While 3 match elimination rounds aren’t uncommon, they are certainly not the norm. And a 4 match elimination round almost never happen - let alone a 4 match final! Yet, that’s exactly what happened in LA this past weekend…(12-12, 10-14, 10-8, 3-9)
I think that the FMS is only capable of three matches per set of two alliances. It can’t really “create” a 4th match, so when there’s a tie someone has to manually go and “replay” one of the matches that tied.
This is why Final 4 is actually “Final 1.” You can see this happening around TBA when the winners of Final 3 aren’t actually the regional winners.
The quarterfinals at Palmetto had a 4 matcher, and a 5 matcher(IIRC). It’s pretty spectacular, especially being a drive coach during a 4 match quarterfinal where you lose the first game, and then luckily tie the second even though your entire alliance is dead in the water. 2815 played a spectacular match for #3 to make it 1-1-1 and then finally every bot on the field was up and running for the 4th match, which we won 4-2.
TBA doesn’t even have our 1-1 tie match up for the quarters
Here in Michigan we’ve go through that 2 times.
At the Kettering District, we tied 2 times and lost 2 times.
At the Wayne State District, we Tied 1 time, 1 once, lost once, and were DQ’d the last match even though we had a higher score.
This year we played a 6 match quarterfinal at WPI losing the last tied match by a penalty (ball stuck under our robot).
We were still playing quarterfinals AFTER the first set of semifinal matches were started.
As mentioned above, BAE had a 4-match finals. The alliances were the #1 seeded 1922, 78, and 134 red alliance against the #2 seed 1058, 1519, and 1073 blue alliance. The first match went decisively to blue (11-1) as 1922’s robot did not move for the entire match, starting from the red far zone, allowing blue’s offensive robots, 1073 and 1058, to score undefended in their near zone. In the second match, all robots were working according to plan and it was a nail-biter ending in an 8-8 tie. However, during the second match, 1519’s robot suffered damage due to aggressive pushing matches with 134 who was countering 1519’s far zone defense so that 134’s partners, 78, could score. As a result of the damage to 1519’s robot, the #2 seed alliance took their 6-minute time-out to make the necessary repairs. Unfortunately, 1519’s robot was not 100% ready to go - our kicker was still not functioning correctly. As a result, we did not clear the red far zone and 1922’s alliance took it in another nail-biter, 9-7. This forced a fourth match… During the short down time between the third and fourth match, 1519 was able to get their robot working again and it showed in the finale as we played D on 134 and 78, while 1058 and 1073 did what they had been doing through the finals - scoring lots of goals from the mid-field (1058) and the home zone (1073)!
With the low scores this year (due to the way the scoring system is set up: few playing elements and a limited number of ways to score, with no multipliers or similar things as in previous years), there have been many more ties, meaning lots of long elimination contests! Personally, I really like the fact that there have been lots of elimination ties - I think it adds to the excitement of the game for the spectator (even if it causes teams to stress a little more!).
4 match eliminations rounds are not “common,” but certainly not an incredibly rare event. 5 match eliminations are more rare, but are much more common this year than in previous (happened in Virginia, Palmetto, WPI, and possibly elsewhere).