View Full Version : Multiple Regional Winners and a little jab

04-08-2002, 10:20 AM
Congratulations to the teams winning 2 regionals in 2002.... 343, 60 and 469 ( I don't think I have missed any, I'm sure to hear about it if I have). That is a terrific accomplishment which testifies to your great robots, great strategy and great teams.

I am a little confused though....where are your ball grabbers? Havn't you figured out that going for balls is the only good way to play this game?:rolleyes:

James Jones
Team 180 SPAM

Mike Norton
04-08-2002, 10:33 AM
Well if you go by the number one seed then you would have to add 157. they were #1 seed at PA and won it and they were #1 seed at CT but bad luck they didn't win.

Great ball handler. and goal mover.

It might be to bad that they won't be at the nationals.

Go 180 and show your power. Show to everybody that power will win the nationals.

04-08-2002, 12:05 PM
A little Jab back...

It appears that out of all of your multiple regional winners, only ONE of them ever seeded in the top 8 (team 60 8th seed, and they were picked by the 1 seed). Seems to me without a 'little help from there friends', they may have been on the outside looking in!

Two teams this year were #1 seeds twice. 157 and 67. I think that this is also a great accomplishment! Congrats to 67, you guys will also be a force in the nationals I am sure!

Kris Verdeyen
04-08-2002, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by Mark_lyons
Two teams this year were #1 seeds twice. 157 and 67

16 as well, I think.

04-08-2002, 02:18 PM

Understand your point entirely. I had a reason for pointing this out. Should get the time to post longer...later.

Team 180 SPAM

04-08-2002, 03:15 PM
I stand corrected. 16 did indeed seed #1 twice. Congrats to them as well, and good luck in the Nationals!

Mike Soukup
04-08-2002, 04:46 PM
Another jab back...

Some of the ball teams can out push most of the goal grabbers and can hold their own against all but the most powerful (60, 254, 469). Teams like 45, 67, and 111 come to mind. (I'm sure more teams should be added to both lists, but I'm only including those I have seen first hand)

And as I'm sure you will include in your longer post James, the ball grabbers are usually the ones who seed well and rely on the dominant goal grabbers to help them in the elims. Without the power of the dedicated goal movers we'd be in trouble.


Sunny Thaper
04-08-2002, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by Mark_lyons
It appears that out of all of your multiple regional winners, only ONE of them ever seeded in the top 8 (team 60 8th seed, and they were picked by the 1 seed). Seems to me without a 'little help from there friends', they may have been on the outside looking in!


Mike Rush
04-08-2002, 11:20 PM
This game is actually two games. Outstanding goal teams will not generally seed well since thier best strategery involves annihilation ( by score ) of the other alliance and therefore do not get a lot of qualifying points. This leads to low seeding.

Ball handlers on the other hand seem to seed better since they can, for the most part, pick and choose how many points to score for themselves and the other alliance.

The best strtegery for an excellent ball team is to seed high and scout the goal machines and pick well!

Good Luck at Nationals!!

Kris Verdeyen
04-09-2002, 02:24 AM
Originally posted by Mike Rush
Outstanding goal teams will not generally seed well since thier best strategery involves annihilation ( by score ) of the other alliance and therefore do not get a lot of qualifying points. This leads to low seeding.

At least three of the top eight seeds at the Lone Star regional were strict goal robots:

118 65.25 Two Goal grabber with Mini-bot
57 63.75 Two Goal grabber with Mini-bot
357 61.13 Two Goal grabber

My theory on the whole thing? Matches with at least one ball robot in them have higher average scores. That doesn't mean that the ball robot will win every match, but the high scores are higher, and that cancels out a few more losses.

Goal robots, which are not guaranteed to have a ball robot in every match with them, have lower high scores, but score roughly the same number of points every time. They are also more likely to have the round locked up early. This makes them a target for the old zero-the-score-out maneuver, which would also tend to bring their average down.

In the long run, I'd say that the scores will line up by quality of robot, and not by genus or category, but in the short, 6 to 10 match competitions that we have, a lot can happen to skew the scores one way or another.

04-09-2002, 07:12 AM
I'm not pretending to say something people don't already know. It's obvious from the regional results that the ball grabbers are generally the high seeds and they are the ones putting together the alliances that hope to make it to the finals. One thing I have noticed though, and it may just be a perception based on my rather uninformed attempts to grasp what's going on over a web cast. It appears to me that in SOME cases the ball grabbers (and please, I don't have any specific team or teams in mind) are very slow to adapt their game to the finals. Yes, I know that many finals have been decided by balls and I know one goal full of balls is worth more than two empty goals etc. But I have also seen alot full goals trapped on the wrong side of the field, ball bots pinned down and a lot of full hoppers at the end of the match because while one partner was filling up with balls the other alliance was locking all three goals together in a tangled mass.

Part of that is just the game and teams doing the best they could with the resources they had. It's just when I sense the emotion that surrounds this subject I wonder if some teams don't see the finals as chance to vindicate their own team's particular approach to the game (balls vs goals etc.) We agree that ball bots will almost always seed higher than goal bots. But do we agree than a strong pair of goal bots will more consistantly beat all but the most exceptional ball bots (the ones you mentioned among them)? That's why I pointed out what type of bots the double winners were. I have faith that most teams will make their decisions based on what they think is in the best interest of the alliance (we've experienced a top seed team doing just that). Honestly speaking though, it may be that the best interest of the alliance is for the top seed team to sit out. That's got to hurt to have these highly complex, very impressively engineered robots playing only 1 round in 2 or 3 in eliminations. I've seen teams do it. I'll ask this to all the ball bots, is your team prepared to do it?

Just something to think about. I hope I don't come across too negative on ball bots. I'm not really, we could work very well with one and would love to get the chance (wait...I sense a shameless plug coming on...whew…it passed). I am negative about teams who think there is only one way to play the game and it's their way or the highway. They owe their alliance partners more than that.

James Jones
Team 180

Mike Norton
04-09-2002, 07:49 AM
, is your team prepared to do it?

At KSC team 811 was 7 seed they pick us. we were thier partner twice during the seeding round and won both matches.

The first match we had them they could not even move the second time they hit one goal and ran back to the end zone.

This team happen to be paired up with good robots so they became 7 seed.

in the finals they did not put thier robot out first. they put the robots they thought would help them get the win.

So some teams out there do think of the big picture.

But the team that pick up balls and try to grab goal are given up something. I do not believe they can compete against a pure goal grabber.

teams that think they can grab three goals and play against a goal grabber has to rethink there plan.

I can't wait till we play again to show what power is all about.

Team 180 good luck I believe if teams watch you they will pick you. Show people that power does win matches.

04-09-2002, 09:34 AM
Team 157 has competed in 3 regionals. Our robot is equipped to grab a goal drive around the field and score balls. Our grabber is very good. We latch onto a goal in seconds. Once we have the goal, it is virtually impossible to get it from us (in the finals in NE *we* released the goal). Our ball picking mechanism is very impressive. When we get a ball, we score it every tiime. Rarely do we miss. If you've seen us, you know what I am talking about.

All that being said, when we designed our machine, we had discussions regarding what direction we should take with this years robot. It was my opinion that we become the BEST two goal grabber in the field. My reasoning was, that in the *finals* he who owns the goals will win, period! Our students however, voted to design a machine that would grab a goal *and* pick up balls. That's what we did, and as our tradition, we did a very good job.

However, once we reached the elims, we knew we had to change our game plan. We have chosen two goal grabbers, *and* we have sat out of matches to allow our alliance partners to play.

We don't consider this a blow to our ego, we consider our alliance as a team, and we have always done what is best for our team. What we would typically do, would be sit the first match and play the second and if needed the third. We felt that we atleast deserved the right to either win or lose the match on the field (being that we were the alliance captains). We would allow our strongest 2 goal team play in all of the matches.

Our success rate was better than average, but not as great as we would wish. We won one regional and lost in the semi-finals in the other two. Could we have done better with a different game plan? Possibly. But, we picked the teams that we felt complimented ours. We are proud of all of our alliance partners and are very happy with the choices we made.

Joe Johnson
04-09-2002, 09:48 AM
I think that the jury is still out on ball handlers vs. two goal handlers.

I know that many regionals were one by two goal handlers but I also know that there are not that many teams that can handle enough balls to make the difference against goal handlers.

In my view, great two goal handlers and great ball handlers are roughly similar in terms of rarity. I think there is also a rough similarity in the advantages each one brings to the alliance.

One difference I see is that the ball handlers tend to have a better chance to be in control of who they get as partners so perhaps they will have a better chance of putting together an alliance that is stronger on the whole.

It will be interesting to how it pans out in FL.

Joe J.

04-09-2002, 11:28 AM
Personally, a two goal grabber with a reliable ball getter seems to be the best alliance, for the finals. 20 (goals) + 20balls=40
even if the other team got 2robots (20 points) and 1 goal, that is only 30. Our robot guarentees the 10 balls from player station, and can handle 2 goals well, we find ourselves easy to work with any other robot, no matter what their functions are!
Good Luck in FL!

Don Taylor
04-09-2002, 12:28 PM
I agree with Joe that the jury is still out on goal handlers vs. ball handlers in the elimination rounds, however it appears to me that if as ball handler if you want to play effectively in the eliminations then you need to be a great ball handler. By great I mean that you must consistantly be able to place more than 10 balls in a goal so as to make up for the opposing alliance having 2 goals in their scoring zone (e.g. Team 16 BBS). Having said this I don't think that any ball handler can win without at least one great goal handler to ensure that they have a goal to put their balls in. I think that the finals at St. Louis where BBS, M-n-M and the Power Cords won was an excellent illustration of this.

Don Taylor (Engineer on M-n-M)
Team (3+4)^3

04-09-2002, 03:27 PM
I think the jury is in but let's try this...is there at least a consensus on this scenario? You have a ball bot and two good goal grabbers, you are up against an alliance that has a pretty good shot at controlling all three goals unless you get them quick. Please tell me you would have your ball bot sit that one out. Right? I think you are going to see alot of alliances at Nat's that could easily control all three goals.

Team 180 SPAM

04-09-2002, 07:17 PM

I think it is doubtful that you will encounter a team that has two real strong goal bots. It could happen, but as I see it, most of the high seeds are and have been ball bots. They play the seeding matches well, and end up with high qp's. That being said, MOST of them will choose a strong goal bot. I think this will dilute your pool of quality goal bots. If a team is to get another strong goal bot with their 3rd pick, then you have a case. I however doubt that will happen.

It seems you are neglecting the fact that there are plenty of ball bots that are VERY strong. I have seen a number of one goal/ball bots that I would put up against most of the two goal bots I've seen.

To be honest, I have only seen a handfull of matches where a goal bot has grabbed on and not been pushed around. If a team is that strong, they will be picked before a third pick.

Mike Norton
04-09-2002, 07:34 PM
Most of our round we got 10 balls in the goal. We never picked them up from the floor.

we brought the goal to our end filled it then on the way back we would take another goal with us. this gave us 30 point by ourself. this is without sending a mini me to the end zone.

if a goal had balls in it that was a plus for us because it gave us more points. then we would park ourself into the other endzone to score more points for the other team.

you can do this if you have a power robot. and a robot that can turn with out moving the goal. and then always pull the goals.

I saw alot of team lock onto a goal and try to turn with the goal this takes alot of power and is not done very well.

we beat them by turn them and when they try to fight us they blew there breaker which made it very easy for us to pull them.

Can't wait till PA competition May 11. the beast will come alive again.

Joe Johnson
04-09-2002, 09:45 PM
I think the jury is still very much out.

Let's take the Killer Bee's (team 33) as an example. I have seen them go from first motion to hitting the goal & docked in 2.5 seconds. They are also mobile enough to play hide and seek with almost any goal grabber out there. They also have a break that I have not seen pulled yet. Oh yeah, and they can pick up and deliver over 20 balls to the goal.

It is hard to see how two "Killer Bee" teams would not beat two goal grabber teams -- even if they were Kingmans or Las Guerrillas, imho.

We shall see what happens in FL.

Joe J.

04-09-2002, 10:36 PM
In reply to those who believe that all ball bots are just "ball bots", well we're not.

Although there are going to be matches were we are out powered, our bot hasn't lost a goal yet when we have wanted it.


Along with the ball handling system and high speed drive, we also have an automatic latching clamp with metal sensor feedback to the controls to be sure of a successful clamp. In addition, we also have a high torque crabbing drive system that moves at a slow but strong 1.5 feet per second. Also, we can pick up the balls with a goal in tow. In our matches, anyone who tried to take our 25-30 point goal and balls away from us, well, they never could. That is not to say there are not stronger teams out there that could. (eg. Beatty and many more)

I do agree that in the finals a solid, quick, goal oriented bot is necessary. I mean most teams in the finals try for all the goals. (All the points).

Not trying to brag in any way, but I am sharing that ball bots do know that a goal is a necessity and most of them, and us, have built our robot to support that factor.

Hope to see all at Nationals!

Team #16 - Baxter Bomb Squad

04-10-2002, 09:20 AM
At St Louis regional Bobm Squad -16 was absolutely the best ball handler I've seen. They played well, they seeded first (for the second regional) and they played every match in the finals. Teemed with two goal handlers, they were unbeatable. In the final match, they were blocked (in their robot scoring posisiton) from scoring the balls they had collected, but their goal handling partner forced a goal into scoring position. The other team's robots were spent playing defense and did not score. A single ball scored by a human player decided the match. Observation - an excellent ball handler can win against two strong goal handlers.

04-10-2002, 09:52 AM
I can see I'm not getting anywhere with this. I'm not disputing that ball bots can win finals. I'm not disputing that the top 10% ball bots can push goals with the bottom 90% of goal grabbers. The question is what is the most consistant way to survive elemination rounds. And whether the top 10% ball bots can push against the top 10% goal bots. The reason I say the jury is in is based on regional results.

Let's look at some data. The three teams I started this thread with 60, 343, 469 each went to 2 regionals they each won 2 regionals. They are all goal bots. Their elimination survival rate is 100% Remember, I said the question is what is the most CONSISTANT way to win eliminations. Now let's look at some of the prime ball bots that have been mentioned in the thread: 157, 111, 47, 16, 45 and 67. That's 6 bots that went to a total of 15 regionals. That's alot of opportunities to win. If I add up all the wins from these top 6 ball bots (assuming the represent the cream of the crop) and divide by the number of regionals, the elimination survival rate is 27% Check my math and my data since I'm trusting the FIRST site on this. Let's even drop the poorest performers from that list and refigure. Picking the best 3 ball bots from that list their elimination survival rate is 38% That's a far cry from 100%. No ball bot survived elimination 100% of the time, 3 goal bots did. Sorry if people get upset by reading this, it's not my intent. If this is a wrong way of looking at it I'm sure you'll let me know.

The key to CONSISTANTLY winning eliminations is a strong team of goal bots. And yes, they will be there in the finals. The ball bots will seed high, the good 2 goal grabbers will get scarfed up next. Now there's the third pick. That's the one I think we have a stake in. Are you going to use it on another ball bot? A second rate 2 goal grabber? How about a fast, powerful one goal grabber that can get that third goal for your 2 goal grabber OR insure you keep that precious goal for your ball handler ( or if your ball handler has that goal securely, play havoc with the other team's goal handlers)? How about that? I wonder who might fit that bill?

Of course I may have burned more bridges than I've built here by disagreeing with so many people. One reason I wanted to air the discussion (again, I know) here is that if you pick us we are going to play the game the way you want it played and to the best of our ability. I just want the ball bots to be sure they are looking at things objectively and are not emotionally attached to their own design philosophy. I'm sure most aren't. Maybe I'm guilty of that very thing.

Thanks for the discussion,

Team 180 SPAM
2002 SE Regional Champs
2002 KSC Play of the Day
2002 Motorola Quality Award

04-10-2002, 10:14 AM
There is a very simple way to resolve the question concerning the best combination of robots is in elimination matches. I just don't have the time to collect the data. Look at every regional's eliminations. Classify the teams on the field as ball bot/ball bot or goal bot/goal bot or goal bot/ball bot. (Sorry, if you were designed to pick up balls, you're a ball bot. If you win by pushing goals you just help the ball bot combinations). Determine the total number of times that combination played and the total number of times the combination won. Now determine the succes rate for that combination. That would be objective, statistically significant data. Any takers?


04-10-2002, 11:08 AM
These are the statistics from the following regional finals:

Lone Star Regional:

16 - Ball bot
118 - Goal bot
609 - Goal bot
34 - Goal bot
192 - Goal bot
457 - Goal bot

Both alliances made it to the finals against other solid goal bot alliances. In our first finals match with them, team 118 lost their half of their drive and couldn't move after grabbing the goals. Team 16 went into goal mode, but the other 2 bots and 118 had ahold of them. We tried our hardest to move the goals but it's very hard to move 3 goals and 3 robots at the same time. BUT if 118 hadn't have lost their drive they would have moved right into scoring position and stayed their plus their tether. Next match, while in the process of picking up balls, team 16 ran into the clamp of 609 which hit the only place on the robot that it could have latched. They had already had a goal but we we're not going anywhere.... 16, 118, and 609 lost in the finals due to some bad luck.

St. Louis Regional

16 - Ball bot
343 - Goal bot
869 - Goal bot
317 - Goal bot
312 - Goal bot
171 - Mainly goal bot with possibility of a few balls while in tow

Entering the finals both alliances were undefeated. In the first match team 312 and 317 both put up a great battle but 343 got to a goal first. Team 16 picked up a few balls and put a few in the goal. The other alliance had two. Team 16 who is just a "ball bot" grabbed one of their goals and held it at home while 343 held the goal with a couple balls in scoring position. They couldn't move 16 or take the goal back into scoring position. HELLO - BALL BOTS CAN BE GOAL BOTS!!!! The next match was very similar except for the fact that team 16 had to play defense and helped in getting the goal (NOPE IN NO WAY ARE WE A GOAL BOT TOO). After team 869 got the goal and was holding it into scoring position, team 16 went and played a little defense before the match ended. Team 16, 343, and 869 win!

SO, team 16 (a ball bot) had almost won 2 competitions, but do to mechanical trouble with our allianced GOAL BOTS (not blame but just stating the facts - 118 and 609 are AWESOME) we lost at the Lone Star.

From what I've seen team 47, 111, 67, 65, and many other ball bots have made it far into the finals as well.

I understand the fact that goal bots are effective in the finals but you have to understand also that being #1 seed allows us ball bots to pick the strongest goal bots.

Another little thing:

1 goal + 11 balls > 2 goals

Think about it.... especially with 15-25 balls.

Team 16 - Baxter Bomb Squad

04-10-2002, 11:37 AM

I strongly disagree with your classifications. I can only speak for out robot (157).

I would classify us as a ball/goal bot. Just because we pick up balls does not make us weak. I would stack our goal grabbing mechanisim against anyones! Part of my function for team 157 is scouting and collecting data (my design team was the ball picker). I have looked at A LOT of robots. There are very few robots that are superior to us in that regard. We do not push a goal around, and I know there are a LOT more like us. We grab on and hold.

Additionally, we are as strong as most 2 goal bots. I have even read in another thread by another team (88?) that they rated 157 as the strongest robot in NE.

As I have stated in the past, we are well aware of the difference between seeding and elims. No one has more experiance this year (I am sure there are plenty of teams that made elims 3 out of 3 like us). We know enough to adjust out strategy. In each of our 3 regioanls we picked (we seeded in the top 8 all three times) goal bots with BOTH of our picks (271 does have a ball basket though which is VERY handy).

In retrospect, I think we may have been wise to pick another ball/goal bot as our third alliance.

Having said all of that, I think that the power teams cannot do it alone, and I think that the ball handlers cannot do it alone. We all need to work together!

04-10-2002, 12:15 PM
I've never said I didn't think ball bots can handle goals. I've never said some ball bots can't handle goals well. I guess what got people upset is when I said (for purposes of a statistic) classify robots that can handle balls as ball bots. The reason I said that was to take ambiguity out of the classification. If you look at it, if we are trying to understand the success rate of various robot combinations, then a ball/goal bot classified as a ball bot that wins by pushing goals, mearly helps the overall success rate of the ball bot catagory.

I agree we must all work together. Despite what may appear to be my narrow mindedness, I actually think our robot is more flexible than most when comes to complementing ball bots or goal bots as an alliance partner. We designed it that way. That doesn't mean I can't have an opinion about which approach is generally more successful in eliminations.

There is no need to yell. Sorry you ran into some bad luck at Lonestar. If you had won, you would have been the only ball/goal bot in the entire competition to win 2 regionals. If any ball/goal bots could have done it I would have bet on you guys. BTW there is a difference between a statistic and an anecdote, I supplied a statistic (perhaps a bad one) you supplied an anecdote (a good one).


Mike Norton
04-10-2002, 12:52 PM
Additionally, we are as strong as most 2 goal bots. I have even read in another thread by another team (88?) that they rated 157 as the strongest robot in NE.

The strongest robot? well I will differ with that. I know 195 is very strong. But you have not seen 61 or 105. Just becasue we did not go to UTC, we are in NE.

If you stack the best power robot agaisnt the best ball Robots I will bet that power will win every time.

In this competition you need the ball robot to get you to the finals.

04-10-2002, 01:02 PM
I meant the NE regional, and this was not MY judement but that of another team.

And FYI Mike, I DID see your robot via the web.

Rich Kressly
04-10-2002, 01:04 PM
Indeed the jury is still out ... our alliance at UTC (121, 69, and 103) was fortunate enough to win the championship. At first glance all three machines were excellent ball handlers, but each has distinctly strong goal capabilities. In the end, I believe it was strategy, cohesiveness, and the ability to communicate during matches that allowed our alliance to win the regional.

I must also say that there were a bevy of awesome machines in those playoffs and I wish them all well at Nationals.

04-10-2002, 01:34 PM
I agree that it would be tough for 2 ball bots to beat 2 goal bots, but that is usually not what happens in the finals. Most ball bots are going to pick 2 goal bots to compliment them. Then, they are covered. If there is a match where we have to face 2 goal bots, then we can (and will if needed) let our two goal bots take them on, but, because ball bots usually seed high, it is very important for a ball bot to seed the highest, therefore picking the most powerful goal grabber, therefore being covered if we are against 2 strong goal bots. (a little confusing, eh?) Since seeding #1 can choice power bot #1, then we have a good chance of winning.

Edit: Us hybrid bots do have a good chance of 1. seeding high, and 2. picking good goal bots as a result of seeding high, therefore making a powerful alliance. The problem with most goal bots is that they have no power to choose who would compliment them because of where they seed. Therefore, I'm pretty sure there will be some ball bots at the top forming the alliances. A few fortunate goal bots will do some picking too, which will make some interesting goal bot/ goal bot vs. ball bot/ goal bot. If the ball bot has the best goal bot on their alliance, then their goal bot will get at least 1 goal, maybe 2, and the ball bot can get balls and score them, or, since many ball bots are hybrids, they can hassle the other bots, keeping them from getting home, and also possibly pushing their goal out if they leave it. /Edit

Jeff Rodriguez
04-10-2002, 01:39 PM
We(173) came close to winning 2 regionals. We won SBPLI, and came in second at NE. I think that 'hybrids', as we call them, will dominate. Hybrids being teams like us, 157, 121, that pick up 10+ balls, and have above average pulling power. Aztecs can pull most robots around(thanks to our secret wheels:D ) In a seni-final match at SBPLI, we towed 2 goals and a robots hooked betwwen them.

04-10-2002, 10:38 PM
Yeah, I think a good combination of bot and a goal bot will win every time. This is what we (team 643) did at VCU and won and and at phili and almost won.