A New Method of Handling Nationals

Posted by Travis Hoffman at 04/11/2001 3:55 PM EST

Engineer on team #48, Delphi E.L.I.T.E., from Warren G. Harding High School and Delphi Automotive Systems .

How about breaking the Nationals (or everything?) up into several separate classes (A,AA,AAA) based upon how many years the teams have been around? A = 1-3 years, AA = 4-6 years, AAA = 7- years Then have separate national competitions for each class, held on subsequent weekends. Lower classes will have their national competitions first. If a team or teams wins the nationals in their class, permanently promote them to the next class above them and invite them to participate in the higher class’s competition. Minor league baseball, anyone? Using this method or some variation, everyone would still get to go to Nationals, you could still have Nationals at Disney, all you would have to do to allow for expansion is increase the number of classes, and you would (gasp!) actually force the rookies to EARN the right to compete with the big boys instead of artificially leveling the playing field by designing that evil word - parity - into the fabric of the game. Everyone in baseball hates a young prima donna who thinks he deserves the world handed to him on a silver platter. The vets paid their dues - they earned the right to compete in the big leagues - make the rookies do the same. No artificial flavors added.

YA HEARIN’ ME, DEAN?

Travis Hoffman

Posted by Carolyn Duncan at 04/11/2001 4:29 PM EST

Student on team #495, The Pack, from Jamestown High School and VBEP/Raytheon/Saic.

In Reply to: A New Method of Handling Nationals
Posted by Travis Hoffman on 04/11/2001 3:55 PM EST:

I think you could be on to something here. HOWEVER, this could also be VERY BAD. If you separate the teams into divisions like high school sports things could get boring. What I mean is, can you imagine how boring the rookie division would be? No offense to the rookies because I was one this year, but they wouldn’t have the heart or the cheering tht the older teams have. They wouldn’t get the gracious proffessionalism the same way because there wouldn’t be an example near them at all times. Also, the sheer magnitude that is FIRST would seriously decline. It would definately be less exciting in all the divisions. The older teams wouldn’t ever get paired with the rookies thus never giving the rookies the chance to experience things like 700 point games, maybe not that high but you get the idea. This idea would solve the size and space problem but at what cost? Does what I’m saying make any sense to anyone or am I just typing to feel important?
:Carolyn
Team 495

Posted by Travis Hoffman at 04/11/2001 5:37 PM EST

Engineer on team #48, Delphi E.L.I.T.E., from Warren G. Harding High School and Delphi Automotive Systems .

In Reply to: Re: A New Method of Handling Nationals
Posted by Carolyn Duncan on 04/11/2001 4:29 PM EST:

: I think you could be on to something here. HOWEVER, this could also be VERY BAD. If you separate the teams into divisions like high school sports things could get boring. What I mean is, can you imagine how boring the rookie division would be? No offense to the rookies because I was one this year, but they wouldn’t have the heart or the cheering tht the older teams have. They wouldn’t get the gracious proffessionalism the same way because there wouldn’t be an example near them at all times. Also, the sheer magnitude that is FIRST would seriously decline. It would definately be less exciting in all the divisions. The older teams wouldn’t ever get paired with the rookies thus never giving the rookies the chance to experience things like 700 point games, maybe not that high but you get the idea. This idea would solve the size and space problem but at what cost? Does what I’m saying make any sense to anyone or am I just typing to feel important?
: :Carolyn
: Team 495

I’m sure there are plenty of flaws in my method. Flaws like the fact that the number of new teams is growing faster than the number of veteran teams. And the fact that it could get very expensive for a good young team to go to all the class competitions in the same season as they get promoted. But you wanted ideas, so here ya go. Tear it apart, rearrange it, do with it what you wish.

In theory, the good rookie teams would rise to the top of their class during the class competition, and these teams would get the opportunity to move onward and upward into the next class. Demotion of teams from a higher class to a lower one (at the start of the next season) could also be considered, to keep all the classes balanced. It’s not like these teams wouldn’t have a fair shot to move right back up the following season.

Travis

Posted by Carolyn Duncan at 04/12/2001 7:14 AM EST

Student on team #495, The Pack, from Jamestown High School and VBEP/Raytheon/Saic.

In Reply to: Re: A New Method of Handling Nationals
Posted by Travis Hoffman on 04/11/2001 5:37 PM EST:

I’m not trying to be negative or make your idea seem bad. I was just trying to help. I think that an idea requires much thought from many angles. I know I like when other people find the many flaws in what I say. I think that among all the people who post we should be able to come up with some kind of way to solve the problem and propose it to Dean. (HINT HINT). This will help us fill the time we were spending on robot building which is now boring us to death.
:Carolyn
Team 495

Posted by Travis Hoffman at 04/12/2001 9:46 AM EST

Engineer on team #48, Delphi E.L.I.T.E., from Warren G. Harding High School and Delphi Automotive Systems .

In Reply to: not trying to be negative
Posted by Carolyn Duncan on 04/12/2001 7:14 AM EST:

: I’m not trying to be negative or make your idea seem bad. I was just trying to help. I think that an idea requires much thought from many angles. I know I like when other people find the many flaws in what I say. I think that among all the people who post we should be able to come up with some kind of way to solve the problem and propose it to Dean. (HINT HINT). This will help us fill the time we were spending on robot building which is now boring us to death.
: :Carolyn
: Team 495

Carolyn:

  I know you weren't being negative, and I agree with you completely.  My writing style sometimes misleads people who are trying to gauge exactly how I feel about certain issues.

Travis

Posted by Carolyn Duncan at 04/12/2001 1:55 PM EST

Student on team #495, The Pack, from Jamestown High School and VBEP/Raytheon/Saic.

In Reply to: Re: not trying to be negative
Posted by Travis Hoffman on 04/12/2001 9:46 AM EST:

: I know you weren’t being negative, and I agree with you completely. My writing style sometimes misleads people who are trying to gauge exactly how I feel about certain issues.

: Travis

Just making sure. Sometimes people think I’m trying to be negative or just better than thou about things so I thought I would just make sure. Your writing style was fine.
:Carolyn
Team 495

Posted by ChrisH at 04/12/2001 3:14 PM EST

Engineer on team #330, Beach 'Bots, from Hope Chapel Academy and NASA JPL, J & F Machine, Raytheon, et al.

In Reply to: not trying to be negative
Posted by Carolyn Duncan on 04/12/2001 7:14 AM EST:

In my house using the word “bored” or any form of it is forbidden. Use it and you’ll be given something exciting to do, like weed the flowerbed.

So in the interest of ending your boredom, here’s an assignment. Take one system on this year’s robot that you wished worked better and redesign it. If doing it on paper isn’t enough, go ahead and build it. See if you can make it work.

In the “real world” this is called research and development. It may or may not apply to next year’s game, but sooner or later it or a slight modification will. And you just might learn something in the process.

Chris Husmann, PE
Team 330 the Beach’Bots
Who rarely completely stops thinking of robots

Posted by Pamela at 04/11/2001 4:36 PM EST

Student on team #166, Techno Insanity, from Merrimack High School and Texas Instruments.

In Reply to: A New Method of Handling Nationals
Posted by Travis Hoffman on 04/11/2001 3:55 PM EST:

Breaking the nationals into classes purely based on experience in competition has problems. Just because you’re an old team who’s number has been in the competition for years does not necessarily mean that your exact team has the experience. What happens when a team keeps the same number yet changes sponsorship and leadership and is in the same boat as rookie teams? Do they get bumped down levels? Also just because your team has gained experience does not neccessarily mean your team will have the skills to compete in the “big leagues”. Inexperience does not neccesarily mean you can’t compete in the top notches either. Rookie teams by being seperated from veterans lose much of the competitions excitement, they cannot see what has been done by teams who know the ropes and don’t have the opportunity to be on the same feild as their “idols” (older teams who can be looked up to and example followed). I like the idea of classes to seperate the robots but hate the idea of having rookies miss out on the experiences of competing with veteran teams.
Pamela 166

Posted by Dan Baker at 04/11/2001 4:51 PM EST

Student on team #365, Miracle Workerz, from Avon Grove High School and Dupont .

In Reply to: A New Method of Handling Nationals
Posted by Travis Hoffman on 04/11/2001 3:55 PM EST:

The only thing I can say about this idea is that this year was only our second year in FIRST and looked how we placed. Just because a team is new doesn’t mean they can’t do a lot better than the veterans.

-Dan Baker
Team 365
GO MOE!!

Posted by Chris Orimoto at 04/11/2001 11:24 PM EST

Student on team #368, Kika Mana, from McKinley High School and Nasa Ames/Hawaiian Electric/Weinberg Foundation.

In Reply to: A New Method of Handling Nationals
Posted by Travis Hoffman on 04/11/2001 3:55 PM EST:

Sorry, but I will have to COMPLETELY disagree here. I think this year’s game has offered a “special” scenario regarding rookies and team placement. This year’s game was definitely tough on rookies…it provided many challenging problems (traction especially) that older teams already had to deal with in the past; an experience level that obviously plagued many rookie teams. Though this wasn’t thier fault, it was merely a part of THIS year’s game.

However, let’s revert to previous years…in the past, rookie teams have done EXTREMELY well. We were the #3 seed in our regional in 2000, and we couldn’t even hang on the bar if we tried. In '99 the Cheesy Poofs won the NASA Ames Regional as a rookie team (sorry to all you other teams…I keep up mainly with my own division).

All in all, I think “experience or skill divisions” are a totally BAD idea.

Just my personal thought…

Chris, #368