2022 FIRST Championship Feedback Thread

There used to be annual Championship feedback threads on this site back in the day, and since we’re coming off our first Champs in 3 years, I figured I’d put one together. Overall, I thought this was one of the best Championship events I’ve ever attended, and the good absolutely outweighs the not good.

The Good

  1. Amazing to be back at a single Championship event. The quality of play was fantastic and the depth of the divisions was possibly unparalleled
  2. Despite not going to a stadium sized venue, Einstein maintained it’s high energy and intense atmosphere.
  3. The venue and surrounding areas were welcoming and hospitable. This event feels a lot more like Atlanta than it does St. Louis and Detroit. (A large part of this might simply be weather)
  4. The Hall of Fame booth had a great location and lots of visitors.
  5. The mini-jumbotrons that just showed the lower third of the audience display were absolutely brilliant. I want to a buy a beverage for the person who came up with that idea.

The Less Than Good

  1. There need to be more doors open. It was incredibly frustrating to not being able to enter the pits via doors right by the division you wanted to watch, and then have to walk halfway through the convention center to find open doors, and then walk halfway back. If more security needs to be hired to monitor these doors, then let’s make it happen.
  2. The scholarship and innovation fair booths were completely hidden from the FRC teams. Anecdotally, from the teams I talked to about this, none had anyone go take a look.
  3. I really wish there was more integration between the programs. I’m mad at myself for not making more time go check out FTC, but again the location kept it isolated from FRC. I would have appreciated some content from the other programs during the finals, or even interspersed throughout the day. I’m thinking something like NBC Olympic updates, where Mike Tirico does a quick hit on what’s been happening during the games that you might have missed.
  4. It’s been talked about a lot, but the strobe lights during the finale were dangerous and a health hazard.
  5. The 7am start for alliance selection is something I’d love to see change. Logistically I don’t have a great idea, especially in light of me requesting extra content from the other programs, which would lengthen the day. Some good discussion in here
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There are lots of ways FIRST can do more during the final day.

  1. Lunch break was LONG, but kind of needed because downtown Houston struggled to feed 30k+ people in a timely fashion.
  2. Make positive use of down time between matches. Instead of doing nothing when teams take timeouts or there’s a long changeover…make speeches then. The 4th Einstein match started, what, 90+ minutes after the first one? Would be easy to keep all of the content and cut 30+ minutes of waiting around.
    I don’t think it would have been hard to plan a Saturday schedule that started at 8am and finished at the same time. (And probably could have included some of the things mentioned…like FTC.)
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Less than good

  • No color commentary like 2019. I had to follow the twitch chat to know what fields to watch when.
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Definitely hoping this doesn’t turn into a “bash on champs thread”, but I’ll throw in the concern of dangerously loud volume levels (as reported by others, I myself was not able to attend in person). Seems to be a constant theme each year (as noted in that thread), and it’s not just an issue at champs. I know I had students at our district events complaining of headaches from what they described as “insanely loud music, all day long”.

On a more positive note, I actually found myself enjoying a larger than normal number of speeches given throughout the day on Saturday. Normally I feel just about every single one drone on for far to long and I find myself tuning out unfortunately. This year was notably different though, with my favourite speech/talk coming from the gent from NASA just after the volunteer of the year award presented by Frank (At work right now unfortunately and can’t remember his name for the life of me).

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The use of Zebra tags in Einstein was a great thing except they didn’t display them on the big boards when they were talking about the data. That would have made the Zebra tags useful for the audience.

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My biggest complaint is that all three final matches were played on the Mass field. We were sitting almost by Turing, only able to see the Energy field. I was really hoping they would oscillate the matches between mass and energy.

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These were super nice but we had one issue with them. On certain parts of the field, our limelight would track the green progress bar. We managed to fix it quickly after we figured out what was happening but it took us 2 matches to figure it out. An easy fixes would be to have the progress bar show up during camera calibration.

Overall the venue was great. One other issue we had was the big screen with all 6 fields that faced the pit didn’t work for part of the competition but when it did work the text during the match was too hard to read. We more or less had to rely on The Blue Alliance to check when to queue because the text was too small and there was no video feed in the pits. I did not see anywhere else to check when to queue. Something like what is done at Michigan Champs would be a nice addition. It’s just a giant screen with field name, match playing and match queueing.

One other thing that happens at every event with multiple fields, standing behind the glass you can barely hear what is being said and announced. We had one match were we didn’t even realize the match was starting until all the robots moved. Easy fix is to have a small speaker behind the driver stations. It doesn’t need to be loud just enough to hear what people are saying/field sounds.

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Less than good #5.
I wasn’t there, but could they make Finals alliance selection, at the end of the qualification day?

As a team that was a Carver, half a km from our pit! Maybe a different arrangement? Perhaps:

Field Field Field Pits Field Field Field

or something.

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1 team of the 6 on the field used zebra tags for 2 of the 3 finals matches.

It just simply wasnt worth showing.

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I’ll post a few more thoughts later but here’s what REALLY gets to me.

Each field had a camera person on a dolly who’s job was to just show tight shots of each team during intros and then go back and sit down the rest of the ENTIRE match. So FIRST spent a lot of $$$ for these six professional employees to do 1 min of work every 8 minutes but cut back on covering flights and housing for RSN? Mind blown here.

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Isn’t this how it’s been done in the past? I feel like the finals have always been on a single field. This probably makes autos more consistent when you only have to account for 1 field’s variables vs 2.

In the past they’ve had practice matches on the einstein fields. Did they do that again this year? I don’t remember if the stream showed them if so.

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I know in Detroit when we went to Ford’s Field only one field was set up, but in this situation there were two ready to go after round robin and I was stuck watching the empty one. Just saying. It wasn’t the end of the world, just would have liked to see 1 of the finals in person and not on the Screen.

As the head of scouting for my team, having that whole night to make a picklist is beautiful.

If we were forced to make for that night, that means we would have to tabulate the data mid day and not all scouting systems are good at that. Most do not give live information.

In a world where everyone wants everyone to scout good, you want them to have that night.

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I was unaware. I think it should have been everyone. I was just annoyed when the announcer said just look at the Zebra map, then proceeded to talk about it when no one could see it.

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RSN? I’m acronym deficient here. What did they cut?

One thing we noticed was that it seemed like there were time deadlines that FIRST needed to meet, and that at times the student experience was degraded in order to meet those deadlines. The two examples I can readily think of are:

  1. Winning your division and making it to Einstein is a big deal. When teams won they were handed their banner rolled up in a bag and the field was being torn town as they were taking robots off the hanger. Slow down for 20 minutes and let the students have their moment
  2. During the divisional awards on Friday night, we (503) were pressured into helping tear down practice fields instead of allowing the students to be in the stands when the judges announced awards.

I overall really enjoyed worlds and I’m super glad it was back in full force. But I wouldn’t mind being able to take a step back every once and a while to be able to enjoy the moment in the middle of the whirlwind.

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Seconded to a lot of the points in this thread - loved the bottom-third audience displays, the event as a whole was very loud, I enjoyed the unification of a single CMP.

I would love to hear team’s experiences with the practice fields as well. As an observer - it appeared like there were LOTS of mock field elements being utilized by teams, and lots of teams cycling through the practice fields. Seemed like a good setup. Would be interested to hear what teams thought.

Between matches it was difficult to see what match a field was on. Using the audience displays to show the division name and the upcoming match number would be helpful!

I hadn’t been to a CMP in almost 10 years - the lack of a “dome” field was really wild to me. Maybe everyone else has gotten used to it. I remember how disappointing pit fields were in 2011 - but it seems they’re ALL pit fields now. It made everything feel a little less… world championship caliber. I don’t have a better suggestion here though - especially with the expanding nature of CMP. So maybe it’s a necessary compromise. Walking everyone over to MMP for 3 matches is not the solution.

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RoboSports Network. RSN in the past has done like a NFL redzone style coverage of champs on a single channel during division play (called #FIRSTChampLive) and jumps between divisions to cover hot matches and provide commentary after the fact. They also are at some off-season events (typically notable ones) and provide a similar service match by match.

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Pressured by whom?