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Unread 05-05-2012, 01:55 PM
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Question Championships Competition Structure

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but I have a couple questions/ comments about the CMP competition structure.

Coming back from the CMP for FRC, the first question everyone asks is, "How did you do?". I usually reply that our robot did pretty well: we were seeded in the 30's, picked by the 3rd alliance captain in our division, but lost during the quarterfinals. But most people get confused due to the different divisions thing and then they misjudge the quality of our performance because we made it to 'only' the quarterfinals. I could also tell them our OPR and that ranking, but I'd also have to explain what OPR was and how it was calculated.

Question 1: Is there an easier way to explain how our team/robot 'did'?

Furthermore, during quals, your individual team has a ranking. During eliminations, your alliance doesn't really. It almost seems like your ranking from quals doesn't really matter that much. In Galileo, all the top four teams lost during the quarterfinal matches (very close matches, though).

Q2: Would it be beneficial to complete the alliance ranking by doing a 3rd-8th competition?
Q3: Why does the 8th alliance go against the 1st? Shouldn't be more logical for the 1st to go against 2nd, 3rd and 4th? and so on? Or are they trying to knock off the lower performing alliances for a more exciting finals?

I also noticed that during championships, between divisions, there really isn't much robot vs robot interaction. I.e. One could win Einstein (from Galileo) and be considered the world champions, but they were never put against teams from Newton or Archimedes or Curie, just their respective finalists. Even though there are just too many teams for it to just be a free for all competition, I'd probably be one to say I'd want to see two super-alliances go against each other! (That's probably what off-season competitions are for, though.)

In summary, I think that the competition structure is a bit too complicated to explain to a lay person. I get it because I have to and I've been around it so long that it's pretty natural. But it becomes kind of a task when explaining it to my friends, families, teachers and administrators, etc.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 02:08 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

It's pretty simple: teams are divided randomly into four divisions of about 100 teams each. They play a bunch of qualification matches where they are randomly paired up in 3v3 matches. The top 8 teams then get to select two other teams to play on their side in the elimination tournament. The winners of each division face off in a final four to crown the champion.

Honestly, you tell them that. And then say that you were picked to move on to the elimination rounds as part of the third seeded alliance but were knocked out in the quarterfinals so you were one of the top 24 robots in your division (yes, technically you were not in the top 24 in terms of ranking, but those details, to be fair, don't really matter if you're trying to explain it to someone who just wants a brief overview of how you did).

I personally don't think it's worth the amount of time it would take to do a 3rd-8th competition. It already takes such a long time to do the eliminations as is.

8 plays 1 because, well, that's pretty standard. The higher ranked seeds, theoretically, get an "easier" time than the lower ranked ones. It's like how you give higher ranked teams first round byes in some sporting events rather than doing it randomly. They've essentially earned their spot at the top and that's one of the benefits. As we've seen plenty of times, though, especially in this era of coopertition points, being the #1 seed doesn't always mean being the best team there. Like I said, that's pretty standard practice in...everything.
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Last edited by Alexa Stott : 05-05-2012 at 02:19 PM.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 02:14 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

Quote:
Originally Posted by emekablue View Post
Q3: Why does the 8th alliance go against the 1st? Shouldn't be more logical for the 1st to go against 2nd, 3rd and 4th? and so on? Or are they trying to knock off the lower performing alliances for a more exciting finals?
well the first seed through qualification earned the right to be against the eighth seed to have a greater chance of advancing. theoretically the 1st seed and 2nd seed should contain (at least) 4 of the best robots and if they were put against each other it would make for the quarter finals being the theoretical hardest matches for those alliance. and then the wining alliance would theoretically always win the tournament. the way it is currently set up is a classic tournament bracket used in most competitions (including most major sports. NHL, NFL, MBA..ect) i really doubt it will change
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Unread 05-05-2012, 02:15 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

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Originally Posted by emekablue View Post
But most people get confused due to the different divisions thing and then they misjudge the quality of our performance because we made it to 'only' the quarterfinals.
I actually have found the complete opposite to be true. When I tell people we made it to the semi-finals of the Championship they assume we were one of the 4 best teams in the world. Then I need to explain the 3 team alliances and 4 divisions.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 02:22 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

Quote:
Originally Posted by emekablue View Post
Question 1: Is there an easier way to explain how our team/robot 'did'?
I usually just say, "we did well/ great/ not too good, etc." then go on to say "we seeded XX out of XX teams, and made the quarterfinals/ semis/ etc.". If they want to know more after that, then you can explain the alliance selection system further.

Quote:
Q2: Would it be beneficial to complete the alliance ranking by doing a 3rd-8th competition?
I don't think so. This would take away from qualification rounds because of time constraints. Eliminations already take 2+ hours to complete.

Quote:
Q3: Why does the 8th alliance go against the 1st? Shouldn't be more logical for the 1st to go against 2nd, 3rd and 4th? and so on? Or are they trying to knock off the lower performing alliances for a more exciting finals?
The point of eliminations is to get down to your best 2 alliances in the finals. All other sports use the same system.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 02:47 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

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Originally Posted by avanboekel View Post
The point of eliminations is to get down to your best 2 alliances in the finals. All other sports use the same system.
It's also a lot more exciting to see the matches get more difficult in each round, rather than easier.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 06:48 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

The elimination structure is easy to explain if you relate it to the NCAA basketball tournament. There, 64 teams are divided into 4 regions. The highest seeded team in the region plays the lowest seeded team in the region. Teams advance to the Sweet 16 (16 teams left, or semifinals in the region), Elite 8, and Final 4. This year, as division finalists, I tell people we made it to (or lost in) the Elite 8. It avoids over-promoting our finish and relates it to something most people already know.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 07:40 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanboekel View Post
The point of eliminations is to get down to your best 2 alliances in the finals. All other sports use the same system.
Not exactly, at least in a single elimination tournament. Let's assume to make things super simple that the "better" alliance always wins. In single elimination format, only the winner is guaranteed to be the "best" alliance. Take the case where the best two alliances are the #1 alliance and the #4 alliance... it wouldn't be the best two alliances in the finals then. It's entirely possible that a semi-final match or quarter-final match is more contested than a final match.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 10:02 PM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

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Originally Posted by emekablue View Post
Question 1: Is there an easier way to explain how our team/robot 'did'?
Tell them you won. When they ask "really?" reply "no, but we came close."
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Unread 05-06-2012, 03:18 AM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

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Tell them you won. When they ask "really?" reply "no, but we came close."
Alternatively, win.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:15 AM
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Re: Championships Competition Structure

For this year, I respond with "Awesome! We started with a group of kids, all but one had never built a robot before, and built a robot that did exactly what we wanted it to do and then kept working at it until it did more than we wanted. I started the season having to give step-by-step directions for everything and am now at the point where they are not satisfied with functional and are thinking about how to make it better. They went from responding to a judges question "Tell me about your robot" with a shy "It drives and balances on the bridge" to a confident conversation about the abilities of the robot and the iterations we went through to get there. We have students now talking about starting and mentoring FLL teams at elementary schools in our pyramid as a long term recruiting method.

Oh yeah, we won the DC regional and qualified for the Championships. We didn't win on the field there, but the robot and kids kept on getting better. One of my favorite seasons yet, and definitely a successful one.


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