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Unread 03-05-2006, 09:05 PM
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HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Hey all you rookie teams out there that competed in the regionals last weekend, How did you like your first F.I.R.S.T. compatition? Did you do well? What did you learn? Just wondering.

Josh
Team Driver/Designer
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Our Team would like to thank both Team 492 and Team 604 for helping our team win the Pacific Northwest Regional.

2006 Season...
-------------------------------------------------
Reginal Event: Las Vegas!!!
Nationals: Atlanta!!!
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Unread 03-05-2006, 10:20 PM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgsdragons
Hey all you rookie teams out there that competed in the regionals last weekend, How did you like your first F.I.R.S.T. compatition? Did you do well? What did you learn? Just wondering.

Josh
Team Driver/Designer
Things went pretty badly for our team. On Thursday the school cancelled our trip, citing "Inclement Weather." They took away our bus and forbade us to go. Two students "got" their parents to drive. I was "ill" and unfortunately unable to make to school that day, and one girl left early, a doctor's appointment may haps?
We got there to find out robot totally malfunctioning. One transmission gear (the 14 tooth one from the kit) had somehow FALLEN OUT of one our motors. We had to disable practically the whole robot to get at it. It wasn't firing well for a while. We missed every practice match, working from 9am to 7:45pm.
On Friday, most of the team was able to make it (we actually had a bus!) We did some sub-par scouting, we ended up with 5 scouts out, and only got info on 17 of the 64 teams presents! We won 3 matches and lost 2, and the competition was a 1/2 slow, so our match was deferred until Saturday morning before opening ceremonies, 8:15, bright and early!!
So on Saturday we lost match 1 2 and 3. Of all the matches we lost, some were out fault, and some were due to crappy alliances. Having participated in off-season events last year with a borrowed 'bot, I feel qualified in saying this.
We seeded 57th of 63.
When it came time to get awards, we won none. We hadn't really expected any either. I felt we had perhaps had a shot at the Rookie All star. It went to another rookie team. Apparently judges were repeatedly surprised to discover we were a rookie team, they felt we had it very well together. So why no recognition?
It's very frustrating knowing that we worked so hard for so long, and all we got was a "participation medal."
Am I completely ticked off? Of course not! It was one of the most fun events I have ever participated in. It was an awesome experience. The teams I met were all very nice and helpful, and it was overall a very positive experience.
One thing I noticed as awards were being given, there's a pattern as to who wins what. My mentor team won about 6! The teams that traveled from afar all won awards. A team from Ohio, both teams from Brazil. Did they deserve the awards? Absolutely! I will not doubt that they earned them. Also, only the teams with big sponsors seemed to get awards. Johnson and Johnson teams, Mercedes Benz, teams sponsored by PS&G or technical colleges in the area. My team has a bunch of local businesses, and a NASA grant. Mostly the local businesses. One of the teams from Brazil apparently had $45,000 to play with! We read it in their engineering binders they brought with them.
This seems more and more like a rich kids game, the rich kids get to play, the poor kids get to play. Something one of the parents said leaps to mind.It's like the guy that coaches the little league teams, who's son is it that gets to pitch?
Furthermore, I heard a rumour that FIRST is a for-profit organization. WHAT?!?!? I want to know where all the money team, the money I worked so hard to earn went!!

GRR!

In any event, I needed to vent a bit.

We loved what we did. It was a great experience, and I am totally worn out by it. Our robot was EXACTLY 120 pounds, so that was a lot to keep lifting match in and match out. I love the new friends I made, and the awesome camaraderie I have developed with the other members of the build team. This was a lot of fun, but I think my team should stick with VEX next year. We need to work on the business aspect of our team. I am so grateful to all the people that helped us this year, and look forward to some off-season events, as well as next year's challenge.
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Unread 03-05-2006, 11:05 PM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonHopes
<snipped>
Things went pretty badly for our team.
We did some sub-par scouting
When it came time to get awards, we won none.
It was one of the most fun events I have ever participated in.
Also, only the teams with big sponsors seemed to get awards.
This seems more and more like a rich kids game
Furthermore, I heard a rumour that FIRST is a for-profit organization.
Our robot was EXACTLY 120 pounds, so that was a lot to keep lifting match in and match out.
We need to work on the business aspect of our team.
Sorry to hear things didn't go as well as hoped. We didn't do so well on the field, either, with something going wrong every match.

Some comments:
1. The scouting team can learn from this. Only after some practice will they get any good.
2. FIRST publishes anAnnual Report for your reading pleasure.
3. The fund-raising is an important part of a team.

4. Rookie All-Star: IMHO this has less to do with how well the robot performs, rather with how well the team performs. When things go wrong, is there anger and loud voices or cooperation and communication? As a rookie, did your team focus just on yourselves, or also reach out to other teams and give them help, too? How about the other awards submissions: Chairman's, website, inventor, etc... I'm not saying your team did or did not do these things - I honestly don't know! - but for the RASA, the performance of the robot is secondary to the performance of the team.

Last Year, 1676 (a Mercedes-Benz USA team) won Rookie All-Star with a robot that placed 56 out of 62 if I remember correctly. They won for reaching out and helping others, including literally rebuilding a robot for a team that hadn't passed inspection by Friday morning.

5. Big sponsors = Big awards: It may seem that way, and no one can deny that a well-funded team has a better chance to build a better robot. But again, most of the awards have little to do with the performance of the robot (Regional Champion being a notable exception). Instead, they reflect on the performance of the team.


The robot is not the point. It is a means (or a way) to an end (or goal). While science and technology can solve difficult problems, it is people and interaction that make it all work. This means to me, any team sufficiently motivated can succeed.

By recognizing what didn't go well this year, you are setting yourselves up for much greater success next year. It is a learning process, which teams like 25 have mastered, and others are still working on.

Don
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Unread 03-05-2006, 11:13 PM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonHopes
Apparently judges were repeatedly surprised to discover we were a rookie team, they felt we had it very well together. So why no recognition? It's very frustrating knowing that we worked so hard for so long, and all we got was a "participation medal."
You say there were 63 teams that were there? Hrmn... by my calculations, and considering the fact that FIRST gives out only a handful of awards, that means you probably weren't one of the only teams to not receive something. While it sounds like you were a great team and had to overcome a lot of things, you were in the MAJORITY of teams there. I'm sorry, but couldn't you also complain if EVERYONE got an award? It'd also be pretty frustrating.

Quote:
One thing I noticed as awards were being given, there's a pattern as to who wins what. My mentor team won about 6! The teams that traveled from afar all won awards. A team from Ohio, both teams from Brazil. Did they deserve the awards? Absolutely! I will not doubt that they earned them. Also, only the teams with big sponsors seemed to get awards. Johnson and Johnson teams, Mercedes Benz, teams sponsored by PS&G or technical colleges in the area. My team has a bunch of local businesses, and a NASA grant. Mostly the local businesses. One of the teams from Brazil apparently had $45,000 to play with! We read it in their engineering binders they brought with them. This seems more and more like a rich kids game, the rich kids get to play, the poor kids get to play. Something one of the parents said leaps to mind.It's like the guy that coaches the little league teams, who's son is it that gets to pitch?
This is a pretty big 'notice', also. The truth is that a lot of the teams with these sponsors (such as the ones you've named) are veterans and have put in their time with FIRST, and worked for one of the awards for years. Having more money than another is certainly not always the case. In 2003, the St. Louis Rookie All-Star award went to a very deserving team- a handful of kids and a father who helped them build their robot in their shop/garage. I think I'll always remember that award description being read, and everyone in the audience just being in awe that they could pull it off so successfully. Drive to succeed does not come with a dollar value.

While little leagues may be corrupt, FIRST is full of mentors attempting to help you get a jumpstart on your peers, introducing you to a brighter future within a technological or scientific field. This is rocket science, not your local T-ball Astros.

Quote:
Furthermore, I heard a rumour that FIRST is a for-profit organization. WHAT?!?!? I want to know where all the money team, the money I worked so hard to earn went!!
...and in response:
"FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational non-profit organization, that aspires to transform culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today." (from FIRST's website

When you hear a rumor and are suspicious, do your homework to back it up. Otherwise, empty rumors have no place on ChiefDelphi.


From the rest of your post, it sounded like you had a great time, and that's good to hear. Especially having some experience from last year, you've gotten to know the ropes of FIRST. If you think your team would be better in VEX this year, that's fine... but I don't know if there is such thing as a failed rookie year in FIRST. You're there to learn and have fun... and since it sounds like you checked those off your list, I'd say mission accomplished.
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Last edited by Amanda Morrison : 03-07-2006 at 06:42 AM.
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Unread 03-06-2006, 12:14 AM
IraJason IraJason is offline
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

All I can say is, as long as you had fun and learned from your mistakes, don't worry about it! You now know what went wrong and can be prepared for next year. Being a rookie is all about learning the game, seeing how it's played, and having a fun time doing it all, no matter how well you do. What should appreciated is that your team went from nothing to building a functioning competition robot and getting sponsors to go along with it! I would say that being able to do that, and having the greatest time possible with not only your team but other teams along the way, is really important, and besides your mentioned set backs, it looks like you achieved that!

As for your sponsorship issue that you mention, having a bunch of local businesses is always a good start! Due to um... unforeseen... circumstances, my team only has our school district sponsoring us for this year. If you already been able to reach out into your community and show them the benefits of FIRST, then you're already on your way in terms of sponsorship and creating a strong bond with your community.

Don't let a few bad experiences ruin the fun that you and your team must have had during the past 6 weeks of build season and during the Regional itself. Try to think of it differently... now you have a goal for your team. You have something to look forward to building up next year and doing better, and showing everyone else the true potential of your team. If you just give up now, you'll never be able to prove that, and miss out on all the amazing experiences that FIRST has to offer.

Just remember that just because you didn't do the best this year doesn't mean you can't come back next year and beat everyone! Just keep working at it and eventually you will become great.

Last edited by IraJason : 03-06-2006 at 12:16 AM.
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Unread 03-07-2006, 10:54 PM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IraJason
All I can say is, as long as you had fun and learned from your mistakes, don't worry about it! You now know what went wrong and can be prepared for next year. Being a rookie is all about learning the game, seeing how it's played, and having a fun time doing it all, no matter how well you do. What should appreciated is that your team went from nothing to building a functioning competition robot and getting sponsors to go along with it! I would say that being able to do that, and having the greatest time possible with not only your team but other teams along the way, is really important, and besides your mentioned set backs, it looks like you achieved that!

As for your sponsorship issue that you mention, having a bunch of local businesses is always a good start! Due to um... unforeseen... circumstances, my team only has our school district sponsoring us for this year. If you already been able to reach out into your community and show them the benefits of FIRST, then you're already on your way in terms of sponsorship and creating a strong bond with your community.

Don't let a few bad experiences ruin the fun that you and your team must have had during the past 6 weeks of build season and during the Regional itself. Try to think of it differently... now you have a goal for your team. You have something to look forward to building up next year and doing better, and showing everyone else the true potential of your team. If you just give up now, you'll never be able to prove that, and miss out on all the amazing experiences that FIRST has to offer.

Just remember that just because you didn't do the best this year doesn't mean you can't come back next year and beat everyone! Just keep working at it and eventually you will become great.

Our school doesn't help us at all. They hate us. But that's beside the point. I didn't mean to sound evil and petty for "not winning." Though it may sound like a lie, winning is really not the big deal to me. I loved the event, having done off-season last year with team 25, I knew what to look foward to. The whole experience was excellent, and if I could, I would do it again next year. That's not an option for me though, as a senior in highschool this year, I 'm out next year. And I'm going 6 hours away, which will mentoring a bit tough. I'll be there for me team as much as possible though! I already have several meetings lined up in the next few months for sponsorship for them next year, I want to expedite the process as much as possible!
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Unread 03-12-2006, 07:05 AM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonHopes
Our school doesn't help us at all. They hate us.
Even the veteran teams, like us, struggle to get respect in the school they represent. It's part of the culture that FIRST is trying to change so don't let it get you down. You don't need them to validate you to justify your program but do keep trying to get them on your side.
Just remember, this is just a stepping stone towards a bigger and better future.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 11:00 AM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Team 1902 had a great time at the Florida Regional. Our team only being formed 9 weeks ago was worried about what may happen at the regional, but we worked hard and were able to accomplish a lot with very little.

Thursday things were looking down for us, our IFI wheels were behaving poorly mechanicaly, and we had to replace 2 of the 6 of them with skyways. But on the positive note we ran a very succesful automode.

Again the problem continued with the wheels on friday we had a 2-4 day which was somewhat dissapointing and we went to bed that night feeling somewhat discouraged.

Saturday we came in determined and rearing to go, we thought we had most of the chain problems temporarily worked out. ( we knew we would have to replace the ifi wheels with something later, the solution is treaded skyway wheels ) It worked brilliantly we won our first 3 matches of the day and we were being heavily scouted for finals matches. RIght before the finals matches we discovered one last problem. We had been running both days with only 1 motor on each side into a 2 motor drive! Some wiring had come undone ( maybe in ship ) or who knows but it was backdriving a motor the entire time. We fixed it right before our finals and boy was it glorious to see our robot fly around the field. We were picked by 357 Royal Assault and 1523 Mars to work with them during the finals. We worked great knocking off the 4 and 1 seeds making it all the way to the finals! In the finals we worked well until getting into a pushing match with 79 we lost one of our chains then quickly we noticed that there was a HUGE Issue. One of the IFI wheels we were using in the middle had split completely open on one side. We pulled 2 chains off the front of the 6 wheel drive trying to lesson the load for the last match, but we were unseccesful. Our autonomous ran again flawlessly because the gyro compensated for the drive, but the wheels just feel apart and it was very unfortunate that we would break in the finals.

But we were overwhelmed with excitement either way, no way in our wildest dreams did we figure we would be in finals at the Florida Regional. We couldn't have lost to a better alliance too and SPAM our cheering partners were great, Krunch and 1649. You guys would have extrordinarily hard to take down even with a 100% perfect functioning robot.

Winning Rookie Allstar, Rookie Inspiration and Finalist really made the hardwork worth it. It inspired a lot of our students and even more importantly the school and sponsors we work with. Hopefully we'll get to see everyone again at nationals if we raise the money in time, and we can't wait for the Houston Regional.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 11:42 AM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Our rookie experience was great with the exception of not winning the rookie all star award. We finished as the seventh seeded team out of 30 in the finger lakes regional. Unfortionatly we got DQ'd in the first round of the playoffs because one of the judges said that one of the robots went into the corner goal, even though it was not possible for that robot to do that. Oh well, we won the rookie inspiration award and were the highest seeded rookie. Now just if we can win that rookie all-star award and go to Atlanta.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 03:12 PM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty
Our rookie experience was great with the exception of not winning the rookie all star award. We finished as the seventh seeded team out of 30 in the finger lakes regional. Unfortionatly we got DQ'd in the first round of the playoffs because one of the judges said that one of the robots went into the corner goal, even though it was not possible for that robot to do that. Oh well, we won the rookie inspiration award and were the highest seeded rookie. Now just if we can win that rookie all-star award and go to Atlanta.
You guys had an awesome little monster of a robot.
Great first showing.
Hope you guys come back next year.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 03:19 PM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty
Our rookie experience was great with the exception of not winning the rookie all star award. We finished as the seventh seeded team out of 30 in the finger lakes regional. Unfortionatly we got DQ'd in the first round of the playoffs because one of the judges said that one of the robots went into the corner goal, even though it was not possible for that robot to do that. Oh well, we won the rookie inspiration award and were the highest seeded rookie. Now just if we can win that rookie all-star award and go to Atlanta.
I was also very impressed with you guys. I think that between 1901, 188 and 772 we represented Canada well in a week where Canadian teams were winning all over the place (1114, 1503, 1006, E.I. for 1241). Thank you again for all your help: you were trying to get us running for our quarterfinal match even though you were our opponents. It takes a special sort of rookie team to 'get it' to that degree, and I hope you can win rookie all-star in Waterloo in a couple weeks.

I'll see you there!
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Unread 03-13-2006, 07:44 PM
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Talking Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stud Man Dan
<shortened>
Team 1902 had a great time at the Florida Regional. Our team only being formed 9 weeks ago was worried about what may happen at the regional, but we worked hard and were able to accomplish a lot with very little.

Some wiring had come undone ( maybe in ship ) or who knows but it was backdriving a motor the entire time. We fixed it right before our finals and boy was it glorious to see our robot fly around the field. We were picked by 357 Royal Assault and 1523 Mars to work with them during the finals.

Our autonomous ran again flawlessly because the gyro compensated for the drive, but the wheels just feel apart and it was very unfortunate that we would break in the finals.
You guys did an awesome job and it was great to have you as alliance partners. I was wondering how your autonomous continued to work flawlessly (amazing) until I found this post. It was a very unfortunate situation but you guys handled it great. Again, great job and it was a pleasure to work with you. Good luck raising the money necessary to make it to nationals, I hope to see you there! Perhaps we can work together again!
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Unread 03-07-2006, 10:49 PM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

While little leagues may be corrupt, FIRST is full of mentors attempting to help you get a jumpstart on your peers, introducing you to a brighter future within a technological or scientific field. This is rocket science, not your local T-ball Astros.



...and in response:
"FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational non-profit organization, that aspires to transform culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today." (from FIRST's website

When you hear a rumor and are suspicious, do your homework to back it up. Otherwise, empty rumors have no place on ChiefDelphi.


From the rest of your post, it sounded like you had a great time, and that's good to hear. Especially having some experience from last year, you've gotten to know the ropes of FIRST. If you think your team would be better in VEX this year, that's fine... but I don't know if there is such thing as a failed rookie year in FIRST. You're there to learn and have fun... and since it sounds like you checked those off your list, I'd say mission accomplished.[/quote]

I did not mean to perpetuate empty rumours, ergo the question. I didn't say that it definitely was or was not for-profit, that's why I said it was a rumour I heard. Thanks for clearing it up, somewhat. I still kind of want to know what all that money is going towards though. When I earn money in a "not-for-profit" way I declare where it's going. I guess I need to suck it up and cruise the FIRST website... Alas but I hate it! (the website)
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Unread 03-12-2006, 01:12 AM
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgsdragons
Hey all you rookie teams out there that competed in the regionals last weekend, How did you like your first F.I.R.S.T. compatition? Did you do well? What did you learn? Just wondering.

Josh
Team Driver/Designer
Well considering that we took First place and were picked by the first seeded team.....I say we did really well for our first year. One thing that I wish we would of done (and are going to do for nationals) is have more tools. We took with us almost no tools, just what we used to build the bot and it wasn't much. We also learned a big lesson on how quickly the matches roll......it was sooo fast it seemed like we had no time for anything, but i guess it comes with the terrtory.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 06:58 AM
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Bill Moore Bill Moore is offline
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Re: HEY ROOKIE TEAMS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan.Lockhart
Well considering that we took First place and were picked by the first seeded team.....I say we did really well for our first year. One thing that I wish we would of done (and are going to do for nationals) is have more tools. We took with us almost no tools, just what we used to build the bot and it wasn't much. We also learned a big lesson on how quickly the matches roll......it was sooo fast it seemed like we had no time for anything, but i guess it comes with the terrtory.
Logan,

Pittsburgh was an exception because they had so few teams. Cycle times between matches at other Regionals will be almost double that of Pittsburgh. The Championship (with about 80 teams per division) will have even longer cycle times and far fewer matches.

Congratulations on your Awards (Rookie Inspiration and Highest Rookie Seed) and Regional Championship!

Rookies take note, Pittsburgh is a "Rookie Friendly" Regional, as rookie teams have been Champions the past two years!
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