Alliance Selection 2005- Like it?

So today we all have a lot more extra time; I decided to go read the rules, and noticed something interesting regarding alliance selection:

(and yes I did search the forums)

8.4.1: (After the top 8 teams pick 2 partners)

Of the remaining eligible teams, the highest seeded teams (up to eight) shall remain on standby and be ready to play. If a robot from one team in a three-team alliance becomes inoperable, at the discretion of the alliance captain, the highest seed of the standby teams shall join that alliance. The resulting alliance would then be composed of four teams, but only three teams will be permitted to continue with match play. The inoperable team remains part of the alliance for awards but cannot play, even if their robot is repaired

Wow. I have a lot of thoughts about this:

8 teams won’t be able to pack up fully (and that kills you at championship when you really don’t want to be stuck in the pits until 6:00)…

If you’re in an alliance, would you rather go a round without one of your teams- or ‘draft’ a weaker team and sit out your best team for the rest of the playoffs? In the final round this might be a no-brainer, depending on the strength of the highest ranked team.

This is definitely not the year to have a fragile robot. In the past there would be another alliance partner ready to step in…

So what do all of youse think?

As of right now, I could easily go either way with it . However, my question is in regionals how does this affect qualifying for Nationals? Does that mean 4 teams can qualify or how does it work?

That’s a good question to ask FIRST, on their championship eligibility website:

Merit Based Qualifying Teams from the current season -

  1. Regional Chairman’s Award winners (1 per Regional)
  2. Regional Engineering Inspiration Award winners (1 per Regional)
  3. Regional Rookie All-Star Award winners (1 per Regional)
    4. Regional Champions (three per regional event)

I guess that leaves the fourth out, or maybe FIRST will be kind enough to give the fourth a ticket to Atlanta…

If i remember correctly, someone asked this question or i read it somehwere. But the 4th team gets all the same awards/recognition that the other 3 teams get. So, i think that would be a yes, they do get to go to Nationals, because they were apart of the winning team, no matter how long.

but who gets the trophy of the four team alliance (the original alliance or the remaining one)?..what if the alliance captain breaks and then refuses to pick the next highest seed…?

I am not sure if i like this, I mean what if the alliance team captain’s robot was in need of repair and they had to sit out. Would they still be the Alliance captain or hand it off to someone else. I just dont like the fact that the team may not re-enter, because like said up above what would you do set out a robot for a match or draft a lower seed.

If the alliance captain breaks and refuses to pick the next highest seed then you have to live with it. You chose to join the alliance, but it doesn’t mean you have any say in how it’s run

They would award 4 trophies if a 4th team joins the winning alliance, I would assume.

I forgot to voice my opinion before. I personally think this is a great idea, well for this game that is. Last year you could get away with two teams, because the game only required two, duh. This year, its completely different and you will most definitely need all three robots on the field at once. I am sure there would have been major complaints if one team broke and had no one to replace them. At least this way everyone gets a fair chance.

EX: Lets say your picked by the number one seed that has dominated at all the regionals and championships, then you break down. The #1 seed would have to overcome great difficulties with just one partner and most likely would lose. However, with the addition of a 4th member, the #1 seed has a fair shot again, and could still win it all.

True, so much of it comes up to the actual situation. If team #1 has already won a match, and their first pick- team #2- only needs around 10 mins to repair their robot- and team #2 is an amazing robot, should #1 draft a weak #4 or go a match without team #2 and hope they can come back in the 3rd round?

Also maybe the 4th team is a really weak robot and would actually hinder the efforts of team 1 and 3…

Keep in mind that oftentimes a weak team ranks high thanks to a combination of luck and good team partners, but they don’t get picked by an alliance captain. Thus, the highest ranking team left after alliance selection is oftentimes a weak robot, maybe its drivetrain is fragile, maybe it is top heavy, but there’s a reason it wasn’t selected. I wouldn’t be suprised if the number 1 team almost never drafts a 4th team, unless one of their teammates is severely damaged.

With 33 teams at Finger Lakes they all have to be ready to get the call. It’s different that’s for sure and goes to show a reliant robot may be more valuble than a dominant one.

I’m a bit confused by the rules. So, as Corey said, Team #2 is really really strong. Their robot needs 10 minutes, that’s it~

If it’s inoperable after a match, and is fixed, can it come back providing the #4 isn’t chosen? Giving time sounds more reasonable than anything, particularly in the quarter finals.

I think the mark of a strong team will be one that is able to sacrifice their right to play for the rest fo the finals, despite wanting to, if their robot is beyond repair, so that their alliance has a fighting chance.

However, until I see the system in action, I’m not sure how to judge it. It depends heavily on attitude, commitment, and quick thinking.

Wow. 33 teams is a lot :slight_smile: 29 at AZ. I don’t think I’ll like this year’s new system because it means you’re going to have a really really hard choice to make if you’re the alliance captain and are thinking of dropping your broken all-star teammate and going with an alternate. Granted, a working robot is better than no robot, but if it’s before the final match it’s a rough call.

We were allied in the finals with 330 last year at AZ and they broke down, but then entered the arena at a dramatic moment after the time limit. They got to play thanks to the generousity of the other teams (80, 498, and 696). I believe it’s one of the reasons they wanted to change the rules this year.

If the current rule was in place last year we would have had the option to pick up another team and drop 330. It was in the final round, so maybe picking up another team wouldn’t have been too bad, but if it occurred in the quarter or semi finals, man, I can’t say what we would have done. 330 certainly wouldn’t have been given the leniency of returning to play since we had an alternative.

This year if we’re fortunate and get into the finals with good alliance members, I hope we aren’t put into that spot. Besides, with only 29 teams at AZ and 6 teams/match, after the elimination rounds, the finals will be a nice change of pace for the pit crew to fix the robot between matches.

That’s how I read the rule. I think the intent of saying the inoperable robot can’t come back only applies to teams who choose a fourth alliance team, so each alliance still has three teams to play.

It really is one of those decisions that you need all the possible information for. So if the #2 or 1 for that matter is that good, then ya, you might be best off waiting to see if they can fix or possibly skip a round. But, is it worth losing a round that could possibly lose the whole thing for you, on the chance the other team fixes. If the replacement bot is bad, then ya, i would be in full support of waiting on it. But if it is decent, then id have to take the functional robot over a non-functional one.

I like the rule, It gives everyone a chance to still win, its not fair if you are in an alliance that makes it all the way to the last round of finals then break and drop out of the alliance then not to get an award would not be fair.
Also the 10 min fix it rule is great, There arnt many problems that cant be fixed in 10 mins with 3 other teams to help you.

You will need to make good decisions. Can your broken robot be fixed in the given amount of time? Or do you sacrifice them and choose the 4th member? If you choose the 4th member, then your broken guy can’t compete anymore, even if it’s fixed later. But they’re still part of the alliance and therefore will still receive awards.

You will be assigned the next highest seeded team waiting in line. So - it would behoove you to have good scouting, know what those extra 8 teams can/can’t do, and find out who your 4th member would be before you choose to take them. You should be able to make a decent decision based on all the above as to whether or not you want/need to take the 4th member. If you find that your 4th team is more of a hindrance (maybe unlikely), maybe you can just put 2 robots on the field… I dont think I read anything about not placing a working robot on the field. If you have 3 of 4 working robots, would you have to place all 3 out there, or can you choose to just put 2 out? Even if Robot 4 is “weaker”, I’m sure you can find something for them to do on the field…

It forces you to make a decision, rather than saying… OK - Robot 1 broke a chain, so we’re gonna take Robot 4 just for this match… and then 3min later Robot 1 gets fixed and for the rest of elimination rounds they have 4 robots to choose from. That wouldn’t exactly be fair to all those who only have 3 robots to choose from since they didn’t have the bad luck of breaking one. So the stipulation is that you can’t play the original guy anymore and you now have only 3 robots to play.

Even if Robot 1 isn’t fixable, if you think Robot 4 is weak, and won’t add to your value, then you don’t *have * to choose them… You’ll just play with 2 robots the rest of the rounds.

You get one chance to choose from the standby guys. Does it matter when you choose? Can I go through a few rounds with two robots and then in the finals, decide I want a 4th member? Dont’ know if you’d do that, but… I didn’t see a restriction for when you had to choose a 4th member. Maybe I missed it, if there is one.

I think it’s a pretty balanced little selection process. If everyone was allowed to choose 4 robots per alliance for elims, that’s a lot of robots for elims. This just makes you think about who you’re choosing for the main 3 - you’d want them consistent, reliable, and robust. You need to be able to trust Robot 1 when they say “I only need 4min to fix this”. But it still gives you a little bit of flexibility so that you’re not completely at a disadvantage when one breaks.
We shall see how it all works out. I dont’ see any major problems with it at this point. The choice will boil down to knowing your information.

what if the backup robot fails/breaks? just 2 v 3 for the rest of the time?

Aye, per the third paragraph of section 8.4.1:

The original three-team alliance shall only have one opportunity to draw from the teams on standby. If a second robot from the alliance becomes inoperable, then the alliance must play the following matches with only two (or even one) teams. It is in the best interests of all teams to construct their robots to be as robust as possible to prevent this situation.

Another case study?

Team A is not one of the top eight teams. They refuse an invitation from a selecting team. Does Team A still go into the replacement pool?


If Team A refuses to join an alliance, they probably can’t compete anyways because they are broken. I’ve only seen one instance when a team that was ready to go actually said no to an alliance pick, and that was because there was confusion on the field. And if a team is picked but refuses it usually means they are seeded and would like to have their own alliance.