2015 Lessons Learned: The Positive

What did you particularly enjoy about FIRST this year?

I enjoyed not having to watch gamepieces during a match to prevent field faults (compare this year with last year if field reset got confused). Also, I liked the change from the standard shooting game type. Finally, I liked not having to build and wire something above the alliance stations.

If you loosen the rules, and give teams more leeway to build, they often build incredible, creative robots that expand and connect to other pieces and are absolute marvels of engineering.

The 8 Alliance Einstein was incredible, and it allowed so many more teams to be on Einstein and, in my opinion, made them even more exciting and intense.

Lastly, ranking by average score made for more accurate rankings than ever before, which is generally good for the game.

In a game with no defense, you saw some unexpected teams and team numbers that made you say “who?” rise to the top. You also have teams spending more design resources on making more flexible and creative components instead of beefing up their drivetrain and bumpers.

The referees generally don’t need services for PTSD as a result of their volunteer work this year, unlike 2014.

Loved the ranking system, also liked the elimination structure, made elims go quickly.

Though I would have to say the best improvement this year was the change to the polycarb guards on the gates to the field. They didn’t come off and fall into the field once this year(that I saw). That was always a pain in the past.

The students on the team enjoyed this game and seem to have had a fun season.

So that kind of overrules any negatives I had about this.

I quite liked seeing Kiwi drive and Mecanum on Einstein. :wink:

I posted this a while ago, and its pretty much what learned this year.

Also: getting hit with pool noodles is a lot less painful that the AA ball. Or a tote… Or a field reset crew member by accident. The ranking system was also my favorite.

The championship venue was able to accommodate all 600 teams well. With how busy some of the hallways had been with 400 I was worried there would be places with total gridlock.

I think no bumpers helped a lot of the inexperienced teams, and it seemed like there was much less of a need to constantly repair/maintain the robot throughout a competition.

It also mostly avoided bringing out a lot of the unpleasantness of last year, including questionable referees calls and large amounts of disagreements over what constitutes the “spirit of the game”.

Ranking in qualifications did a better job of reflecting robot performance, although as usual it was not perfect.

The game required actual engineering. Kit bots rightfully struggled to do anything.

I actually liked the game, and the lack of defense. It allowed my team to take risks in the design and manufacture of our machine, that we would not have in any previous game. This years rules created a type of game play where there was a heavy focus on the mechanisms, and we were able to get back to a real engineering challenge rather than just crashing boxes on wheels into each other. This game more closely modeled industrial automation applications than most games of years past, and for that reason, I like it.

Also, not having to make bumpers was a hugely popular and favorable change.

The extra teams and fields were handled well from what I saw and experienced.

Division playoff pits in the center of the arena were a great idea

Inspections went extremely well considering the number of teams. I know Hopper which I inspected on ran very smoothly.

No bumpers! Best thing to ever happen to the build, the game, and inspection.

This. 1000 times this.

The new wildcard rules.

However, if they had anything to do with the championsplit, which I’m guessing they did, I’m not a fan.

The 4th bot at champs was a nice option and fun to strategize!

I didn’t play this game, but it seems like if you had a good robot, you could consistently seed high. This is amazing, considering last year it felt like I was banging my head against a wall of bad partners. There was also no defense related carnage.

Also, bad calls from officials were not really a thing this year (well, at least compared to last year).

I don’t know… Noodles to the face can be frightening :stuck_out_tongue:

Lack of size restriction on the field. Hope this stays.