View Full Version : what i see after the competition

03-30-2002, 10:04 PM
Hi everyone, I am Antonio from team 971, and we just finished our regional today. We ranked 16/49. We are a rookie and we are proud of what we did and the result of the game.
For the final round, the campionship, the top 8 teams are supposed to choose 2 other teams to compete. but our team didn't get picked. I know that they don't have to pick us, and they have their choice. But, are we that bad? Be honest to you all, we are not at all. then how could those ranked like 20 something could have been picked and we not? Did they judge it reasonably before they choose?
Probably I am wrong, but I found that many teams were giving off stuffs to sell their team. Well, I am not against this idea, but, does that help? Is the money playing game or the robot? I am kind of confuse right now. And furthermore, some teams that have money can participate in many other regionals to increase their chances to get in the final. Well, again, money game. Should this rule be cancelled?
I'm most probably wrong, but I learn. And I am still proud of my team and our robot which is made by our own hands from our own scratches. I believe our team will let this honesty and "gracious professionalism" go on. I would like to hear your opinion to correct my tilted mind. Peace for all.


Kris Verdeyen
03-30-2002, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by piconysm
Probably I am wrong, but I found that many teams were giving off stuffs to sell their team.

The practive of giving away buttons has the nice side effect of making your team more visible to the others at competition. Otherwise, it's easy to fade into the crowd. But there's no quid pro quo for teams that give buttons away. First of all, they'll give the buttons to anyone. And second of all, a team won't pick another team simply because they happened to have pretty buttons.

There are lots of reasons a team might pick a lower ranked team -
- a lower ranked team might have had a bunch of bad draws, but actually had a good robot.
- a higher ranked team had a few high scoring matches simply because of quality partners.
- A team, like 365, has a robot designed to score poorly, but to win every match.
- Some robots are just better matched as alliance partners than others.

Even including these reasons, though, it sometimes comes down to selling your robot. If you see that your team isn't going to be in the top 8 seeds, go bend the ear of someone who is. Tell them what your robot could do as an alliance partner for them. Don't be shy! You've got a good robot and you know it, make sure that those picking know it too.

03-30-2002, 10:27 PM
You guys had a great robot. Congrats on being 16th out of 49 ,our team was 18th and think that this year the game the qualiffication standings don't matter as much as last year or years before. Some teams just have bad rounds and fall down even though they have great robots. There is nothing us the low seed teams can do about picking.

The money has NOTHING to do with this teams give other teams awards because they want to condradulate the teams for thier hard work and efforts. Money DOESN'T buy you a win hard work, team work all those get you the win.

03-30-2002, 10:41 PM
Sometimes teams don't like to pick rookies just for the fact that they are rookies, sometimes the way things work just isn't the best, you guys still did great, do that well next year and you'll most likely be in finals, keep it up.

-proud to be a 31er

03-30-2002, 10:52 PM
hey, theres nothing wrong with rookies, we got highest rookie seed (wohoo) and we made it to semifinals, (mainly cuz we drafted 2 pretty good teams and had awesome strategery), but theres nothing wrong with rookies, go 840!

03-30-2002, 10:55 PM
then how could those ranked like 20 something could have been picked and we not?

i dont know what your robot does but it could be that you dont fit into other people's stratgies. If you get balls, the team picking might do the same and decde not to get a ball getter. THey are a lot more similar situations

i think that we do benefit from our appearance(lime green shirts) because we might stick out or be thought of first because of our appearance or give aways. I guess that might be a factor, but not a big one

03-30-2002, 11:15 PM
My team was ranked 35 out of 38 at New York City regional. We were picked second in the alliance selections.

The reason we were picked is because [we like to think] we have a great robot. We didn't really have any handouts.

The rankings really aren't a good indicator of a team for two reasons:
1) Random allies - You can get allied with robots that just aren't good time and time again
2) Crazy scoring system - Having a score equal to three times your opponents score is just nuts. Often some of the best teams end up on the bottom and vice versa.

- Patrick

03-30-2002, 11:54 PM
I would say there are a lot of amazing robots out there that didn't get picked to the final.
I think the scoring system is not bad, just too complicate to understand. But this complexity also increase the fun of the game and the importance of tactic; and this require good communication and maneuver skill. Our robot only grabs two goals using pnuematic, and has a 4:1 gear ratio, which is very slow, and our robot looks ugly too. but how could we ranked so high? We can't blame on our alliance because of their malfunction or mal-construction of the robot; they tried their best. But we, as an individual team, should do our best to accomodate the situation and do our best.

03-31-2002, 08:52 AM
being picked isn't something that always has to do with rank...
like some other people mentioned....some bots get bad draws and they can't work themselves back up to the top 8, also some bots pick other bots because of strategy....if i team wanted to dominate all of the goals....then they wouldn't pick a ball bot, no matter how good the ball bot might be....because it isn't in their strategy.
personally i think my team (86) had an awsome ball bot but we still didn't get picked for the finals.....thats ok though, we should have better luck at nationals....

03-31-2002, 10:40 AM
We havent been ranked in both our regionals but were the first pick in VCU and the 8th in Phiily. THis is because our ability to score high QPs. When we grab all three goals, we win the match, but dont always get the QPs. It is very plausible that we score 90 QPs a match but it doesnt happen everytime. But in eliminations, this strategy would win everytime(i things worked) so we proved our strategy in the qualification rounds even though we did not score high

Matt Reiland
03-31-2002, 11:42 AM
This year more than the past 3 expect the robots that get picked for the finals to be either tanks or 2/3 goal handling power bots. The robots that make great elimination matches don't match up that well with the robots that can score huge QP's with balls. To be certainly picked for finals this year you need to pretty much be either a fast grabber of at least 2 goals that can plant or an all out power monster. Sadly enough our robot dosn't fit too well into either.:(

Joe Matt
03-31-2002, 12:45 PM
You guys did great. We were 39th and still got picked because team 122 wanted a monoply over 3 goal grabbers (MOE and Sparky 3.0). There are lots of polictical things that each team goes through. Publicise your team more next year. Get your team noticed.

03-31-2002, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by asher
Sometimes teams don't like to pick rookies just for the fact that they are rookies, sometimes the way things work just isn't the best, you guys still did great, do that well next year and you'll most likely be in finals, keep it up.

-proud to be a 31er

In the L.I. regional our allience picked a rookie (810) we felt they were a good choice and most teams dont consider rank but individual performance (if they know whats good for them :) )

03-31-2002, 01:17 PM
Seeding points mean nothing.

As patrick said, my team (639) seeded 35 out of 38.

We were second picked for elim.

why? because we could do things otheres couldn't and could do them well. We were one of (if not the) strongest pusher with one goal in NYC (we lift the goal). We never, never failed to do what we told our alliance partners we would do. We said we would have 2 goals in scoring position, we had 2 goals in scoring position.

The reason we were ranked so low is a combanation of bad luck and (i hate to say it) but bad partners. I have nothing against 'bad' partners. Quite often our alliance partners would barely be in driving condition. We lost one seeding match because our partner didn't even bring their robot to the field (would have given us 10 pts).

Its just the way the game works this year, QP's mean nothing unless you are in the top 8. Teams don't pick based on team numbers, higher isnt worse- neither do they pick on QP's, lower isn't worse. From what i've seen, teams pick based on individual robot performance and on combatibility with their robot (a ball getter would want a strong goal handler).

My 3 cents

Kit Gerhart
03-31-2002, 01:22 PM
First of all, while it is not a pleasant experience, a team should not feel too badly about not being picked. Fewer than half the teams are going to be picked, meaning that a lot of good teams will be spectators after lunch. We are in the enviable position of being an eleven year veteran team which has done at least reasonable well in the last four years' competitions. Even though it is by no means "fair," this helps us to get picked at the competitions.

That said, there are a number of ways for non-qualifying teams to increase their chances of being picked. The biggest thing is to sell yourself. Know your strengths. Are you reliable? Can you collect and score a lot of balls? Can you push a goal with an opponent's robot attached from one end of the field to the other? Whatever your strengths are, you need to have a person or a few people who are good at selling your strengths to other teams, but without appearing to be bragging too much.

Try to determine what qualifying teams can best use your strengths. In this year's game, qualifying rank doesn't mean much. If you win all of your Q matches and have zero qualifying points, you will seed last, but will be a very good partner for someone. The bottom line is that, especially for a rookie team, ability to sell your strengths is what will increase your odds of playing after lunch on the Saturday of the competition.

03-31-2002, 02:32 PM
That exact situation happened to team 624 last year; we were the highest rookie seed at the LSR, but ended up not getting picked. It's truly not a money game---it's about name recognition. Regardless of how good your robot is, you will never get picked if people don't know who you are. Therefore, at nationals last year, we dawned bright green capes and outrageous costumes to get our name out to the competition, and it worked out quite well. It does not matter how much money your team spends on buttons and what not, as long as your team stands out in a way that says "remember team such and such", your chances of advancing will be much better.
Also, remember, FIRST helps to prepare us for the real world---in the real world, everyone won't be on a level playing field, but you just have to use what you have to its fullest potential :)

Ken Delaney
03-31-2002, 09:56 PM
We had a similar situation last year when lower ranked teams got picked instead of us. This year we had a worse ranking than last year at the Philly regional, but we were picked.

When it was apparent that we were not going to be picked, the two drivers, human player and myself(coach) went around to the top 12 teams to tell them what we could do. And not just once, multiple times. (I am sorry for bugging everybody). Not only did we talk about what we could do, we also talked about the strategy our two robots could use to win matches. We told them when our next match was going to be so they coudl watch us.

Also it is good to talk to teams that you performed well with in the qualifying matches.

I know this advice is a little late, but I hope it helps you out next year, unless your doing the picking. If you are picking don't foget about your experience this year. Congratulations on a great rookie season(We finished 2nd from the bottom our first year)

Ken Delaney
Coach Team 357

Al Skierkiewicz
04-01-2002, 06:56 AM
You should never sell yourself short for not being picked. Being a rookie has nothing to do with it. What you need to look at is which teams are ranked high and what kind of robot would compliment their design in the finals. Above all else teams are looking at the opposition and how to best counter what they are up against. And above all, reliability is an issue. If you have had breakdowns during the qualifying or have a design that is hard to repair you might be lower on the list. Most teams are scouting and gathering info on all the teams and strategy is looking at how best to optimize their own alliance. Keep up the good work! Finishing in the top 50% is great for any team but especially for a rookie.
Good Luck in the Future.

Mark Hamilton
04-01-2002, 08:04 PM
We were ranked 13th at MMR, had lost only 1 match, and had none of the top teams as allies and didnt get picked. We are still proud of our accomplishments, and you should be also. Often good teams dont get picked because they dont fit into the other team's strategies. Many teams have chosen not to take advantage of great resources like SOAP (sorry for the blatant plug) that will help them find the best alliance partners for them regardless of rank and/or the visibility of the team.

04-03-2002, 10:12 AM
despite the ranking talk, what do u usually do to sell your team? this is my question.

another concern, I think that allowing teams that have their extra 5000 dollars to participate another regional is not fair to other teams that don't have it. Not every high school have the same financial ability to support such an expensive competition. I know we can find sponsors, but not every team is that lucky to have Ford, or other big company to support them. We had the financial hardship this time. Probably we didn't prepare it well enough, or we didn't realize that this competition is so expensive.

I'm not blaming ourselves nor anything, i still think that our robot is pretty good because we made it out of our own idea. There's no engineer help us at all except Arthur help us make the wheel's rod and we paid 50 bucks for the aluminum welding. Our advisor didn't involve much in the robot making but giving us a lot of comment and suggestion. I am proud of it. I think u all have given me very good suggestion, thanks for all.


04-03-2002, 11:34 PM
Hey there Mountain View-
I think i remember seeing your robot at the chatsworth scrimmage (i could be wrong but oh well) and i thought it was cool. Anyway, about alliance picking and all, here's my 2 cents...
1. We gave out a ton of spirit stuff (fire bags filled with "fire" related candy since we were hartburn) just because we thought it was really nice when teams gave stuff to us rookie year. It doesn't have to be expensive at all (infact, that's why we didn't do buttons) and it really helps create a positive environment and gets your team name out. It helped us a bunch since we were competing in Seattle and only 2 teams knew us.
2. Seeding means not much. We were in the middle because of so much bad luck and we were really scared when teams a lot lower than us got picked. It's totally about finding robots that compliment the other, and for that to happen, others have to know your capabilities. Teams liked our grabbing and squatting ability and that's what made us unique.
3. Teams like to work with workable teams. We saw a team having trouble opening their crate next to us so we offered them a wrench to open it up. We were lending out tools the whole day! Also, if a team remembers you as an amicable partner in an earlier alliance, that means a lot....that's how we got picked by thet second seeded team.

Hope this helps!

04-04-2002, 11:44 AM
<<I think that allowing teams that have their extra 5000 dollars to participate another regional is not fair to other teams that don't have it>>

Please don't take this the wrong way (and keep in mind my team barely had enough $$ to get to our local regional) but Life isn't fair. If one team builds a better robot, or has better engineers, or better machine shop support. Its not fair.
The contest is supposed to show a small slice of the real world where small start ups can unseat powerful established teams. But having an established team is a bit more comfortable, just watch the start ups!

Now back to the topic. Going around the pit and talking to teams from thursday on is important. Look at the top 8 teams that you compliment. did you play matches with them? talk to them. mention how well you thought the robots would work together. Its OK everyone knows you are looking for a dance partner. Buttons and other stuff is just an excuse to start the conversation. (Kristina, we are still trying to finish the Jolly Ranchers, HOT!)

Your post seemed upbeat, just curious. We all hope that you are in this for the long haul.
If you aren't part of the WRRF get involved! You will make strong connections there before the next contest kick off (for you East Coast folks the WRRF is a team run group in the California Bay Area that hosts the California Games in Sept as well as holding more work shops than you can shake a stick at, but don't shake sticks, someone will get hurt))

Its over for us until Chatsworth and then the California Games. Good luck and strong winds to those of you going to nationals!

Eric Stokely
Team 360 Revolution
Formally of 258 The Sea Dawgs
"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want"
Make me proud Sea Dawgs!!!

04-04-2002, 02:00 PM
Getting your team known is the best way to be picked...

I did look through all of the flyers that were given to me by other teams... even though I set them down initially, I did go back and look through them. Those flyers do help.

What doesn't help is begging and/or whining. I had one person from a team (which will be anonymous, but also I forgot who they were), that came up and said they'd give me a bag of suckers if we'd pick them. What's worse, is they wouldn't go away. Eventually I told them to leave, in the nicest way possible.

04-05-2002, 05:08 AM
"I think that allowing teams that have their extra 5000 dollars to participate another regional is not fair to other teams that don't have it>>
Please don't take this the wrong way (and keep in mind my team barely had enough $$ to get to our local regional) but Life isn't fair. If one team builds a better robot, or has better engineers, or better machine shop support. Its not fair. "

Agreed. Teams work very hard to receive funding. It's not fair to take money away from other teams just because your team is not able to get anything. There is not a single team (I could be wrong) that goes to the Nationals as a rookie. Aim high for next year. (If you need fundraising ideas, feel free to contact me..)

In terms of getting picked...
For the last 3 years we have built pretty non-descript robots that didn't do anything too special. Although we are a veteran team, this was the first time we were picked in the Regionals in a while. I think there are 2 reasons why:
a) we had the highest scoring match of the Regional (who knows how that happened!)
b) we told everybody about point "a)"; also, we pleaded with paly to get picked...sometimes you need to do that...forget about pride a little bit :)

You asked...what can you tell people about your robot? Even if you have a bot that can grab two goals and not much else, try to find something unique about it. For example, we told everyone our robot had added traction because of our fifth wheel..
Maybe you have extra speed or better control of the robot. Your goal is to persuade the other teams to become interested...you need something that no one else has. Also, make sure you have a PR person that is very familiar with your robot.
Good luck!
Oh, just like what Mr. Stokely said, make sure you join WRRF. Cal Games and Chattsworth games are a lot of fun. You'll get to meet teams from the area--->maybe even make some friends, who will pick you next year in the Regionals :)

04-05-2002, 09:25 AM
we went to nationals our rookie year. this year is our second year and we had enough points to go to Florida again but not enough money :( So the only way we can convince our teacher to go is to win the LA regionals and fundraise a whole lot. The money problem is difficult, but what else can you do? It may not be the fair way, but its the fairest possibility they have (does that make sense?)