Best Practices to make State

Our team would like to improve our chance to make the State meet in Michigan this year. It would be the first time. Can you give one suggestion of a best practice that increases the probability that we qualify for the State event? Thank you from the Gobles Voltage

BE READY AT YOUR FIRST EVENT - Nothing harms your odds of reaching the next level of district play more than completely whiffing at an event and missing the eliminations. If your robot isn’t ready to compete at your first event, the odds of this happening go up significantly. Even if you’re not 100% where you want to be, show up to your first district with a robot that can drive reliably, doesn’t break often, and can complete some aspect of the game challenge.

Know the ranking system. - Getting a top 8 seed essentially pays off twice in the district standings formula. You get points for ranking highly at the event, and then you get more points from your alliance selection result. If your goals are designed primarily dictated by accumulating district standings points, designing your robot to rank well is often a very solid approach. To do that, you have to understand how teams are ranked in the game. This year there are ranking points bonuses for accumulating 40+ kPa or getting 4 rotors spinning in a match.

Your team was sooo close last year:

Strive to be about top 10% at the district (IE one of the top 4 teams). Last year only 25% of teams qualified for States. For the most part, teams that would be top 20% at a competition (top 8), made it, but some did not. this can be due to bad performance, or just a bit of bad luck at one of your district event. IE, if you get knocked out in quarters at one event, you almost have to win the other event. If you can get to the top 10%, you are likely a lock for States, but that is not an easy thing to achieve.

Put a decent amount of effort in winning a couple awards. While it is good to shoot for “all” the awards, having a good solid foundation for a couple of them can raise your chances at winning an award. Awards are a good chunk of points.

Make sure you are ready to compete at your first competition. Some teams have plans to get better as the season progresses. this can be very good, but if you do not do well enough at your first event, it can be hard to make it up.

I will sight 910 as an example:

They had a good robot that just wasn’t ready yet at their first or really even their second competition and got knocked out in the quarters and did not qualify for States.
Fortunately, they got the bugs worked out for a late season regional, won it, and had a robot that did really well at Worlds, and even got invited to IRI.
They missed States by about 10 points (scored 70, and cut-off for points was about 80 pts last year).

Speaking for your team specifically, I would do everything as well as last year performance-wise, and put some extra effort at a couple of awards. A trip to the Semi-finals at your second event, or a couple tech awards would have been the difference last year.

Ill use my team as another example of this.

Our TBA: Circuit Breakers - Team 4513 (2016) - The Blue Alliance

At our first District event, we placed 8th, 5 alliance captain, got ourselves an award, and all around was great for us pointswise. At our second event, nothing really went right. The vision went on us, our lead screw broke and we got one slightly different so timings on lifting/lowering were different and the drivers weren’t prepared, and we finished 19th. While we were still chosen for an alliance as a 3rd team pick (2930 and 5803, great teams) we had nowhere near enough points, even if we won an award (we didn’t) to make it by the time the end of week 5 came.

You have to be on your game, and be ready if something gets thrown at you. If you’re consistent, this will be pretty easy. Good luck to you guys this year!

Tripple what has been said, be ready for St. Joes. Based on my calcs for districts this year, with a 3 year lookback, St. Joes is the most competitive Michigan district, be ready.

Be done by week 5, and drive, drive, drive, and break early. If there is a week zero opportunity on the west side of the state, take it.

Regardless of your strategy come out with it polished, ready to play.

If you are not picking be honest with teams that are. They will have scouted, they will have a good impression on what you can do already, if you are asked, make sure you are realistic with your assessment. Sell yourself, if you had made improvements over the event, and started slow, but finished strong, sell it and have data to support it.

Like Issac said, if you make semis in two events, you are probably golden. Win Chairmen’s! :slight_smile: but awards that earn points are great and help tip the scale if quarters is it.

You could always move to Ohio? :slight_smile: (ducks and covers)

Good Luck this year!

Short and sweet answer: Consistency is key!

The easiest way to accomplish this is to give your drivers lots of practice. Preferably, build a practice robot with the same drivetrain and similar (if not the same) mechanisms. Let your drivers abuse the hell out of it. By the time you get to your first competition, your drivers will be skilled at driving their routes, avoiding defense/defending, etc. When things break on the practice robot, the team will know where the weaknesses in your robot are and have a good idea of how to fix them.

If you can’t build a practice bot, plan to finish building your robot by week 4. Then when you aren’t dont building till week 5 for whatever reason you’ll still have a week for driver practice, testing, and coding. You won’t show up to your first competition with inexperienced drivers on untested code.

My team went to World’s for the first time last year, and the things that made the most difference for us were CADding the robot all the way before building, and scouting. Also, we refrained from trying to do everything, choosing to focus on some things that we could do well as compared to everything done poorly. Hope that helps and good luck!

Well thank you to everyone for helping us. Best of luck during the build season and at competitions! We appreciate the ideas that you shared and we’re going to give it our best shot:)

Be honest with yourself now with what you can accomplish in the build.

We always try to pick things that we know we can get done and have them done early in the build so they are not only working but consistent. Let the harder tasks of the game be a bit inconsistent… but keep trying to improve them.