Changes to Double Elimination

After week 1 competitions have wrapped up what are some changes that you would like to see happened with the double elimination system? My suggestion is if there is a tie then it is a automatic replay instead of using a tiebreaker metric, there are already less matches being played then Bo3. Individual matches are also higher stakes because you don’t get the second chance like in Bo3. If would say if it is a second tie then you use tiebreaker metrics.


Personally, IF you are put on the lower bracket…you should be playing for 3rd. Let those that those that stay in the top tier (1 and 2) play the finals. Less game time…much earlier day.

I know that it is unpopular…and I get that teams have an off moment…how many chances can you give? I get the whole redemption part of this one…I am just looking at the whole time consumption. We wait for tech issues, field issues…it just makes for a very long day.

…so, single eliminations then?


No…final four will be be best of 3 like the finals. Only difference is if you land in the lower bracket, you stay there…winner is third. Top Tier stays the same.

I understand the whole redemption part or second chance deal. And arguably, some of the best teams in our district wound up down there…for whatever the reason. Be it mechanical, fouls, or they just plain lost.

For example, our alliance (3rd) was undefeated in the semis. 5th Alliance fought in the lower bracket after being defeated earlier by another alliance. They advanced to the finals because they won the lower bracket. For the record, That alliance was great…I will not discount that. All I am saying is that IF we are going for points so we can go on to the next level in the competitions (State, World, and beyond)…how is that fair? And why the need for a points system?

The original question is what changes we would like to see. I answered. For the record, we had a VERY basic bot. Arguably, we shouldn’t have been at that level in the first place. However, we were consistent…hence why we were selected for our alliance. The computer chooses for us the first 82 matches…team captains choose for the semis. We lost in the finals…came in second…I personally am ecstatic that we did made the finals again. Especially with just a frame.

I am not questioning the higher ups in FRC…I just answered how I felt…respectfully.

I would like to change the script.

Currently, it reads:

Let’s have a huge round of applause for the {losing alliance color} alliance, Teams {insert team numbers}, they put up a valiant effort as our Event Finalists.

We’ll be back to hand out the rest of the awards in our closing ceremony in just a moment!

I would like to amend it with the italics:

What a great match! We’re about to see the results, but before we do, I want to remind you to stick around to find out who wins the FIRST Impact Award {and the Rookie All Star, Dean’s List, Eng. Inspiration awards} {and who will earn a Wildcard for a spot at the FIRST Championship.

Let’s have a huge round of applause for the {losing alliance color} alliance, Teams {insert team numbers}, they put up a valiant effort as our Event Finalists.

We’ll be back to hand out the rest of the awards in our closing ceremony in just a moment! Don’t go anywhere!


Hard sell for $6,000.


instead of only one double elimination…you are getting two. One for the upper tier…one for the lower. I don’t think it would be that bad of a sell. And it gives the lower bracket a chance to improve their positioning.

Ultimately, FRC is going to do what they wish. We will all complain about what should be done.

You are describing single elimination. If a team loses in only one series, that is the old system. By definition of double elimination, there has to be a lower bracket, or else we’re back where we were, but now playing best of one instead of best of three.

We complained, and they implemented double eliminations. I think you’re in the minority. Keep voicing your opinion if you really disagree – it makes a difference – but I have no idea what you’re proposing with this “double eliminations, but only one bracket” thing.


Neither do I. @RicDV, can you draw a picture? That might help.

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Sorry for the confusion and delay…Lower tier/bracket would be best of 3 just like the finals. And finals stay the same with the top 2 Alliances. I did misspeak with double eliminations at the end of the top and bottom brackets final’s. Counting and working I got confused and confused everyone…I apologize.

I’m still confused.

So what you’re saying is that the upper bracket plays until 2 teams are left, and goes to best of 3 after that.
And then the lower bracket does the same?

Am I understanding correctly?

If that is the case, I’m not sure I understand the incentive for the lower bracket teams to play it out. Instead of having a chance to win still, the best possible finish is third. So… why?

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I think this is the format (@RicDV correct me if i am wrong)

In the current DE system there is a minimum of 15 matches. In this system the minimum is 14 matches. It might be faster since you’d be able to interlace the two bo3 series, but it would then present a scenario where finals could be over but you still need to play a match or two to determine 3rd place, and awards at the end would be longer again.

Also, in a regional system/championship event there is no benefit to getting 3rd place besides bragging rights. Wild cards/medals don’t extend to 3rd place finishers so in this system as soon as an alliance loses a single match they’ve lost the incentive to keep playing.

Imo the redemption is a good part of the new system. Losing a chance at finals just because of a mechanical/electrical failure in a single match would be heartbreaking as a student and i think it’s a bit harsh for a FIRST event where that kind of stuff happens a lot

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My only take is that they should alternate sides of the field they’re on to help mitigate possible field fault advantages (like a charging station sticking). Basically every sport does this kind of flip for matches, seems reasonable.


As a student I always thought making a change like this below and extending the wildcards to the 3rd place alliance would have been nice, especially when there were multiple wildcards expiring useless at the end of the event. In my mind, it would also have been something to do while in timeout for the finals beyond dancing.


@Super84 and @s3529…This is exactly what I mean!!! However, I am leaning towards Super84…however…I love both examples!!!

We just got done with our 2nd competition in 2 weeks…I have been so busy that I haven’t been able to put this down in words or graphics. Y’all are the best!!! Thanks!

@Super84’s graphic feels wrong to me, like I play 12 matches to decide what my rank is but I can become champion in just 4 matches makes elims feel anticlimactic and in areas where there is no district points playing for 3rd is meaningless until we increase the wildcard slots granted. Also it is entirely meaningless at Championship

Running this system only in districts could be fine but further differentiating how Regionals and Districts qualify for Champs is bad in my opinion. Also I know we had a round robin on Einstein for years but I don’t think having the way the division champion is decided being different from how local winners are decided is a good idea.


You may be correct…for us, there are not a lot of regional playing afforded to us…it is mostly districts. There is no perfect solution to get our moneys worth out of either scenario. I don’t know why FIT went away from it…I was never around for it. I know that there are still regional comps out there…just not here that I am aware of. I think if we were to participate in regionals…we would have to go out of state…and for many teams, this is not an option.

Last week (week 1) we had 41 teams…This week (week two) we had 38. I think a lot of our districts are looking for teams for their events. IF we were looking at regional play…you would be looking at 3-4 regions…for about 247 teams. That is about 61.75 teams per region (some may have more, some less). Doable…but now you are taking certain schools out of the hosting money (and they make a lot from what I was told this weekend plus certain rules that they want us to follow). Then you have the time constraints for that venue that has to be large enough for this amount of Teams and spectators. Potentially, you are looking at more time, more space required, and more unknown for here due to tech issues, having to build in an extra day if all the matches are not complete…I don’t know…Potentially, we would have to make all of the existing district plays to regional…or have 6 areas that can handle it in the most efficient way possible.

I don’t have enough understanding as to how a regional play is done. We play two districts and off to State…some teams do one. Some go out of state for regional experience. So, I don’t get the Regional model you are speaking of. I am sure that I will further understand this new system…And I may appreciate it…Kinda like cars with electric windows back in t he day…Just an extra pain when it breaks…Now we can’t live without it.

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For a brief rundown on regionals vs districts…

Districts have the benefit of teams getting much more play time for the same registration fees, across two separate events so you have time to iterate on your design between the two. For the same fee you paid for your two events where you played 24 matches + 2x playoffs, a team in the regional system goes to a single event and plays 10-12 matches + playoffs.

Districts also carry the benefit of, when run at a larger scale, allowing more of the best teams (as determined by the points system) to advance to the next level by merit of the points system, which determines qualification for the District Championship and then from there to Worlds. At a regional event, 5 teams advance directly to Worlds (Winning Alliance 1/2/3, Impact Award, Engineering Inspiration Award) with some more details if there’s overlap for “Wild cards”, which can go to the Finalist alliance. Outside of those roles, no other outcome matters. There are no points and there is no intermediary layer between the Regional and Worlds. You either win or you’re done. So while knowing 3rd and 4th can have benefit in Districts because you get points, in a Regional model it doesn’t matter under the current rules. Playing for 3rd would risk feeling incredibly hollow to the teams at that point.

This year Texas is running 9 district events. In the last year they were on Regionals (2018), they ran 6 Regional events, all of which are longer (3 days + load in) and run on a larger scale (most regionals don’t fit into a high school.

And that’s not to say that Districts aren’t without drawbacks. The events are smaller, restricted on who can attend them, lead to more of a season as opposed to one-off events which can be more taxing to teams and volunteers, require more local logistics, and you advance to Worlds at the last minute which can be a scramble (among others). If you have questions about the difference between the two systems I’m happy to answer them, just PM me.

To bring this around to topic

I like the switch to Double Eliminations after seeing it over the last couple of weeks. It’s definitely a change from the old traditional bracket that we’ve grown so used to in FIRST. But in this bracket…

  • You see more varied matches of alliances.
  • You can see any combination of two alliances in the finals, rewarding teams for being the second-best-alliance and not just the second-best-alliance-from-that-half-of-the-bracket.
  • It rewards consistency in an alliance, as there are no “free losses” like there are in the straight Bo3 brackets.
  • It enabled FIRST to create a schedule where teams have 15-minutes between matches (instead of 6 or 8 minutes) which from what I’ve seen has created fewer situations where teams have to rush to the field or where it becomes a game of how closely will volunteers follow the letter of the rules as far as playoff timing, which over the last few years has caused a fair bit of drama.
  • Every match matters.

And It’s not perfect. I’m still not in love with awards between matches and having still-active teams deciding between coming through the awards line or fixing their robot. I hope FIRST keeps up the video quality and variety during the breaks. And as a spectator the 8-15 minute breaks can drag on. But so far I think the pros outweigh the cons, and I don’t know how I’d change it without either (1) going back to Bo3 while keeping Double Elimination, which will make playoffs take hours longer, or (2) removing many of the benefits above.


Thanks for the explanation on Regionals…I vaguely remember them…my kids were just getting involved in FRC…and I had no context during that time.

I know in the last few years , we still had the variety of not knowing how or who we would wind up with…until alliance selection time. I was also still figuring things out as far as what the heck and how heck everything was working.

Now it is like going to HEB one day…next they changed it around and screwed up your world because you can’t find that one item you were only going in for…now you have to go through the whole store!