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View Poll Results: Do you like the new alliance selection order?
Approve of the change 72 62.07%
Liked the old system 44 37.93%
Voters: 116. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 01-11-2006, 09:09 AM
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

It has been my experience in MOST cases that it takes not only a great strategy and robot but also the luck of the draw (i.e. being alligned with decent team mates throughout the qaulifying rounds) to be ranked number one at the end. I've seen plenty an awesome team/robot qualify outside of the top 8 largely in part because they just didn't get the right alliances to make it work for them. Since there is even a hint of luck of the draw involved in qualifying, I think that this is a fantastic rule and I think that the elimination/finals rounds are going to be more exciting than ever because of it.
Way to go (again) FIRST.
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  #32   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 01-11-2006, 12:44 PM
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

well...a "certain" engineer on our team calls it Communism, but it makes the number one seed less inviting to many people
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Unread 01-11-2006, 12:51 PM
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

Presume that the final ranking represents the actual abilities of the robots - which we know is not totally accurate. But just assume so. Logically then, the first place seed should choose seed #2. #3 moves up to second choice, chooses #4. ... #15 moves up into the 8th alliance, and chooses #16. Then third round, they choose #17. Seventh alliance chooses #18 ... First alliance now chooses #24. So the top alliance has seeds 1, 2 and 24; the 8th alliance has seeds 15, 16, and 17. On paper it still looks to me that the #1 alliance is stronger. Would it have been stronger yet as #1, 2 and 17? Sure - but not that much.

We all know alliance picking by strict ranking doesn't occur - you take into account your scouting. #1 may pick #2 because they are a good match of robots, or maybe just so they don't have to compete against them. Or they may have a good strategy against #2, and consequently pick #4 who has strengths that their alliance will need. Quite often teams that finished outside the top 24 are picked to be in an alliance - obviously someone recognized their worth despite their low ranking.
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Unread 01-11-2006, 01:20 PM
Jessica Boucher Jessica Boucher is offline
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

#1 seed is great, but anywhere in the top 8 looks good to any team not in the top 8, because it gives them a reason to care about the finals. It is not yet a general assumption that teams care about the finals because of other teams' involvement. It is a growing trend, but it can not be generally accepted at this time.

Plus, previous years lead me to believe that match throwing will not be an issue. At the regional level in 2004...Joe Ross calculated that the most matches a team could lose on average and still make it into the top 8 is 2 (I can't seem to find the 2005 thread for the life of me). Although this varies by regional in terms of number of matches allowed as well as the makeup of teams present, there is too much risk involved (and not enough time to calculate it certainly) for this to be a huge issue.

I encourage you to look at it from a spectator's perspective (which some of you have already), as opposed to a team perspective. FIRST thrives as an organization when the competition is exciting. Elimination matches are more exciting when there is a more equal matchup of teams.

I am excited to the actual affect that this rule will have, both at the regional level and the national level.
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Last edited by Jessica Boucher : 01-11-2006 at 01:24 PM.
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Unread 01-11-2006, 03:56 PM
Lil' Lavery Lil' Lavery is offline
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

Yes, luck is assossiated with who gets what seed, but by no measure is it a RANDOM selection. This year especially with the 3 vs 2 defensive scheme during the defense period, a single robot can and WILL have a MASSIVE effect on the outcome of the game. If, for example, no robot can shoot, the defense will just plug up the two corner goals, but if there is a bot that can shoot effectively, the defense would either have to leave a corner goal exposed, or let that bot shoot to its heart's desire.
The #1 team EARNED their spot, no question about it. Most regional competitions it will not have a huge effect on the game, but the regionals on either end of the spectrum it will. The deepest events the #7-8 seeded teams will have a chance at getting two "elite" robots to accompany them on the field, then the the upper half of alliance captains will most likely fall off to the "great/good" bots, but not "elite". (I think you can get my point).
Similarly, at the smallest regionals the "great/good" level of robots may run out after the 6,7,8 alliances get their 2nd pick.

And finally, there was NO NEED for this change to occur. The #1 alliances DID NOT steamroll everyone. There have been plenty of occurances where the 7th and 8th seeded alliances have beaten their opponents in the quarterfinals, and even more where the #1/2 seeds have lost in the semis or finals. As the #7 alliance @ VCU in 2004, we beat the #2 alliance (which had an eventual world champion Team 435 in it). And if it weren't for two unforunate tippings (including our first of the season, in which our wheely bar broke, and one that incapacitated an alliance partner) we may well have also beaten the #3 alliance, and eventual regional champions captained by Team 33. In 2005, the #8 alliance in Richmond reached the finals (and 447 would again go on to, as the #8 alliance, reach the finals in their other two competitions that year, including championship). Thats two straight years in the same regional that a "bottom 2" alliance has won in the quarterfinals.
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Unread 01-11-2006, 05:27 PM
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Lavery
The #1 alliances DID NOT steamroll everyone.
Uhmm. Yeah, they did. Everyone remembers the neat anecdote about the last seeded team that miraculously gets picked as a partner for the finals, and then goes all the way to win the tournament. But the reality is that we remember these instances because they are exceptions, and not the norm.

We went back and took an objective look at the records for the last several years. The simple reality is that the #1- and #2-seed alliances stomp the other alliances on a regular basis - on the order of 80% of the time.* If Las Vegas were running a sports book on FIRST regional competitions, we could all become very, very wealthy by just betting on the #1- or #2-seed alliances to win an event, without knowing anything else about them.

That does not make for an exciting game to watch, and it does not make for an exciting tournament in which to play. If you actually knew (and now you do) that as the #8 seed alliance in the finals you could be virtually certain that 4 times out of 5 you would be knocked out by the semi-finals, would you be quite as excited about the elimination competition? And if you knew that as the #8 seed alliance your probability of winning the tournament was not a realistic 1-in-8, but was actually 1-in-30, would it be nearly as much fun to play?

-dave

* just for the sake of completeness, it is interesting to note that the person who ran the numbers did it specifically to prove that the high-seed alliances did NOT consistently win. But when the analysis was complete, his only comment was "my own numbers argue against me."
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Unread 01-11-2006, 07:20 PM
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

Flat out...I love it.

Here is why...

The number one seed still gains a major advantage by having the ability to pick whoever they want from underneath. So I do not agree with the idea that it taints the number 1 seed status. What this does do is forces teams to go further in depth with strategy and scouting. A good number 1 seed and their most definately awesome partner should be able to sift through what is leftover and pull together a team that they can work with. So many years gems go untouched in drafting because teams do not do their scouting. Now that you have to pay a little more attention to who is out there...maybe..just maybe some of these gems will actually get selected....because now the 8th spot has a legitimate shot of doing some damage.

Even with the back to back picks, I wouldn't want the 8th spot...though at least now I wouldn't feel like my competition is over before it starts if I end up there. The number one seed still has the major advantage...but where do I want to be? I'll take number 4...right in the middle. There is usually a solid robot sitting at number 4...and im sure there will be a pretty nasty hidden gem on the way back.

In closing...now no matter where you are located in the drafting order...you better do your scouting. Scouting wins championships folks...not draft orders.
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Unread 01-11-2006, 08:46 PM
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Re: Rule 8.4.1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W
If you are in a small regional then the impact will be greater than in a large regional. There is a potential of a #1 alliance picking a non moving robot in a small regional. In the larger ones I don't believe that the impact will be as great as there will be more "average" teams.
That is my concern with the rule at this point. Here at Pittsburgh, we're going to be lucky to have 24 teams. At other regionals, having to choose a low seed team is not so bad, as you point out, and has the effect of increasing the importance of scouting. Here, the #1 seed will have a very limited selection, and could enter the tournament essentially short-handed if there are no functioning robots left. That doesn't sound like much of a reward for the #1 seed.
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