2006 Boilermaker red advantage?

I was just talking to one of the people who volunteered at the Boilermaker regional. She and some of the other volunteers had noticed that the red alliance seemed to win about 3/4 of the time, and had a theory about why. It looked like one of the field volunteers was picking up “misfired” balls that went over the red alliance wall…and then depositing them in one of the bins for the human players to throw from. I watched similar balls on the blue side get thrown to a referee at the corner of the field who would then just toss them onto the carpet. So the red teams would consistently have more balls at hand to enter into play, for either filling their 'bots or throwing across the field to try to score.

Did anyone else think they saw this happening?

I noticed it, I was bummed when we had to play on the blue side of the field. But, its another challenge within the game I guess…

It’s not really supposed to be a part of the game challenge; the referee erred by sending the balls back on to the field. <G25> requires that balls shot over the end walls be given to a human player on that end of the field. Only balls which exit over the sides of the field are to be returned to the playing surface at approximately the point at which they exited (and even then, the rule implies that they should be simply placed along the sides, not thrown back into play from the point at which they are returned).

I saw field attendants at FLR rolling balls onto the field (which is questionable, but might be correct—albeit a stretch—depending on the accepted definition of “placed on the field just inside the field boundary”), but I never noticed anyone actually returning the balls to the wrong position entirely.

As a field volunteer on the blue side, we were told that all balls that were “misfired” over the top of the player station, were supposed to be dropped into one of the bags for the human players. If the balls were shot over the side walls, they were supposed to be thrown back into the field of play. I personally can’t speak for the red side, but on the blue side, I guarantee you thats how I returned the balls, and I was there for 95% of the matches.

I understand what you guys are talking about because I was the referee in the blue corner that your probably talking about. When there were balls going off the field and nothing going on in the part of the field I needed to watch, I would keep an eye on where the balls were flying off the field and whether or not they were going over the player station wall or the side wall. I would then then tell the volunteers to either place them in the bags or place them back on the field depending on where they went out. If they went out the side I made sure they were placed at the side of the field at about the point where they went out. Maybe you had a different angle than I did and have a different opinion on where the balls went out. You have to understand that in an average match there are 10 - 20 balls that might go out of the field and there are a lot of things that need to be watched other than where the balls went out. The calls were made based on where we thought the balls went out, if we didn’t make the right calls let us know incase we are going to work an other competitions.

I was on the red side counting balls on one of the corner goals during BMR.

This is the first that I’ve heard of complaints of balls being placed back into the field or in the human player area at BMR. The field crew on the red side was doing a great job from what I saw, and if a ball was shot at me (which happened I think maybe 2 or 3 times?) from the side of the field it was deposited back into the field. I believe one time one was shot over the corner of the player station, and we were instructed to place any ball shot over the player station into the human player ball stash.

I’m not saying it didn’t happen maybe once or twice. Who knows, perhaps it did - we’re all human and while we’re trying to do a bunch of things at once, maybe a ball got placed where it shouldn’t have been placed. Even if it did happen, I don’t remember seeing a lot of matches being decided by 1 or 2 points at BMR.

The point is, if you see it happening, speak to the person who is doing it. We can’t do a thing about it now, but you could have during the event.

Just like Brant and DJ I was volunteering on the blue side of the field Saturday. From everything I saw, every ball was placed correctly into the human player bin or back onto the field depending where it went out-of-bounds. It’s unfortunate that this has become an issue the day after the event.

I just looked at the match standings over on the FIRST website - http://www2.usfirst.org/2006comp/Events/IN/matches.html

Assuming those are correct, I counted that there were 26 wins for red and 28 wins for blue during the qualification portion of the competition. This would mean that the blue side actually won more matches during friday and some of Saturday.

So what about the finals? Again, according to those results, out of the 16 matches played, 9 were won by red and 7 by blue.

I don’t know where this “Red winning 3/4 of the time” is coming from, but I’m not seeing it.

I’m going to second D.J. on this one. It was pretty tricky for volunteers to be retrieving balls so quickly - especially those that rolled out of the arena behind the blue side. With all of the people queued up and the countless folks behind the barrier simply watching the game, it was pretty common to see crew members weaving through the crowd after a stray ball or trying to get the attention of someone who had a ball fly into their lap.

After the first 12-15 matches though, I’d say that any advantage that may have existed was eliminated since fewer crew members were needed to organize the queueing positions and more were able to retrieve the balls.

Add in the fact that the highest seed plays from RED, we get:

1 + 1 = close thread

I believe there could have been a slight advantage (I believe on the red side) because there was also a television set that could have assisted that alliance in getting balls into corner goals. I don’t know how much of an advantage that really was, but I don’t think the television should have been there. (The TV had a live video feed of the field)

This was because without that TV there, blue would have had the advantage of the huge screen located behind the red player station. The TV was an attempt to make things fair, so the red side could see the video feed as well.

I was a field volunteer on the red side, doing exactly the same thing as DJ. I was also told that any ball fired over the players station was to be put into the bag closest to the point where the ball crossed over the players station. (So, if it crossed over the right side drivers, it would go in the right side bag) I was on the red side doing this for all but like 6 or 7 of the qualifying matches at the end of the day on Friday. I can tell you for a fact that the red side was doing our job correctly as to what we were told to do. I also noticed the red side advantage and dismissed it as coincidence.

I am also with Elise on this one. There were a lot of people on the red side at all times to retrieve balls, so this was done very quickly and accurately. The blue side was lacking at times in regards to volunteers and just people in general to throw the balls into the bags on the blue side. Once there were enough people on both sides, we basically eliminated the bias. If you notice, during the elim rounds, there were a lot of people there, and no bias towards one side or another.

It’s always easiest to criticize things that may have given you a disadvantage, but if what you claim is a disadvantage is true, many other teams experienced it as well, yet still went on to succeed in the elimination rounds.

I didn’t intend for this to be a complaint, or even much of an issue. The red-side volunteers’ theory seemed at least plausible, and I was just wondering what other people saw at the time.

I myself only saw a couple of matches from the blue end of the field, and I wasn’t closely watching the placement of out-of-bounds balls. I could easily have missed seeing any being put in the bag, since most of the volunteers were good at being unobtrusive to the point of near-invisibility. I only noticed the ref at the corner dropping balls onto the field because he was in my direct line of sight to the action.

(I did think it odd that he had his back to the robots for several seconds each time he turned to motion for a ball to be thrown to him, but I don’t want that observation to be construed as a post facto complaint either.)

I think you did or you wouldn’t have posted it.

Anyway, there were two people in ref shirts at each corner - a referee and a scorekeeper. Even though the scorekeeper couldn’t technically make calls, he was still supposed to watch for infractions along with the referee.

This means you usually had two people watching each corner goal during the matches. Even if a referee turned away for “several seconds” you still had one person watching the goals. I was a scorekeeper, and everytime a robot came even close to the goal I was ready to check for incursion penalties.

My point is, the job done by the referees and scorekeepers at Boilermaker Regional was top notch. I am fully willing to explain or answer to any claims or questions about the Boilermaker Regional.

You don’t know the intent of what Alan posted, so you can’t really say you think you do after he posted that was NOT his intent.

I suggest this thread be closed.

There was no complaint that I see to begin with, he merely pointed out what HE saw and ASKED what others saw. If you want to interpret that as something else, go ahead. I know Alan, tell me I’m biased for being on his team, but don’t think you know everyone’s intent just because they posted a question. I could make mention of a few things I thought were odd that a ref did or didn’t do, but due to how I see people getting jumped on, I just won’t.

It’s a moot point. But I sincerely thank all the volunteers and refs for an outstanding job at this year’s regional.