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  #106   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-01-2008, 02:46 PM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivek16 View Post
Here is the thing:

No matter how many regionals you go to, your overall probability of getting to nationals stays the same.

one regional - 3/50

two regionals - 6/100

three regionals - 9/150

and so on.

-Vivek

(sorry if this was already mentioned)
Actually, it's more like 5/50. (Rookies have maybe a 1/10 additional, depending on how many rookies.) If you aren't submitted for CA, 4/50.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 03:00 PM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson View Post
Here's some evidence for you: Chairman's Award-winning teams are installed in the Hall of Fame, and they are invited back to the Championship in perpetuity instead of just for one year.
Word.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson View Post
It is my experience that, with rare exception, teams that consistently embody the larger FIRST principles of inspiration, partnership, leadership, gracious professionalism, etc. are more remembered and celebrated than teams that merely consistently field winning robots.
Consider the robots: being mere machines, they lack the capacity for partnership, leadership, and gracious professionalism. All they can contribute to FIRST is inspiration, though the qualities embodied in their design and construction, and through their winning performance on the field of play. That contribution is very important -- without it FIRST could not be what it is -- but, as Alan points out, it is not enough.

Teams are made up of humans, and therefore have the capacity to embody all of the larger principles of FIRST. Being more than machines, we share a duty to strive for that goal.

Back to the main topic. My team has attended two regional events in each of the last five FRC seasons. We do it because we like to meet FIRST people from other places, and because we want to play robots as many times as possible.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 03:03 PM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricH View Post
Actually, it's more like 5/50. (Rookies have maybe a 1/10 additional, depending on how many rookies.) If you aren't submitted for CA, 4/50.
True, but the point I was making still stands. Competing at multiple regionals is fair because from a raw probability perspective, it doesn't change your chances of going to the championship.

-Vivek
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Unread 05-01-2008, 03:06 PM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson View Post
Note that the Chairman's Award banner is just as large as the one given to the winner of the final robot match, so the "big banner" observation is irrelevant.
I'm pretty sure the chairman's trophy is larger then any other trophy FIRST gives (with the exception of the Founder's award and possibly the Woodie Flowers award).

On the initial topic, Life is about the opportunities that you create for yourself. Each team starts with the basics and it is up to them to make the most successful program they can.

Multiple regions != powerhouse robot
Money != successful robot
Lack of resources != team failure
Veteran Team != winning team
Single Regional != lack of inspiration

My team attends multiple regionals or a regional and championships, and our robot has not been in contention for the winners spot for years.

Edit - I want to provide some clarification. First, for those not of a computer science background != means does not equal. Second those are my opinions after having been a participant with a team and a event volunteer for a number of years.
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Last edited by GeorgeTheEng : 05-01-2008 at 03:57 PM. Reason: clarification
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Unread 05-01-2008, 04:08 PM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

I think this entire discussion is a moot point, because every year there's an open sign-up period for any teams that don't prequalify, who have the money and wish to go, so it's not like anyone is stealing spots from anybody else.

Not to mention the fact that this discussion is being perpetuated against teams under the premise that it's "not about the robots", like these teams should be ashamed of themselves for making FIRST all about winning, since they go to multiple regionals. The irony here is that this argument itself is making FIRST out to be about the robots.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 05:41 PM
Rick TYler Rick TYler is offline
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeTheEng View Post
Multiple regions != powerhouse robot
Money != successful robot
Lack of resources != team failure
Veteran Team != winning team
Single Regional != lack of inspiration
Yabbut, you know, George, that pWinning goes up with practice (multiple regionals), money, resources, and experience. How many teams on Einstein were not top teams in all these categories? I believe you are saying that these factors are not sufficient, which I agree with, but it would not be accurate to say they do not have a positive effect on winning probabilities.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 05:58 PM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Winning an award and trying to do so has its merits.
It can show where you are at as a program amongst your peers. If at first you dont succeed, you go back and analyze why, coming back better and stronger than the year before. It allows your team to set goals to improve, whether its building a better robot AND/OR building a better program.
The reality of winning is that it not only brings glory and celebrates an accomplishment, but it also brings about opportunities for more sponsorship and support by others that may otherwise not notice.
Success breeds success.
People that make excuses about it not being fair should take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves, "What are you going to do about it?" Trust me, we have done that many times several years ago trying to figure out how to compete against the highly successful teams in every phase of the program. We didnt make any excuses, instead embraced the challenge, even though we are still doing the chasing.
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  #113   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-02-2008, 07:22 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivek16 View Post
Here is the thing:

No matter how many regionals you go to, your overall probability of getting to nationals stays the same.

one regional - 3/50

two regionals - 6/100

three regionals - 9/150

and so on.

-Vivek

(sorry if this was already mentioned)
It's been a long time since I took statistics. But I think you're logic is flawed.

First, you assume that each team has an equal chance of winning the game. We'll overlook that for the time being.

But each regional is a unique event. If winning is truly random, the chances of winning one are independent of winning another. Therefore

1 regional - 3/50
2 regionals - 3/50 + 3/50
3 regionals - 3/50 + 3/50 + 3/50
etc.
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  #114   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-02-2008, 08:44 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryVoshol View Post
It's been a long time since I took statistics. But I think you're logic is flawed.

First, you assume that each team has an equal chance of winning the game. We'll overlook that for the time being.

But each regional is a unique event. If winning is truly random, the chances of winning one are independent of winning another. Therefore

1 regional - 3/50
2 regionals - 3/50 + 3/50
3 regionals - 3/50 + 3/50 + 3/50
etc.
We assume each team has an equal chance of winning one of the 4 non-submission, non-rookie awards. That is not the case, but we want a best-case scenario here.

I think your logic may also be flawed. You're saying that in two events, a team has a 6/50 chance. They have a 3/50 in each (using the numbers we're playing with). However, as I remember probability, you don't add. The odds of x event in two separate cases is multiplied. Your chances of qualifying twice are much smaller than indicated.

Assuming, of course, that everything is equal, which it isn't.
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Unread 05-02-2008, 09:13 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricH View Post
...Your chances of qualifying twice are much smaller than indicated...
Multiplying as you suggest will give the probability of winning all the events. Adding the probabilities gives the chances of winning one (or more) of the multiple events, thus qualifying for a Championship invitation, which is what Gary wanted to show.
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Unread 05-02-2008, 10:06 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricH View Post
We assume each team has an equal chance of winning one of the 4 non-submission, non-rookie awards. That is not the case, but we want a best-case scenario here.

I think your logic may also be flawed. You're saying that in two events, a team has a 6/50 chance. They have a 3/50 in each (using the numbers we're playing with). However, as I remember probability, you don't add. The odds of x event in two separate cases is multiplied. Your chances of qualifying twice are much smaller than indicated.

Assuming, of course, that everything is equal, which it isn't.
Let's say that the probability of winning a regional is 3/50, and we want to win at least one regional. Well, then the probability of NOT winning a regional is 47/50. THIS quantity will multiply.

So then we say, well, the probability of winning at least regional as a function of N, where N is the number of regionals we attend, is:

P(N) = 1 - (47/50)^N

Because (47/50)^N is the probability of NOT winning a regional, and the sum of the probabilities of all outcomes must equal 1.

And the result?

1 Regional: 3/50 or 6%
2 Regionals: 11.64%
3 Regionals: 16.95%

Note that this is the probability of winning at least one regional. If you wanted to get the probability of winning exactly two, then it would be (3/50)*(3/50)*(47/50). The probability of winning three would be (3/50)*(3/50)*(3/50). So the teams that won three had a 0.022% chance of doing so. Congratulations, 1114 and 1024, you guy beat the odds! Or maybe winning multiple regionals has more to do with robot quality, drive team skill, and a good autonomous than pure luck...though luck certainly is always involved.

Thus, it does go up (given that EVERYTHING else is equal, which it isn't) which makes sense--more chances equals more probability, but it doesn't quite scale linearly with regionals. Think about it, if they just added, then if you had a 3/50 shot of winning a regional, then if you went to 17 regionals you would be guaranteed a berth at Nationals, and your probability would be OVER 1.0, which is not really possible.

Last edited by Nikhil Bajaj : 05-02-2008 at 10:14 AM. Reason: wanted to put in "at least"
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Unread 05-02-2008, 10:40 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhil Bajaj View Post
Let's say that the probability of winning a regional is 3/50, and we want to win at least one regional. Well, then the probability of NOT winning a regional is 47/50. THIS quantity will multiply.

So then we say, well, the probability of winning at least regional as a function of N, where N is the number of regionals we attend, is:

P(N) = 1 - (47/50)^N

Because (47/50)^N is the probability of NOT winning a regional, and the sum of the probabilities of all outcomes must equal 1.

And the result?

1 Regional: 3/50 or 6%
2 Regionals: 11.64%
3 Regionals: 16.95%

Note that this is the probability of winning at least one regional. If you wanted to get the probability of winning exactly two, then it would be (3/50)*(3/50)*(47/50). The probability of winning three would be (3/50)*(3/50)*(3/50). So the teams that won three had a 0.022% chance of doing so. Congratulations, 1114 and 1024, you guy beat the odds! Or maybe winning multiple regionals has more to do with robot quality, drive team skill, and a good autonomous than pure luck...though luck certainly is always involved.

Thus, it does go up (given that EVERYTHING else is equal, which it isn't) which makes sense--more chances equals more probability, but it doesn't quite scale linearly with regionals. Think about it, if they just added, then if you had a 3/50 shot of winning a regional, then if you went to 17 regionals you would be guaranteed a berth at Nationals, and your probability would be OVER 1.0, which is not really possible.
flawed logic- just showing up doesnt give you an equal probability of winning anything. A robot can win multiple regionals due to quality play or be the worst robot at every regional.

and besides- it isnt just about the winning........
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Unread 05-02-2008, 11:24 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Passion and determination should be figured into all of this as well as hours and hours of practice. Or lack of.

.02
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Unread 05-02-2008, 11:28 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

This is an interesting topic of discussion and after reading the comments it is nice to see it has been discussed without attacks and negative comments.

As a team with limited resources we have discussed this amongst ourselves also. I have one point that I did not see in this thread. It might have been there in the 8 pages and I missed it but that was a lot of reading.

To me there is one pro to this that outweighs most everything else. It raises the bar for all teams. As a veteran team that does not have the money or the resources of other teams we know we have to excel in other ways because the standards will be very high regardless of what we have/do.
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Unread 05-02-2008, 11:38 AM
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Re: Is competing at multiple regionals REALLY fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne C. View Post
just showing up doesnt give you an equal probability of winning anything.
Of course. But the original supposition was that every robot showing up had equal probability of winning. The contention was, given random equality, going to multiple events was of no benefit. While I calculated it incorrectly, Nikhil Bajaj showed that you would have better odds by going to multiple events.

Quote:
A robot can win multiple regionals due to quality play or be the worst robot at every regional.
And by fate, that worst robot could even win all it's matches due to help from partners, make brilliant alliance selections, and win the whole thing.
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