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  #61   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-29-2009, 01:24 AM
Racer26 Racer26 is offline
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

I had noticed that too, (the handshaking) and was pretty sure it just got forgotten in all the craziness that was going on. As it turned out, it really wasnt a big deal, there was a third match and the handshakes got done. Karthik, Thanks for a massively fun regional as always. You ARE the most fun MC in FIRST.

JVN, I too know that the person in question is of the highest caliber, I wasn't trying to suggest any bias that may or may not have happened was intentional. People are biased. It happens to everyone, often subconsciously.

EDIT: In response to the post just above this one: I'm pretty sure there's a rule that was brought in saying that you can't have red and blue both take their timeout before the same match.

RE-EDIT: Also, why is it that people feel they must hide behind fake CD accounts (which are against the rules btw) when making controversial statements? Being afraid to speak your mind is so wrong. You must be elegant, and cautious in the way you word things, but why hide? I'm not afraid to stand up for what I think is right. There were a couple of times today where until I did a double take and realized I was wrong I was prepared to go down to the scoring table to defend teams I felt got scored wrong, and I didn't want any teams "losing" matches that they actually won.

Last edited by Racer26 : 03-29-2009 at 01:35 AM.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 01:28 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

FYI, FixFIRST, there is a rule preventing back-to-back timeouts. Red can't call a timeout if blue just did and vice versa. As I understand it, blue had a timeout already. Sorry, can't do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Section 9
<T19> In the elimination matches, each ALLIANCE will be allotted one TIMEOUT of up to 6 minutes. If an ALLIANCE wishes to call for a TIMEOUT, they must submit their TIMEOUT coupon to the Head Referee within two minutes of the Head Referee issuing the arena reset signal preceding their MATCH. When this occurs, the Time-out Clock will count down the six minutes starting with the expiration of the arena reset period. Both ALLIANCES will enjoy the complete 6-minute window. In the interest of tournament schedule, if an ALLIANCE completes their repairs before the Time-out Clock expires, the ALLIANCE CAPTAIN is encouraged to inform the Head Referee that they are ready to play and remit any time remaining in the TIMEOUT. If ALLIANCES are ready before the 6-minute window, the next MATCH will start. There are no cascading time-outs. An opposing ALLIANCE may not offer their unused TIMEOUT to their opponent.
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Last edited by EricH : 03-29-2009 at 01:32 AM.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 01:40 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

I'm glad people "compete like crazy," but I'm not feeling the "treat each other well in the process" part from some folks here. I'm sure when Woodie reads this or it gets brought to his attention, he'll be pretty darn sad.

Accuse, speculate, and provide all of the innuendo you want. All, and I mean ALL of the WHINING I'm reading here points to two very obvious thoughts in my mind:
1. Some folks care way too much about the robots and "winning" a game. Acting poorly like this after the fact shows a tremendous lack of class.
2. Be careful about the reputation you're building for yourself in this thread and others like it (yeah, every year the finals at at least one regional lead to crap like I read here). Get over it, fast. Go change the culture. And next time something happens in your life that you get all emotional about in public like this remember the example you are SUPPOSED to be setting for the rest of the world.

namaste
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Unread 03-29-2009, 01:54 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Kressly View Post
1. Some folks care way too much about the robots and "winning" a game. Acting poorly like this after the fact shows a tremendous lack of class.
I agree with you Rich, some people DO care way too much about "winning". BUT, I think you will notice, well at least for me (i assume I'm one of the people you're speaking about) that the people raising the issues had no particular interest in the outcome of the matches.

Personally, I have no affiliation with any of the teams on either alliance in the finals. I just want to see fair matches, across the board. One of the biggest problems with the competition in its current form is the variation in the reffing from one regional to the next. Some of the more travelled teams I'm sure can attest to being able to get away with something at one regional, and then being penalized for it at another. This is less of a problem here in Canada for the bulk of the Canadian teams, as GTR and Waterloo share a HUGE portion of the staff. Since its the same people, they get run in very similar fashion. I just wish the REST of FIRST could be this good at consistency.

I think its only fair for teams to expect to show up and play the game that was defined to them in the rules. Some of the discrepancies have led to play styles in some games (08 SVR comes to mind, but I'm sure there's others) which if teams knew from the start that they would be called that way, might have built their bot very differently.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 01:56 AM
Shankar M Shankar M is offline
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

I feel like people are getting a little bit worked up over this finals match and it is overshadowing what was yet another incredible Greater Toronto Regional.

I think that the suggestions of bias in the decision-making processes of the volunteers (who helped to run an incredible event) are a little bit harsh. Many members of the volunteer staff on the field have connections at various levels with 188, just as many of them have connections with Team 1114 (and likely the other 4 teams on the field at that time).

I also think it is equally important that fingers are not pointed at teams over the events that transpired. The first alliance did attempt to call a timeout, but (as EricH mentions above) the rules disallow it. Once the calls were made, the alliance's hands were tied. They did what they could, and when they were out of options, they played their game, can we really fault them for that? (We dealt with a similar situation last year, when 2 of our opponents were not able to make it onto the field in time for the buzzer and were thus left off the field.) It was certainly an unfortunate event and left many people disappointed, but it is integral that we respect the decisions of the officiating crew. They simply followed the rules that they were to enforce. If we as a community have disagreements over what happened, constructive means are the best way to seek resolutions.

Last edited by Shankar M : 03-29-2009 at 01:59 AM. Reason: A little fix.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 03:36 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Good morning fellow FIRSTers!

It's 1:00am, only hours after the completion of the 2009 GTR; an event that I can honestly say has been one of the most AMAZING experiences of my life.

For those who do not know me, I am the field coach for Team 188, winner of the 2006 GTR WFFA, and was in the thick of everything that occurred this evening.

Before things get too out of hand in this thread, I would like to share my story with all of you this evening. Much of it is a blur, as things happen so quickly in the heat of the moment. In situations like this, information is often crossed-up, words are misinterpreted... and worse... rumours often spread.

I'd like to clear much of the air, and share with you what it was like to be in my shoes this evening. Much of this post is intensely personal, and while you may not agree with everything I did (even I don't always 100% agree with the things I do in retrospect... we all make mistakes), I ask that you please respect my actions, decisions, opinions and especially my mistakes.

After Finals 1
Our alliance had just pulled off the upset, and I was immediately informed by 610 that they had sustained damage to their front roller during the match. I was not surprised, as 610 had adjusted strategy mid-match to play hard defense as they saw an imbalance in points scored against us by 1114. 610's adjustment opened up the match for 1305 to deliver ECs and us to ultimately score a buzzer beating SC with our robot.

The Timeout
610 quickly informed 188 that they would need the timeout to start repairs. We approached the head ref and I asked "I'm giving you a heads-up to let you know we'll be presenting our time-out coupon at the last possible moment. Can you please confirm with us how long that is from now?" The head ref consulted with the FTA, and he returned saying that "well you're in luck, the last possible moment looks to be about 10 seconds from now."

I stood there and smiled to the head ref, and we counted down from 10 together with a bit of a chuckle.

Our alliance's time-out coupon was presented.

In hindsight, it seemed like we had to present our coupon and start our timeout a bit early, as I thought I recalled more time set was aside for field reset. In fact, we were being forced to present our timeout coupon before all our robots had even been taken off the field. But, I honestly did not know how much time had passed since the match had ended, nor how much time WAS alloted for field reset between matches. I also didn't know how many minutes before the next match started I needed to present the time-out coupon. I also did not know when the next match was supposed to start.

These were all mistakes on my part. As the alliance captain drive-team coach, you need to know all these rules backwards and forwards.

I headed back to the temporary pit area to check up to see what 610's status was. They were working HARD, efficiently, and you could see it was an amazing team effort. Unfortunately though, I was informed that the roller would not be available for our next match. 610's drive crew notified 188's strategy team, that since 610 adjusted to an effective defense role mid-match in Finals 1, and that 610 should get out there without the roller, and have 610 stick to defense right from the start of the match. Great call.

My Mistake
Here's the kicker for all you conspiracy theorists:

During this timeout period... I simply neglected to inform my own team of the time-out time constraints

There was nothing wrong with OUR robot. It was functioning just fine. It was in the pits, and our crew was doing our pre-match checks and battery changes. I informed 610 and 1305 exactly when we needed to be on the field.

I did not adequately inform my own pit crew!!!

At 60 seconds left in the timeout, I was in the pits, and exclaimed "All teams on the field NOW!"

1305 was already there, 610 packed up, and was out of the pits immediately, my own pit crew looked at me and said "WHAT?!"

And here's is where I must say this VERY clearly, and especially for students on my own team to understand FULLY where fault lies in this situation:

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS LIES SOLELY ON ME

Our pit crew and programmer did a wonderful job, but I was negligent in my effort to give them the information they needed to do their work. This was my job. I didn't do it.

I screwed up - end of discussion.

I owe my pit crew and programmers the biggest apology one can imagine. Imagine yourself being put into their situation, simply doing your job, having this happen, then having to answer the inevitable questions of: "What on earth were they doing in the pits on 188's robot?"

What were they doing? They were doing their jobs, and they were doing a darned fine job.

My screw up threw them under the bus.


I scrambled to grab the controls to hook them up to the driver station. The pit crew scrambled to get the robot back on to the field. I got to the driver station, seconds later, the robot was at the gate.

As I was connecting our controls, someone (I cannot recall who) told me that the refs weren't letting our robot on the field.

I had my 2008 GTR role-reversal flashback... when 1507 and 247 were kept off the field after a timeout just like this, and we played against them 3 vs 1.

I looked over at our pit crew and drive team by our robot. I let them down, and I was angry at my mistake.

I slammed my fist into the lexan - not a very common outward show of emotion on my part... but I did it not because I was angry at the ref's ruling, but at the magnitude of my own mistake, and the subsequent letdown in caused in our entire alliance.

The Head Ref
Before I continue, there's something you all need to know about myself and the Head Ref Fraser Allen. Fraser and I have known each other since 1998, when we were both high school student members on Team 188. We poured our blood sweat and tears together in the exact same way you and your team members are doing right now. There are 11 years of history in our friendship, and a deep amount of respect for each other. His dedication for the FIRST program is exceptional, and having said that:

The presence of any type of bias, real or perceived by me was NON-EXISTANT.

I have read posts here about bias and even over-compensation. I flat out DO NOT agree that either were factors at play. Please understand that a VERY large number of the volunteer force at Canadian regionals are 188 alumni. They take on influential roles as refs, inspectors, scorers, etc... etc... the list goes on. Fraser's association with 188 is no secret. Neither is Karthik's, neither is Steve Warren's, neither is Ian Mackenzie's, the list goes on.

Fraser made the right call - not because he was FORCED to enforce the rules by the letter of the law in order to not show any type of 188-bias. It was simply because he is an excellent head ref.

The FIRST community can do me a favour, and treat him nicely for making a tough decision, because ironically, I need to buy him dinner (at minimum) just to convince him to come back next year given the backlash that's brewing! That backlash needs to stop now. I'm not losing a valued friend and volunteer of the FIRST program over something like this.

Setting up Finals 2
It was no excuse time. Those who know me understand that I despise whining and complaining. Things needed to get done, and we needed to figure out what was the best thing to do to help our alliance. Throwing a tantrum to try and get out robot on the field would not have helped.

We had seconds before the match was about to start. I knew that an idle trailer was a HUGE disadvantage, and against a potent #1 alliance this WAS a sure loss when played 2 vs 3.

I apologized to both 610 and 1305 and said: "I'm extremely sorry guys, but I'm not giving you guys the chance to play these guys straight up 2 vs 3. We are going to try and force a double G14 for the next match. We are going to score on our own alliance... quietly."

I then told our own payload specialist on our side to continually score on our own alliance.

I ran across the field exclaiming to the refs, who REALLY wanted start the match "start the match, I'll take the penalty!" They waited.

Once at the other side, I told 610's payload specialist the same.

I wasn't able to tell 1305's payload specialist the same, but I was hoping it would be enough.

On my way back to our driver station, I bumped into Karthik, and exclaimed:

"I think the GDC is going to hear about this match... watch it carefully!"

It was so loud and chaotic, I was running, he was trying to do damage control as MC, and I'm pretty sure he didn't hear me at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure he probably thought he heard me insult his mother, and to watch out because I was coming for him and the rest of his family after the regional.

It was a gross misunderstanding, and no doubt we will laugh long and hard about this for years to come.

I don't know if there were comments targeted at Karthik about his reaction after this incident, but again, I implore you guys to calm down and understand the context in which all this occurred. If those comments were directed at me and my reaction regarding hitting the lexan, I'm fine with that. That was pretty tasteless, and it won't happen again.

Finals 2 Begins
And the moment is does, our corner payload specialists are silent. A usually productive autonomous is relegated to pretty much nothing. The match progresses, and my eyes are pinned to the scoreboard. Our score remains at 8 for a long period of time, and I begin to think how much I will be crucified in the FIRST community for pulling something like this, if we're actually successful.

2056/1114/2185's score continues to grow, and our score stays the same. Have they noticed? Not yet... Will they notice? Of course they will, the question is only whether they will notice and react in time.

And they do.

They begin to score on themselves frantically, but we have one last ace up our sleeve. 1305 has delivered an empty cell to our near payload specialist. He calmly exchanges it for an SC, and drains it into one of our own robots.

We don't get the double G14, but we get a single G14 for our final match at full-strength.

Strategy enthusiasts: Understand something very carefully here. 2056/1114/2185 won the GTR during THIS match... consider how avoiding the double G14 here affected how the end of Match 3 played out.

Now I know there will be a firestorm of differing opinions on how GP this strategy was. I won't even attempt to defend myself. It was a decision I made, and I unilaterally told my alliance partners to participate. Believe me, I have heard from SEVERAL people on my own team about the inappropriateness of this strategy, and they ALL are right. However I stood by my decision as a reflection of *MY* own choice regarding what I felt was in the best interests of our alliance at the time. It is not to be interpreted as what 188/610/1305 believe in as teams, especially with regards to their level GP. These are some of most gracious and professional teams I've ever had the pleasure of working with. The level of camaraderie was stellar, and I hope everyone who was watching got that impression, because that chemistry was there. Without it, we could have never done something this crazy or stupid.

Finals 3
I will have to leave this one for the video archives for you all to see for yourselves. It was an amazing match, with this game being played at an amazingly high level, with strong defense all around. We hung in there despite a "non-specific upper robot malfunction." I'm proud of the entire alliance, and I'm sure a series of huge thanks and congrats posts will be forthcoming. But until then, the biggest thanks to our alliance partners 610 and 1305 for battling throughout the eliminations. We weren't the favourites to win at first, but I think we convinced a lot of people as the matches went on. It was an honour for me to be able to work with such a fine group of people.

Although we were all disappointed we did not win this regional, we were glad to be a part of such an amazing alliance, and to be able to write a memorable chapter in FIRST lore.

You just can't make this stuff up!
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Unread 03-29-2009, 07:44 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Thank you for this detailed post.

I hope it quiets everyone who is speculating on what did or did not happen at the event and we can move on.
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  #68   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-29-2009, 09:09 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Thank you for clarifying that. Glad it's nothing spectical, and it was outright the truth : )

*Changes subject*

1219 had a LOT of fun playing at GTR. It was amazing and spectacular. This is the only year we have gone into the eliminations as an alliance captain at the Greater Toronto Regional. This is also the year I had the most fun with the game because of the low traction surface that allowed some very challenging defense.

Thank you to 2809 and 2166 for playing some very fun matches in the quarters. Although there were electrical problems, it was noones fault. (Random electrical issues can come and go). The penalties also seemed to cost a bit. But it was just plain out intense.

Thank you to 1305, and Gerry St. Dennis for helping us out at both the Waterloo and Greater Toronto Regionals in getting our to safety and completion.

Also thank you to Tristian Lall for helping us out at the Waterloo Regional to make sure we were ready to go as always.

So I guess this will be my last year as a student of this school, and hopefully next year, a new identification as a mentor of a team -- My team, a team, or a rookie team. FIRST will always be this fun -- I just love the intensity!

For those wondering who I am, I was the BASE driver at the Greater Toronto Regional (after 3rd Qual. match) because we had switched.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 09:23 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

thanks man for that post... Hopefully people will stop speculating now that someone on the other side has come in and given some truth to the situation.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 09:26 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Namaste, Shankar and Shawn. Your display of sportsmanship, humility, leadership, and responsibility in the above posts is a model for all of us to follow.

My father taught me long ago that how we respond to adversity is what defines us as human beings. Let's all keep this definition in mind as we move forward to change a culture.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 09:31 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

congrats 1114/2056/2185
188/610/1305 u guys played amazing
congrats 1114 on your RCA win

ps. does anyone have the pictures that were taken at the awards ceremony on both days?
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Unread 03-29-2009, 09:45 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Does anyone know when/where the GTR matches will be online?
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Unread 03-29-2009, 10:23 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKaul View Post
congrats 1114/2056/2185
188/610/1305 u guys played amazing
congrats 1114 on your RCA win

ps. does anyone have the pictures that were taken at the awards ceremony on both days?
I have tons of photos of both days. I couldn't get them on 1DVD so I needed to put on 2. I will be talking to Karen Rosenthal and see what we can do to get to the teams.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 10:25 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

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Originally Posted by IntensifiedAmp View Post
Does anyone know when/where the GTR matches will be online?

They were not recorded by Discovery Channel so unless someone had a recorder or copied the stream I don't have any.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 11:13 AM
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Re: 2009 Greater Toronto Regional

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
I have tons of photos of both days. I couldn't get them on 1DVD so I needed to put on 2. I will be talking to Karen Rosenthal and see what we can do to get to the teams.
thx steve! it will be wonderful if all teams could get the dvd!
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