I know that it is very late in the game to change the Elimination Round Format, but it is my considered opinion that FIRST should do it.
After observing 5 weeks of regional elimination rounds, I don’t believe that it is in the best interest of FIRST to keep the format as it is.
It is just too icky the way that it ends up.
Essentially, the second match of each elimination round involves a team loosing the match in order to win the round. There are cases where a team rebounds from a first match loss, but almost without exception, this involves strategic errors on the part of the team that won the first match.
I feel very strongly that FIRST should go to one of the following systems (in order of my preference):
Scrap the Elimination Points system for a best 2 out of 3 winner format (as was the case last year)
Keep the Elination Points, but require a 3rd match if the first 2 matches are not won by the same team.
The advantage of #2 is that it keeps the Elimination Point concept but gives a team 2 shots to overcome a loss in the first round. With the current system, a large score loss in the first match is essentially unbeatable without either the cooperation or stupidity of the team that won the first match. By giving a team two matches to make up the Elimination Point deficit, it puts the pressure back on the teams to play to WIN rather than to play to loose but by a low score.
Anyway, I know that it will probably require an act of god to get such a change implemented for the Championship Event. Even so, I appeal to gods of FIRST for just such a change.
If you have an ear at FIRST who can influence this issue, I encourage you to bend that ear, lobbying them to change the format of the FIRST Elimination Rounds.
For the integrity of the game, for confusion of the viewing public, for the spirit of FIRST that is damaged every time a team looses in order to advance, I believe FIRST should make the tough call, and change the format. *
I am quite strong on this idea – FIRST, if you are listening, CHANGE THE FORMAT, PLEASE.
Your thoughts are welcome.
*There is precedent for FIRST making a late change of the rules concerning the format of the elimination rounds at the Championships (reference the People Vs. Floppies 1998).