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Unread 03-22-2010, 10:06 PM
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On the Importance of the Backup Teams

General note: the reason this is in the General Forum instead of Rules/Strategy is greater exposure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Manual, Section 9
9.4.2 Backup Teams : Of the remaining eligible TEAMS, the highest seeded TEAMS (up to eight) shall remain on standby and be ready to play as a BACKUP TEAM. If a ROBOT from any TEAM in an elimination match becomes inoperable the ALLIANCE CAPTAIN may have the highest seeded BACKUP TEAM join the ALLIANCE. The resulting ALLIANCE would then be composed of four TEAMS, but only three TEAMS will be permitted to continue with tournament play. The replaced TEAM remains part of the ALLIANCE for awards but cannot play, even if their ROBOT is repaired.[...]In the case where a BACKUP TEAM is called up onto the winning ALLIANCE, there will be a four-TEAM Champion Alliance.
I've been noticing a few comments about backup teams simply packing up before the end of the eliminations, so I wanted to bring this up to the light. What the above rule says is that any of the top 8 unchosen teams could be called onto any of the alliances in the elimination tournament, at any time.

The importance of this cannot be underestimated. It's the difference between going 2v3, or even 1v3, and an even match. It could mean the regional win or loss to the teams in the final round.

At the end of the qualification rounds, up to 8 teams are told not to pack up yet. I know; I've done some of that telling myself, as an inspector. (Team is packing up their robot, or starting to. I walk up. "Hey, guys, where are you going? The inspectors want to see you. There's a chance you can still win this event." [explanation of backup]) You see, we have to inspect the backup teams, too. Usually, about 4 teams are placed on standby; sometimes fewer (Arizona had 2 this year--one had already reinspected when we called the top 10 at about 10:30).

You get your robot reinspected, go to queue, and sit around and wait. And wait. If the folks running the event are smart, there should be no more than 4 teams kept waiting at the beginning of the semis, and 2 at the beginning of the finals. They know who's next on the list--remember, highest-seeded backup available is picked if a backup is needed.

And you wait some more. It's time for the finals, and you decide there's no chance anybody's going to be picked from the pool. You're the highest team on the list, but you decide to pack up. When you get back out to watch the last couple of matches, you notice that the team next to you in the pool is out on the field. Ooops.

This actually happened in Arizona this year. Remember, 2 teams were held out. The higher seed took a nap--I remember them being there during the semis. The lower seed simply waited somewhere around the area. Between the finals matches, Alliance #2 (down by a match) opted to use their backup coupon. The higher seed was nowhere to be found. Practice field? Nope. Queue? Nope. Skip it, the #2 on the list is here, this OK with the alliance? Yep. Hey, guys, get ready to roll, you're on in a couple of minutes! OK, so they didn't get the win, but the difference between being an also-ran and a finalist is huge, even in the FRC competition.

Here's another example, this one from 2007. 330 and 696 were in San Diego, paired with another team (1216, I think), in the finals. The other team was having some major issue that they couldn't fix in a timeout. 330 called in the backup (835) for the final match. 835's defense was a key component to the match--and regional--win. One match, and they went from mid-pack to winners. (Incidentally, TBA's data on this is wrong. I was there, so I can say that.)

If you're the backup, stick around a while. Stay close to your robot, and the field, until either it's over, or you're told that you're too low on the list to go farther. If you even think you'll be near that list, get reinspected early--the inspectors hate long lines too. Remember, there's the chance of a trip to the BIG Dance in Atlanta waiting for you--if you don't miss the call.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 10:16 PM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Excellent point.

Week 1 in Oregon, Team 1510 (seeded #12 after qualifications and highest on the backup list) was called upon for match 3 of QF3. They're a veteran team and they were queued up, but that also says a lot about the field crew in Portland and Seattle... always very well organized. They consistently tell the backup teams to be at the ready.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

This is also what happened in Troy last year. 3095 was picked by 67 and 217. After one QF match, their robot breaks down. In the heat of competition the super alliance uses the backup, which was team 3119. That alliance goes on to win Troy.

Just shows how important being ready as a backup is.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 10:27 PM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

I am convinced that we won a regional due to the excellent play of our backup partner, Team 2265. They entered play when our third partner broke a wheel.
If 2265 had packed up, things would have been very different for our entire alliance.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:25 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

I also noticed something that might be very important once a team gets to Einstein regarding backup robots.

if a robot is incapability of operating on Einstein, the Division Champion's backup robot is.... the alliance caption of the finalist alliance!

obviously, the alliance with he backup robot would be upgraded and have a advantage on the opposing alliance

222, 1218, 488
217, 68, 399
111, 67, 1717
1507, 121, 1918
That's how the alliances would have looked with a backup robot instead of the third pick.

I just hope FIRST fixes this situation, that way Backup robots are just that, backup robots. Not Stragitical upgrades that can win a championship.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 05:01 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

I thought Einstein backup robots were randomly drafted from the Finalist alliance. For example, 217 may have gotten 399, 188, or 329 to take 247's spot.

Not every alliance you proposed there would be an upgrade. 2753 could outscore 488, while 399 didn't play 247's role as effectively (as it scored more points, but 247's drivers played different d)
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Unread 03-23-2010, 08:24 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Backup teams are a great idea to keep things fair and moving along. FIRST brings extra awards and medals, just in case a backup is part of the Finalist or Winning alliance. I like that broken robots are not forgotten

Wisconsin this year had two backup coupons used. one in Semis, and one in Finals. In this particular case, both alliances with backups lost their matches, but they played hard and did well.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...7&postcount=54
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Unread 03-23-2010, 08:44 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nawaid Ladak View Post
I also noticed something that might be very important once a team gets to Einstein regarding backup robots.

if a robot is incapability of operating on Einstein, the Division Champion's backup robot is.... the alliance caption of the finalist alliance!

obviously, the alliance with he backup robot would be upgraded and have a advantage on the opposing alliance
This hasn't been the rule since 2006. We figured this out too late to take advantage of it. The rule was changed following that season to be the random draft of a finalist for the exact reason you mentioned.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 09:00 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Very well-said and I agree that backup teams need to take their responsibilities more seriously. When 134 experienced communication troubles in the VCU semis last week, the alliance captain tried to use the backup coupon, but him and the field team gave up when they were unable to locate the top five teams on the list.

I can almost understand the 7th and 8th teams packing up, but the top five?
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Unread 03-23-2010, 09:05 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Matteson View Post
This hasn't been the rule since 2006. We figured this out too late to take advantage of it. The rule was changed following that season to be the random draft of a finalist for the exact reason you mentioned.
Really? In 2007 we (the Alliance captian of the finalists on Curie) had to stay on the floor of the Georgia dome to the be the backup bot while our two alliance partners went to pack up.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 09:15 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Matteson View Post
This hasn't been the rule since 2006. We figured this out too late to take advantage of it. The rule was changed following that season to be the random draft of a finalist for the exact reason you mentioned.
You're off by a year. 2006 still used the highest seed backup. 2007 used the division finalist alliance captain. 2008 and later used a randomly selected member of the division finalist alliance.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 09:24 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by FRC4ME View Post
Very well-said and I agree that backup teams need to take their responsibilities more seriously. When 134 experienced communication troubles in the VCU semis last week, the alliance captain tried to use the backup coupon, but him and the field team gave up when they were unable to locate the top five teams on the list.

I can almost understand the 7th and 8th teams packing up, but the top five?
The backup we found for them was the 5th highest seed available, and they were in the process of packing up as well. The alliance captain from 339 chose to let 134 play after finding out who the available replacement was, but we can only imagine what would have happened if the correct backup teams were available.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 10:53 AM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by engunneer View Post
Backup teams are a great idea to keep things fair and moving along. FIRST brings extra awards and medals, just in case a backup is part of the Finalist or Winning alliance. I like that broken robots are not forgotten

Wisconsin this year had two backup coupons used. one in Semis, and one in Finals. In this particular case, both alliances with backups lost their matches, but they played hard and did well.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...7&postcount=54
Just to add further on this note: At Wisconsin the highest seeded backup (number left out) actually packed up and left, so we had to go to the number #2 and 3 seeded backup robot. Great post Eric!
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:58 PM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Ross View Post
You're off by a year. 2006 still used the highest seed backup. 2007 used the division finalist alliance captain. 2008 and later used a randomly selected member of the division finalist alliance.
It was the rule in 2006 but not widely known. After we (Gallileo Champs) were eliminated by the Newton alliance we were informed that Winnovation (#1 seed, finalist alliance captain) was our backup bot and was staged to join us if necessary. It was added to the rules the following year to make it clear after our discussions at the Championship of not knowing the rule.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 02:12 PM
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Re: On the Importance of the Backup Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Matteson View Post
It was the rule in 2006 but not widely known. After we (Gallileo Champs) were eliminated by the Newton alliance we were informed that Winnovation (#1 seed, finalist alliance captain) was our backup bot and was staged to join us if necessary. It was added to the rules the following year to make it clear after our discussions at the Championship of not knowing the rule.
That's not what the rules said... (although I don't doubt that is what actually happened).

Quote:
8.4.4 Backup Teams - Championship Event
8.4.4.1 Divisional Playoffs
For the purposes of illustration, assume that the three teams on any alliance going into Divisional
Playoffs are A, B, C. The Highest Seeded team in that division NOT on one of the 8 alliances is Team
D.
If at any point during the Divisional Playoffs, one of alliance teams A, B or C can't go on and the
alliance captain decides to bring up Team D to replace said robot (for this example, we'll use team C),
Team C (the replaced robot) may not play in any subsequent Divisional Playoff matches.
8.4.4.2 Einstein Playoffs
IF the above alliance wins their division and moves on to the Einstein Playoffs, at that point the
alliance can move Team C back into play in place of Team D, making Team D the backup again.
In this case, if this alliance wins the Einstein Playoffs, the Grand Champions would be teams A, B, C,
and D.
If Team C is not able to be repaired and teams A, B, and D play and win the Einstein Playoffs, the
Grand Champions would be teams A, B, C, and D.
If Team C is not able to get repaired and if one of team A, B or D gets damaged in the Einstein
Playoffs, thus creating a need for a third robot, then the alliance may bring up Team E (the highest
remaining seeded team from their division, which did not participate in the Divisional Playoffs) to
replace the damaged robot.
In this case, if the alliance with Team E wins the Einstein Playoffs, the Grand Champions will be
teams A, B, C, D, and E.
In any case, once a replacement robot is used in the Einstein Playoffs, none of the teams who sat out a
match can come back into play.
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