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Beat the horse again

Posted by Michael Martus.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Coach on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central H.S. and Delphi Automotives Systems.

Posted on 9/25/2000 7:59 PM MST



As we get closer to the competition and all the decisions that the powers to be at FIRST make I again bring up this much debated idea!

1. Divide up the nationals into mini-competitions say in five or six groups. Play Down to top 4 teams. Then play these against each other on main stage Saturday.

2. Select each group using a - random ping-pong ball machine like the lottery.

Wouldn't that be exciting waiting to see which group you were in and who was with you.

What do you think? Let your voices be heard!



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Beat away!!

Posted by colleen.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Coach on team #246, Blue Light Special, from John D. O'Byrant High School/Boston Latin Academy and NSTAR/Boston University/UTC/Raytheon/MassPEP.

Posted on 9/25/2000 8:04 PM MST


In Reply to: Beat the horse again posted by Michael Martus on 9/25/2000 7:59 PM MST:



amy--

I have to say I COMPLETELY agree with the idea (or something quite similar)...

And I think FIRST heard.. because, when I was at the FIRST Team Forum it was the FIRST people that brought up that idea and said it was in much consideration... i think they hear us..

But let's speak up anyway!


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Re: Beat the horse again

Posted by Andy Grady.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Other on team in limbo from in limbo sponsored by in limbo.

Posted on 9/26/2000 7:58 AM MST


In Reply to: Beat the horse again posted by Michael Martus on 9/25/2000 7:59 PM MST:



Im definately with you on this one, especially the idea of pulling the teams on thursday night using the ping pong ball thingee. I think that it should be seperated into 4 divisions with the top 4 alliances from each division battling it out in the elimination rounds. Either way, we need some sort of seperation.

Bye bye,
Andy Grady
(go team Bar-Lok)



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Re: Beat the horse again

Posted by Ken.

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

Posted on 9/26/2000 11:37 AM MST


In Reply to: Beat the horse again posted by Michael Martus on 9/25/2000 7:59 PM MST:



Such a good idea. In fact, the national is so crowded that I have to say this kind of dividing the teams is necessary. So each mini-competition will be like a seperate regional, and the teams in those regionals will be randomize.
So teams don't need to promote themself to all the 300/400 teams out there, but only teams within the regionals itself. Good. The number of matches will still be the same, while the competition is much more organized. And there will be 4 top-seed award and other awards just the same as a regional... etc.

They have to go for this!!!

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The Naysayer yet again...

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 9/26/2000 2:33 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Beat the horse again posted by Ken on 9/26/2000 11:37 AM MST:



: Such a good idea. In fact, the national is so crowded that I have to say this kind of dividing the teams is necessary. So each mini-competition will be like a seperate regional, and the teams in those regionals will be randomize.
I know I've said this before, but I'm not exactly fond of the idea of 'regionalizing' nationals...for me, as well as a few other people that I've talked to, one of the draws of nationals is the size, and doing anything to diminish that would decrease the excitement. Yes, I realize that it can be chaotic at times, but that's what I would look at as a logistics issue, which should be able to be handled without, in essence, splitting the majority of the event into several smaller events and scattering it around the parking lot(or around Disney.)

: So teams don't need to promote themself to all the 300/400 teams out there, but only teams within the regionals itself. Good. The number of matches will still be the same, while the competition is much more organized. And there will be 4 top-seed award and other awards just the same as a regional... etc.

'just the same as a regional'...personally, I hope it never gets to the point where we can describe any part of nationals this way...one of the awesome things about getting an award at nationals is being able to say that out of 270+ teams, YOUR team was the one that brought home the trophy. If the awards were given to each 'division' in a regionalized nationals, it would greatly diminish the grandeur of recieving a trophy from the national competition...

Like I said above, I realize that nationals last year was chaotic with the setup and the number of teams, but I am nearly positive that there are ways this can be alleviated without seeing 'divisions', 'regions', or whatever else you want to call them set up. As I've said before, the next logical step after doing that at nationals is making the 'real' regionals qualifiers for nationals, which I sincerely hope does not happen for years to come....

Of course, this is just my opinion....

Nate
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Awards

Posted by Janna.

Student on team #349, The RoBahamas, from International Academy and Ford Motor Company.

Posted on 9/26/2000 3:03 PM MST


In Reply to: The Naysayer yet again... posted by Nate Smith on 9/26/2000 2:33 PM MST:



:...one of the awesome things about getting an award
:at nationals is being able to say that out of
:270+ teams, YOUR team was the one that brought
:home the trophy.

Ok, I have a comment on that point...it seems to me that the only people who would be dissatisfied are the winners. And for me there are two kinds of winnners: the actual competition winners and the judged awards.

The actual competition winners should win in the end anyway, if they have the best robot, so technically they'd still be the best in the nation. And instead of saying you were 'fifth at nationals', a team might be able to say 'division champions at nationals'. Wouldn't that sound better?

And for judged awards...one for each division would make for more winners. If we keep the same number of awards as FIRST grows larger and larger, the number of 'losers' will just keep growing. I think it's important to keep it somewhat proportional so that awards aren't seen as completely unreachable, especially for rookie teams. After all, I know our team would be too busy celebrating a judged award to worry about who else won and whether or not we could have beat them for it.

So, yeah, I am all for regionalizing, and I think the awards are more of a bonus than a drawback.

Janna
Team 349 - The Robahamas!


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So maybe there might be an award problem, but what about...

Posted by Ken.

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

Posted on 9/26/2000 6:10 PM MST


In Reply to: Awards posted by Janna on 9/26/2000 3:03 PM MST:



So maybe there will be an award problem, but what about the other aspect of having division: the competition itself?

It seems to me from last year's competition that the top seeded teams from the qualifying rounds are not necessary the best robot that survived tough competition. That's because the matches are put together base on your ranking in the regional. So, what happened was high ranking teams in the regionals got paired with lower scoring teams, which mean those high ranking team will have to score for both sides in a game because the final score is 3X enemy score. Meanwhile, the medium ranking teams are all together, and both sides can score similar high points in a game, which brings the winning team up to a pretty high final score position.

SO, with the division in place, there will be lesser teams in each division's qualifing rounds, but in total, there will be much more teams going into the elimination rounds in a general sense. And those teams will face a tournament which determinds if they get to the FINAL Elimination rounds. What this means is IN THE NATIONAL, IT WILL NOT BE ONLY THE QUALIFING ROUNDS TO DETERMIND THE TOP TEAMS GOING INTO THE FINALS, BUT A QUALIFING ROUND FOR EVERY TEAM AND ELIMINATION ROUNDS FOR THE 'UPPER DIVISION TEAMS'. SO THE ROBOTS CAN ONLY SURVIVE IF IT WILL GET A HIGH AVERAGE SCORE FROM THE QUALIFING ROUNDS, OR PROMOTE ITSELF ENOUGH WITHIN THE DIVISION TO GET PICKED, AS WELL AS ABLE TO PUSH THROUGH THE TOUGH CHALLENGES IN THE ELIMINATION ROUNDS, AND FINALLY GET INTO THE FINALS AND BE A TOP WINNER. THIS WILL BE A GREATER CHALLENGE FOR THE REALLY GREAT TEAMS OUT THERE.


This, to me, solve the problem of having too many teams in the National Competition, while we don't have to block any lower ranking teams of the regionals from entering the National.


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Pairings methodology @ Nationals

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 9/27/2000 6:33 PM MST


In Reply to: So maybe there might be an award problem, but what about... posted by Ken on 9/26/2000 6:10 PM MST:



: That's because the matches are put together base on your ranking in the regional.

Having seen the code behind FIRST's scoring system, I can safely say that the results of the regionals have no bearing on the pairings for nationals. Unless the staff at FIRST goes through and creates all 400+ matches by hand for nationals, the matches are paired just as randomly as any of the regionals. The scoring system is designed in such a way that the results from any one event are isolated from the results of any other event. Due to the large number of teams at nationals who have gone to one or more regionals, and the few teams who have done well at these regionals, compared to the many other teams at Disney, it may seem that there is a hi-lo pairings system in place. However, the actual code used to pair the matches is sent a list of team numbers, and the code itself is in a DLL outside of the main scoring system program, so it has no way to access the rankings information stored in the main database.

Just an FYI...

Nate
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limiting National...

Posted by Ken.

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

Posted on 9/26/2000 7:59 PM MST


In Reply to: The Naysayer yet again... posted by Nate Smith on 9/26/2000 2:33 PM MST:



One of the main point of FIRST is to introduce new students about science and technology. The National Competition, by letting everyone going, expose all those team to the challenge when facing some of the best teams across the country. It is critical that every team get to see the competition of the people from the whole U.S.

When limit the National to only high ranking teams, it is likely that only the experienced and/or resourceful teams can get to the National, although there are exceptions. It mean we will take away the other team's opportunity to gain more experience and meet other people in FIRST. So what you get is a really competitive National competition between the same old 'buddies' of the FIRST community, while the lower ranking teams stays home because they weren't given the same chances.

To me, this take away the 'growth' for the low ranking teams, even though when you say 'not going to National will force them to push harder to go to National next year', because I've observed there were so much more critical thinking and last minute rushing in the National than the 6 week period. Plus, the communication between the different teams at the National are so valuable because it open the eyes of the people. It will be against FIRST's spirit to unite the students under the same roof when we leave them out of the National...


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I agree!

Posted by Frank Toussaint.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Wheeling and Rolling Meadows and Motorola .

Posted on 9/27/2000 9:22 AM MST


In Reply to: limiting National... posted by Ken on 9/26/2000 7:59 PM MST:



You have expressed the essence of why we need to keep everyone coming to the nationals.

Rookie teams that aren't allowed to go to the nationals will be less enthusiastic about returning next season.


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Re: Beat the horse again

Posted by David Kelso.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Coach on team #131, C.H.A.O.S.-, from Central High School and OSRAM SYLVANIA/ Fleet .

Posted on 9/26/2000 3:13 PM MST


In Reply to: Beat the horse again posted by Michael Martus on 9/25/2000 7:59 PM MST:



Oh, we are all set on the subdivisions already. There is the giant Tiewrap division, the cable tie division, the zip tie division and the BAR-LOKS. The problem is, the divisions would not be equal..the Bar-loks would only have 2 teams and would be guaranteed of being Finalists at the least!!!!!


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Re: Beat the horse again

Posted by bill whitley.

Student on team #70, Auto City Bandits, from Powers Catholic High School and Kettering University.

Posted on 9/26/2000 6:41 PM MST


In Reply to: Beat the horse again posted by Michael Martus on 9/25/2000 7:59 PM MST:



I'm with Nate. I think that nationals should stay the way they are. No moves to divide up the teams should be made. That is the point of nationals. Why not just eliminate qualifying at nationals all together and go off regionals scores? We should have 1 large group of robots.


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Re: Beat the horse again

Posted by Jason Rukes.

Engineer on team #109, Arial Systems & Libertyville HS, from Libertyville High School and Arial Systems Corp & SEC Design.

Posted on 9/27/2000 8:43 AM MST


In Reply to: Beat the horse again posted by Michael Martus on 9/25/2000 7:59 PM MST:



: As we get closer to the competition and all the decisions that the powers to be at FIRST make I again bring up this much debated idea!

: 1. Divide up the nationals into mini-competitions say in five or six groups. Play Down to top 4 teams. Then play these against each other on main stage Saturday.

**Is the problem that the wrong team's are winning? I hope not. I was disappointed with the poor attendance at last year's finals. Maybe by having groups, teams that lose their division will still support their group through the finals.

: 2. Select each group using a - random ping-pong ball machine like the lottery.

**I love the ping-pong ball idea. Maybe then, the divisions could be considered 'random'. I'd like to see a ping-pong machine at each field. When you show up, you drop your ball in the machine. The ball hops around until it lands on a color(red/blue) and position(inside/outside). You can't cheat Chaos.

: Wouldn't that be exciting waiting to see which group you were in and who was with you.

: What do you think? Let your voices be heard!





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Re: Beat the horse again

Posted by Ken.

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

Posted on 9/27/2000 2:09 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Beat the horse again posted by Jason Rukes on 9/27/2000 8:43 AM MST:



: Is the problem that the wrong team's are winning? I hope not. I was disappointed with the poor attendance at last year's finals. Maybe by having groups, teams that lose their division will still support their group through the finals.

: **I love the ping-pong ball idea. Maybe then, the divisions could be considered 'random'. I'd like to see a ping-pong machine at each field. When you show up, you drop your ball in the machine. The ball hops around until it lands on a color(red/blue) and position(inside/outside). You can't cheat Chaos.

Exactly the right reason to have division in the nation. With division in place, the will gather the teams within a division as they face common enemy (the other 3 division). This will generate pride and spirit as the competition heats up and the division go head-to-head to other division. Also, last year it was a big problem to show yourself to every team in the National, and it will be much easier to show yourself in a division, and build up a stronger relationship with other same-division team. Finally, if the divisions are 'random', every years there will be a different combination of teams in there, and as the years go every team will be able to communicate with every team out there, instead of the same groups of 'buddies' out there while new teams are left alone.





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