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Unread 02-28-2016, 05:49 PM
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The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

As the first person suckered into drafted for assigned to the Defense Coordinator role, I had a lot of feedback to share with FIRST HQ. Some of it was bugs (as those who follow me on Twitter saw), some of it was just display improvements.

But you know what really gnawed on me after the fifteenth time?

"I'd like the teeter-totter..."
"That one!" (points)
"I'd like the rock wall, the rough terrain..."
"Wait, these aren't the ones we go against?"
"Give me the (whatever the audience selection category is...)"
"We'd like the door."

You've had six weeks, people! The number of times like this at Palmetto was surprising to me, since Palmetto is usually a decent regional. I was able to sort out everyone eventually, but your event may not will not have me working this job! Here are your protips to make the DC at your event happy:
  • Know the defense names! This alone was infuriating. I learned them at the same time you did. There are only eight you're picking from. You have at least a few days. Bone up on this. Make flashcards. You really sound silly (at best) when you make up names. (Free pass on "shuffle the fries", though.)
  • Have your picks ready! The DC screen is organized to take picks from position 2-5, left-to-right. (1 is the Low Bar.) A lot of teams ended up putting, say, category B in 2, C in 4, and D in 5. You don't have to do that at all, but it helps the flow immensely when you can reel them off in order. Most of the teams that were on point here had them written down on a board or tablet or paper. Check with the queuers at your event, but you probably want the alliance's one representative (and please, just one because you totally have your act together, right?) to be at the front of your alliance's line so you can go directly to the DC stand.
  • Don't make us chase you down! Know Section 5.5.10 and the deadlines in play. It will be even easier for DCs in later weeks to call up randoms than it was for me. It gets very hard in playoffs in particular; about half of our randoms for the whole regional were issued there. Have your gameplan ready.
  • Know the audience selection category. It's on your match schedule for a reason. It's okay if you don't know which defense got picked, because you don't pick it anyway. Just know that you will irritate the DC and look pretty foolish if you pick from that category.
  • Understand the printout. I didn't take a picture of one, but the printout is always the defenses that will be on the far side of the field, starting in position 2 (because 1 is the low bar). On practice matches, they will also be the ones you selected. In qualification and playoff matches, they will be what the other alliance selected. Don't overthink this, or you will confuse yourself.
  • When it prints, don't ask for changes. You won't get them, because I've already given the bottom third of the sheet to the field supervisor so he can be ready with that match's defenses to speed up match cycles.

Have fun out there, and take it easy on your DCs. They have a long day!
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2004-2006: FRC 1293 (D5 Robotics) - Student, Mentor, Coach
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2010: FRC 1398 (Keenan Robo-Raiders) - Mentor - Palmetto '10
2014-2016: FRC 4901 (Garnet Squadron) - Co-Founder and Head Bot Coach - Orlando '14, SCRIW '16
2017: FRC 5402 (Iron Kings) - Mentor, Coach (oh, and I worked at AndyMark during this time)
2018-: FRC 1293 (Pandamaniacs) - Mentor

113 events (more than will fit in a ChiefDelphi signature), 15 seasons, over 74,500 miles, and still on a mission from Bob.
Rule #1: Do not die. Rule #2: Be respectful. Rule #3: Be safe. Rule #4: Follow the handbook.

Last edited by Billfred : 02-28-2016 at 05:55 PM.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 05:53 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

This is very helpful Bilfred thanks. We made a strategy board for this year where we can lay out defenses and I encourage all other teams do this as well. It only cost us about $20 for the printout at staples as we already had some lexan laying around.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 06:17 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Once again, you have provided very sage advice! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Unread 02-28-2016, 06:27 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Billfred, quick question about your workflow. When did you enter the audience selected defenses? Before or after the team's selections?
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Unread 02-28-2016, 06:44 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwtidd View Post
Billfred, quick question about your workflow. When did you enter the audience selected defenses? Before or after the team's selections?
Audience selections are made three matches before they will first be used. They are set by the head ref/scorekeeper, the DC doesn't deal with it.

Edit: This is only what I know should happen from scorekeeper training, I don't know what happened at Palmetto.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 06:50 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwtidd View Post
Billfred, quick question about your workflow. When did you enter the audience selected defenses? Before or after the team's selections?
Audience selection is done by the scoring table, and I have nothing to do with it. The three matches before it takes effect mean there's enough time for the alliances to submit their picks knowing the winner.
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2004-2006: FRC 1293 (D5 Robotics) - Student, Mentor, Coach
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2009-2013: FRC 2815 (Los Pollos Locos) - Mentor, Coach - Palmetto '09, Peachtree '11, Palmetto '11, Palmetto '12
2010: FRC 1398 (Keenan Robo-Raiders) - Mentor - Palmetto '10
2014-2016: FRC 4901 (Garnet Squadron) - Co-Founder and Head Bot Coach - Orlando '14, SCRIW '16
2017: FRC 5402 (Iron Kings) - Mentor, Coach (oh, and I worked at AndyMark during this time)
2018-: FRC 1293 (Pandamaniacs) - Mentor

113 events (more than will fit in a ChiefDelphi signature), 15 seasons, over 74,500 miles, and still on a mission from Bob.
Rule #1: Do not die. Rule #2: Be respectful. Rule #3: Be safe. Rule #4: Follow the handbook.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 06:58 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Maybe asking the DC's for the 10th defense won't be as funny as I thought...
I'm assuming nicknames are fine as long as they make sense?
Cause I've been shortening the names since day 1...
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Unread 02-28-2016, 07:12 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Here are my (snarky) thoughts on the listed bad selections:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
"I'd like the teeter-totter..."
Did they also ask about whether they can triple balance too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
"That one!" (points)[
At least they pointed... some people assume you know what you're looking at and thinking of. Just ask anybody that works a meat, fish, or deli counter at the grocery store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
"I'd like the rock wall, the rough terrain..."
They must have thought it was Burger King, as they wanted to have it their way. Did they also ask for $1.49 Nuggets and a side of onion rings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
"Wait, these aren't the ones we go against?"
They are if you're doing 6v0...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
"We'd like the door."
Yes, chute door.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 07:32 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronicDeadBird View Post
Maybe asking the DC's for the 10th defense won't be as funny as I thought...
I'm assuming nicknames are fine as long as they make sense?
Cause I've been shortening the names since day 1...
I did have one alliance troll me on Saturday, and I did laugh...

Nicknames may be tolerated, as long as they are obvious and unambiguous. "Cheval" is. "Sally" is. "Port", no. (Portcullis, or Sallyport?) "PC", you're getting a funny look until I figure it out--so just call it "portcullis" and be done with it!
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2004-2006: FRC 1293 (D5 Robotics) - Student, Mentor, Coach
2007-2009: FRC 1618 (Capital Robotics) - Mentor, Coach
2009-2013: FRC 2815 (Los Pollos Locos) - Mentor, Coach - Palmetto '09, Peachtree '11, Palmetto '11, Palmetto '12
2010: FRC 1398 (Keenan Robo-Raiders) - Mentor - Palmetto '10
2014-2016: FRC 4901 (Garnet Squadron) - Co-Founder and Head Bot Coach - Orlando '14, SCRIW '16
2017: FRC 5402 (Iron Kings) - Mentor, Coach (oh, and I worked at AndyMark during this time)
2018-: FRC 1293 (Pandamaniacs) - Mentor

113 events (more than will fit in a ChiefDelphi signature), 15 seasons, over 74,500 miles, and still on a mission from Bob.
Rule #1: Do not die. Rule #2: Be respectful. Rule #3: Be safe. Rule #4: Follow the handbook.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 07:36 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

I was just assigned to be a DC this week, but I haven't found any information regarding this position? Can someone point me to a source please?
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Unread 02-28-2016, 07:38 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
I did have one alliance troll me on Saturday, and I did laugh...

Nicknames may be tolerated, as long as they are obvious and unambiguous. "Cheval" is. "Sally" is. "Port", no. (Portcullis, or Sallyport?) "PC", you're getting a funny look until I figure it out--so just call it "portcullis" and be done with it!
I've been calling the portcullis the cull cause its looked like a guillotine to me since day one.
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I mean when the scariest thing in the room is on your side everything is fine.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 07:39 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Since FIRST seems to be pushing costumes and themes this year, I think a DC should dress up as Rob Ryan.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 07:44 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiyash View Post
I was just assigned to be a DC this week, but I haven't found any information regarding this position? Can someone point me to a source please?
Training materials will be out this week. They just weren't ready for Week 0.5. Lucky me! (Alex from FIRST had me up to speed on their system in a few minutes; the bigger challenge was dealing with some bugs and then the people. They're fixing the former in Manchester, I'm fixing the latter here!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronicDeadBird View Post
I've been calling the portcullis the cull cause its looked like a guillotine to me since day one.
I'm a reasonably astute person, and I would not catch this one without you pointing. Make it easy on the little old lady that will be assigned to your event, call it the portcullis.
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2004-2006: FRC 1293 (D5 Robotics) - Student, Mentor, Coach
2007-2009: FRC 1618 (Capital Robotics) - Mentor, Coach
2009-2013: FRC 2815 (Los Pollos Locos) - Mentor, Coach - Palmetto '09, Peachtree '11, Palmetto '11, Palmetto '12
2010: FRC 1398 (Keenan Robo-Raiders) - Mentor - Palmetto '10
2014-2016: FRC 4901 (Garnet Squadron) - Co-Founder and Head Bot Coach - Orlando '14, SCRIW '16
2017: FRC 5402 (Iron Kings) - Mentor, Coach (oh, and I worked at AndyMark during this time)
2018-: FRC 1293 (Pandamaniacs) - Mentor

113 events (more than will fit in a ChiefDelphi signature), 15 seasons, over 74,500 miles, and still on a mission from Bob.
Rule #1: Do not die. Rule #2: Be respectful. Rule #3: Be safe. Rule #4: Follow the handbook.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 07:57 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
Understand the printout. I didn't take a picture of one, but the printout is always the defenses that will be on the far side of the field, starting in position 2 (because 1 is the low bar). On practice matches, they will also be the ones you selected. In qualification and playoff matches, they will be what the other alliance selected. Don't overthink this, or you will confuse yourself.
I got you Billfred!

Here is a printout from one of our matches from Week Zero. Correct me if I'm wrong but you receive this after both Red and Blue have submitted their selections to the DC. We did this in the que line two matches before ours (so double deck or in the hole however you want to say it).

I'll echo Billfred when he says be prepared. At Week Zero we showed up into the que line and were immediately asked what we wanted so talk to your partners BEFORE you go to the que line.
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Unread 02-28-2016, 09:17 PM
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Re: The Defense Coordinator's Lament (or: have your crap together for queueing!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrendanB View Post
I got you Billfred!

Here is a printout from one of our matches from Week Zero. Correct me if I'm wrong but you receive this after both Red and Blue have submitted their selections to the DC. We did this in the que line two matches before ours (so double deck or in the hole however you want to say it).

I'll echo Billfred when he says be prepared. At Week Zero we showed up into the que line and were immediately asked what we wanted so talk to your partners BEFORE you go to the que line.
That's the one. (I think they abbreviated it to "QUAL", but whatever.)

Palmetto stacked them two deep in the field area and a third match in the hole, and we would catch them going from the hole to Queue #2. They technically had until the buzzer of the match they spent in Queue #2, but the red alliance wasn't coming back over without me escorting them back to get their picks in (and yes, I did that quite a few times). As soon as both picks were in, they got their printouts; we did not stress if we were early with that release as long as we were simultaneous (or as simultaneous as a cross-field walk allows), which appeared to be the intent of the rule from talking with Aidan.
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2004-2006: FRC 1293 (D5 Robotics) - Student, Mentor, Coach
2007-2009: FRC 1618 (Capital Robotics) - Mentor, Coach
2009-2013: FRC 2815 (Los Pollos Locos) - Mentor, Coach - Palmetto '09, Peachtree '11, Palmetto '11, Palmetto '12
2010: FRC 1398 (Keenan Robo-Raiders) - Mentor - Palmetto '10
2014-2016: FRC 4901 (Garnet Squadron) - Co-Founder and Head Bot Coach - Orlando '14, SCRIW '16
2017: FRC 5402 (Iron Kings) - Mentor, Coach (oh, and I worked at AndyMark during this time)
2018-: FRC 1293 (Pandamaniacs) - Mentor

113 events (more than will fit in a ChiefDelphi signature), 15 seasons, over 74,500 miles, and still on a mission from Bob.
Rule #1: Do not die. Rule #2: Be respectful. Rule #3: Be safe. Rule #4: Follow the handbook.
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