Changing the Elim. Format...

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):

  1. Scrap the Elimination Points system for a best 2 out of 3 winner format (as was the case last year)

  2. 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.

Joe J.

*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).

Good Post Joe…

I agree 100%. If teams are smart, this format leads to a 1 match final. I say FIRST should revert back to best 2 out of 3. If not, I encourage all the offseason competition organizers to get creative with this games finals.

Good Luck All
Andy Grady

Similar topics. I do agree, but I don’t think it should be changed for Houston. It’s been done already, and should be finished up. Just bring it up at the team forums so they don’t do it next year.


I completely agree. We got eliminated in the semis at West Michigan when an alliance partner just barely crossed the field barrier and had their robot disabled in the first match. That made the first match basically 2 against 1, so we lost. Of course, we couldn’t come back in the 2nd match. If it were best 2 out of 3, we might have had a shot at coming back.

As you said, I highly doubt that they would change it, but I hope they do.


I also agree with Mr.Johnson. At BAE in the first match we won however the score was never displayed on the scoreboard. The announcer announced the score as 190 QP’s as well as a FIRST volunteer and several members of the audience. However, after the second match which we thought we had won they announced afterwards that we had only gotten 119 and the other alliance won. All of this is on video tape never did we get an explanation or an apology or anything from FIRST. (Insert your phrase on how sorry FIRST provided me with an awesome opportunity here). In the real world challenges are measured in successes and defeats. Its how well you react from both that measures your character and how well your team performs. This years game by having teams throw matches voids that concept. How is a team suppose to complete when the other alliance is not even playing the game!!! I said that the elimination rounds were going to be the second to worst idea ever (remember 4v0 cool right!!!). I think the format should go back to best out of three therefore if you screw up in one match you have a shot in the next two matches. It is so disadvantagous to lose the first match in Elimination rounds its not even funny. In fact you should just pack your bags when you lose the first match. The other team after winning the first match all they have to do is sweep both the scoring zones and then they win. FIRST I hope your listening please prevent an impending disaster and fix the elimination rounds to a best out of three format.

I agree that the elimination points system is not very good, but I think its too late to change.


I agree, it is probably too late, and the best two out of three. It at least gives an opportunity for all three robots on an alliance to play in the finals.

I agree also. 2 out of 3 is better.

A group of us just finished discussing the same topic
after the J&J Regional finals. Same situation came up
when the losser wins.

How about just eliminating the 2X your opponent score? This way we could still just play two matches and the highest total wins. This would force teams to fight for every point on every match. Although, a reduced score could still be an incentive in the second match if you win big in the first match.

It would not be unheard of for FIRST to make a format change in the middle of the year. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed.

I totally agree. Best two out of three. Just think back to many of the elimination rounds of the past five weeks and how much, much more exciting the rounds would have been with two out of three!

FIRST If you want to triple the excitement, make this simple change. It won’t be to the disadvantage of any team or design.

Bill Beatty

I think FIRST’s only argument to changing the format would be that they’ve already gotten this far through the season. With all the regionals this year, there probably would have been different results at every one of them had there been a simpler, more effective scoring system. I still don’t understand how FIRST considers this to be even more ‘spectator friendly’ when it’s this hard for seasoned veterans to sit there and count everything up after each match.

What’s happened at the regionals has already happened, whether everyone liked the outcomes or not; regardless, nats would probably be a lot more of a fun, competitive activity if FIRST changed their scoring system. It would not make the game any less fair or less competitive, it would not ruin anyone’s strategy… it would be a simple change to everyone’s benefit.

I also agree with Mr. Johnson. The current system is very skewed toward the alliance that wins round one, and makes for an unexciting finals. I’d like to see teams actually compete hard for their victories, rather than lose the second round on purpose.

Its too late to change the rules at this point. There are ways to counter this strategy, you just need to think of them. If we start changing rules now we will end up with what we had last year with the tape measure controversy. Everyone knows now that you need to win the first match big. If you think you are going to lose in the first match don’t go for the ramp. If you lost in the first match then keep them from descoring in the second. This not a sure way to win. We lost in the second match of the finals after winning the first at Great Lakes and lost on total points. This is still a great game this year.

Joe, I am behind you 100%.

And for all the “We’ve come this far…” people: I think most of us agree that this Elim scoring system isn’t very good (look at the poll results). So, what does it matter if we’ve already done all the regionals? The point is that we HAVE NOT already done the Nat’s, and if the game can be changed slightly (i.e. you have to WIN to WIN) to make it better, then why not do it?

FIRST wants a game that is spectator friendly, so why not actually do something about it? (I think someone already mentioned that if the matches confuse us sometimes, how would “someones grandmother” figure it out?).

It definitely should be changed for Nats.

crosses fingers

I completely agree with Joe on this change.

If you make any error in the first round or have a mechanical problem or even if you fight all the way to the end (Like you would in normal matches) it comes back to haunt you, literally the better you do (if you lose) the more it hurts you.

I was right next to Chris Hibner yelling to his alliance partner to get off the ramp since they were going to lose and make it that much harder (50pts) to win the second. It seems like a questionable strategy to descore (Been much discussion here already) but it is your only smart option under the rules that FIRST has set.

Joe, Wouldn’t it be people vs floppies 1999? :slight_smile:

I agree that the current system has some flaws, but I do not believe FIRST would change this late.

I think we’re all just going to have to tough it out, and make the best of what we’ve been given. Everyone should be taking notes for the Team Forums this summer on what they feel should be changed.

Personally, I think the coolest format would be where you play 2 matches, and only your own points are cumulative. (As mentioned by Raul.) It would make things that much more exciting, while still maintaining the 2 match format.

Although, it would erase the interesting dynamic the current system has. We may not all like it, but you must admit, it makes for some pretty interesting strategy.

Besides… this competition isn’t really about winning or losing anyway, is it? :wink:

Good luck to everybody in Houston.

Go Curie.

Maybe I’m really stupid, but I played to win every match. It never even crossed my mind through all the elimination rounds and the finals. We didn’t loose any matches in the elimination rounds or finals either. It would make it more exciting if they changed it and it would give an alliance another chance if they had a glitch the first match.

I beg to differ, in the finals at J&J the last match was extremly close, & at Cheasapeake the same happened, i think that if teams acctaully try to win the second match it makes for alot of excitment and wishing you knew what has happened

this was an issue at every regional and i just think it doesnt embody the spirit of FIRST. I admit that my alliance, 930, 16, and 65 at midwest used this strategy to a degree. We won the first match in our quarter and semis. We did win the second matches also, but did zero the score on both sides with respect to bins. We lost our first finals match when 16’s robot lost a radio modem connection. 65 put up a good fight but lost match 1. In the second match all that the other alliance had to do was remove bins and sit at the bottom to win. They won with one flipped robot and one without a functioning drive system on their left side. Now that just doesnt seem right. But they played the way the system was made, and they won doing it. I would have done the same in their position. But i think it is quite obvious that this system is wrong and unjust for all teams, and it needs to be changed. I think changing it for nationals is necessary in order to find a true winner. I feel 2 out of 3 is the best choice or if a 2 match finals is mandatory at least remove the 2x the losers score.

I agree with the masses here… out with the current scoring system… of course we were down by so much after our first match in the semi’s that we were unable to come back, and therefore did not qualify for nat’s so we wont be there… guess it doesnt matter much to me anymore one way or the other, but it should be 2 out of 3, it would make the games more exciting, and alliances more important (2nd game would just require some1 who could move the boxes and not much else)