team for being 1st seed, that is totally wrong and i am surprised this is coming from a MENTOR. Hiding it in white is childish and also not smart at all.
Agreed, those headings and most of the content should not have been posted and it was worse doing it subliminally. As Alex said, if you had to say it you should have said it in a PM.
Dave

Kit Gerhart
04-16-2007, 09:03 AM
About teams leaving before Chairmans:
This has always been an issue, but it isn't really avoidable. Many teams had flights they had to catch, and were not able to say later, they had to leave when they did.


My biggest complaint is the lack of Chairman's honorable mentions. Bring 'em back!
Also, some of the reffing was questionable (at best).Maybe this shouldn't be necessary, but the way to make sure everyone stays for the Chairman's Award presentation is to have the presentation before the second, and potentially last match.

Kit Gerhart
04-16-2007, 09:19 AM
I'm probably in the minority on this, but why is the P.A. so loud? Anyone who cares about preserving their hearing needs to use ear plugs, but if the sound weren't so loud, we wouldn't need ear plugs.

Mike Martus
04-16-2007, 09:54 AM
Many great accurate suggestions I hope FIRST is looking at these....

I would also add the "Free Tubes" major error.

I would add one that has not been mentioned:

Sundial - could be great - if it would work. Many problems with it crashing.
There were many teams violating FIRST rules by operating a wireless network. They were asked to shut down but did not. We were told it was all the networks that were causing the problems with Sundial.

Remember an event this massive will always have issues and areas to improve upon.

Alan Anderson
04-16-2007, 10:13 AM
The Alliance Algorithm of Doom seems to have done exactly what it was intended to do. I hope we never see it again.

The sound system at the wrap party doesn't need to be turned up so high when the stage is indoors. I could barely carry on a conversation with the person next to me, much less hear anyone across the table.

Did they actually make DS&K perform "on schedule" after the finals and award ceremony were going overtime??? That's unforgivable.

I got complained at by several ungracious adults who were hoarding multiple rows of seats for team members who never appeared while I was watching our team's matches. What part of "do not save seats" is unclear? (My successful strategy for the situation: agree in advance to give up the seats when those students need them.)

Jeremiah Johnson
04-16-2007, 10:28 AM
Many great accurate suggestions I hope FIRST is looking at these....

I would also add the "Free Tubes" major error.

I would add one that has not been mentioned:

Sundial - could be great - if it would work. Many problems with it crashing.
There were many teams violating FIRST rules by operating a wireless network. They were asked to shut down but did not. We were told it was all the networks that were causing the problems with Sundial.

Remember an event this massive will always have issues and areas to improve upon.

I agree with all of this, but the bold part the most. Our team got a crap load of deflated tubes, but not because FIRST handed them out but because my not-so-smart brother jumped over the ledge (at least 8ft drop) right after they announced that people could go down to get them. They didn't say anything about getting tubes after the matches were done until after the fact (when only the Einstein stairway was open). This was a potential safety hazard for people in the stands. I'm glad to have not seen anyone else jump over the ledge to get down there. I do blame my brother for him jumping and not FIRST, I yelled at him a lot. He was our Safety Captain and worked hard on promoting safety in the pits but he did stupid stuff like jumping over the ledge and not wearing safety glasses on the floor.

I also think that the walk from the stands to the pits has been greatly improved since the last time I was there in 2004. My feet still hurt though, I made several trips from the stands to the playing field in less than 15 minutes without running... that was a chore.


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I was kicked off of the side of the Archimedes field during eliminations because I was not a member of any teams on the field at that time. However, I had been walking around the ENTIRE stadium taking photos of all teams the entire weekend. It just so happened that I celebrated with members of 107 ("sister team") when they had made it to the finals. That's pretty much my only personal complaint...

Then there's the problem with my FIRST Behind the Design book getting stolen from my seat on Thursday... that wasn't funny.

jgannon
04-16-2007, 10:37 AM
I believe this is an issue with the scoring software not being able to do this, but for the two red cards that were handed out, I would've liked to have seen the actual match scores. I don't believe either call actually made a difference, but I would've liked to have known who won each match, regardless.
I was one of two people running the scoring and field control system on Newton. This is not a limitation of the scoring system, and in fact it's kind of a pain to zero out an alliance's score... just DQing all three teams doesn't do it. I would have liked to post the hypothetical score in the Newton elims, but the head ref demanded that the scoring screen say 0 before it was posted. I understand this reasoning... no sense in causing a bunch of "what ifs" for the teams involved. Sorry it took us so darn long to figure out how to do it.

Wayne Doenges
04-16-2007, 10:44 AM
I would like to see standardized refereeing.
We didn't find, until we lost the first QF match, that the ref had been measuring our lift from the bottom of our wing and not the lifted robots wheel. Someone took a picture, after the buzzer sounded, and it showed that the robot's wheel was a good inch above the line but we only got 15 points for the lift. The match would have been tied.
After our alliance captain protested, and all the refs had a meeting, we got 60 points for the next lift.

I liked Sundial when it worked.

I didn't like the loooooong walk to the arena. My feet are still not talking to me :)

Weepy
04-16-2007, 10:54 AM
All the issues that I would've said have already been noted in this thread except for one...

Now, 2047 is just a rookie team and I'm a senior, so this is my first and last year here as student (hopefully becoming a mentor next year). The matches were amazing, we met amazing people, and the whole event made my whole FIRST experience feel like my life was a comic book.

However, we really didn't enjoy Championships as much as any of the regionals we went to this year. We didn't see nearly as much team spirit or activity in the Newton stands as much as we did in Milwaukee or Chicago, and it was hard to be motivated when we only knew the 10-ish teams that qualified from the regionals we attended plus the handful of other teams we made personal friendships with.

I'm not sure what can be done about it, it's just our setup. Between emergencies, scouting, finding parts, ordering food, and two broken vans, and only 20 people on our team, it's not like we could afford to wander far from where we needed to be. It was a blessing that many of the friends I did make through FIRST had time to come to the pit to talk to me while we were working (I love you, Team C.O.R.E.!).

I dunno, I feel like I would've enjoyed this event 100x more if we actually KNEW the other teams. Scouting was hard to do since everyone else was equally bogged down by the goings.

If FIRST could organize some after-Thursday events such as Ultimate Frisbee Competitions, trivia shows, or maybe some video game tournaments, that would allow everyone in their own division to recognize each other. Small little prizes could be given out like t-shirts too.

Sure, 'socializing' isn't as much a concern as the safety issues and overall logistic issues that were posted in this thread earlier, but it would have totally changed my team's experience at Championships.

(100 secret EXP points to whoever read this all)

Paul Copioli
04-16-2007, 11:17 AM
For those of you that had seen my earlier public complaints of FIRST, in general, rest assured the battle is still being fought; but in private. This post will not go over any of the items that I consider general FIRST improvements, but rather Championship specific improvements (except for item 1).


1. Get rid of the algorithm of Doom. For no other reason but what is published in section 9.3.2 in the manual:

9.3.2 Match Assignment
The scoring system will randomly assign each team two ALLIANCE partners for each qualifying match played. All teams will play the same number of qualifying matches except if the number of teams in attendance is not divisible by six; in that case the scoring system will randomly select some teams to play an extra match. For purposes of seeding calculations, those teams will be designated as SURROGATES for the extra match.

Say what you do and do what you say. On that note; before team 217 pays our registration fee for 2008, we will insist that we have reassurance from FIRST, in writing, that the match algorithm is random at all events. It was sad that a first year student on my team could predict the 1st 14 matches on Galileo one week before the event.

2. Please reduce practice day. One round of practices to make sure the field works properly and each team gets the opportunity to practice once. Also have a "first come - first serve" line that fills the missing teams in practice matches. Start opening ceremonies and qualifying matches on thursday after lunch. Get 2 or 3 rounds of matches in on Thursday. Maybe even do FVC and FRC opening ceremonies at the same time on Thursday. The biggest obstacle to this is inspections. If teams know in advance that they will have matches on Thursday, I bet the majority of teams will give up the extra time to get extra matches. The cost for the Championship is almost $1,000 per match ... ouch!

3. Let operators (with badges) use the stairs going from the field to the floor. Only two people are really required to move the robot from the pits to the dome. The other two can stay out of the way by staying in the stands until the time they need to go to the match. I just want an explanation of "why not" that makes sense (not becasue FIRST said so).

4. Publish the correct time for the awards ceremony ending. It has finished at the same time for the last few years. The Chairman's award sure didn't seem like it was the highest award with its cut down time and anticlimatic ending. Moe deserved more than that as they are a great team and deserve better.

For those of you who said teams had to get to places, please explain to me why the after party had well over 2,000 people at it when we arrrived. My wife and I left right after the announcement was made regarding Chairmans and basically ran to the after party (I had an all access badge so we could get there pretty fast via the short cuts). The party was pretty packed at that time. For reference, the VIP area had 0 people at it when we walked by because they were at the awards ceremonies and stayed until the end.

Dave Scheck
04-16-2007, 11:24 AM
Did they actually make DS&K perform "on schedule" after the finals and award ceremony were going overtime??? That's unforgivable.Yes, that was the case. They were told to be ready to go at about 6:00 because there were teams lining up outside. They eventually were told that they were going to start at 6:15 and had until 6:45 to play. As they were taking the stage, there was a power failure on one half of the stage. While they were fixing this, the hypnotist walked on stage and started doing his sound check (which, by the way was scheduled for prior to 5:30). This put the band about 10-15 minutes behind. They were then told that they had to cut their set to 15 minutes to maintain the schedule. They negotiated to have a 20 minute set. When they finally did start playing, the doors were barely open. As they were about to start their final song, the production crew signaled that time was up and that they had to keep their schedule.

I think that it was wrong to open the doors to the team party before the competition was complete. It was very disrespectful to the teams playing on Einstein as well as the teams that won awards. A "wrap party" should celebrate the conclusion of an event, and not begin before all activities are complete.

Don Knight
04-16-2007, 11:28 AM
My biggest complaint was the announcement of the free for all for the tubes on the field right before the chairmans award. Many people ran for it and didn't come back to see it and it really took away from the importance of the award.

That was a my bad..:( .. I was given direction to do so, but...... I do agree I should have said no and waited until after the Chairmans Award was announced. I did make another announcement asking team to wait but by then the flood gates had opened. My apologies to MOE.

IndySam
04-16-2007, 11:28 AM
1. Get rid of the algorithm of Doom. For no other reason but what is published in section 9.3.2 in the manual:


2. Please reduce practice day. One round of practices to make sure the field works properly and each team gets the opportunity to practice once. Also have a "first come - first serve" line that fills the missing teams in practice matches. Start opening ceremonies and qualifying matches on thursday after lunch. Get 2 or 3 rounds of matches in on Thursday. Maybe even do FVC and FRC opening ceremonies at the same time on Thursday. The biggest obstacle to this is inspections. If teams know in advance that they will have matches on Thursday, I bet the majority of teams will give up the extra time to get extra matches. The cost for the Championship is almost $1,000 per match ... ouch!


#1 I couldn’t agree more. When a team can be a picking team at the championship with a robot that is just a drive base there is something major wrong with the way matches are selected.

#2 To help with #1 more matches need to be played to give the best robots a chance to shine. Also a stand in line for practice matches is a brilliant idea.

Richard Wallace
04-16-2007, 11:31 AM
(100 secret EXP points to whoever read this all)Claimed.

I understand your frustration; it has always been much harder for me to enjoy the Championship. I still prefer regionals. Neglecting hiatus years this is my ninth FRC season, and I've been to about twice as many regionals as Championships. I am only now starting to really have a good time at the Championship, and it requires conscious effort to circumvent frustration.

chaoticprout
04-16-2007, 11:39 AM
Sorry but who/what exactly is DS&K? Thanks ><

Dave Scheck
04-16-2007, 11:42 AM
Dean Simmons and the Kamens (http://www.deansimmonsandthekamens.com/) is a robo-centric rock band that has been playing at FIRST events since 2004. They are always welcomed warmly, and were brought in to be the opening band at the team party this year.

JohnBoucher
04-16-2007, 11:53 AM
I am always impressed by the stature of the judges at the regionals and especially at the Championship. I was very disappointed and I believe it was disrespectable to them, not to have them introduced.

TKM.368
04-16-2007, 11:53 AM
My biggest complaint was the sound system in the pits. Our team brought extra motors, BB transmissions, and other extra stuff to share with other teams, but I never could understand a single thing they ever said on the microphone. Most of the time I can only hear about half of the team number and can never make out exactly what they need. I want to help other teams!!!

Perhaps this could be incorporated into Sundial somehow where you can scroll through a listing to see who needs what.

Andrew Y.
04-16-2007, 12:05 PM
I too agree with the leaving of people before the awards completed.

I think FIRST should not have told people they were going to give out tubes. This caused A HUGE rush for the field. And i think the people that rushed the fields were very disrespectful to the teams trying to listen to the rest of the ceremony and the teams that were receiving their trophies at the time.

I know FIRST tried their best with the black wrist bands to make sure teams only had 2 people in the student representative seats....but i still saw a team with 5 students....5!!:ahh:

Chuck Glick
04-16-2007, 12:12 PM
2) The FVC World Championship as it sits could benefit greatly from being extended or split into its own divisions. With four matches, one bad match could kill a team entirely. (Granted, a truly great scout would catch a team with promise regardless of one bad match.)

I agree with Billfred here. 100 teams could be split into 2 divisions of 50 easily(there are already two fields...so ONE field per division, like FRC, wouldn't be that bad.). Since teams only got 4 matches, as Billfred mentioned, teams with one loss (like 1114*) would plummet in rankings, killing their chances to get picked due to lack of scouting (something that should be fiixed). However this wasn't the case for the 3-1-0 team 1114 who still was picked, but the 4-0-0 (with 2 replays and wins of the same match coming to a 6-0-0) team 1712 was NOT picked.... something I still don't understand. Splitting the field into 2 divisions would give teams more matches, and really make the teams that perform stand out.

If divisions isn't the way to go, then have both fields play at once! Alternating fields draws attention to one game at once, but also cuts the amount of matches each team gets.

And if that idea isn't liked, then follow the FRC route, start earlier and play for 3 days. I think that most vex teams weren't watching the FRC championships, so where were they then? The social! If they were to continue playing at the same time as FRC then the whole keep EVERYONE at the dome till matches and awards are done would be easily done.

* I do not mean to be hostile towards fvc1114, you guys and gals have a great team and deserved the win.

triggerhappy336
04-16-2007, 12:26 PM
* TIME FOR FINALS / AWARDS
Either FIRST should shorten the awards/finals or incorporate the actual running time in the program. For the past X years, this part of the Championship has taken longer than allotted in the schedule. Let's just modify the schedule to indicate their true length. Then teams can plan accordingly and, perhaps, will not need to leave before they are complete.


CONGRADULATIONS MOE!!!!!!

I say this on behalf of all of Team 2228 because unfortunally we were one of the teams that had to leave early. You guys know how much we love MOE. I know you believe me when I say we were excited for you when we found out at the train station that you guys won. Congratulations again, we couldn't be happier for team MOE. :D :D

Just a note on us having to leave early. We planned our trip according to the FIRST schedule. We knew our departure was going to cut it close but we thought we would be able to see it all. As I've read from other posts, the finals run long every year. If so, I think it should reflect in the schedule so if possible, teams can plan accordingly. We left our seats in front of Galileo during one of the dancing intermissions and tried to do so as quickly and quietly as possible. My apology’s if we were too noisy or in the way.

Just some things I as a first time attendee think can be improved.

*MORE QUALIFICAION MATCHES
One of the things my team discussed on the way back home was the price vs game time. Going to Championships is an enormous amount to only play 7 qualification matches. With more and more regionals being added, this number is only going to get lower. We are considering limiting the number of times we go to once every four years max, regardless of weather we qualify or not. Even just 3 more qualification matches could justify this price tag a bit more. There are two ways I can see to increase the number of matches.

One is to add a fifth field. I think it would be great if the side seats were taken advantage of by adding a field on the side opposite the pit entrance. If that makes sense to anyone. From what I saw, there should be enough space to fit another field. The other limitation would be volunteer and tech personal, to which supply I cannot speak to.

The other would be to extend the competition into Wednesday. Maybe change weds morn to uncrating, weds afternoon to working and practice matches, Thursday morning more practice, Thursday aft to sat morning qualification rounds. Even though this would drive the price tag up, I think it would make Championships a much more wholesome and cost worthy experience.

*GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM
Although FIRST cannot do anything about these issue's, I think they need to be brought up anyways. One lack of GP occurred on Friday morning. On Thursday, our team got to the dome early and got front row seats to Galileo right next to the pit entrance. On Friday we got the dome even earlier hoping to get the same seats. When we got there on Friday the dome staff had it roped off because of leaking water. We dealt with this by sending most of the team to sit on the other side of the pit entrance and leaving some members at the top of the stairs with the official so that we could get those seats then send the rest of the team over. What happened was a team jumped the caution tape, sat down, and then when told by the dome staff that they had to move, blatantly refused. From what I heard (at this point I was in the pits getting ready for qual rounds) the dome staff was yelling at this team demanding that they move, and this team completely ignored them. Not only is this unfair to teams that listened to the officials, it gives a bad impression to the entire dome staff about the type of people who compete in FIRST Robotics. In the end this worked out best for us because we were able to cheer for other teams much more effectively (giving everyone high fives as they walk out is awesome) even if our view of our field was pretty bad.

Another occurrence might not necessarily be a lack of GP, but we kind of expected from what we have heard from other teams, and from what we have experienced with other teams. Twice during the competition our bot ended up with our wheels in the air, not by our own actions. Both times neither team talked to us. In practice rounds, when our forklifts fell off while playing defense against 191 (completely our fault), they came right over after the match and said, 'did you caught in something? can it be fixed? is there a way we can help?' I don't expect this from a team every time something goes wrong, but when our bot is disabled, it would be nice to at least get a, 'hey guys, our bad.'

I don’t want to make it sound like I’m whining, but from I had been told to expect from FIRST teams, especially low number FIRST teams, this is below the bar of expectations.

*PENALTY CONSISTANCEY
I know the refs are hard working people and I appreciate all they do, and this has been addressed already so all I'll say is that it is extremely disheartening to get tipped and have no penalty called, and then seeing later a disqualification right away on Einstein for the same thing.

Overall it was a great experience but I think with some changes that it can be much better.

artdutra04
04-16-2007, 12:45 PM
FVC needs to be a three-day event next year! With the rate at which the FIRST Vex Challenge has been growing, and with the relative small number of four qualification rounds for each competing team, adding another day (Saturday) onto the FVC competition is a much needed and deserved addition to the Championships.

Parking price reduction. Not sure how. But I had some friends in the ATL area (within an hour away) that were turned off by coming to simply watch the event because of parking prices. I think that offering some kind of compensation would increase outside spectator participation.FIRST cannot change the price the venue sets for parking, unless FIRST decides to cover the parking costs themselves. If you would like to save money on parking, go to one of the MARTA stations in the Atlanta suburbs with free parking, and take the train into downtown Atlanta, which is only $1.75 per ride.

5.The "commercials" - I think it would have better if they did close ups of the drivers getting ready, the crowds cheering, I don't know, the energy seemed lower than it could have been.Just like during any other sporting event, the event sponsors pay many of the bills and rightfully deserve commercial time as one of their perks for sponsoring the event. ;)

Madison
04-16-2007, 01:20 PM
Some things here reflect our experiences at regional events, but echo some of what others have been saying about Atlanta, as well.


I'd like to see a bit more consideration given to the pit layout. There were gigantic aisles between divisions and very narrow aisles within them. A column sat in the middle of the aisle in front of our pit, making it very difficult to get around. Perhaps it'd be possible to have "robot lanes," that people can avoid so your ankles aren't destroyed by overzealous kids with a heavy robot cart.
Leave the practice fields within the pits assembled and open to teams until elimination rounds begin! In both Portland and Atlanta, we would have liked to give our alliance partners some practice climbing our lifts and had difficulty doing so because the practice field was disassembled.
If the field is running ahead of schedule, STOP. There is no way for teams to know that the event is ahead of schedule and by running through matches so quickly, we're receiving even less of the precious time we need to repair and maintain the robots.
The kids on our team would've liked the opportunity to spend some more time speaking with the judges. They felt that a single, short visit by one judge didn't give them enough chance to explain what they loved about their experiences and were upset that no others came by.
In the future, can all teams avoid the destruction of entire Amazonian rainforests or something by printing about ten thousand fewer flyers reminding me to wear safety glasses?
Carpet the major passageways within the pit, at the very least, if not the whole thing. Trade shows can manage it, so let's do the same. It'd make things a bit easier on everyone's feet and the aesthetic of the entire pit will improve dramatically. Make it seem like we're supposed to be there -- not that someone left a loading dock unlocked overnight and we snuck in.
Place signs at the end of each aisle within the pit that list the range of team numbers represented. Instead of what you'd see in the supermarket -- cereal, cookies, soda -- it'd show, "Teams 503-353".
The Galileo ranking information did not update at all between the start of lunch and nearly the end of the day, Friday. This is not so good for team morale (or scouting) when you've lost the matches that are displayed and won all of the rest.
Navigating the hierarchy of volunteers and staff at the event can be baffling and waste enormous amounts of time. FIRST ought to consider having a 'team advocate' or similar available that is intimately familiar with the staff and volunteer positions and responsibilities at the event and can help teams with some of the more challenging problems and questions that sometimes come up during the event.
Some folks need to remember that, despite all of the money spent and the hours worked, this is just a game and chill out a little bit. I left the event with a far lesser opinion of some teams and individuals than I had upon arrival. I should not have to make excuses for other teams' behavior while interacting with my team members.


I think these are small things, all considered, and the event is run well. It's just not... exciting. This is the second year that we've had members that felt like the Championship is less fun and less worthwhile than the regional events.

Lemaymk 237
04-16-2007, 01:41 PM
There needs to be more things to do after the competition is over for the day, more places to eat, other than Papa John's, and better weather too...lol....there are also alot of little things that are wrong with Atlanta itself, like trans. and sanitation....

CrosbyAR
04-16-2007, 01:43 PM
I agree with everyone about the consistency of ref calls. While I was only on Galileo, I noticed inconsistency on not only the same calls within the matches we competed, but in the other matches on the field, and even from many of the divisions to einstein.

I would also like to appoligize for 229's early departure from the competition, but like 2228 we had to catch a train (the same train) to come all the way up the coast to get back home. It would have made what turned out, because of weather and other issues, to be a longer than expected ride twice as long.

And I appoligize if any of this has been said already by another member of our team.


-Alex (Coach)

Alexa Stott
04-16-2007, 01:45 PM
One thing that I would like to see improved is the way the matches are shot for the screens in the pits. I'm often in the pits for the entire event, and rarely am able to see matches in person. Throughout the day, I go over to the big screen and watch some matches when I get some spare time. It was very frustrating to not be able to see what was going on on the entire field. For example, I was watching one of our matches and we were making an attempt to climb our alliance partner's ramp. Just as we started to drive up it, they switched to a view of the opposite side of the field. They also did some really close up shots that, due to the nature of the rack, made it very hard to see what was going on.

vhcook
04-16-2007, 02:03 PM
I watched the webcast of Curie for most of the competition, and the lack of audio during alliance selection was a big disappointment.

I would have preferred to see fewer ads and more of the field setup time, particularly since the ads didn't usually make a great deal of sense without the corresponding audio tracks. While I appreciate the need to recognize the sponsors, this wasn't a terribly effective way of doing it.

In addition to using split-screen for autonomous mode, it would be nice to do something similar for the endgame so you can see ramping/lifting action at both ends of the field or watch rack scoring by one alliance while the other alliance is ramping.

yodameister
04-16-2007, 02:04 PM
My biggest complaint was the announcement of the free for all for the tubes on the field right before the chairmans award. Many people ran for it and didn't come back to see it and it really took away from the importance of the award.

Ditto

BoyWithCape195
04-16-2007, 03:20 PM
I would also like to appoligize for 229's early departure from the competition, but like 2228 we had to catch a train (the same train) to come all the way up the coast to get back home. It would have made what turned out, because of weather and other issues, to be a longer than expected ride twice as long.

And I appoligize if any of this has been said already by another member of our team.


-Alex (Coach)

Im just curious, had your team made it to Einstien what would you have done?

Tom Bottiglieri
04-16-2007, 04:37 PM
I would really like if teams stopped posting so many flyers about 'safety'. It's one thing to promote safety, but I feel the amount of these posters all over the pits was a bit too much and was very annoying. Its quite apparent that the only reason people are trying to be safe is to win an award. I feel the original intent of the safety award has been lost, and its existence is hampering the quality of the events.

triggerhappy336
04-16-2007, 04:46 PM
Im just curious, had your team made it to Einstien what would you have done?

Probably the same thing our team would've done, play as long as we were in and then hope to god we catch the train. It ended up being delayed an hour so they prob would've made it anyways.

Evenstar_342
04-16-2007, 06:25 PM
1. Awards Ceremony

This happens every year, the final ceremony always runs longer than expected. When my team saw that it was scheduled from 4:00 to 6:00, we started almost taking bets about how long it would actually go. We had to leave just after 7:00 pm, as a result of a combination of rookies who didn't realise about the Chairman's and the teachers who said we absolutely had to leave after the last match since they'd had enough of the competition and we had told the bus driver that we would be out by 6:00 and wanted to leave before the storm hit the east coast. I would have no problem if FIRST would mark out a longer time for the ceremony, I just think that it would be much fairer to teams who have to leave that night or want to attend the team social.

Also, I think its totally hypocritical that FIRST makes such a big deal that we have deadlines to produce the robot, yet they act as if their deadlines are no big deal. Up until that point, the scheduling was fine (the matches were even running ahead of schedule, which was great!), but we produce our most important "product", our robot, on time, and its insane when FIRST consistently produces their most important "product" at Atlanta, the closing ceremonies, late and over time.

2. Judging

I was very disappointed by the judging. 342 was not expecting any awards, but we felt very shocked at some of the judges' behaviour (myself especially as team spokesperson, trying to train someone else, as this is my last season as a student). We always invite (politely) all judges to stop by our pit area by offering them a button, introducing ourselves and thanking them for volunteering. Many judges would ignore me and Catharine, walking right past us or glaring at us as we tried to give them a button. The two or three that were assigned to our team, acted like it was almost an afterthought to come by.

The safety judges were also as confusing. I saw most of them huddled in corners talking or just walking around. This was very different than in Palmetto, where the judges were always watching. Many teams never yelled "robot coming through!" and I almost got run over probably a couple dozen times, sometimes in full view of the safety judges, who simply didn't seem interested or like they wre paying attention. I was shocked at this, since I figured that safety judges were there not just to judge the competition, but also to help keep people safe.

Not really a complaint, but I'd also be curious to hear the experiences foreign teams has had with judging. I know in FLL, translators are provided, but I was wondering if anyone has any problems with judge miscommunications. I just mention this because Friday while asking a safety judge where a team was, I saw him go ballistic on an Israeli mentor (who I don't think spoke English), screaming at him from the entrance of the pit area to wear his safety glasses. The safety signs in different languages were a great idea (although, not taping them to the floor would also be a great idea :ahh: )

I understand if there is a massive judge shortage (I know that was a problem at Palmetto, but the judges still spent a lot of time with each team), and that I do not know how to solve. However, I would suggest FIRST recruting former students and mentors to team up with the professionals, since they would have a different take on teams that perhaps the professional judges that have not participated in FIRST.

Otherwise, I had a great time. Other than the walk between the Dome and pits (which I didn't think was that bad, I certainly needed the exercise after eating all the junk food!), I think the location is great. Atlanta is definetly not my favourite city, but FIRST can't do anything about the crime and the Hyatt area seemed rather safe. The event volunteers were saints and I got to meet FLL and FRC teams from all over the planet (thanks to 401 -My deep condolences to all VT students on CD-, 1188, 1574, 2238 and some FLL teams for letting me hang out with them) and, of course, we had a wonderful time as a team in Atlanta. Good luck to everyone next year!

Joe Matt
04-16-2007, 06:58 PM
2. Judging

I was very disappointed by the judging. 342 was not expecting any awards, but we felt very shocked at some of the judges' behaviour (myself especially as team spokesperson, trying to train someone else, as this is my last season as a student). We always invite (politely) all judges to stop by our pit area by offering them a button, introducing ourselves and thanking them for volunteering. Many judges would ignore me and Catharine, walking right past us or glaring at us as we tried to give them a button. The two or three that were assigned to our team, acted like it was almost an afterthought to come by.

The safety judges were also as confusing. I saw most of them huddled in corners talking or just walking around. This was very different than in Palmetto, where the judges were always watching. Many teams never yelled "robot coming through!" and I almost got run over probably a couple dozen times, sometimes in full view of the safety judges, who simply didn't seem interested or like they wre paying attention. I was shocked at this, since I figured that safety judges were there not just to judge the competition, but also to help keep people safe.

Not really a complaint, but I'd also be curious to hear the experiences foreign teams has had with judging. I know in FLL, translators are provided, but I was wondering if anyone has any problems with judge miscommunications. I just mention this because Friday while asking a safety judge where a team was, I saw him go ballistic on an Israeli mentor (who I don't think spoke English), screaming at him from the entrance of the pit area to wear his safety glasses. The safety signs in different languages were a great idea (although, not taping them to the floor would also be a great idea :ahh: )

I understand if there is a massive judge shortage (I know that was a problem at Palmetto, but the judges still spent a lot of time with each team), and that I do not know how to solve. However, I would suggest FIRST recruting former students and mentors to team up with the professionals, since they would have a different take on teams that perhaps the professional judges that have not participated in FIRST.

Otherwise, I had a great time. Other than the walk between the Dome and pits (which I didn't think was that bad, I certainly needed the exercise after eating all the junk food!), I think the location is great. Atlanta is definetly not my favourite city, but FIRST can't do anything about the crime and the Hyatt area seemed rather safe. The event volunteers were saints and I got to meet FLL and FRC teams from all over the planet (thanks to 401 -My deep condolences to all VT students on CD-, 1188, 1574, 2238 and some FLL teams for letting me hang out with them) and, of course, we had a wonderful time as a team in Atlanta. Good luck to everyone next year!

Judging is vastly different from regionals. Judging is broken into divisions, then into awards, with two judges assigned to each award in each section. Due to the nature, many times judges have ONE DAY to interview all the teams available for the award, watch matches of them, and write up why they want them to win. After that, on Saturday, they then present who they want to win to the other three divisions and talk it out.

While I know many judges are great people, many times the ones you go out to either aren't covering your award or aren't covering your division. If you didn't get an award on the regional level, you PROBABLY won't be looked at on the Championship level. There are 90 judges this year, and frankly, they have a lot to do in a little amount of time. And they're doing this for free.

Jason Morrella
04-16-2007, 07:08 PM
1. The match algorithm must be quietly put to rest out in the pasture. It's a ridiculous system, no random or fair aspect to it. The ONLY part of the OLD scoring system that actually worked was the match algorithm. FIRST fixed all the parts of the previous system that were broken (they deserve kudos for finally getting a scoring system that worked well the entire season) and then they unfortunately fixed the only thing that wasn't broken, the match generator. Go back to the algorithm that the teams (aka the customers) actually liked.

2. Woodie Flowers Award Winners must have a wall in the Hall of Fame. This is SOOOO obvious it is dumbfounding that it doesn't exist (It's been recommended/requested for 2-3 years)

3. FVC closing ceremonies need to be improved, much like the FLL closing ceremonies were greatly improved.

4. Teams must get more matches. Schools and sponsors are charged way too much money to attend the championships to only play a few times. As someone else stated at the FVC event, if you have more undefeated teams then playoff alliances - then something is seriously wrong. You can not claim something is a "competition" when a team can go undefeated and potentially still not make the playoffs. The options of starting FRC matches on Thursday and extending FVC matches to Saturday is a good ideas - even if JUST ONE OR TWO MORE MATCHES.

5. Bring back the honorable mention list for the Chairman's Award and highlight the winner more. Those teams have done more for FIRST and FIRST growth than anyone, and deserve to be recognized and celebrated for all their hard work.

6. BIG ONE. Rule enforcement & consistency. The Yellow/Red card experiment was a colossal failure. They typically weren't given, there was no consistency in how rules were enforced, and they frequently meant nothing many times when given (an action that changes the outcome from a loss into a victory, that receives a 10 point penalty, but still results in a win for the violator is not a penalty). This is not the fault of the refs (they are volunteers who don't get adequate training, are trying their best and have the best intentions) or the teams who break the rules (they wouldn't do it if the rules were enforced). This was the first year I can recall when many events and divisions were decided by the referees instead of by the teams on the field, and that should never be the case. A very wise and accomplished mentor/coach in FIRST said to me "many refs, once the playoffs start, feel they don't want to make a call that determines the outcome of a match....what they don't realize is that by NOT making a call that is indeed a rule, they ARE determining the outcome of the match....only they are punishing the alliance that didn't break the rules instead of the alliance that did". I think he put it very well and I wish all the refs were trained to take that into consideration when a team is flipped, damaged or pinned by actions that violate the rules of the game.

Important point - For years now, FIRST has allocated a budget to training Judge Advisors and having many of them go to multiple events to ensure consistency. It has been requested for a few years now that FIRST realize that the training and consistency of referees is just as important as judges (if not more important). FIRST should allocate an adequate budget to train a core group of Head Referees each year before the Regionals start, cover their travel and expenses to attend multiple events so that a well trained and consistent group of refs will be at each event and on each Championship field. They must be on the same page regarding was is/isn't a DQ, how rules should be enforced and when warnings should be given - and it needs to be that way in from week 1 until end of the Championship finals. It directly impacts the integrity of the program and the experience teams have after all the hard work they've put in over the year - the teams (again...the customers) deserve this and this year they did not get it.

Jason Morrella
04-16-2007, 07:14 PM
7. Go back to showing the rankings on the big screen on each field in between matches. Playing the adds for the sponsors is a good idea and practice, but maybe at least alternate - after one match show the ads, after the next match show the rankings, repeat.

8. The serpentine system experiment needs to end and go back to the regular draft order. Again, the C in FRC is for "competition". There is a reason they're called "qualifying matches" and why there are rankings...so teams can try to better their position and chances for the playoffs. There is no rational for punishing a team for seeding # 1 - they earned the right to pick first in each round.

9. The safety award. Great idea and worthy award to have. But the best ideas, if implemented poorly, are no longer good ideas. The award as it exists now is out of control and needs to be reined in - many have pointed out the examples, so I won't go into detail. It should be an award, but it needs to be fixed and treated like the rest of the awards. When more time, resources and judges are spent on any single award other than the Chairman's Award....it should be a signal that it needs to be revisited.

10. FIRST needs to let teams know that there is a wrap video at the end of the Championship Closing Ceremony. Those are great videos, teams love to see them and yet the stands were almost empty when it played because FIRST never told teams it was going to play. The guys who put that video together deserved to have it played to a full house, and the teams who paid $5,000 to be there deserved to see the montage of their experience.

11. FIRST needs to correctly publicize the agendas. Everyone knows at this point that it is NEVER a surprise that the closing ceremonies go "long". In fact, they don't go over the expected time at all - they take that long every year. Yet every year, FIRST prints that the playoffs will end earlier then they and all the teams know it will. Same at the regionals - we all know the playoffs do not end at 3pm....they haven't for years. Yet they still print that in the agenda, which is very bad when sponsors, guests and speakers make plans to watch the playoffs (or speak) and have to miss the end of the finals or the closing ceremonies because they made their schedule around the FIRST public agenda. End the ceremonies when you say you will, or say you will end them later - people just want an honest expectation of what to plan around and expect.

12. If your closing ceremonies go over the stated time, then the after party must be postponed appropriately. There is no excuse for asking performers to prepare to entertain all the teams, then force them to cut their act short and start before the teams arrive. That is not professional or gracious, and should never happen. Not to mention, all the teams who actually stayed at the closing ceremonies didn't get to see the entertainment at the team party that they were charged good money for - does that mean they get a partial refund? Of course not - so if they are going to charge for the ticket to attend, then they shouldn't start it until the ceremonies are over.

my .025 cents

Hope everyone has a wonderful off season!

Evenstar_342
04-16-2007, 07:30 PM
Oh, I also wanted to comment about the "free tubes". While I didn't hear the announcment, I do think that that it was a good idea (it was also hilarious to watch the girls, I think on Curie, whatever field was behind Galileo, stuff themselves in inner tubes :D , it looked so fun!). We're trying to schedule an offseason event at our school to showcase the robot and the game and the tubes were a big help. Maybe next year, people should submit requests for tubes/whatever, and then FIRST can parcel them out after the ceremony or at least after matches on each field were over.

Evenstar_342
04-16-2007, 07:33 PM
Judging is vastly different from regionals. Judging is broken into divisions, then into awards, with two judges assigned to each award in each section. Due to the nature, many times judges have ONE DAY to interview all the teams available for the award, watch matches of them, and write up why they want them to win. After that, on Saturday, they then present who they want to win to the other three divisions and talk it out.

While I know many judges are great people, many times the ones you go out to either aren't covering your award or aren't covering your division. If you didn't get an award on the regional level, you PROBABLY won't be looked at on the Championship level.

Thanks for the clarification Joe! As I said, we were expecting to walk away with no awards, I guess we were just disappointed that a great deal of the judges acted like they were offended when we simply tried to offer them a button as they walked past our pit area.

(BTW, I'm not trying to spam the thread with multiple posts, and feel free to delete this if I've done something bad, but I don't know how to put a quote in my previous post! :o )

dsmoker
04-16-2007, 08:07 PM
Let me start off by saying that this was our team's first trip to Atlanta (we never qualified before and barely raised the money once we did). On the whole it was an excellent experience, with a few minor drawbacks:

1. We were initially told there would be a shuttle from our hotel to the convention center. There was not. It was about a 20 min. walk, which seemed a lot longer at the end of a long day.

2. The Georgia Dome staff was very nice and polite, but inconsistent about letting food into the dome. At first they would not; then they apparently changed their policy and were allowing food to be brought in (thank goodness considering the ridiculous prices inside; over $3.00 for a 20 oz. soda!!!)

3. There was no where in the pit area to sit down. At the UTC Regional, which we attend each year, there are tables and chairs to the side of the pit area so teams can sit and even eat during strategy sessions once alliances are formed. Our drive team never got to eat before the quarterfinals, and if we had won wouldn't have gotten to eat for quite some time, as no food could be brought into the pits. Knowing this, should we qualify again (and have enough money) I would plan to do what I saw some teams do, that is design toolboxes to double as seating areas for the pit crew.

That being said, everything else was wonderful. Thanks to team 2054 for choosing us in the first round as an alliance partner, and congrats to our other alliance partner, MOE, on the Chairman's Award.

CJV648
04-16-2007, 08:49 PM
3. Random thoughts:
Why weren't the lights on in the consession areas for Saturday??? It seems really weird that they didn't have them on. Then for Closing ceremonies when the upper decks are openned up. The guards on the ends, I understand what they were there for, but where they ended the seating wasn't the smartest. It left our team with only one entrance to the aisle, and to get out you had to walk over every other team in that aisle, when there was another entrance out. Caution tape needs to be used to cut an aisle in half when they don't want people past a certain point, but getting yelled at because someone needs to use the restroom and is trying to be considerate by not climbing infront/over of 20 other people doesn't make much sense.



You should _never_ cross caution tape without checking with a person in charge what the hazard is. They were right to yell at you and it would not have been inappropriate to eject you from the event.

That said, I thought the Georgia Dome used caution tape excessively and inappropriately. Caution tape should only be used to signify presence of a hazard and not to, for instance, reserve seats or keep people out of an area you don't want to clean. A different sign/tape should be used. The people who cross my caution tape at my hazardous waste cleanups are risking their lives (and sometimes mine); the Georgia Dome staff seems to be training them to do this.

Also the Georgia Dome staff needs training about how the event is organized. I wanted to volunteer at the event and received correct instructions from staff about how to get to volunteer registration, but that entrance was closed unless you had a badge, but the staff member there gave me correct directions to another entrance that was closed unless you had a badge, but the staff member there gave me correct directions to another entrance that was closed unless you had a badge, but the staff member there gave me correct directions to another entrance that was closed unless you had a badge, but the staff member there gave me correct directions to another entrance that was closed .

Finally I met a bunch of guys from the NASA machine shop who were having the same problem, and eventually we ended up entering a closed entrance, but since I was frustrated and the event didn't seem desparate I didn't volunteer.

Also I think they could put the jumbo trons at the ends of the stadium to good use by displaying, for example, the rankings and match schedule.

I enjoyed seeing all the great teams and robots at the event, but I think the regionals I have attended were about as much fun because the individual teams got more playing time.

Rich Vogel (using his wife's account)

Kit Gerhart
04-16-2007, 09:08 PM
I enjoyed seeing all the great teams and robots at the event, but I think the regionals I have attended were about as much fun because the individual teams got more playing time.

Rich Vogel (using his wife's account)
From the standpoint of fun, FIRST's best days are behind us. The overall experience will never be as much fun at a football arena as it was at EPCOT. Also, in some ways, it will not be as much fun as before alliances because, if your team is doing well, you spend until about midnight Friday compiling a list of potential alliance picks rather than having fun doing things such as attending a baseball game in Atlanta.

BTW, I'm not complaining about the Championship no longer being held at EPCOT. The event has become too large for the temporary facilities we had there. Also, while the event may not be as much fun as it was at EPCOT, it may be better for the intended purpose of FIRST, and the football arenas are definitely better for watching matches than the temporary facilities at EPCOT.

Kevin Kolodziej
04-16-2007, 09:11 PM
Of the nine championship events I've been to now, I truly believe this was the worst run one of them all. Thats not to say that there weren't tons of good things going on, but there were quite a few things that bothered me greatly:

1. Team Forums. Nice to see that FIRST made an effort to listen, but did they really expect anything when they schedule the forums during uncrating and the driver's meetings?? I don't know if the Thursday session was better, but the Wednesday session was very poorly attended. The message was certainly clear though.

2. The complete LACK of fanfare. This is the CHAMPIONSHIP EVENT! I can understand not having the ballons because they blocked the upper deck, but there should be SOMETHING that makes this event feel like something special. Maybe there were things cut out because we were running late - no top 10 list? ??

3. Woodie Flowers Ceremony. Shouldn't the things Dan did (Congrats by the way!!) have been read before he was announced as the winner? At first, I was very upset that simply his name was announced and thats it. What happened to the list of finalists that used to be displayed? Perhaps the WFFA winners could be asked to stand and be recognized. It just seems to me that this award is being given less attention than it deserves. I completely agree with the other comments about there needing to be bios or essays of the winners in the HOF.

4. Pits. You can't hear the announcements down there at all. Setup seemed okay to me though, and practice fields were well managed.

5. Scheduling. I know we're saying goodbye to the Algorithim of Death, so hopefully I'll never have to complain about seeing several of the same teams multiple times again. However...I hope the new algorithim is better at spacing as well. There was a team in Curie that was in match 81 and 85 - HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN WITH 86 TEAMS??? Finally, why did we not get a match schedule in the pits until 8:30 on Friday...after the first match was supposed to bed queued? Its not as if the schedule wasn't generated...Archimedes was displayed on the pit screens for nearly an hour before everyone else saw thier schedules..

6. Judging. I feel sorry for the teams that only saw one judge for a few minutes. At least you saw one judge. Team 1675 had a group of judges stop at the pit, give us a sticker to put on our sign without saying anything related to judging, and said they'd be back shortly. They never returned. Unforgiveable. We paid the same entry fee as everyone else and expected the same opportunities to tell our stories and show our stuff as everyone else.

7. Wrap Party. I applaud the effort to move the whole thing indoors. It went well and the performances we did see were pretty neat. However, my kids were really looking forward to seeing DSK, and were very sad to find out they had left the stage before we even left our seats in the dome. We were also under the impression (perhaps falsely...not sure where the rumor came from) that there would be a laser show at the end in place of the fireworks..but no such show occured. FIRST should also be aware that people were turned away from the games without warning at 9:45 after standing in line for quite some time. The staff should have closed the lines at 9:30 and given everyone in line their turn...not abruptly close the game before the event is supposed to end.

8. Bring back Thursday night qualifying and/or reduce the number of teams. Lets do some math. Next year there are 41 regionals. Assuming the same format next year, 6 teams per regional qualify. Thats 246 teams. Then we have the six remaining legacy teams. Thats 252. We now have 14 HOF teams other than legacy teams. That brings us to 266. Add two for the winners (190 already is on the list as a legacy team) and we have 268. Assume the same stats, adjusted for next year, with 45 regionals, and for the 2009 Championship we're at 294ish. Obviously there are going to be some teams that qualify multiple times, so the actual number will drop. Assuming worst case though, we're looking at 67 in 2008 and 72 in 2009 for teams in divisions, without open registration. That works for me...maybe you'd get 8 or 9 matches. Otherwise, play a round or two on Thursday night. If this event is supposed to determine an overall game champion (amongst other things), The best teams need to have a chance to rise to the top. Luck can never be eliminated, but it can be reduced.

KTorak
04-16-2007, 09:15 PM
I'd vote for 1, maybe 2 practice rounds Thursday. Then, switch to qualifying rounds after the lunch break. This way, teams get more matches that count. As it stands, teams at the Championship have competed at at least one regional, so they should have a robot that functions pretty well, unless they are performing some complete design change and over haul.

Vogel648
04-16-2007, 09:24 PM
Those who have only attended one regional have not had that much time to make any major edits that might have been needed to their robots. We got out on the field for all of our practice matches, and real matches, but I understand that there might be some teams that really need this time to make their planned changes to their robots.

Daniel Brim
04-16-2007, 09:28 PM
Those who have only attended one regional have not had that much time to make any major edits that might have been needed to their robots. We got out on the field for all of our practice matches, and real matches, but I understand that there might be some teams that really need this time to make their planned changes to their robots.A valid point, and we did make some changes Thursday morning (but did not miss any practice). Perhaps increase the amount of time/people allotted for uncrating on Wednesday in order to allow for some quick fixes?

GRaduns340
04-16-2007, 09:40 PM
For those complaining about the schedule, yes I'm among them, there is another thread specifically about that issue. Dave does a good job of trying to lay out the situation there. Read that please. The system is flawed, they know it, and it will be gone next year.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56355
Page 3 contains the explanation

sanddrag
04-16-2007, 09:42 PM
In the pits I didn't hear one single announcement ever. Were there every any, or we are just expected to know and figure out things?

On the field, I thought the "let's hold a flag pole across it" method of determining bonus points was pretty hokey at times.

silicon_ghoti
04-16-2007, 10:13 PM
Tube supply. Was really confused by this. Why were so many Keepers blown up :confused: ... Seemed to me that very few of these were popped/cut away, but it seemed like every time I was in queue, there was someone on one of the fields blowing Keepers up. Not really a complaint. Just confused.

Jacob

I think I can answer this if some one hasn't already, those tubes were distributed between all fields (I believe) and at Galileo in particular the head ref was rather slash happy, it seemed that every-other tube was ripped apart. Which in it's own quirky was is a real crowd pleaser.

Otaku
04-16-2007, 10:27 PM
I heard that after FIRST said that people could take ringers that the Dome turned into a madhouse.


I'd say that they should organize that a little bit better. Have people make lines, ask for a certain amount of game pieces (with a limit of something like 10), and keep the "no running" rule in place (like in the pits... although I never got dinged for running in the pits, and there were segways and Ford Thinks there after all...), and tell people that if they're going to jump around, to do it AWAY from expensive stuff.

But that should be common sense.




All I can say is that FVC and FLL didn't get enough space or recognition. A lot of what I've seen about FIRST focuses on FRC, which is a shame, really, because FLL and Vex are pretty cool too.

artdutra04
04-16-2007, 10:46 PM
Let me start off by saying that this was our team's first trip to Atlanta (we never qualified before and barely raised the money once we did). On the whole it was an excellent experience, with a few minor drawbacks:

1. We were initially told there would be a shuttle from our hotel to the convention center. There was not. It was about a 20 min. walk, which seemed a lot longer at the end of a long day.Where was your hotel? I'm sure if it was near one of the MARTA stations downtown that could have saved you a bunch of walking. (The train trip would probably still take about 20 minutes, but at least you'd be sitting on a train instead of walking after a long day.)

3. There was no where in the pit area to sit down. At the UTC Regional, which we attend each year, there are tables and chairs to the side of the pit area so teams can sit and even eat during strategy sessions once alliances are formed. Our drive team never got to eat before the quarterfinals, and if we had won wouldn't have gotten to eat for quite some time, as no food could be brought into the pits. Knowing this, should we qualify again (and have enough money) I would plan to do what I saw some teams do, that is design toolboxes to double as seating areas for the pit crew.In the pits (Building C of the GWCC), there were TONS of seats in the lobby outside the pit floor space. If you went up to the second level, there were even more couches, chairs, and even a [rather high priced] food court with pretty decent food, which is much better than the food in the GA Dome.

Thirdly, the divisions are too large. Having more divisions (i.e. six divisions) would lessen the amount of teams in each division and allow each team to participate in more matches. Scouting would be more manageable for less experienced teams. This year, there were six or seven regionals occurring simultaneously each week. Next year there will be 41 regionals in five weeks, averaging to over 8 fields a week. At least one week will require 9 fields. Thus, FIRST will have enough fields for each of the 6 divisions, two practice fields, and the Einstein field.The number of teams in each division at the Championships has not changed in several years; they have always been about 85 teams. As this has been discussed before, there will most likely never be six divisions at the Championship Event. Logistically, it would be impossible to fit six FRC fields into the GA Dome, in addition to the daVinci and Einstein fields. There is no way you'd ever be able to "comfortably" fit eight fields on the floor space of the Dome.

If you try to cram more fields into there, you start getting into issues like the audio/game announcements with one field being clearly audible from another causing confusion, etc. among spectators. You also have to get enough qualified volunteers to run two additional fields, which might prove very difficult, especially for "key" positions.

ScoutingNerd175
04-16-2007, 11:52 PM
Leave the practice fields within the pits assembled and open to teams until elimination rounds begin! In both Portland and Atlanta, we would have liked to give our alliance partners some practice climbing our lifts and had difficulty doing so because the practice field was disassembled.


This point confuses me. Not because I don't think it is completely valid, but because I don't understand why it was happening. I worked the practice field all three days at the UTC regional. On Saturday I was asked to keep working the field until (I believe) 4:00. This is, obviously, near to the end of elimination rounds. I absolutely think that this is what should have been done. I know that, aside from giving alliances time to practice, there were 3-4 teams who spent a few hours working with their robots once teams in an alliance were no longer using it. I was happy to continue working the field during this time (although I will absolutely admit to leaving to watch ACES High play in the semis and finals, considering that they are my former team's sister team). I don't really understand why practice fields were being shut down before eliminations even began at any event. I can see shutting them down once eliminations have begun at the championships because it is the last FIRST event of the season, and teams can't really bring their robots back to work on in between finals matches. But I don't understand why, when at UTC we left the practice field open until 4:00, the fields were closed before 1:00 at other regionals or championships.

Tom Bottiglieri
04-17-2007, 12:53 AM
TBut I don't understand why, when at UTC we left the practice field open until 4:00, the fields were closed before 1:00 at other regionals or championships.
I can only assume FIRST pays for space in the GWCC on a daily basis, and every measure possible needed to be taken to get the pits cleaned and packed by Saturday night. Obviously you can't start ripping down pit areas while teams are still competing, so the practice field seems like a logical place to start.

dangerousdave
04-17-2007, 04:17 AM
As a veteran team that has attended ten Championship Events, we were disappointed to find that our experience this past weekend in Atlanta was not all that we had hoped. There are several improvements that could be made to better the experience for all teams:

......
Thirdly, the divisions are too large. Having more divisions (i.e. six divisions) would lessen the amount of teams in each division and allow each team to participate in more matches. Scouting would be more manageable for less experienced teams. This year, there were six or seven regionals occurring simultaneously each week. Next year there will be 41 regionals in five weeks, averaging to over 8 fields a week. At least one week will require 9 fields. Thus, FIRST will have enough fields for each of the 6 divisions, two practice fields, and the Einstein field.

......
Finally, the venue and location are suboptimal. The Georgia Dome venue is impersonal compared to most regionals. The large distances between the stands, fields, and pits fragment teams. The city of Atlanta is not an appropriate location for several reasons. This year, the team witnessed several crimes. A week before the Championship Event, a shooting occurred at the CNN Center, where some teams stayed. On Wednesday, one of our team parents witnessed a drug bust outside of our hotel, the Marriott Renaissance. On Thursday, an armed man was shot by World Conference Center police in Centennial Park, the planned site for the FIRST Finale Party, which was also witnessed by a team engineer. On Friday, police chased a robber/murderer through the lobby of our hotel and we had to remain on lock down for several hours. We also witnessed several crimes on the MARTA rail line (drug deals, theft, etc.). All of these situations put all teams at risk.

Hopefully these issues will be considered by the FIRST administration in order to make future Championship Events as rewarding as possible for all participating teams.

Sincerely,

Nate Thomas
President

Corey Koenig
President, Treasurer

Bobby Trotta
Vice President, Driver

Nate, Corey & Bobby...I had previously responded to your comment in the Championship positive thread (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56830) where you cross posted, which I assume you know you are not supposed to do. I have deleted my post there and moved it here. Anyway, sorry that your experience was not what you had hoped for.

Your post about needing 6 divisional fields is a little confusing. I assume you are talking about the Championship event but then you talk about the 41 regionals and I am not sure how that relates to having enough room for 6 divisions at Championships.

Where are you going to put 6 divisional fields in any enclosed venue in the world? Remember that there are JFLL, FLL & FVC events that need space at the same time as FRC also. You must also have room for all of the team members and guests in raised stands close to each field. I think that most FRC teams were happy to have 7 matches as they may have been expecting less with so many teams in the competition. Be happy that your team was able to attend as there were some teams that could not get a spot.

As far as Atlanta goes, can you tell me where is a venue the size of the GA Dome that is not impersonal compared to the small arenas that the regionals are held in? The distance between the pits and the field was improved greatly following the first year in Atlanta in 2004. With an event this size you are going to have to walk much longer distances than at a regional.

I have no doubt that the crimes you mentioned occurred and they are regretable. I am very happy that as far as I know, there were not any First teams directly involved in any of them. You appear to be from somewhere in PA so can I assume that you have been to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia? Do you not think that the crime is not the same or worse there or in any other large metropolitan city which is necessary to hold an event this size? Yes it was terrible that what you mentioned happened but I believe you will unfortunately see that in any large city.

Yes as you can see, I am a local Atlanta person but I think that others that are not will agree that for the most part, Atlanta has the infrastructure to handle this event and in a friendly manner. There are very few cities that have a domed football sized stadium next to a convention center, over 10,000 downtown hotel rooms, reasonably priced restaurants right next door, a rapid rail transit system to get you there from the worlds busiest airport.

I hope your team will return to Atlanta on April 16-19, 2008 or on April 15-18, 2009 for the Championship event. I hope your opinion of this location will change for the better. I am sorry that you appear to have not enjoyed your time here. :(

Dave

Kit Gerhart
04-17-2007, 07:33 AM
Even if there were room for the fields, adequate officials, etc., having 6 divisions would not work because it would require giving byes into the semis on Einstein. I think most of us feel that this would not be a good thing.


Thirdly, the divisions are too large. Having more divisions (i.e. six divisions) would lessen the amount of teams in each division and allow each team to participate in more matches. Scouting would be more manageable for less experienced teams. This year, there were six or seven regionals occurring simultaneously each week. Next year there will be 41 regionals in five weeks, averaging to over 8 fields a week. At least one week will require 9 fields. Thus, FIRST will have enough fields for each of the 6 divisions, two practice fields, and the Einstein field.


Sincerely,

Nate Thomas
President

Corey Koenig
President, Treasurer

Bobby Trotta
Vice President, Driver

BiTurboS4
04-17-2007, 10:26 AM
First and foremost, as i've said many many times over, the use of the term NATIONALS needs to go. It is quite disrespectful to international teams that compete at the championship. Granted their are many that were around when it was still being called the nationals. But it remains that their are a staggering amount of people who weren't around during that time, thus have no reason to be using that term to describe the event.

Second. After standing for a few minutes watching a ranking screen, I was bombarded by the girls in the bright green vests screaming robot coming through. Now thats fine, and I can understand if your coming through a narrow walk way, but their is NO need to try to push your way through a group of about 20 people looking at a display. Their was plenty of room on either side of the group, and it should be used for robot traffic.

Third. The thought of having more divisions thus requiring more fields on the dome floor is probably never going to happen. Their is simply not enough room at the ends of the football field to fit one in correctly, and still allow the audio to get to the correct people. The only way I can think of to make it happen, were if FVC and FLL were to move to another venue or happen prior to the FRC event starting, thus freeing up the needed space on Einstein and DaVinci.

Fourth. The complaint about the walking distance is hard for me to understand, having been to Epcot, the walking distance was minimal. Though by far the worst was in fact Houston, the walk from the pits in Atlanta pales in comparison to the walk in Houston.

As i've said before, the best way to voice your complaints is to email frcteams@usfirst.org if you'd like your complaints to be considered by the FIRST staff.

Cory
04-17-2007, 10:36 AM
Thirdly, the divisions are too large. Having more divisions (i.e. six divisions) would lessen the amount of teams in each division and allow each team to participate in more matches. Scouting would be more manageable for less experienced teams. This year, there were six or seven regionals occurring simultaneously each week. Next year there will be 41 regionals in five weeks, averaging to over 8 fields a week. At least one week will require 9 fields. Thus, FIRST will have enough fields for each of the 6 divisions, two practice fields, and the Einstein field.

As I understand it, from talking to the IFI folks the issue with having more fields isn't not having enough fields available--it's not having enough radio channels to prevent interference.

Alan Anderson
04-17-2007, 10:45 AM
...the use of the term NATIONALS needs to go.

I agree completely. Apparently someone in a "position of power" does not, however. The recording being played at the entrance to the Dome continuously welcomed everyone to "the 2007 FIRST National Championship". :confused:

BiTurboS4
04-17-2007, 11:07 AM
As I understand it, from talking to the IFI folks the issue with having more fields isn't not having enough fields available--it's not having enough radio channels to prevent interference.

If we made the jump to 2.4ghz or 5Ghz, that problem would be solved.

Phil Ross
04-17-2007, 11:31 AM
I think the Pits need to be closer to the playing field.

it was really easy to loose track of time and miss a match because of the 15 minute walk.

Karthik
04-17-2007, 01:04 PM
I have no doubt that the crimes you mentioned occurred and they are regretable. I am very happy that as far as I know, there were not any First teams directly involved in any of them. You appear to be from somewhere in PA so can I assume that you have been to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia? Do you not think that the crime is not the same or worse there or in any other large metropolitan city which is necessary to hold an event this size? Yes it was terrible that what you mentioned happened but I believe you will unfortunately see that in any large city.

http://www.toronto.ca/quality_of_life/safety.htm

We all know the Championship won't move to Toronto anytime soon. But assuming that Atlanta's crime rate is typical for a large metropolitan city may be a bit excessive.

As for some weak anecdotal evidence, I always felt safe at EPCOT.

GRaduns340
04-17-2007, 02:45 PM
I really wasn't at all upset with the walk. As much as we joked and groaned about soar legs - and they did hurt - the venue is nice, and it could be an awful lot worse somewhere else.

If there is one complaint I have it's that as a member of the drive team for 340, and not having long to eat lunch, I only had a real lunch one day of the three days of competition. The lines were so long and slow that by the time I made it back from a match or talking with other drive teams I didn't have time to get a lunch before our next match. I don't know how that could be fixed, but I like my food, and not having it bothered me a little.

dangerousdave
04-17-2007, 03:15 PM
http://www.toronto.ca/quality_of_life/safety.htm
We all know the Championship won't move to Toronto anytime soon. But assuming that Atlanta's crime rate is typical for a large metropolitan city may be a bit excessive.
Karthik, I will agree with your overall statement and would amend my post to "United States city" if I was still allowed to edit it. The table you provided has some very favorable statistics toward Toronto. Thank you for making that point. :)

Having been to Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton & Vancouver I can agree they are beautiful and overall safer than similar per capita cities in the USA. I would be extremely happy to go to the Championship event in Toronto. For reasons (weather, passports etc.) detailed in other threads (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37700) here that might not happen anytime soon.

It is very difficult to find very current statistics on crime however I found an older one that mentions muggings, car thefts and assaults (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzFiOWY1ZmQ4M2NjMzlkYTZmMmI0ZWE3OGI0M2NlZGI=) which are not shown in the table you provided. That article shows Toronto has more of those crimes per capita than NYC.

Again, overall there is no doubt that your typical large Canadian city has a lower overall violent crime rate per capita than a similar USA city. Canada is a beautiful and safe country and I jump at the chance to travel there.


I was showing how the lack of confetti might not be a negative thing. Otherwise you'd have a 2006 negatives thread where I posted about how the confetti balloons were annoying, followed by a 2007 negatives thread where someone said they wished there was confetti. Poor FIRST would be all confused. Bongle, Sorry I misunderstood your post. :)

...which reminds me: It would be really nice to have the match schedules posted in such a way that we don't have to pester poor dangerousdave all friday to get our team's schedule. If you're going to have a webcast, the schedules should be online. Hey, I did not feel pestered. If I didn't want to help I didn't have to. I imagined if I was stuck at home how would I feel? Sorry I couldn't help more. It was difficult fighting for position when they posted the 2 sets of papers showing each fields matches. Thankfully someone soon posted all of the matches on CD. Dave
Dave

tyron256
04-18-2007, 01:54 AM
-moved from other thread-

I vote for more dancing. Honestly, watching that webcast, we need to dance more. The people in the stands dancing looked to be obsurcing veiws as well, not that this was a big deal as they looked to only standup at the breaks.

Ok in all honestly I do meen that, at SVR and Davis there were areas for dancing team-members, there should be one per divison at championships to. However, space in the dome makes this unlikely, but dancing allows the teams that arn't on the feild to still participate, move around, jump up and down, etc. allows them to keep the adrenaline going. I think that if this was in place, the crowd might be even more responsive. *shrug* just my two bits. I don't even know if non-crazy-california regionals have alot of dancing.

I definately agree with this one. i believe that it is part of FIRST that keeps the energy up when everyone is jet lagged. essentially, it shows team spirit and makes things more fun.

cmirags
04-18-2007, 09:43 AM
At the 2007 Championship event, tell us what needs improvement before next years Championship's in Atlanta, April 16-19, 2008.
Dave

So Championships are going to be at Atlanta next year??? i heard something about St. Louis but we werent sure. but thats awesome if its going to be there next year...I love atlanta!!

i agree weather def. needs to be better, lol. the team social needs to be planned after finals are over. o and the music on galileo this year wasnt loud haha that def. needs to be turned up a bit. haha
but nothing major needs to be changed i think they do a great job in setting it all up and how they do the awards and such.

Jeremiah Johnson
04-18-2007, 10:45 AM
So Championships are going to be at Atlanta next year??? i heard something about St. Louis but we werent sure. but thats awesome if its going to be there next year...I love atlanta!!

i agree weather def. needs to be better, lol. the team social needs to be planned after finals are over. o and the music on galileo this year wasnt loud haha that def. needs to be turned up a bit. haha
but nothing major needs to be changed i think they do a great job in setting it all up and how they do the awards and such.

The Championship Event will be held in Atlanta, at the Georgia Dome, for the next two years, at least.


As to feeling safe in Atlanta, I did. The rest of my team, however, did not. I know there was a shooting in the CNN Center area on Thursday, but in no way did I feel threatened.

I think I've already complained once in this tread, but I want to make another point. That point, though, I have forgotten, sorry. :o

gblake
04-18-2007, 01:14 PM
At the 2007 Championship event, tell us what needs improvement before next years Championship's in Atlanta, April 16-19, 2008.
DaveThe directing and camera work on the video sent out to the NASA channel and the webcasts. I simply don't think that the folks doing it are familiar enough with the subject matter to produce an excellent product for their audiences.

I have little doubt that they are fine craftsmen, but as a viewer, I felt that they far too often concentrated on the wrong things or on the right things at the wrong times.

Blake
PS: The webcast feed froze very often on my home computer. Ensure that all parts the video server end of the feed(s) (number crunching and I/O bandwidth) have the capacity they need, plus a comfortable margin of safety. I realize that there can be bottlenecks on my end of the feed and that FIRST/NASA can't solve those.

cmirags
04-18-2007, 02:40 PM
Thats awesome Championships is in atlanta! that makes me so happY!! :D

Dave Flowerday
04-18-2007, 03:06 PM
The directing and camera work on the video sent out to the NASA channel and the webcasts. I simply don't think that the folks doing it are familiar enough with the subject matter to produce an excellent product for their audiences.

I have little doubt that they are fine craftsmen, but as a viewer, I felt that they far too often concentrated on the wrong things or on the right things at the wrong times.
You have to remember why they are producing the video. Their primary goal is to produce video for the big screen at the event. They nicely allow us to webcast and archive their feed, but that's not the reason they are there. The production company used by FIRST has been involved for a long time - they know what they're doing and I'm pretty certain they understand the subject matter.

The problem is, things that would be good for the webcasts (like a wide view of the full field) don't work well for the big screen at the event. People at the event can already see the whole field so they're more interested in close-ups.

Billfred
04-18-2007, 04:03 PM
Actually, I think there is a way to run another field in the Dome. (I say field for a reason: with 34 channels that are not user-selectable, you can run only five six-robot fields. If you went back to 2v2, you could run eight...but FIRST seems to like 3v3, so we'll use that.)

Suppose that each of these five divisions played a standard qualification load, then went through alliance selection. From there, the alliance captains are sorted as though they were all on the same field. Once that's done, set up one uberbracket (with first-round byes) that spans all five divisions, with the number of fields used shrinking as rounds progress. The final four alliances--no divisional champions here--play on Einstein.

Yes, there are drawbacks to this arrangement. Call it how you'd like.

On the subject of safety, I will say that I was a little sketched out as I walked from CNN center back to my car at the Dome on Thursday night. I encountered a rather boisterous conversation near Philips Arena, which I sort of steered around, and then was approached by someone who was apparently a temp working the Championship looking for information (I had to proclaim ignorance, though I guess my badge made me look official enough), then was asked by the same gentleman if I could spare bus fare. (I couldn't, citing my college-student status.) A voice from far behind shouted "You don't look like a college student!" as I reached the escalator--let's say I hastened my descent towards the Gold Deck. However, it was late, I was a little dumb for walking solo wearing things that shouted "NOT FROM AROUND THESE PARTS", and it's the first time my sketch-o-meter has gone way up the scale since I started going to the Championship in 2004. Call that one how you'd like as well.

SamC
04-18-2007, 05:21 PM
I'm not sure if this has/hasn't been brought up in this thread, but I'm going to say it anyway.

I think that the medals that you get for getting division champion should be different from the "gold" medals you get at regionals. I'm not saying have a different one for each division (Newton, Archimedes, Curie, Galileo), just maybe add something that say "Division Champions" or "Championship" just so that even if your team does not win the whole thing (where, BTW, the medals are different) there is still a distinction between your regional medals and championship [division] medals without having to write it yourself on the back.

KathieK
04-19-2007, 09:07 AM
2- Sound....Also, during the FVC awards, I couldn't hear anything the judges were saying. We were seated off to the right of the stage, closer to Newton, but not close enough that you would expect to only hear what's going on in the FRC match and nothing from the section you were sitting in.As the Vol. Coordinator on FVC at Champs last year I could not hear the speeches during the awards ceremony, nor who won the awards, and I was on the field. I complained to FIRST about this last year; I was hoping something would be done this year to correct the situation and it wasn't. FVC award winners deserve better than this.

Jeremiah Johnson
04-19-2007, 09:36 AM
I'm not sure if this has/hasn't been brought up in this thread, but I'm going to say it anyway.

I think that the medals that you get for getting division champion should be different from the "gold" medals you get at regionals. I'm not saying have a different one for each division (Newton, Archimedes, Curie, Galileo), just maybe add something that say "Division Champions" or "Championship" just so that even if your team does not win the whole thing (where, BTW, the medals are different) there is still a distinction between your regional medals and championship [division] medals without having to write it yourself on the back.

I don't know, this sounds like a great idea and would be nice to be implemented for each different regional. BUT this would require at least one new cast for the supplier and they can be very expensive. Therefore, I don't foresee it happening.

Greg Marra
04-19-2007, 10:05 AM
I don't know, this sounds like a great idea and would be nice to be implemented for each different regional. BUT this would require at least one new cast for the supplier and they can be very expensive. Therefore, I don't foresee it happening.

The medals awarded simply need different lanyards. This is just a different embroidery task, and wouldn't cost nearly as much as getting an entirely different medal cast.

Jeremiah Johnson
04-19-2007, 10:33 AM
The medals awarded simply need different lanyards. This is just a different embroidery task, and wouldn't cost nearly as much as getting an entirely different medal cast.

There you go... I overlooked that solution. It would possibly be MUCH cheaper to have a different lanyard personalized for each regional/division than medal. I've got 3 silver medals and the only way I can tell the difference is from the year date. What if I got more than one in a year? Then I'd be like, "This one is from Magnolia, no this one is, and this one's from Internationals, wait... no, that's not right, I'm so confused." But in a situation like that, both medals are the same, it doesn't make a difference. And I just contradicted myself, again.

ScoutingNerd175
04-19-2007, 02:31 PM
There you go... I overlooked that solution. It would possibly be MUCH cheaper to have a different lanyard personalized for each regional/division than medal. I've got 3 silver medals and the only way I can tell the difference is from the year date. What if I got more than one in a year? Then I'd be like, "This one is from Magnolia, no this one is, and this one's from Internationals, wait... no, that's not right, I'm so confused." But in a situation like that, both medals are the same, it doesn't make a difference. And I just contradicted myself, again.

I agree, it would be nice to have some way to tell them apart. (Right now I have masking tape with the event on the back of all of mine so I don't get them confused) Having a different lanyard would be a more cost effective way to tell them apart.

Shelbo
04-20-2007, 09:16 AM
[QUOTE=GRaduns340;617558]Not having been in the stands for much of the competition I don't know how things went out there, but I do agree that the algorithm really hurt a lot of teams. Just an example, team 316 was the second seed alliance at FLR this year, a well-deserved spot. Then at Championship they didn't win a single match and came in dead last. I might not know the whole story there, but that seemed more than a little unfair.

QUOTE]
Thank you for the kind words...they mean a lot.

We should have enountered 35 different robots on the field; we only encountered 29 due to duplications/repeats.
Suggestion: have a human look over the match sheets once the computer generates them.

-Shelbo's Mom

chrisrobin
04-20-2007, 05:44 PM
How about adding a scout only area. Pass out a number of badges per team, 6 to 10. This would allow unobstructed views for the scouts and everyone else could go crazy, dance stand up and basically act like fools with impunity. It would also allow for a bit more collaboration among teams since you will be sitting with other people who have the same goals as you.

I noticed the view from the second tier was outstanding and perfect for taking full field video and scouting, but no one is allowed up there until the awards ceremony. That might be a good place for the scouting section. Bring your binoculars though if you want to read the numbers on the robots.

Chris

chaoticprout
04-20-2007, 05:50 PM
[QUOTE=GRaduns340;617558]Not having been in the stands for much of the competition I don't know how things went out there, but I do agree that the algorithm really hurt a lot of teams. Just an example, team 316 was the second seed alliance at FLR this year, a well-deserved spot. Then at Championship they didn't win a single match and came in dead last. I might not know the whole story there, but that seemed more than a little unfair.

QUOTE]
Thank you for the kind words...they mean a lot.

We should have enountered 35 different robots on the field; we only encountered 29 due to duplications/repeats.
Suggestion: have a human look over the match sheets once the computer generates them.

-Shelbo's Mom

Having a human look wouldn't work at all. You'd need a human to either have an amazing memory to notice certain things that show up, such as the same team playing with or against the same teams two or three times, in a match list of over 80 teams in 100+ matches, in 4 divisions, that would be hard in it's own right. Even if you had the manpower, how would you correctly change it making it "fair" for all teams. Having a human swap things around would be make it even more of an algorithm of doom.
Just my $0.02

~Michael

K. Sehgal
04-20-2007, 07:12 PM
Heres my list of what things need to be improved.....

1) -Better directions, My team (1694) took 30 minutes to figure out were the pits were and were the stadium was.

2) -A lower entrance fee, I dought first needs $6000 per team with all the money gained from sponsors and the government.

3) -Better delivery, When our robot was delivered its bottom hinges wer torn off and the nails were cut off.

Cory
04-20-2007, 07:22 PM
2) -A lower entrance fee, I dought first needs $6000 per team with all the money gained from sponsors and the government.

3) -Better delivery, When our robot was delivered its bottom hinges wer torn off and the nails were cut off.

It's actually $5000 not $6000.

FIRST certainly needs all the money they can get. Some (most?) regionals are barely scraping by, even with the help of corporate sponsors.

If they could realistically afford to charge teams less, I'm sure they would, as FIRST is a nonprofit organization.

Your second point is an issue with Sheppard Exposition Services, or FedEx/Roadway, not FIRST.

whytheheckme
04-20-2007, 07:27 PM
2) -A lower entrance fee, I dought first needs $6000 per team with all the money gained from sponsors and the government.

I'm not too sure about this... FIRST is very fortunate to have large corporate sponsors and government money, but I'm (fairly) sure that FIRST doesn't MAKE any money off of champs with the current entrance fee. I'm (fairly) sure that if FIRST could, they would lower the entrance price.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think that it's FIRST's fault that the entrance fee is what it is. In fact, I think it's kind of a bargain considering what is involved in making champs happen.

Just my opinion.
Jacob

Kelli Fultz
04-20-2007, 07:53 PM
I haven't had a chance to read ALL 11 pages of this thread.. so if someone already made this point-- im sorry!

but I was a little upset at the way/timing that they announced the Woodie Flower's award.
1) The timing of it was awkward.. and a lot of students & mentors from our team (who were elligable for the award) didn't realize that it was being announced so early in the event and weren't there to hear the presentation.
2) i'm not sure if it was planned this way or if this was just the way it happened.. but the way FIRST usually announces awards leaves you with some suspense & guessing of who the person is BEFORE they announce the name by telling about them. This year they announced Dan Green's name before telling about what he does for Wildstang and more about him.

[off topic] Congrats to Dan Green and 111 by the way :) [/off topic]

Vogel648
04-20-2007, 08:49 PM
1) The timing of it was awkward.. and a lot of students & mentors from our team (who were elligable for the award) didn't realize that it was being announced so early in the event and weren't there to hear the presentation.

Honestly, I was still expecting the Woodie Flowers Award when the only award left to be given was the Chairman's award, this was also the case with at least one other person on my team. It certainly was not made clear that it was given out.

Rosiebotboss
04-20-2007, 10:14 PM
I just read most of the 11 pages of posts and I didn't see a single post complaining about the inspectors or the inspection process. I guess we did pretty well.

I for one, found the teams better prepared and in a higher level of compliance. (I was an inspector on Archimedes)

sam364
04-20-2007, 10:30 PM
off topic, but thanks to your extra thorough inspection we were able to eliminate a short in our wiring that was hampering performance. i thought this year's inspection ran as quickly and efficiently as I have ever seen (considering 80+ teams per division)

ChristinaR
04-20-2007, 10:38 PM
I know I'll probably be reiterating some things already said, but I'll go ahead anyway.

-I don't know if it was our location in the pit or what, but it was near impossible to hear any announcements from pit admin. With all the hustle and bustle going around us, I wish more of an effort was made to make sure all teams heard all pertinent announcements.

-Dancing. I know it's hard to get everyone moving up in the stands, but it can happen. The schedule during qualifiers may have been too hectic, but it was almost too quiet during the cool down periods during finals on Newton. The most I saw was 3 volunteers rocking the electric slide. More people should be encouraged to get on their feet and groove! (Especially during those cool down periods.)

-The WFA award. Most of our team didn't bother to go see the opening ceremonies- I suppose the trek over from the other side must have just seemed too long for them...but that's a rant for another thread. I would've liked to see the WFA given during the closing ceremonies Saturday. I believe that the winners deserve a lot of recognition, and that's the best time for them to receive it. These mentors deserve all the recognition in the world for their efforts, and Friday morning isn't the best time for it. Many teams were in the pit preparing for their first matches, as well as all the people on Newton and Archimedes who didn't walk over to see it. (Congrats, Dan Green!!)

-Saving seats. I heard this was a big problem on Newton. Unfortunately, I'm aware that my team is guilty of doing it. We may have 50+ people to seat, but none of them are there at the same time, and I know some of our coaches can get a little...unpleasant if someone tries to sit in one of "our" seats. The protocol for saving seats should be better enforced.

-The commercials in the morning were a little too repetitive. If we heard "Hi, I'm Jon Dudas" one more time...we might've lost our minds.

-Closing ceremonies. Like many have mentioned, something special to congratulate the Chairman's winners should have been done (because MOE deserves something special!). The balloons last year may not have worked for those in the second levels, but there are other ways of getting confetti down- or dropping smaller balloons, or small pyrotechic-type things, or something with the lights. Anything would have been better than the rather dry announcement of the winners.

-Not to beat a dead horse, but that tube announcement was poorly placed. Enough has been said on that matter, though.

-Here's something we've never had a problem with: We got complaints that we were TOO loud! We're TJ^2, we're loud by nature. They may have certain restrictions about the use of instruments, etc., but we never broke any of them. Our lead coach got a call while I was in the pit about a team that had complained to the staff that we were making too much noise during the matches. Our team was told to be quiet. If there is any FIRST protocol about the amount of noise you may make, it should be made known.

I think that's it. Another $.02 to add to the piggy bank.

chrisrobin
04-21-2007, 09:07 AM
I think FIRST provides video feeds for matches but they almost always are closeup videos of the most interesting action. I suggest they provide a feed from a camera mounted high that would show the entire field all the time. This would guarantee that you would be able to see what each robot is doing during the entire match. Great for scouting. Great for refreshing your memory on what your robot actually did each match. Great for seeing how strategy plays out.

Chris

doukjin
04-21-2007, 10:10 AM
my main concern this year was the VEX challenge...

each team only had 4 matches....
i really hope we can improve on this next year by utilizing both fields on davinci as separate fields for VEX or something of the sort

also what might help is having a schedule similar to FRC but have the prelims start on the same day as practice [like this year]

Kit Gerhart
04-21-2007, 03:09 PM
There you go... I overlooked that solution. It would possibly be MUCH cheaper to have a different lanyard personalized for each regional/division than medal. I've got 3 silver medals and the only way I can tell the difference is from the year date. What if I got more than one in a year? Then I'd be like, "This one is from Magnolia, no this one is, and this one's from Internationals, wait... no, that's not right, I'm so confused." But in a situation like that, both medals are the same, it doesn't make a difference. And I just contradicted myself, again.
I recently started using a Sharpie to label my medels. I wish I had started doing that a long time ago, like 1998 when I got my first FIRST medal, but better late than never, I guess.