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Unread 07-19-2001, 10:05 PM
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Big vs Little Funding

As I was writing my post on the Chairmans Award i began to think how most of FIRST is unfair to poorly funded teams and teams that aren't quite as large as most. Why not divide teams up into divisions for awards or even fo competing at nationals by team size of funding. I know alot of times the teams with good funding coem out with much better built robots just because they have the money and resources to afford it. High School athletics are dividing into classes, like L, M, and I, why doesn't FIRST do something similar so that teams with similar backgrounds and oppurtunities go up against eachother making the game on a more even playing field?
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Unread 07-19-2001, 10:39 PM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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That sounds good but... If that were to happen there would be different sites for comps. This would be an easy way to limit nationals, but then the smaller teams would really get left behind. Who wants to watch the crappy local opening band when you can just skip it and see the big timers? See what I mean?
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Unread 07-20-2001, 07:03 AM
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How exactly would you define funding? Is it just money that's handed over to the team in the form of a check? What about sponsors that just cover the expenses no matter what? Do you include donated parts in funding? Do you include donated machine shop time? Do you include engineer time? Those are just a few of the problems of dividing up teams by funding.

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Unread 07-20-2001, 11:05 AM
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I dont like this idea at all.. and im on a low funded team.

I do agree that some teams have an 'unfair' advantage, but I want to comete with them anyways. Its no fun to be classified based on the amount of money you have.

Just because your low on funding dosn't mean you cant design a very good robot and build it too that quality. You don't need professional machinests to make and weld your robot, that should be the students job anyways. I think that if somthing were to be done about this, there should be a cap on how much money can be spent on the robot's construction... not that i think its that big of a problem.

My team this year consited of 11 or 12 very active people (adults included) and probably about 16 or 17 actually attended the only competition we could afford to attend, the NYC one.

But we finished, and for a brief time we were in first place

We were a new team, but we were able to comete with the heavyweights just fine, we possibally had the most traction of any other robot there, and we could control the bridge very well.

The amount of money dosn't make or break a team... I guess thats what im hitting at here... my team had access to a full machine shop (in the classroom we built it in) and a computer lab with autocad and all the other computer aided deisgn programs (also in our classroom).

Our robot was more reliable then a lot of the 'vetren' team robots.

We didn't have any problems cometeing, our robot wes always in working condition.. never had to even think about using a stretcher. Thats not to say we didnt see the machine shop, infact one of our rubber shaft thingy's (hope you know what im talking about) broke, so we sent 2 people to the machine shop to make new one's out of alluminum (they didnt have any at the booth thingy).

After the first day of competition we completely re-designed and built our ball handling mechinism into a bridge manupulation mechinism, and on the second day helped balnce the goal a few times, and helped other robot's accross the bridge MANY times.

The moral of the story is: A team that literally STARTS with 5000 (and raises the rest) dollars can make it too and succeed in a competition, and should be able to compete with the rest of the teams.

I think everyone here would agree that it is unfair to be bias based on the amount of money someone/somthing has... shouldn't it be the same with FIRST teams?

Greg
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Unread 07-20-2001, 11:12 AM
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I agree with Greg. Teams shouldn't be grouped by how much money they have. My team this year didn't have a lot of money but we weren't really low on money. I think it is more important for a team to have suport from engineers and such than having a lot of money.
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Unread 07-20-2001, 10:36 PM
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In my opinion, FIRST isn't about winning or fairness or even the game. It's about learning, and getting people excited about what technology can do. I don't believe in making divisions based on funding, or anything else for that matter. In the real world, you've got giant companies like GM and Microsoft. Even if you break up into divisions, there will still be extremes within the division.

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Unread 07-21-2001, 02:59 PM
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I also don't think teams should be classified as to how much money they have. Some people may have the best robot and not have much money. Some people could have the most money and have the worst robot. It depends on how much effort you put in it and the people you have on your team. Like Dean said, FIRST is about learning, not winning and having the best robot on the field. You can score low on every match and still have a good time.

I wouldn't like it if the teams were split up. Not implying the allied games are going to be a while, but I enjoy allying with some of the well known teams, I look foward to going to competitions and competeing with some of the well known teams. Even if we were to go back to vs., I would still enjoy working against the well known teams, that's what makes it fun.
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Unread 07-28-2001, 01:45 PM
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one of the best parts is that we all learn from each other. the chief delphi's can learn from the rambots' and vice-versa. deviding teams along these lines would hurt everyone in the long run. im on a poorly funded team. other teams definately have an advantage over us. but i wouldnt even call it unfair. it isnt fair, but its not unfair either. it just is. on the other hand, we have some things that they might not have. for example, and i dont know this to be true or not true, i assume that bigger teams who get engineers donated to them and stuff probably dont do as much work directly on the bot as people on a smaller team with no engineers. i might be completely wrong, but it seems like a logical thing to me. on the other hand, these teams get other things that we dont. so basically we all learn different things and then share them with each other at nats and other comps. create these divisions and you take away that sharing of experiances.
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Unread 07-28-2001, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike o'leary
one of the best parts is that we all learn from each other. the chief delphi's can learn from the rambots' and vice-versa. deviding teams along these lines would hurt everyone in the long run. im on a poorly funded team. other teams definately have an advantage over us. but i wouldnt even call it unfair. it isnt fair, but its not unfair either. it just is. on the other hand, we have some things that they might not have. for example, and i dont know this to be true or not true, i assume that bigger teams who get engineers donated to them and stuff probably dont do as much work directly on the bot as people on a smaller team with no engineers. i might be completely wrong, but it seems like a logical thing to me. on the other hand, these teams get other things that we dont. so basically we all learn different things and then share them with each other at nats and other comps. create these divisions and you take away that sharing of experiances.
Yeah... its not fair, but it's not NOT fair.

Small softwear companys have to compete with microsoft. Is it far? no- it's just the way it is

I personally like being on a small team and actually building the robot during before school, lunch, after school, weekends... first half of english class...
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Unread 07-28-2001, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GregT


Yeah... its not fair, but it's not NOT fair.

Small softwear companys have to compete with microsoft. Is it far? no- it's just the way it is

I personally like being on a small team and actually building the robot during before school, lunch, after school, weekends... first half of english class...
big teams vs small teams is not the same as small softwear companies competing with microsoft. microsoft is a monopoly. microsoft hypocritically goes against everything on which this country was founded in an effort to achieve the american dream. in short, microsoft is evil and should never be used in comparison to first. ever.
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Unread 07-28-2001, 08:37 PM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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Mike, small team have more fun! We get to hang out with all the big teams so we get that fun. But we also get that inside joke thing going on among the team not just part of the team. We also don't have as much separation between small parts of the team. One more thing, everyone has to work on everything, someone doesn't get to do all of one thing and none of another. You know what I mean. In case the rest of you couldn't tell I'm kinda partial to small teams.
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Unread 07-28-2001, 11:22 PM
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I agree I enjoy small teams. We were always busy which was a good and bad thing. I just wish we had a few more members because we ran out of man power to make a team web page and do the 3d animation. I have found we have got quite a few opertunities to do some cool things that we would have got if we were big.
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