Championship 2007 - Atlanta - What Needs To Be Improved

At the 2007 Championship event, tell us what needs improvement before next years Championship’s in Atlanta, April 16-19, 2008.

The weather needs to be better.

And my team needs to qualify.

1.) Team wrap-party. Lets not kid ourselves guys, the awards/finals WILL NEVER END AT 6PM. Face it. Schedule it for 7pm when it always gets done by, and have the guests lined up.

2.) Was it just me or were there a lot less people than previous years?

3.) VEX Opening Ceremonies at noon.

There were just as many FRC teams as 2006, so perhaps teams could afford to bring fewer people this year. A cyclic downturn in sponsorship revenues, perhaps? Another possibility is that your own pit/field combination gave you routes that exposed you to less people. Someone walking from the furthest end of the pit to the farthest field will think there’s a lot more people than someone walking from the near side to the near field.

Since I only watched the webcast, the only thing I could think of to improve would be to increase the capabilities of the webcast director. Apparently during finals on Newton (I was watching Galileo) they trotted out split-screen so that both autonomouses could be viewed close-up. Keep working on that so that it is available to all fields and regionals, and that’d be great. Too many times I missed something exciting on one end of the field when the webcast was centered on another exciting thing.

Otherwise, the webcast was pretty good.

In the HOF I would like to see the bios of the Woodie Flowers Award winners displayed so we can hear thier stories.

At this years FRC championship it seemed like there were things missing, Such as those sweet hats they give to the seeded alliances, this year they had a first hat with duct tape on them. Also, the confeti they had last year? gone, I know that the 3 years i have been there there has been more of a show with Dave Verbruggie (sorry if i slaughtered his name). The championship was a little disappointing this year but nonetheless the most fun I’ve ever had!

The confetti last year was super-annoying because the balloons it was stored in obscured most of the field for some people in the upper level. I’m happy to hear it is gone. The whole time I was thinking “those balloons had better be REALLY important, because I can’t see the near goal or half the field”.

I was very disappointed in the few thousand people that got up and left the dome following the finals last match Saturday night. That was disrespectful of the teams that competed and had not yet received their trophy’s and very disrespectful of the 37 teams competing for the Chairmans award. These people were making a lot of noise while they exited and could easily be heard in the stands during the ceremony. Perhaps First should have mentioned not to leave following the last match but most everyone should have known this. There was only an additional 15 minutes of awards following the finals last match

The individual screens on each field showing the video of the game and the scores are very difficult to read the team numbers and scores.

Perhaps a little more info here? While the weather was not perfect, I saw hundreds of people sunning themselves, playing Frisbee and enjoying themselves in the area between the pits and the dome all 3 days when it reached the low 70’s each day. Yes the mornings were chilly but there was no rain until after the awards ceremony Saturday night.

This actually appears to be a positive observation and maybe in the wrong thread?

[OffTopic] What’s the plural of autonomous? Autonomi?[/OffTopic]

I too only watched via the webcast, and was disappointed at the image quality, to the point where I could not read the team numbers most of the time - everything looked like team 1888. If there was a possibility of a higher quality feed - I have plenty of bandwidth - that would’ve been nice.

I second the idea of starting Vex a bit later

On the match results screen, it would’ve been nice to have the match numbers instead of just the time. It would also have been nice if the schedule was posted somewhere.

What was good will be posted elsewhere.


I was showing how the lack of confetti might not be a negative thing. Otherwise you’d have a 2006 negatives thread where I posted about how the confetti balloons were annoying, followed by a 2007 negatives thread where someone said they wished there was confetti. Poor FIRST would be all confused.

I too only watched via the webcast, and was disappointed at the image quality, to the point where I could not read the team numbers most of the time

Seconding this. The only way I could figure out the team numbers most of the time was to consult with the schedule with the digits I was sure of. 6’s REALLY look like 8’s when the compression is on. NASA has lots of bandwidth, surely they could up the bitrate a bit.

…which reminds me:
It would be really nice to have the match schedules posted in such a way that we don’t have to pester poor dangerousdave all friday to get our team’s schedule. If you’re going to have a webcast, the schedules should be online.

Another thing: The ads on the non-galileo fields were kind of annoying. They were like someone else channel surfing during a show you want to watch. You’re never sure if they’re going to get back to the field in time to catch the start of the match. The ads during lunch and breaks were fine and pretty interesting because they weren’t obscuring something you wanted to watch. Potential solution: keep the ads, but have a little picture-in-picture in the corner showing the current status of the field so that people don’t freak out.

I loved the widescreen on Einstein and the driver cams were a very nice touch.

Something I would change however would be some way to try and keep teams in the stands after the competition is over to watch the chairman’s award presentation. This is the most prestigous award in FIRST and should be recognized as so, and not just something that can be skipped so we can all go eat some noodles and cake…

Also, I’m sure this has been said (I haven’t read the whole topic yet), but the numbers were going the wrong way on the rack on Einstein.

One last thing, it was rediculous on Curie, waiting for everyone’s alliance captains to get there, teams should be prepared.

I agree that it needs to be emphasized, SEVERAL times, during finals/awards that the Chairman’s Award will be announced after the Champions receive their awards and that ALL teams should remain seated until after that time. I know that when our team was vying for the award in 2004 we did notice, with disappointement, that so many were leaving. The noise takes away from the moment.
Grascious Professionalism dictates, I would think, that all teams stay to honor the winners of our most prestigious award.

The lack of confetti for the Chairman’s Award really disappointed us - the whole confetti/balloons spectacle really emphasized the importance of winning this event (congrats MOE - well deserved!)

I also find it troublesome that so many people come and go from their seats during speeches - making noise and blocking views.
Perhaps “ushers” could be instructed to allow people to enter the stands only during applause and other “breaks”, which I think is just common courtesy at any public assembly, unless an emergency arises.

Finally, we were very frustrated by not being allowed to bring in our “signs on a stick” and then finding all these teams around us with “signs on a stick”.

But, overall, considering the vast number of people and things going on, its a well organized event.

-moved from other thread-

I vote for more dancing. Honestly, watching that webcast, we need to dance more. The people in the stands dancing looked to be obsurcing veiws as well, not that this was a big deal as they looked to only standup at the breaks.

Ok in all honestly I do meen that, at SVR and Davis there were areas for dancing team-members, there should be one per divison at championships to. However, space in the dome makes this unlikely, but dancing allows the teams that arn’t on the feild to still participate, move around, jump up and down, etc. allows them to keep the adrenaline going. I think that if this was in place, the crowd might be even more responsive. shrug just my two bits. I don’t even know if non-crazy-california regionals have alot of dancing.

the only thing that I had major problems with, was poor judging. For example, while in the semi-finals on curie their was a lot of commotion near the rack and 1114’s arm was broken, we only got a 10-point penalty. Later on Einstein 71 got knocked over and the refs declared a red card.:confused: I have seen issues similar to this one and would just like some clarification on the topic.

Suggestion: They should do the Chairmans award BEFORE the last match, and finish on time (or at least let folks know the doors won’t be opend until the event is over). While it is disrespectful for people to leave early, it is equally disrespectful to take 1 hour away from a 4 hour party the folks paid a lot of money for… respect works both ways …

Being one of those who is only able to watch matches from a dorm room, I’d really like to see an improvement in the webcasts. The quality doesn’t bother me as much as the camara choice; it seems that whenever a robot is disabled and not moving the camara has an urge to zoom in on it while robot X on the other side of the field does a backflip and scores 5000 points. I’d really like to see some better choices in camara angles next year.

My biggest complaint was the announcement of the free for all for the tubes on the field right before the chairmans award. Many people ran for it and didn’t come back to see it and it really took away from the importance of the award.

Indeed there were some very poor calls by the referees. On Archimedes, in semifinal 1-2, team 254 was tipped over by the opposing alliance, and no penalties or DQs were called. Then, in the very next match, 254 was tipped again by the same robot, and still no penalties were called. Watching the same thing happen to 71 on Einstein, only the aggressor being disqualified, made it even worse.

Here are some other things I noticed this year. There were no “special effects” for the Chairman’s Award; in the past they’ve had the aforementioned confetti balloons or fireworks. Why nothing this year?

Lastly, I wonder why Dave didn’t wear a suit for the finals this time.

Don’t put the awards in between the Matches. Makes it boring and less energetic.

Teams must be given some amount of time to fix and repair their robot for their next match. Awards give them this time. You’ll notice that in between the 2nd and 3rd finals matches, they didn’t have any awards to give out, so they played music and let people dance. They need some sort of buffer between matches.

By doing awards during then, this adds suspense, spreads out the action, gives teams time to fix their robots and alter their strategy to make the finals, as fair as possible.