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Unread 05-01-2011, 08:21 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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Originally Posted by pfreivald View Post
It would be nice to have a designated queuing lane through the pit(s), so that robots coming from and going to the field would have a clear (or almost-always clear) lane of travel to/from the field and their pit aisle. I think this would be safer, too.

We couldn't watch our division finals because of a lack of room on the bleachers. It would be great if more bleacher space could be had next year.

As usual, the speeches/presentations during the finals were too many and too long. I had three family members who were completely unfamiliar with FIRST come for the entire day Saturday. One of them actually fell asleep DURING THE FINALS because of the speeches, only to wake somewhat disoriented for the next game. For an organization that seeks to use the sports model to make innovation and design exciting (and thus inspiring), they really don't seem to get it when it comes to the finals and speeches. Can you imagine trying to get someone into basketball, and then stopping the action after every shot (or shot clock) during the fourth quarter of the finals so that people could give a speech?

So to reiterate: Overall, good job. But Dean and friends, you have some homework!
I definitely agree on space between the pits and more bleachers.
However, I think there would be no way to solve your problem with the speeches; during finals the teams still have to have enough time to get ready for their next matches, so if there weren't any speeches then we'd have been staring at paper airplanes and people working on robots across the stadium for five minutes anyway.

I did feel like there should have been better seating for the concert. One person suggested having it on the longer side of the stadium so there would be more space on the lower levels. Perhaps just sticking more teams in the standing area would have helped as well, since it seemed a little empty in places.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 08:30 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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during finals the teams still have to have enough time to get ready for their next matches
...so at a start we can move the almost 30 minutes of speeches that happened before the matches to between the matches...

Yes, there were times that teams weren't quite ready, but there were more times when robots were sitting as long as their teams were, but yakkity-yak was still the order of the day.

Something should be done (besides turning it into a 'gee I'd better stay on script!' joke). I'm just sayin'...
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Unread 05-01-2011, 08:36 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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Finally, I'm not a fan of Will.I.am. Sure, he's cool, but is he the new cool? He obviously doesn't 'get' FIRST, as his "it's dope" comment at kickoff notated. We don't need celebrities, performers, or anyone else to help us feel cool. I would rather Andy Baker be at champs than Will.i.am.
I'm really confused why "it's dope" somehow shows a profound misunderstanding of FIRST. Can you elaborate?
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Unread 05-01-2011, 08:46 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

The pits by the fields were loud but this could be fixed with half height curtains around entire field.

Crowded bleachers on the pit fields. Could be helped by taller bleachers with more rows. And teams not saving seats. Heard of some very poor behavior by teams I had higher expectations of.

Not enough trash containers for all the trash. Made it difficult to properly dispose of trash.

HOF off in a corner of the pit where it was hard to find. Should have been in the public walkway area.

Need a good web page for the public to learn of the event.

More signage to direct the public at the event.

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Unread 05-01-2011, 08:51 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

If the GDC wants to make rules to emphasize offence & lots of scoring, fine. But if so the rules to do that need to be less subjective. A great example is the "flow of the game" in G48-C. There was a lot of inconsistency in how blockading was (or was not) called; no surprise there.

Better balance would also help. Giving a red card for accidentally brushing a tube possessed by a robot in the lane? Seriously? How on earth is that worse than "Repeated or egregious violations...." of rule G48-B (*deliberately* contacting an opposing robot inside its frame perimeter) drawing only a *possible* yellow card? The situation is made even worse by allowing that red card to be caused by the other team.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 10:01 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
I'm really confused why "it's dope" somehow shows a profound misunderstanding of FIRST. Can you elaborate?
http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...=define%3Adope
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Definitions of dope on the Web:

pot: street names for marijuana
take drugs to improve one's athletic performance
dumbbell: an ignorant or foolish person
add impurities to (a semiconductor) in order to produce or modify its properties; "The resistors have been doped"
cola: carbonated drink flavored with extract from kola nuts (`dope' is a southernism in the United States)
give a narcotic to; "The athletes were dope by the coach before the race"
slang terms for inside information; "is that the straight dope?"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Yeah, I realize that it was meant to mean "cool/good", but I don't think it was the right word. It also showed that he didn't really know anything about the game at all.


To add to things I didn't like was referees not calling penalties on teams because they "didn't know the rules". In Boston, a team was repeatedly knocking tubes out of our gripper, and taking them. The head ref refused to call them, because they A: Didn't posses the tubes for more than one second
B: Something to do with them not knowing the rules


The team came over to us and apologized later, but it made us lose the match, and drop quite long way in seeding. Speaking of that, sometimes a red card isn't a good enough reparation. When you lose a match due to someone jostling you during the endgame, they get a red card, and you lose the match. You still drop just as far as you would have had they not gotten the red card. I don't think there is any way to avoid it, but hey, we're FIRST, we can think of ways to innovate!

Last edited by Grim Tuesday : 05-01-2011 at 10:06 PM.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 10:21 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

I find that getting a yellow card in addition to a red card is unnecessary. It makes it so you can't screw up again. Every time you get a yellow card from that point of you get a red card again. It basically is a chain reaction where a team gets a red card to start and then gets a red card for every single new card they get.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 10:21 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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Originally Posted by rsisk View Post

Crowded bleachers on the pit fields. Could be helped by taller bleachers with more rows. And teams not saving seats. Heard of some very poor behavior by teams I had higher expectations of.
What field were you on? I had teams surrounding me in the stands and it did get annoying at times! But if we had more seats, it would have stunned the issues.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 10:25 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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Originally Posted by Grim Tuesday View Post
I would rather Andy Baker be at champs than Will.i.am.
We got both. But the latter will draw more to a TV special than the former. FIRST needs that exposure.

Most of my complaints are minor, and have mostly been mentioned. In order of importance:

1. Leave the doors at hall 5 open, so the walk to the dome (via the courtyard) is short. My knees hurt today.
2. Six fields in the dome please, I know it can be done. I'm OK with the concert - this is a LOT bigger than most folks realize - but next year let's focus on the overall experience for the teams. (And if fields are in the pits again, More Seats!! a 50% increase would still not be enough)
3. Power in the bleachers PLEASE. Few teams scout on paper, and technology needs power. We Can Share, honest!
4. More Trash Pails
5.Better food by the pits, and keep it available longer. The line at funnel cakes was 50 people at 2pm Friday, simply because that was the only thing resembling food available. Not At All Healthy.

Noise level was almost acceptable, but I use ear plugs and it wasn't a huge issue. Our pit was facing the field and my voice hoarse all the time from having to shout to communicate to someone 2 feet away...the whole weekend.

I'll post in the "things liked" thread later, but for a first year location, this was very well-organized, laid out and run. It was actually better-run than Atlanta, even though STL had never done this before. Outstanding!

Don
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Unread 05-01-2011, 10:27 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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And teams not saving seats. Heard of some very poor behavior by teams I had higher expectations of.
Including 1676. I had to chastize some of the well-intentioned parents on our team TWICE to stop saving seats in the bleachers.

If you don't have a butt to fill that seat, you don't need it. When the butt arrives, we'll make room.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 10:54 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

We had some encounters with a very, very obnoxious parent -- actually screaming at people who sat in seats, and not once (which is unacceptable) or twice (which is equally unacceptable) but continuously for 30+ minutes (which is unacceptable but hilarious insofar as it doesn't keep us from viewing the games).

As with most things, this is unenforceable by fiat, so the expectations should be made so clear that it is almost entirely enforceable through social pressure. (Isn't social change what it's all about?)

That said, playing in football stadia and needing to save seats equates to a failure of the social-event design process, IMO... More iterations are needed!
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Unread 05-01-2011, 11:17 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

I really think that FIRST needs to start making announcments at the beginning of events. If saving seats is a rule then lets make sure it happens! I am horrified of stories I have heard from the public who attend events not with teams!

For anyone complaining about FIRST events and speeches especially Dean's, come to GSR or any event that he goes to! I have been to 13 regionals with a "Dean" speech and the more I focus on his message the more the hour plus he speaks flies by. This is a robotics competition with a message. Had Einstein had music then I'm sure that it wouldn't have been so bad.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 11:26 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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What field were you on? I had teams surrounding me in the stands and it did get annoying at times! But if we had more seats, it would have stunned the issues.
Curie was packed, and the bleachers appeared to be smaller.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 11:46 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

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Curie was packed, and the bleachers appeared to be smaller.
I feel you on that one

It was strait up communication and delivery for me, the rest of the tournament was excellent. I also think that it was cool to do a game that's similar to another but It also cuts the work and design process significant and teams that did well in 07 also did well in 11 (not to take away anything from them they deserve to be where they are). Mini bots where the coolest thing to me.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 11:55 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned: The Negative

Field issues. I observed at least 2 major FMS problems during StL. Following opening ceremonies Friday, I stopped in front of the Curie field to watch the first match of the day. 5 seconds into teleop, the buzzer blares and the timer goes to 0, ending the match.

During our first elimination match, the field timer apparently jumped from 16 to 6 seconds or something of the sort, resulting in the refs nullifying that match result.

Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed by the persistence of such an issue into the Championships.

On a side note, I saw at least 2 instances of towers being triggered by bots crashing into them, leaving VERY close minibot races up to human judgment, which imho, cannot be empirically accurate nor reliable in a race between 1-2s minibots. Putting light compression springs on the suspension bolts would have been a very simple fix to that issue, even if it was a slight modification to field design.
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