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i didnt like this years game....please read

Posted by Travis Covington at 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST


Student on team #115, MVRT, from Monta Vista High School and 3com - NASA-Xilinx-Hitachi Data Systems.



all in all i had a great time this year at nationals...the game was fun to play and the people were awesome...

i remember posts disussing winning and losing and the mention of failing....when you fail, noone wins. A game with a low score means a game with little applause/cheering/enjoyment.

This years game stunk in that regard. There was always failure, and not always a winner, although there were NO losers, it made it depressing to see teams just flat out do poorly and in return have no support and noone to feel happy for.

This became very evident in finals..and is resulting in my post.

teams who were facing eachother had alot of support for eachother, alot of love, and alot of respect. But there was still that urge to win. This lead to cheering at the wrong times by the wrong alliance.

People would cheer after the other alliances ball would fall off a goal, or if the team would lose hold of a goal. As i heard this cheering it made me wonder how much FIRST thought about the impact of winning. People were cheering when the opposing alliance screwed up!! They would scream as the score was posted..."alliance 4 with 128 points"....."wooohoooo" then it would die out slowly after people realized wht they were doing...but the same thing happened ALL throughout finals

that is no fun at all....this game is an excellent one in the sense that all teams work together and work toward the same score but when you have the situation this year it makes it hard to not wish bad things about the other team.. in this game people WANTED the other team not to lose BUT TO FAIL.

im sorry to rant and rave but i feel very strongly about this situation and i know many people feel the same way. im not trying to piss anyone off, im just writing this to inform people of what i noticed and just how disturbing I thought it was.

i hope FIRST realizes that this happened and that the need to find a solution.

-TC


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similar thoughts

Posted by colleen - T190 at 04/10/2001 8:54 AM EST


Engineer on team #190, Gompei, from Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science and WPI.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



I remember Jess posting something about this after the UTC regional.. talking about qualifying and the 'silence after a bad match'... and it's true.. in a competitive game.. there's always a reason to cheer.. there's always a winner, always an underdog, and you can always change your fate by some last minute move to overcome your opponent..

I understand the message Dean was trying to send.. that we were getting 'too much like' the sports teams and such.. and I must say, i beg to differ

Rivalry's have ALWAYS existed in FIRST.. my old team had quite a few.. i never knew why by i was always told 'oh, you have to beat team xx" and so on.. and it wasn't until '99 that things started to change.. where you couldn't have a rivalry really because you never knew when you'd have to count on them to be your partner..

In past years.. the game wasn't over til the buzzer sounded.. and their was always that tension, that chance, until it rang out.. this year though, the second the clock hit 1:00 and was still counting down while roars from the crowd sounded.. not because the alliance on stage did well, but because the fans of the other alliance knew they had one.. in UTC that happen to us... and it is the first time in 6 years on stage that i felt like i didn't want to be there.. as we're struggling to do our thing, right across in the plexiglass was the other alliance jumping and cheering.. and when we were on the flipside of the coin in LongIsland.. i did my best to keep our alliance from doing that.. I don't know that it worked, and maybe i even fell victim.. but i tried..

We need to go back to a game where teams have more control over their own fate.. in '99 and 2000 I walked away with more respect and admiration towards other teams than I did in 2k1.. if we played w/ people and mistakes were made and we did badly because of it.. it's hard to deal with because there is nothing you can do.. if you're the only one that can get across.. you can only get 10pts.. at least in '99 & 2000 you could do very very well and have a shot even if you had to play alone..

So FIRST gave it a shot.. it was fun while it lasted.. but I'm ready to return to a game where I feel like we have more control of our own destiny...

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Re: similar thoughts

Posted by Matt Ryan at 04/10/2001 7:21 PM EST


Student on team #69, HYPER, from Quincy Public Schools and Gillette.


In Reply to: similar thoughts
Posted by colleen - T190 on 04/10/2001 8:54 AM EST:



Its hard to keep a straight face when you know you've won something. My alliance tried like all hell to keep a straight face when we became champions--we couldn't do it, it is EXTREMELY hard.

The handshake should be done before the eliminations start because animosities might flare because of something.

: I remember Jess posting something about this after the UTC regional.. talking about qualifying and the 'silence after a bad match'... and it's true.. in a competitive game.. there's always a reason to cheer.. there's always a winner, always an underdog, and you can always change your fate by some last minute move to overcome your opponent..

: I understand the message Dean was trying to send.. that we were getting 'too much like' the sports teams and such.. and I must say, i beg to differ

: Rivalry's have ALWAYS existed in FIRST.. my old team had quite a few.. i never knew why by i was always told 'oh, you have to beat team xx" and so on.. and it wasn't until '99 that things started to change.. where you couldn't have a rivalry really because you never knew when you'd have to count on them to be your partner..

: In past years.. the game wasn't over til the buzzer sounded.. and their was always that tension, that chance, until it rang out.. this year though, the second the clock hit 1:00 and was still counting down while roars from the crowd sounded.. not because the alliance on stage did well, but because the fans of the other alliance knew they had one.. in UTC that happen to us... and it is the first time in 6 years on stage that i felt like i didn't want to be there.. as we're struggling to do our thing, right across in the plexiglass was the other alliance jumping and cheering.. and when we were on the flipside of the coin in LongIsland.. i did my best to keep our alliance from doing that.. I don't know that it worked, and maybe i even fell victim.. but i tried..

: We need to go back to a game where teams have more control over their own fate.. in '99 and 2000 I walked away with more respect and admiration towards other teams than I did in 2k1.. if we played w/ people and mistakes were made and we did badly because of it.. it's hard to deal with because there is nothing you can do.. if you're the only one that can get across.. you can only get 10pts.. at least in '99 & 2000 you could do very very well and have a shot even if you had to play alone..

: So FIRST gave it a shot.. it was fun while it lasted.. but I'm ready to return to a game where I feel like we have more control of our own destiny...


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if you think about it, however....please read

Posted by Erin at 04/10/2001 9:41 AM EST


Other on team #65, Huskie Brigade, from Pontiac Northern High School and GM Powertrain.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



If you look at it a different way...

We were all doing the same thing last year, and in 99- praising our teams for kicking another team's butt, and similarly, cheering that the other team messed up and did something wrong (i.e.: falling over, stalling on the field, not being able to get on the puck/ramp/bar). At least this year the violence got factored out. When another team got a lower score, you cheered. Isn't that the way this is?

I remember when my team last year knocked another team off the bar, everyone flipped out cheering like crazy. I mean, super crazy. And whenever our team got beat down, I noticed that the other team cheered at our, what you call, "failure".

It's the same as every other year, you just can't go out there and stop an alliance from doing something- you have to sit back and watch it happen.

Just my two cents..
Erin


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Well ... guess I'm counterpoint

Posted by Ernie P at 04/10/2001 10:18 AM EST


Engineer on team #548, RoboStangs, from Northville High School and Robert Bosch.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



Hi all,
Guess I'll be the one who supports this year's game.

I haven't seen every year of FIRST, but I've been to 4 of the last 6 years and this year's game had more "winners" than I have seen in the past. More winners ... this IS a good thing ... more teams in the finals .... more winners of individual field matches. It helps more of us feel good about ourselves.

It is a competition ... it has to be to keep our interest ..... so some teams will not do as well as others. This year we had more teams working together to acheive the common goal, and LESS rivalry than the 1-on-1 games of past years.

The game commity at FIRST has a very hard job. They work to create a unique, exciting, and interesting competition which conveys the message and vision of the FIRST mission. They need to do this with a game???.... it's got to be tough. I applaud there courage to push back against the high violence, battlebot mentality which is re-enforcing our angry youth.

So, be sure we are all walking the talk. Keep what's important, what's important.

Best of luck to all and thanks for the wonderful year!!!!
Ernie P


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The game was good...our luck was bad

Posted by Joel G at 04/10/2001 3:50 PM EST


Student on team #442, Knight Riders, from Lee High School and NASA/ BOEING/ MEVATEC.


In Reply to: Well ... guess I'm counterpoint
Posted by Ernie P on 04/10/2001 10:18 AM EST:



This years game was a great idea but it had many flaws. I like the ideas of allainces but to certain point it can be unfair(just to much luck involved). The first 4 of our quilyfing matches were low due other teams saying one thing and doing another. I can understand if there was miscommunication or technical falures but we had one match where 2 teams went against the plan agreed upon and it messed up our score. I just think that next year FIRST should concentrate more on a game that has to do with more of ability than luck. Mabye I'm just upset because of how we did, It's just it feels like 6 weeks of work came down to luck instead of time and effort.
anyways. what d u all think
: Hi all,
: Guess I'll be the one who supports this year's game.

: I haven't seen every year of FIRST, but I've been to 4 of the last 6 years and this year's game had more "winners" than I have seen in the past. More winners ... this IS a good thing ... more teams in the finals .... more winners of individual field matches. It helps more of us feel good about ourselves.

: It is a competition ... it has to be to keep our interest ..... so some teams will not do as well as others. This year we had more teams working together to acheive the common goal, and LESS rivalry than the 1-on-1 games of past years.

: The game commity at FIRST has a very hard job. They work to create a unique, exciting, and interesting competition which conveys the message and vision of the FIRST mission. They need to do this with a game???.... it's got to be tough. I applaud there courage to push back against the high violence, battlebot mentality which is re-enforcing our angry youth.

: So, be sure we are all walking the talk. Keep what's important, what's important.

: Best of luck to all and thanks for the wonderful year!!!!
: Ernie P






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Re: Well ... guess I'm counterpoint

Posted by Chris Orimoto at 04/10/2001 8:27 PM EST


Student on team #368, Kika Mana, from McKinley High School and Nasa Ames/Hawaiian Electric/Weinberg Foundation.


In Reply to: Well ... guess I'm counterpoint
Posted by Ernie P on 04/10/2001 10:18 AM EST:



Yes, there were a lot of winners this year...but exactly HOW did they win. I mean, high seeds this year didn't really mean too much...all you had to do was be lucky and you'd be in a round with a good goal balancer or big baller or something to that matter. On the flipside of that, there could be a decent robot, that has bad luck (as mentioned in the post below), and gets a robot that falls down. This need not be due to any design problem, but to sheer luck. The other teams in that alliance then receive a low score. This is NOT to say that it was unfair or anything, because this was exactly how the game was designed. It places even more importance on good strategies and consistency.

I mean, don't get me wrong, the teamwork of this year was an excellent aspect of the game. But if we're going to be competitive anyway (hence Travis' original post here), we may as well have a little more control over the final outcomes.

Just my personal thoughts...

Chris, #368
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Re: Well ... guess I'm counterpoint

Posted by Kevin at 04/10/2001 9:40 PM EST


Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monsters, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.


In Reply to: Well ... guess I'm counterpoint
Posted by Ernie P on 04/10/2001 10:18 AM EST:



This year had more teams on the winning alliance than winning teams in previous years. There were more awards (Divisional and National). And the finals / elimination matches were exciting to watch.

But the qualifying matches were not. In previous years, a low scoring struggle still produced a winner and a loser in each qualifying match, and this made it exciting to watch, similar to the elimination matches this year. After every qualifying match in previous years, there was an explosion of cheering for the winning team(s). This year, there was silence when things didn't go well.

Additionally, Dean made a comment at the Great Lakes Regional about media coverage. He mentioned that he was disappointed that no television stations covered the event. Honestly, this year's competition (qualifying rounds) was a poor event for spectators, and I can not blame the television stations. I heard many people comment on the lack of excitement during qualifying rounds, and I agree. Without the element of head-to-head competition, the excitement did not approach that of sports events, or the like. While the game itself should emphasize the FIRST mission and not be destructive ala battlebots, competition is a key element in today's society, economy, and a fact of life, be it in college admissions, first to market, etc.

I do like how this year's elimination matches ran identically to the qualifying matches though. Last year's competition consisted of two very different games, and this year did not.

Just my thoughts.

Kevin

: Hi all,
: Guess I'll be the one who supports this year's game.

: I haven't seen every year of FIRST, but I've been to 4 of the last 6 years and this year's game had more "winners" than I have seen in the past. More winners ... this IS a good thing ... more teams in the finals .... more winners of individual field matches. It helps more of us feel good about ourselves.

: It is a competition ... it has to be to keep our interest ..... so some teams will not do as well as others. This year we had more teams working together to acheive the common goal, and LESS rivalry than the 1-on-1 games of past years.

: The game commity at FIRST has a very hard job. They work to create a unique, exciting, and interesting competition which conveys the message and vision of the FIRST mission. They need to do this with a game???.... it's got to be tough. I applaud there courage to push back against the high violence, battlebot mentality which is re-enforcing our angry youth.

: So, be sure we are all walking the talk. Keep what's important, what's important.

: Best of luck to all and thanks for the wonderful year!!!!
: Ernie P


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Re: i didnt like this years game....please read

Posted by s_alaniz at 04/10/2001 1:33 PM EST


Other on team #57 from Houston Regional co-ordinator.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



: in this game people WANTED the other team not to lose
BUT TO FAIL.


Hey I emphatize but I disagree. Sounds like you took it
all pretty hard and that's not a bad thing, we're all
human and the emotions that follow bad luck, bad
breaks... et al are part of being human. There's no
solution to that (or if there is I wish someone would
share it.)

As for the cheering for your failure. I don't think
that was a universal theme. For those who DID cheer at
a team's "failure" ..why do you think Dean constantly
reminds us about that "gracious professionalism?" I
suppose that message needs to be revisited yet again.

All I can say is that MY team ranked 10th in our
division but was not picked. We were disappointed but
we sat and cheered during the finals and we cheered
loudest for our personal favorites ( and moaned when
they made a mistake).

I know about machine failures. My team has been
there several times in the past 3 years and we know the
feeling. We also know the feeling of having an alliance
partner mess up and cost valuable points. (Just prior
to one of our rounds, there was a
"0" score for an alliance because a coach forgot the
rules and hit the stop button in stead of having thr
drivers do it. and people say this was not an exciting
game!) Our team had 4 disasterous rounds but I'm sure
other teams had similar experiences.

BUT the real point I think I need to make is this:
"Gracious Professionalism" doesn't just apply to the
winners. It applies to second place, third place and on
down the line. If in the heat of the moment someone
loses control ... or even a lot of people lose control
and cheer wildly when an alliance loses, it's not meant
as a slur but as joy in the success of their own team.
If I were on the winning alliance I would have found it
hard to restain myself too.

Alliances... well, if you eliminate alliances.. then
you get back to a one winner system... I like
alliances.. it makes teams have to consider carefully
who they pair with.

Team 115 was a quarterfinalist... my team would have
been uncontrollably happy if we had managed that. We
would be bragging that we nailed fourth place. We
didn't but I'll brag anyway... I had the best team I
could have wanted and I'm very proud of the way we
proformed ... we're looking forward to next year... see
you there.

Best Wishes

Steve Alaniz






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Warning: rant inside

Posted by Jason Iannuzzi at 04/10/2001 1:40 PM EST


Engineer on team #11, Marauders, from Mt. Olive HS. and BASF, Rame Hart, CCM.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



Technicalities aside, the only real difference between this year and last, is that this year, competing teams did not share the same field. There were still "losers", there were still bad machines, there was still bad sportsmanship, it just wasn't as interesting to watch. Effectively, we all had half our our possible solutions (defensive opportunities) to the problem eliminated before we had a chance to consider them and in turn, the audience got a really bad show.

I don't have a problem with people cheering winners and losers, that's life. As long as this is called the FIRST Competition, there will be a winner and a loser. My problem is I really wonder who's feelings FIRST is trying to protect? The teams that don't do well already know they don't do well. The audience knows they don't do well. Other teams know they don't do well. By not showing who won and lost in a particular match, do we really accomplish anything other than depriving the audience of any and all satisfaction? If FIRST really wants to make us all feel like winners, then there shouldn't be playoffs, there shouldn't be a champion, and there shouldn't be a scoring system.

Let's all just get out on the field and hug. We can sit in a circle and discuss how much this resembles the real world of engineering and life. Then we can sprinkle some fairy dust on our heads and live forever too.
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You are dead on. (eom)

Posted by Billy Mallard at 04/11/2001 12:51 AM EST


Student on team #254, the Cheesy Poofs, from Bellarmine College Prep and NASA.


In Reply to: Warning: rant inside
Posted by Jason Iannuzzi on 04/10/2001 1:40 PM EST:



: Technicalities aside, the only real difference between this year and last, is that this year, competing teams did not share the same field. There were still "losers", there were still bad machines, there was still bad sportsmanship, it just wasn't as interesting to watch. Effectively, we all had half our our possible solutions (defensive opportunities) to the problem eliminated before we had a chance to consider them and in turn, the audience got a really bad show.

: I don't have a problem with people cheering winners and losers, that's life. As long as this is called the FIRST Competition, there will be a winner and a loser. My problem is I really wonder who's feelings FIRST is trying to protect? The teams that don't do well already know they don't do well. The audience knows they don't do well. Other teams know they don't do well. By not showing who won and lost in a particular match, do we really accomplish anything other than depriving the audience of any and all satisfaction? If FIRST really wants to make us all feel like winners, then there shouldn't be playoffs, there shouldn't be a champion, and there shouldn't be a scoring system.

: Let's all just get out on the field and hug. We can sit in a circle and discuss how much this resembles the real world of engineering and life. Then we can sprinkle some fairy dust on our heads and live forever too.


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Re: i didnt like this years game....please read

Posted by Travis Covington at 04/10/2001 6:25 PM EST


Student on team #115, MVRT, from Monta Vista High School and 3com - NASA-Xilinx-Hitachi Data Systems.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



thanks you guys...

i really needed someone to tell me off..

i wasnt mad that we didnt so well...because we did..

there were just some times that i wanted the other team to win :-)

thanks for the support and understanding

:-D

i still had a blast!!

good luck to all you teams next year...hopefully ill be starting a team whereever i go to college..



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Unread 06-24-2002, 02:22 AM
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Re: i didnt like this years game....please read

Posted by Kevin Sevcik at 04/11/2001 8:27 AM EST


Other on team #57, Leopards, from BT Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions and Exxon, Kellog Brown & Root, Powell Electrical.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



Personally, I think this year was a refreshing change from the past years. Admittedly, there were still losers and people were still cheering when another team lost, but that was happening in previous games anyways. I don't thnk the point of this new kind of game was to remove that aspect from the competition or to make certain. once and for all, that all the teams are buddies at the end of the day. As was pointed out numerous times during Woody's and Dean's speeches, the whole point was to remove the violence from the game.

Come on, did anyone really LIKE the vague rules we used to have about tipping and pinning? Did anyone like the fact that your strategy depended on how lenient your judge was feeling? While more luck has been put into the competition by adding more robots, a lot of luck has been taken out by giving the judges lots less questionable things to judge. Personally, I like the fact the we didn't have to worry as much about our robot being destroyed by another team. Not worrying about what could happen is a robot ran into, climbed onto our chassis, and started tearing our electronics to shreds is a good thing. And as for the matches being less exciting, is it really exciting to watch a match where a team loses simply because the opposing team runs them into a wall and pins them there? Personally, I never enjoyed it when teams strategies were based on pinning the other guy to keep him from doing anything. Robots sitting on a field spinning wheels is boring.

So in conclusion, stop complaining about the competition still having teams cheering about another team "failing." That was happening before, and it's the nature of a competition for that to happen. I don't think Dean wants to get rid of that, and I don't think he could if he tried. The whole point here is to get teams to stop cheering about beating each others robots up. Sort of insanely restrictive rules in a head to head competition, this is the only way to do that.
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Well Said

Posted by Bill Beatty at 04/11/2001 9:26 AM EST


Other on team #71, Team Hammond, from Team Hammond.


In Reply to: Re: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Kevin Sevcik on 04/11/2001 8:27 AM EST:



Many people say they feel guilty because they found themselves hoping that an opponent would "mess up", but many of these same folks don't feel guilty about pounding, blocking or even tipping an opponant to force a "mess up". Interesting........


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Why I don't like this year's game

Posted by Chris Hibner at 04/11/2001 10:00 AM EST


Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monster, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.


In Reply to: i didnt like this years game....please read
Posted by Travis Covington on 04/10/2001 2:05 AM EST:



Why I don't like this year's game:

1. Too much luck involved. With 4 robots on the same "team", the probability of a disaster is pretty high. I'll never forget the story that someone posted about the team that built their robot on Thursday and were raked 16th out of 60+ teams at the end of Saturday. This is a good sign that the competition doesn't work (in terms of sorting out the teams). Our team seeded as high as 6 out of 85 and as low as 42 out of 45. The difference between the competitions was luck.

2. No winners or losers. The qualifying matches were like watching batting practice before a baseball game. You watch and say, "whoa, that one almost made the fences," or, "oooh, a *home run*". That's about as exciting as it gets from a spectator standpoint.

3. Too much dependence on other teams (similar to #1). I worked like crazy for 6 weeks on our robot. I would like to have a little more control over how we do in the competition. There's nothing worse than working that hard only to have your fate determined by other teams (this is not aimed at any teams in particular, but I've talked to a number of teams that agreed with this). This brings me to the next one ...

4. The wrong lessons learned. I think it is obvious that in order to get extremely high scores, the alliances needed to work together. However, it became obvious that what a lot of teams said they could do and what they actually could do were different things. This lead a lot of teams to rediscover the old saying "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself". This is completely against what this year's game is supposed to be about, yet I feel that this is what a lot of teams got out of it.

I think the goal of trying to teach teamwork is noble, but I think all of the teams learn that lesson long before the robot ships.

If FIRST wants to continue to to have no winners or losers, I have two suggestions:

1. Limit it to 2 (or 3 at the VERY most) robots per alliance. The more robots, the greater the chance of a disaster. Thus, more luck enters the competition.

2. Publish the match list at the beginning and give teams time to develop a strategy. Giving teams less than two minutes to decide how to work together is not conducive to working together.


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