2005 Waterloo Regional - Feedback!

The 2005 Waterloo Regional was not talked about much in the FIRST community. As a new regional in a relatively small city so close to Toronto, and with a small enrollment of teams, I heard there may have been a few nay-sayers towards the success of the regional.

After competing there this weekend, I can honestly say there are no such nay-sayers anymore. The venue was PACKED to the point where they had to open overflow seating in the upper level. This upper level too was filled by Saturday afternoon. Spirit was extremely high throughout, and the small, but intimate atmosphere was excellent.

The field ran on-time, and smoothly. The scoring system was expertly managed, and even a customized interface was programmed on the spot to support the unorthodox 7-alliance elimination format. Most people don’t know that a custom interface was made by the head scorekeeper to handle this special case, because enough attention to detail was made for it to look PERFECTLY visually identical to the Hatch system.

Here are a few other things I wanted to share about the event:

  1. By FAR the most contact heavy regional I have seen to date. This wasn’t a bad thing, but there was LOTS of pushing and shoving going on. And enough examples of physical defensive play to make people think twice about the (in)effectiveness of defensive strategies. The winning alliance comprised of two very good cappers in 68 and 1305, and an EXCELLENT pushing defender in 1241.

  2. Effective defensive strategies! The most impressive of which were demonstrated by rookie team 1558 (aka ACCIdent). They simply went to every opposing machine that passively held a tetra at the end of an arm (which was pretty much EVERYONE) and neatly pulled the opposing robot’s tetra off with their own arm. It was a sight to see, because as soon as a robot loaded a tetra, when they exited the loading zone, they were immediately stripped of the tetra. Very clean, very little robot contact, away from the loading zones, thus no penalties. In that single match, I saw them do this about 6 times total to two different robots. For being so effective, they were rewarded with a 7th seed ranking.

Please share your thoughts about the regional!


I found that it was a great regional to attend for the first one of the year, it wasn’t humongous, so the rookie teams had a chance to get high in the rankings… The only disappointed part of the regional is losing in the final round and getting second but I guess that happens…

P.S. This is our teams first top3 finish…

Does anyone have any videos of Waterloo that are online? I really want to see what’s been going on north of the border. Congrats on what sounded like an awesome FIRST competition.

The music selection was, by far, the best I’ve heard at a FIRST event. Very little unmelodious swill, and a stunningly diverse repertoire. And I didn’t hear Cotton Eye Joe and the infernal Cha Cha Slide four or five times each, as I usually do. (This is coming from someone who’s currently listening to an Edward Elgar march from 1901. Read into that what you will.)

Incidentally, I was surprised at the level of vigourous interaction practised by teams. I can’t quite bring myself to believe that that’s a bad thing–it is admittedly fun to play defence with a powerful robot. Nevertheless, I was surprised, as Shawn was, that the style of play was so different here, than at other events; as a matter of fact I’d just had a conversation with Karthik and Shawn where we mulled the purported fact that defence was rarely useful against a “finesse” alliance this year.

With the number of tall robots, the seriousness of the potential penalties, and the (useful) taboo against tipping things, even contact that would have been merely incidental in past years acquired a certain drama that may well have caused a little extra tension. In that light, some of the gameplay was rather excessive–but had this been the 2002 or 2003 game, the calibre of defensive play would have been outstanding.

I have just uploaded a video I took to our website’s server. Get it here (41 MB). It’s from our (772/188/1503 vs 758/1114/843) second quarter final match. Okay, first of all I took the video with a digital camera so the quality isn’t great, and secondly I was really excited! My hands were shaking and there are a few times where I start cheering and jumping around :). I’ll try to get all of my pictures from the regional on the website (edit) soon as well.

Edit: Instead of updating the media gallery I got two more videos on there from Waterloo
One is the final match between the first and second alliance:
http://qetuodesigns.com/sr/media/video/2005Waterloo_F1-2.wmv (11 MB)

This is a qualifying match where you see some defensive play from 781:
http://qetuodesigns.com/sr/media/video/2005Waterloo_Q17.wmv (7 MB). Edit again: I just realized that in this match 781 gets disqualified and has a 10 point penalty for high-speed ramming us at the end. So… maybe it isnt defensive play that you want to model :).

-Regarding the regional, what struck me the most was how well organized it was. The regional planning committee, judges, and referees did a fantastic job.

-I totally agree that the defensive strategies were huge at this regional. 781, 1084, and 1558 were the consistent and (mostly) law-abiding defenders. But in the elimination rounds 1241 stole the show when they removed their arm and went into low-CG/high-torque mode. I can honestly say the winners of the regional would have been different had 1241 not defended so well throughout all four of their matches.

-The music I liked mainly because it isn’t the same as every other regional!!! It was actually different! That’s right! The only complaint I had was that the songs were looped during the awards ceremony :D.

I thought it was very neat. I went there with 4 other team members, we had a lot of fun. The play-offs were very exciting. I think the event was a huge success. And team 1241 surely surprised us. Team 1305 and 68 were great. my personal Favourites was 40. The triplets (Lead by simbotics 1114) were a sight to see. The regional was very exciting, it was hard to sit at times! :cool:

that was by far the most exciting event I have ever been to (in recent memory anyways). when i saw 1241 strip off their arms and pinned two robots at a time into a corner, i was in awe. and for our team, 1558, I have give major credit to the skill of our drivers, Edward and Peter for doing such an amazing job stripping tetras off other robots (especially the ones good at capping) and scoring when we needed to. although the regional was small, it was soo much fun! congratulations to the winning teams!

The 2005 Waterloo Regional blew me away. I honestly didn’t expect much because it was a small regional, but man, was I wrong! The place was packed and the size was awesome. It didn’t feel like a small regional because spirit was high. The calibre of teams going for the Chairman’s Award blew me away. Congrats to the winners 68, 1305 and 1241. 1241 blew me away, after they removed their arm and played 100% defense, I thought their alliance was done. The music was great, a good variety, but not too many songs for teams to get out of their seats and dance.

The 2005 Waterloo Regional was awesome! Way to go planning committee! It ran so smoothly with very few technical errors.

The 2005 Waterloo Regional was awesome. I would like to thank teams 1305 and 68 for all their help. Congrats to the planning committee. Yup our strategy to play 100% defense worked, And the music was great at pumping me up.

Note that was my first regional driving, lol

The waterloo regional was amazing. Thank you to all the planning committee for all their planning and commitment. Team 1305 would also like to thank 68 and 1241 for all there hard work. The defensive strategy worked out great.

Waterloo was AWESOME!! Besides the fact of smooth planning and very few technical errors (which have been mentioned many times already), the 24 robots there were awesome.
Winning there just made it a little sweeter. :slight_smile:
More teams should try to come to the regional next year. Trust me, you will definitely not be disappointed

I liked waterloo alot. The people were friendly, the campus was clean and nice, and overall it was an excellent and sucessful regional. Thanks to 1241 and 1305 we, team 68, were able to take home gold for the second time this year.

I was impressed by the diverse genres of music selected. By far the best music at a regional that i’ve personally attended.

Nothing beats the free arcade. That was awesome.

Great enthusiasm from all teams. I was impressed with how well some of the rookie teams did! Everyone proved to be tough competitors and I am looking forward to seeing their improvements as they gain experience in the upcoming years.

Refereeing was great. There wasn’t any half-an-hour powwows over an application of a ruling (like other regionals) and everything ran incredibly smoothly.

The safety crew was impressively overseeing all, but was a bit too unnecessarily precautious at times. However I do congratulate waterloo at having no serious injuries throughout this holy weekend.

Overall the waterloo regional was excellent. It was hard to believe this was the first year they have hosted it, for everything was done in an enormously professional matter. Congratulations to all teams for making Waterloo a great and memorable regional!

That was one of of the most amazing games ever.

Personally, I had been saying that Team 40 (the one with the 3 metal balls) was going to win during the entire regional. They really had it going for them, because they had an awesome robot and they were quick cappers. We had the privledge of being defeated by team 40 many times during the qualification matches, and they were just one of the top competitors there. Congrats to them, it has to be one of the best robotics matches this season.

I loved the music as well, and dancing to YMCA was all the more fun lol :wink:

The level of spirit I saw in the teams made me think as if there were twice as many teams there. It was fantastic.

Team 68, General Motors North America Engineering - Structural Development Laboratories would like to extend a special thanks out to team 1305 and 1241. You guys were great!!!

Although the Regional was comprised of only 24 teams, there were many teams that could score well. The selection process for us was difficult because of the number of teams that proved to be successful scorers.

Team 1305 was GREAT; we could not have done it with out you.

Team 1241, you played a great role defending our side of the field and going down to their home zone, playing defense with only a few penalties.

The funniest part of finals for me was team 1241 asking our opinion of taking off their arm because of their role of playing strictly defense and needing to add weight. Team 68, 1305 and 1241 frantically looked around the pits for 20 pounds to add to 1241, when we discovered our vice weighted 18.7 pounds and could be bandtied to their chassis easily.

Again great job to everyone, the Regional was great!!!

The Waterloo regional could not have been any better.

The refereeing and the organization was phenomenal and very smooth. The Friday night social was also very cool (free arcade and movie can help anyone relax).

The robots competing were also excellent. Cannot list favorites as there are so many, but have to commend the robot design of team 40 and 68, which were exceptionally impressive robots. I also enjoyed team 1503/188/772’s strategy, which lead this alliance with a rookie team to the semi-finals.

Congrats to all teams who participated and a very special thanks to teams 68 and 1305.

Thanks for the kind words everyone!
We had a great time at Waterloo, it was an exceptional regional and alot of fun.

1241 you guys did an awesome job as did the rest of your alliance partners, you guys were tough. Congrats to you guys on your win, you deserved it.

just wanted to say that waterloo was a great regional. :] having been to the BAE regional three times, i can honestly say that it was well put together. everything when smooth and everyone was wicked friendly. not bad for the first year.

the best is when the judges can out to dance during downtime. the social was a great idea too. most regionals r too big for something like that, but it works there. thanx also to our alliance partners and congrats to the winning alliance. :cool: