View Full Version : Good sportsmanship exclusive to FIRST? Think again

Mike Soukup
06-04-2001, 12:58 AM
I know that Dean & company believe that Battlebots is all about violence and celebrating what's wrong with society, but many people fail to notice the positive aspects of Battlebots. I know people here have encouraged others to do whatever competition they believe benefits them the most, and gives them the best chance to teach / inspire students. But I would like to comment on what I believe is one of the best aspects of FIRST: the sense of community & excellent sportsmanship demonstrated by FIRST teams.

I like the fact that all of us are competing with & against each other, but we still help other teams when they have problems with their robot, or when they need parts or tools. It's also good that the more experienced teams help other teams with technical apsects by publishing designs or simply answering questions in these forums. And I know there's many events where teams get together with each other for social outings or just to go out to eat at competitions.

But when it comes to robot competitions, this wonderful aspect of sportsmanship & community isn't exclusive to FIRST. I've heard previously, but wasn't sure, that the pits at a Battlebots competition are much like a FIRST competition. People are looking to help others if they have problems, willing to lend tools or give spare parts, and trying to fix the bots of people they just defeated or will soon face. For some reason, good sportsmanship seems to follow robot competitions. You can find some examples at this thread on a BB forum: http://www.delphi.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=battlebot_tech&msg=7236.1

Don't get me wrong, I love FIRST, but I want to make the point that Battlebots is not some evil entity that only teaches people how to beat up their neighbors. Many of the people there have similar experiences to ours, and the same will probably be true of BBIQ.

Now the quality of many of the bots in BB is another matter. Sorry, I couldn't resist a cheap shot :)

06-04-2001, 07:04 PM
Well, I think it goes both ways.
We all like to think that everyone is a big happy family, and that is partly true. However, some of the violence that has been stereotyped to BattleBots can also be seen among some FIRST members. I don't think anyone can completely label either competition, there are exceptions to any rule. So I wholeheartedly agree with Mike. BB can probably be just as wholesome an experience as FIRST. My motto concerning FIRST, which I share will all rookies on my team is "You get out what you put in."

I'd like to think of our FIRST community as perfect, but I know this is not true. Which is why I find it hard to believe that some FIRSTers can be all high and mighty denouncing BattleBots. If the people who do BB have fun, and have a pleasant experience, so be it!

~John #250 (desperately hoping he's not shunned for what he's said)

mike o'leary
06-04-2001, 09:01 PM
amen brother, amen!

wheres gracious proffessionalism if we cant at least be open to other forms of robotic competitions?

Ken Leung
06-06-2001, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by mike o'leary
amen brother, amen!

wheres gracious proffessionalism if we cant at least be open to other forms of robotic competitions?

I think we should all keep an open mind about all different kind of robotics competition. Each of those competitions has their own purpose and ways of running things, and they all have different effect on the people participating in them...

There is no one-way of judging which competition is better than another, nor should we argue about it. Everyone doing the competitions have their own point of view about how the competition change their lives, some might be from positive influences, some might be negative influences.

We cannot sit outside as an outsider and look at the stereotype of each competition and use that as evidence for saying how bad the competition is.

Let's have an open mind and accept that fact that everyone doing each of the competition will learn something from that experience...

By the way, to me, having different robotics competition means more varieties for the people out there to choose from. There are many factors contribute to one's decision of which competition to do (such as money, resources, location, and people), and having different option allow more people to do any one of the competition instead of just one.