Championship 2009 - Atlanta - Your Thoughts Please?

Please tell us what you liked or what could have been done better, concerning the 2009 Championship’s that ends today.

The rounds at Archimedes seemed to run on or ahead of time.

The GA Dome seemed very clean and had a new look to it with all new seats and new video screens everywhere including the bathrooms. Security at the entrances seemed good and I didn’t notice anybody getting hassled.

Opening ceremony sound was not loud enough. I was slightly disappointed at no surprise speaker.

It is very difficult to read the match or team numbers on the field video screen, the video screens in the stands or on my TV at home. Perhaps these can be rearranged to allow them to be larger?

The weather was wonderful with a slight chill in the morning though. I saw many people playing ball or Frisbee or just laying on the ground in the courtyard relaxing.

The GA Aquarium was a wonderful experience at a fantastic price with only “First” people in attendance. The Titanic artifact exhibit inside the aquarium (extra charge), was well worth seeing for those like me that are into that sort of history.

I was extremely happy with the NASA Web video feeds even though they showed the announcer and not the teams, when the final Einstein Championship match score was announced. We didn’t get to see the teams reaction. The NASA TV feeds were good however they went to “This Week At NASA” prior to showing the final Championship match score. Again, no celebration shot.

On a personal note, I was very happy and proud of my team 1002 The CircuitRunners performance in the Archimedes qualification matches ending up 8th out of 87 teams. I was also pleased when they selected team 2415, The Westminster Wiredcats. I believe that was both teams first trip to the Championship elimination round.

Thanks again to Chief Delphi for providing us this forum.

What about you? How was your travel experience to and from Atlanta? How was your Atlanta transportation, hotel and overall impressions of Atlanta?


Personally, I was a bit underwhelmed with the extra sponsor stuff (i.e., NI and Autodesk’s booths in the pits). However, this could simply have been because I was a lot busier on the robot than I was last year.

Also, at least in Archimedes, there didn’t seem to be the same amount of enthusiasm that I experienced last year (and 2415’s guilty of this too :D).

The practice field could have been run better. Once, when we had a “No Code” error, the person directing the practice field was hovering and tinkering with our robot and its electronics! And the practice field directors were all being unsafe. There must be a better way to stop robots from moving than jumping on the field and holding your hands out.

But overall, I had just as great a time as last year. 1002 was awesome for picking us, and we were all extremely happy for our good friends and fellow Atlantian team 3091 (100 Scholars) winning the Rookie All Star Award! What an accomplishment!

Where was the cool intro on Einstein and the drumline?

I agree that the practice fields were being run kind of roughly. We waited for 5 minutes for the rounds to start. I don’t get why we couldn’t just run practices where each team is allowed to be on there independently.

Other than that it seemed like the competition went pretty smoothly. I think the ‘presumed’ less excitement was because of the more available space this year. We weren’t all crammed together. That’s what I think, but it was still extremely enjoyable.

I was a little surprised when after giving out the Chairman’s Award, they were just like “hey look, it’s Dave Verbrugge”. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by his dramatic entrances in the past (the motorcycle was probably the best), but this time seemed really anticlimactic.

I’m fairly ticked that Scholarship Row was closed on Saturday - I can understand that it’s the busiest day for FRC so not as many people show up, but FTC spends all of Thursday and Friday competing and not many teams can spare the time to visit then.

I wasn’t involved in the FRC side of things this year (my team didn’t qualify) so I have no idea how things went there.

I am with you, I honestly thought after seeing the Georgia Tech car outside he would be rolling in the stadium and come out the passenger seat with no driver. But then again the car didn’t have any of it’s sensors on it. :frowning:

Ahh, the practice field. Let’s begin…

On Thursday, we are quick to sign up for two practice slots. Later, we show up for the first one, and it turns out they’ve gone to the queue system instead of the time slot system. So, we stand in line for about fifteen minutes until we finally get on the practice field. After about one minute of driving, Popular Mechanics comes by to take some pictures with Dean and the robots (which is awesome BTW, don’t get me wrong); we spend the next thirty minutes posing our robot for pictures. The practice field people give us five minutes of real practice time after that. We ask them if we can get in line again since we didn’t get much actual practice time, and they say yes. We then stand in line for fifteen minutes, only the be told that no, sorry, we’re giving priority to teams who haven’t been on the field yet; you probably won’t get on for a while.

It’s Friday morning, and we’re back to the time slot system. Once again, we sign up for two slots. When the first slot rolls around, we realize we aren’t going to make it due to robot problems. I go to the practice field to reschedule and ask what times they have open. “1:15, 1:25, 1:35, 1:45…”, replies the volunteer running the field. I tell her I’m going to check with my team and come back. We quickly decide 1:25 is the best slot for us. I run back to the practice field and ask for 1:25. The same volunteer says that they’ve gone to the queue system for the rest of the day. Apparently, during the sixty seconds it took me to run between our pit and the practice field, they switched from the time slot system to the queue system yet again. We stand in line for about twenty minutes, realize we have a match coming up, and end up with no practice time on Friday.

Saturday morning, and this time they’re using the queue system from the start. We stand in line early and get on the field. Five minutes later, we’re told to get off. Since when do practice field slots only last five minutes? Laughing, we return to our pits and hope that the practice fields are run better next year.

I thought the Championship Ran Rather Well this year and I don’t really have any complaints. It seemed like everything ran on Schedule, The Refs Were Consistent and the Fields Held up well.

I think the only issue I have with the Championship, and I’ve always had, is there are too Few Matches for the Expense and Work involved. I understand that you can only fit so many matches into any single day but maybe we could look into some other solution to get more teams involved. I think something that could be implemented is 4 team Alliances so that Back-Up Bots don’t sit behind the Curtain with the Hope that they will play.

I was disappointed that Einstein was completely average this year. I felt there was nothing special about it. The Audio and Video were subpar as well as the usual excitement level. I mean Einstein field! This is where teams DREAM of going! I think it should have been played up A lot more! My favorite year for Einstein was 2007. I think they need to look at that year for inspiration.

The other thing I would have to say in general is the camera angles were weird when it came to the remote ceiling cams. As a viewer, I couldn’t see anything as far as gameplay when it switched to those cameras. I really like the (1) Overview Cam, (1) Camera on the field (or in the case of FLR, 2 more overview cams that zoom in), and the (2) Driver Station Cams.

As always the Emcees and Announcers were lighting it up and making everything exciting. During elims I had a chance to go over to Archimedes. What I really liked is the John Darr and Tyler Olds. It really reminded me of John Madden and Al Michaels. After the match, there was discussion and critiquing about the previous match. It didn’t happen during the match, but after. I was really impressed by this duo. GREAT JOB!

The practice fields have already been mentioned.

This may sound funny, but I really think there needs to be a speed limit for segways in the arena. I almost got run down in more than one occasion by someone on a segway who either (a) wasn’t paying attention, or (b) didn’t care. However, most people used them appropriately and it was fine.

I wasn’t too big of a fan of the Pit Layout this year. It seemed like for opening up the conference hall again for the pits, we had less room than last year. Again, for next year, i really think people should look at the 2007 Pit Layout for ideas.

Now, all this being said, this years Championships was probably one of my favorites. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all the volunteers and FIRST staff who puts this together year after year. It ran extremely smoothly and it was a TON OF FUN! It really got me pumped for next year, and I can’t wait! Hope to see you all at the events!

Even though i dident get to do all the things i wanted to…

I had a good time…

I got to meet some of my CD friends :stuck_out_tongue:

I thought the fields were too close to the stands. When sitting down, you couldn’t see the whole field…and if you stood up…then you got yelled at by the people around you…or they called security to get you to sit down.
If the fields were moved out away from the stands, everyone would be able to see, and you could stand up and cheer for your favorite teams.

It was another fun and exciting year. The game was such that unless it was a blowout, you really didn’t know who won until the score was posted. The matches were real nailbiters.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever been on the dome floor behind the fields during competition? During qualification matches, it’s full of teams arriving, waiting, and leaving. As of right now there’s enough room back there that there’s no bad traffic jams or any danger of someone getting run over by a robot cart, but moving the fields back would make these issues real things to worry about.

Does anyone know who the winner of the ASME Auxillary Scholarship was???

It was supposed to be announced at the championship on scholarship row.

Yet I have seen nothing posted.

Interesting to read these problems about the practice fields…we got our robot inspected first thing Thursday morning, we signed up for the first practice session on the practice field (Newton) which took a few extra minutes to get started because the volunteers were still getting things figured out, we got in our quick practice to check out our robot, and then headed over to the “real” field, and were able to play in about 8 matches by just staying there in the queue and filling in for teams that didn’t show up. I guess it might have been too long of a walk for some teams? or they didn’t realize the main fields might not be full on Thursday?

I thought that they were too far away and so did the rest of my team. We scout so we need to be able to see everything. During our competitions in Michigan we were always really close and whenever we did not (Troy and States), the scouting was harder and sometimes more inaccurate. Also, the presence of the team was not noticed as much by the teams on the field.

For Einstein, wee were one of the last teams to be seated even though we won Galileo. It would help if there were seats up front for all the teams that won. There was an area for those teams but it was not up front and again, we needed to scout.

When Dave walked onto the field, it was anticlimactic but being on his team and talking to him several times a week made it more fun than for the rest of the audience.

The whole team was so nervous for the finals. We won with 217 at Cass Tech, Troy, and Michigan State Championships. We also won with 68 at Lansing and we beat them at Troy in the finals and in the quarters at Michigan States. As for 247, we did not win with them, but we did have somewhat of a rivalry with them. We beat them at finals at States. If you recall, we collided so hard that their battery fell out. But it was exciting to be against 3 Michigan teams.

At Einstein, for the finals, we were kept in suspense because of the awards. That killed us. If they would have done that earlier or after, we would have been better off, rather than being nerve wrecked for the rest of the competition.

Overall the championships were fun exciting. Thanks to team 111, the WildStangs, for choosing us as 1st pick and team 971 for helping us win. The other teams always put up a difficult match, testing our abilities and strategies.