4 Finals Matches and EI for Scouting

Four Finals matches and the Engineering Inspiration award - for SCOUTING - an unlikely set of events - occurred at the West Valley PNW District Week 5 competition this last weekend in Spokane. First the Finals matches: The 1st seed captain, Team 4089 Stealth Robotics, chose our Team 3663 CPR and Team 8532 Classified to be on their alliance. We faced our good friends Team 2147 Chuck, the 2nd alliance captain, and their partners Team 6831 A-05 Annex and Team 6076 Mustang Mechanica. OUR SCOUTING TOLD US THIS MATCHUP WOULD BE A DEAD HEAT. We used strategy from our data to surprise them and got the first win. Our partner had difficulties in the second match and we lost. Chuck was onto us by then and the TIE-BREAKER MATCH ENDED IN A TIE! The refs had to look up procedure for what to do next. We retooled our strategy and won the OVERTIME match in Sudden Death. Totally Wild.

Next - Engineering Inspiration. We collected our Finals medal and headed back to our seats. The announcer started speaking about EI. A few words started to register in his delivery: “scan…data…sharing…outreach…level the playing field for everyone.” By the time our heads looked up in dawning realization, he was saying, “Team 3663!” We shook our heads in shock as we walked back to collect our second medal.

Scouting Teams - this one is for you. As one of the Scouting Mentors for our team, I know how important scouting is and often how it is undervalued by others. All of FIRST’s Scouting teams do it anyway. I don’t want to go on and on about CPR - if you’re interested in our scouting, you can look at our website, www.cpr3663.com for more info. I will just say that we believe that sharing our data and doing scouting outreach helps everyone make more rational and analytical decisions and helps level the playing field for teams that don’t have our resources. This is what FIRST is all about. Thank you, FIRST, from scouters everywhere.


Thanks for putting Award recognition of a team’s scouting program in front of the CD community. This is a seriously underrecognized part of successful teams’ effort.

A high level manager at our event’s presenting sponsor company (Whirlpool Corporation) spoke during opening ceremony at FiM St. Joseph a few weeks back, and emphasized scouting as a key contribution to team success – he followed up by saying his company recruits specifically for ability to analyze complex data sets and reduce that data to actionable, strategic recommendations. In industry, it goes by another name: competitive analysis.


Thank you, Richard, for your comments! It’s amazing to me how much data and strategy impact match success. One of my favorite things is watching my scouters come up with strategies to maximize the effectiveness of inexperienced or less developed robots. Helping these teams make a significant impact in a match not only helps our alliance but shows these other teams that they can make a significant contribution. The life lessons for everyone are huge.


I think those finals matches took some years off my life. GG

I’m sure I lived a lifetime in those matches.

As for what happened during the finals

In finals 2, our limelight decided to not connect preventing us from shooting. For some reason, we didn’t have timeouts on our shoot command (we now do) so we had to restart the robot code to get out of a loop. As for why not take fender shots, due to a design oversight, we are unable to make the fender shots and haven’t bothered to fix it as our shooter was already super accurate and the fender shots in any other scenario are much worse than side wall.

The 3rd final was choked on my end. When setting up for auto we noticed our bumpers starting to fail and that got to me too much and my driving suffered, I kept on hitting balls away from the intake rather than intaking them.

The start of finals 4 was also so scary. The same limelight issue occurred where it decided to DC right as auto started (it was sending feeds during setup) but the improved match strategy managed to save us despite being 4 balls down in auto.

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Alex - we were happy you picked us! Your Tele was fantastic and we got the W in the end. We loved working with your team. See you tomorrow!


This was easily the best part of the entire event. :joy:
But seriously, it is nice to finally receive outside recognition for scouting. Ive talked to kids on other teams that don’t understwnd what I do, or even what scouting is. And from what I personally see, kids sometimes seem to loath scouting, not always understanding why its important. A lot of kids I always notice are also turned away from the subteam, as they dont see the real world application as easily as they can build, programming, business, ect. To have someone high level talk about its importance at a real company helps show that scouting is something important. Something I’ve noticed (not just on my team), is that people on scouting, at least that I’ve talked to, really tend to fall in love with the data, as I did. Hearing that we aren’t just wasting our time doing this really was a highlight of my season, and I’m glad St Joe had him speak.

And stories like this are exactly why I say any team with someone in the stands should be scouting. Even if you know you’re not going to be in a picking position, you can learn weaknesses in a robot you’d only know from scouting. (Preferences in shooting location, unable to pick cargo up off the walls, can’t climb after 35 seconds). Thank you for sharing OP.


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