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Unread 06-24-2002, 12:11 AM
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Thoughts on this years competition...

Posted by Rob Zeuge at 2/20/2001 5:38 PM EST


Coach on team #121, Rhode Warrior, from University of Rhode Island and Naval Undersea Warfare Center.



Now that all robots are off of our minds for a while, I think it is time to talk about this year's game and how it relates to the mission of FIRST.

There are several things that I like about the game, and several others that I do not like at all. Hopefully FIRST is listening, and will see any responses that people may have.

I would like to congradualte FIRST for the good points this year, the most obvious of which is the larger amout of teams that will compete in "elimination" rounds. Everyone wants to see their creation on the field, and it is always nice to see more teams involved on Saturday afternoon. Another positive point that I see is with larger alliances, more teams will get to know one another, and helping in the pits will increase.

Now for the things that I believe could use a little improvement...

Here is a quote from the FIRST website describing what the competition is all about.

"The teams then compete in a spirited, no-holds-barred tournament complete with referees, cheerleaders and time clocks.

The result is a fun, exciting and stimulating environment in which all participants discover the important connection between classroom lessons and real world applications. "

The purpose from what I can gather is something like this...

We spend countless hours of our time in order to show high school students that engineering and technical careers can be exciting and rewarding. We also try to impart upon the students the importance of getting an education, and working hard and taking pride in what you do.

The students I work with undoubtedly learn how working hard can pay off, and love to see the products of their labors in action. I just feel that the fun and exciting part of the competition is lacking this year.

Think about this...This year's game is one that rewards us for completing the task fast. Many matches may not even last a minute. Will it be exciting for spectators to watch four bots bounding across the field and stopping in 25 seconds, thus scoring 120 points? How exciting will the match be if four bots spend 2 minutes balancing a goal full of balls? I think the latter is much more exciting, but it is undoubtedly worth less points.

Now on to the elimination rounds...The cream of the crop, the marvels of FIRST engineering out on the field all at the same time! The finals this year will all be exactly the same unless one of the machines breaks or a strategy fails. The only exciting moments will occur in one of these situations. Do we really want the most exciting part of this competition to be the failures of these technological masterpieces? It would be nice if "heroic" actions by teams could be more rewarded, but it will be obvious by 30 seconds into a match what the long run outcome will be.

It seems to me that the qualifying rounds will be more exciting than the elimination rounds, simply because of the random element. By the finals, we may be so tired of watching allinaces do the same thing over and over that we may begin to lose the excitement.

I may just be a tired fool spouting out meaningless words, but I would love to hear other opinions on this.

Robert Zeuge
rzeu0470@postoffice.uri.edu

P.S.-- I actually like the game this year, I just wish it was going top be more exciting for spectators to watch, after all, we are always trying to get more people involved, right...





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Unread 06-24-2002, 12:11 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this years competition...

Posted by Tim Gates at 2/20/2001 8:41 PM EST


Engineer on team #288, RoboDawgs, from Grandville High School and X-Rite/Delphi.


In Reply to: Thoughts on this years competition...
Posted by Rob Zeuge on 2/20/2001 5:38 PM EST:



Although this years game has some interesting challenges for the participants, I don't think it has the spectator quality that will excite younger individuals and inspire them to get involved. Especially those who like heads up competition.

Tim Gates
RoboDawgs
#288


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Re: Thoughts on this years competition...

Posted by Matt Ryan at 2/20/2001 10:59 PM EST


Student on team #69, HYPER, from Quincy Public Schools and Gillette.


In Reply to: Re: Thoughts on this years competition...
Posted by Tim Gates on 2/20/2001 8:41 PM EST:



Yes, it lacks the spectator quality of past years. But it is pretty exciting nonetheless, from what I saw at "Ramp Rampage" (Team 69's "Mini-Meet&quot.

I liked the "floppies" from two years ago.

Pappy--you are a marked man . You DID upload that picture to my profile.


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Actually, less teams in the elimination matches....

Posted by colleen - T190 at 02/22/2001 4:24 PM EST


Engineer on team #190, Gompei, from Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science and WPI.


In Reply to: Thoughts on this years competition...
Posted by Rob Zeuge on 2/20/2001 5:38 PM EST:



If you do the math.. there are actually less teams that will make it to elimination matches than in past years... bigger alliances, less 'bots...
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