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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-20-2004, 04:16 PM
Mike M. Mike M. is offline
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Re: Left out in the cold...

I can't believe RAGE didn't get picked they are a great small ball picker and hanger. We got to the finals at UTC with them they were awesome partners.
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Unread 04-20-2004, 04:58 PM
Rob Rob is offline
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Re: Left out in the cold...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M.
I can't believe RAGE didn't get picked they are a great small ball picker and hanger. We got to the finals at UTC with them they were awesome partners.
I too was shocked to find out that RAGE was not in the elims..It just goes to show how some bad luck can bury teams because the divisions are so huge.

RAGE has an awesome amchine this year, and they would have helped any alliance enormously. They have consistent auto, a strong drivetrain, and are very reliable at what they do. I can't wait to see you guys at summer competitions! Hopefully we can team up at some even this year. Maybe the alliance name can be RhodeRAGE... we shall see. Anyway, I am still amazed that this great team was overlooked.

Rob
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Unread 04-21-2004, 11:31 AM
Gary Dillard's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
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Re: Left out in the cold...

This was the first year we got to do the picking at nationals, and the first time since 1999 (the first year of alliances) that we qualified high enough to pick anywhere (at KSC regional). That year at nat's there were no divisions, the top 16 got to pick, we finished 19th, and we went home in shock after no-one picked us. Since then we have taken scouting and marketing very seriously, so I'd like to share how we arrived at our selections.

Anyone who is not on the pit crew is assigned teams to scout on Thursday. They go to the pits, talk to the teams, and get the details on what the robot is "designed" to do, as well as how well it has been doing them. Then they watch every practice match that their team in is, with yes/no on did they hang, did they grab the ball, shots made/shots taken, etc. We use a scorecard for this that everyone is briefed on, and we try to team rookies with veterans. Thursday night we have a team meeting where we go through each team and the responsible student presents his or her findings. We use this information to determine strategies for our qualifying matches.

On Friday we have 2 teams of students that rotate in 1 hour intervals (it will be 2 hours next year at their recommendation because of the distance to the pits) and take the same information for each qualifying match. Friday night we determined that our best alliance partner would be someone who could both hang and place the 2x ball, since we were a herder/hanger. We took all the cards and pulled out anyone who had successfully done both on Friday; I think it was about 15 teams. Then we sorted them top to bottom based on consistency. We felt 2x handling would help us better than hanging, so next we pulled out those cards and ranked them by how many times they did it, from 5 times (every match) down to 2. Finally we pulled all the cards of the hangers and ranked them accordingly. The last exercise was mixing them - is our best hanger better than our worst 2x handler? I think they ended up somewhere in the middle of the pack, then we went to the next hanger. Then, is our best 2x handler better than our worst hanger/handler? We shuffled them that way, and ended up with our top 30 teams.

Saturday we used for sanity check - are these teams still performing as expected? Is there anyone that dominated a match or worked consistently that we overlooked? This is when you need to come ask the top teams what we're looking for, and focus on that in your match. That's all the science, then going into selections we put the emotion and other factors into it - that's where reputation can really help you. 67 and 107 were both at the top of our list, but we leaned toward 67 because they picked us last year and we made it to the division finals. When they went to the first seed we picked 107. Several people have posted about 303 not being picked - actually they were next on our list after 501. Not much consolation but they were an excellent team.

Notice that standings / ranking never entered into our process. I think our 3rd choice after 107 was cheezy poofs who finished 45th or something like that. They were on the list because of performance, but that high because of reputation.

Definitely some teams got picked that we scratched our heads and said "huh?", and then went on to do great. Aces High (176) was near the top of our list but dropped down saturday with 2 inconsistant matches; I guess they were saving it for the finals because they were awesome.

I got to watch alot more matches this year, and I gotta say that the bar has been raised as far as performance. A special thanks to all the teams who carried us through qualifying.
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Unread 04-21-2004, 11:50 AM
Andy Brockway Andy Brockway is offline
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Re: Left out in the cold...

We follow the same process as Gary. Reputation and driver confidence are also used for input into the final ranking. The most important advice I can give was stated already...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dillard
Notice that standings / ranking never entered into our process.

At UTC this year Team 195 was ranked 2nd until the last couple of matches. They dropped out of the top eight and were left out in the cold. Someone missed them!
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Unread 04-21-2004, 12:07 PM
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Re: Left out in the cold...

I'll jump in here with a bit of Canadian flair. I was very surprised to see team 1305 go unselected. They went undefeated in the qualifiers at the Canadian Regional, one of only 12 teams to do so this season. They were sitting in the top 8 for most of nationals, until their last match. This robot was a solid lower deck hanger. Despite strong performances, it's still hard to be noticed as a rookie team, and as a team who qualified for nationals in April 3rd.

As for 229, my jaw hit the floor when I was informed that they didn't get picked. I had taken it as a given that they would be picked. This team knows how to play defense. Defense wins championships, just ask the Martians.

I guess it's just the nature of the beast, 293 teams and only 96 move on, someone good has to be left behind.
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Unread 04-21-2004, 12:17 PM
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Re: Left out in the cold...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob
Hopefully we can team up at some even this year. Maybe the alliance name can be RhodeRAGE...
"RhodeRAGE", I love it! I guess that goes along with "RAGEagon"... Any time the Rhode Warriors want to drive over to Hartford to play with us on our field, let us know... Hope to see everyone at Battlecry.
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Unread 04-21-2004, 01:44 PM
Gary Dillard's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
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Re: Left out in the cold...

Yeah, despite all the scientific process I talked about, we might have picked Rage if they were in our division since they teamed with us last year and beat us the year before. Plus Mr. Nye gave me a T-shirt

Also, if Beatty fielded a refrigerator we'd still pick them; how can you not - "all they ever do is win".
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Unread 04-21-2004, 11:22 PM
Lisa Rodriguez Lisa Rodriguez is offline
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Re: Left out in the cold...

Yea, there are some odd things that happen in alliance pickings, but, o well, it's over what can you do but try better next year?
As for 229 not getting picked--what's up with that???
As for Mr. Nye giving you a shirt...when was this??(we're on a shirt shortage), not to be mean, but wha?? o well
RhodeRage--o yea
Rageagon--we actually put that in a restraunt for our name one night when we went out to eat with some kids from paragon.......
to anyone who knows our "gimme and R...R" cheer, let's just say we did that wish Rageagon when we knew our adults were near, and there was about 5 of us doing it.....and we were VERY loud (louder than our team was in the stands at some points )

but back to the point---
yea 5, won 2 regional, although i must admit that i didn't see many matches, shouldn't that say something?
Also, 20, although i only saw them in thier last match against us, they were pretty good
but stuff happens and people don't get picked, that's why you have to get up to the people doing the picking
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Unread 04-22-2004, 08:34 AM
Gary Dillard's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
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Re: Left out in the cold...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiko173
As for 229 not getting picked--what's up with that???
I talked to JVN first thing Saturday morning - they were on our list but pretty far down because of inconsistency. He told me about a bad motor controller and a few other details that had caused some problems. He asked and I told him what they needed to demonstrate for us (2X handling and hanging). I watched both of his matches on Saturday and they had problems both times. Like he said, just alot of bad luck.
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Unread 04-22-2004, 11:01 AM
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Re: Left out in the cold...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dillard
I talked to JVN first thing Saturday morning - they were on our list but pretty far down because of inconsistency. He told me about a bad motor controller and a few other details that had caused some problems. He asked and I told him what they needed to demonstrate for us (2X handling and hanging). I watched both of his matches on Saturday and they had problems both times. Like he said, just alot of bad luck.
I think that many teams get hurt by inconsistency. I was hangning out with pit guys from 229 alot, and they were always having the worst luck with their arm. From having to repair it on Thursday morning to electrical problems on Friday and Saturday, they were not able to show how good their machine really is. I remember talking to Chris and him saying that they finally had all of the mechanical bugs worked out when a speed controller failed, and the pwm came unplugged in the next match. This is a team that I know would have made a huge splash in the elimination rounds has they been invited to join an alliance. I wonder sometimes if 74 is too big a field of machines to select from. It is really hard to get to know details about machines, teams, and strategies when there is that much information to go over.

Despite this, I wouldnt count 229 out for summer competitions. They are going to make an impact wherever they go! John, Joel, Chris and Co., I hope we meet up with you at some summer event, because I would love to actually get tom compete with you guys instead of against you!

Rob
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Unread 04-22-2004, 08:36 PM
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Re: Left out in the cold...

Wow.

I don't think that I've ever seen team 5 (The RoboCards) ever mentioned like this before in a thread. I wish I could respond to the problems/question - but I have not been to a meeting since the build seasion. I Have kept in touch - but thanks to some bone-headed moves and stupid thoughts, I've had to be seperated from them - and right now it's thanks to me catching up on work. As I just read we now have FORD as our sponsor (AFL is moving) and I am going to have to dig more into this...

Agian - thank you for the thoughts of team 5 (The RoboCards!!)
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Unread 04-26-2004, 10:06 PM
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Re: Left out in the cold...

This year, i don't think that ranking effected the pickings all that much. Because if a team were to lose even one match even if it was just by a ball or so they were automatically dropped to an entirely different tier. Just some proof to this and to attest to what Gary said about ranking, we were ranked dead last in the Trenton Regional, but our scout team went out and sold our good points to the top 8 teams, and we wound up being picked in the second round (Thanks to teams 195 and 173)

Getting back to the topic at hand, I'm very surprised that team 122 didn't get picked. We worked with them at both the Chesapeake regional where we lost in the semis. (We got tipped early in our first semi match and they still scored 130 points!!) And we also worked with them as part of our allaince in Palmetto where we wound up winning the regional. They had an awesome capper/ hanger and I feel that they would've been an awesome addition to any allaince.
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Unread 04-27-2004, 12:02 AM
Nate Edwards Nate Edwards is offline
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Re: Left out in the cold...

We 957 ended up in 25th in Newton and ended up not getting picked.. but it wasn't that bad. The cool thing was that Dean Kamen came up to our alliance selection representative after we didn't get picked and told her that we should have been picked cause we had a very competitive and constitant robot. I think that kind of complimant was even better then if we got picked.

Nate
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