50% of the teams at Walt Whitman High School rocked swerve drive, which follows the worldwide trend of seeing more robots that can juke tank defenders like they don’t exist. Several teams seemed to up their game this year, fielding robots that were more capable scorers than in prior years.
Two out of two CHS events have now seen the 1st seed alliance lose and move to the lower bracket, then surviving the hectic win-or-go-home double elimination play to win the event.
Playoffs 11 will go down as one of the most memorable matches in recent history, as 1731 scored all of the game pieces and wound up pushing 2900 onto the charging station for a double-balance.
2199 Robo-Lions ranked 2nd and led their 2nd seed alliance with 836 RoboBees and 2537 Space RAIDers through the top of the double elimination bracket, going undefeated until Finals where they faced off against the 1st seed. Congratulations to 1731 Fresta Valley Robotics Club, 4099 The Falcons, and 2900 The Mighty Penguins on the event win. This marks 4099’s first CHS event win and 2900’s first ever blue banner.
For the first time since week 2 of 2020, CHS will see two full size district events on the same weekend. Up in Alexandria we have a full size event, with capacity maxed out at 40 teams. There probably isn’t enough depth at this event to see lower seed alliances making too many upsets, but we could start to see some triple offense strategies become successful.
Number of Registered Teams: 40
TBA page: CHS District Alexandria VA Event (2023) - The Blue Alliance
Number of Swerves: 15+
Predicted Winning Alliance: 4099, 1727, 7770
4099 (32.28) - Sure, the Falcons are coming fresh off of a win in Bethesda, but they didn’t really show what they should be capable of. While the robot has a ton of potential, they dealt with a lot of reliability issues, leading to delayed match starts and getting bypassed in eliminations. With a bit of TLC, more consistent high node scoring, and more organization overall, they should do very well in Alexandria.
4472 (26.92) - Propelled towards the top of the pre-season CHSyness standings (5th overall) by two high ranking performances, two district event wins, and a push to semifinals at DCMP, SuperNOVA looks to continue their streak of high performance with their 2023 debut in Alexandria. Swerve drive with a high pivot arm and an intake taking inspiration from 3467, 4472 looks ready to take on the competition.
Others to watch for:
8592 (13.80) - This tanky bot from Newton Squared is shorter than a cone but has a ton of potential. Word on the street is that they’ve fixed their elevator, strengthened their cone intake, and also improved their autonomous since Blacksburg.
4541 (12.70) - Ranking 2nd at both their district events last season, the CAVineers were unable to come away with the win. Their swerve bot with an extending arm has potential but we’ll need to see how well it’s controlled and how reliable it is.
1727 (6.19) - REX looked great at the Maryland scrimmage and we expect even more from them at Alexandria, leveraging COTS has allowed them to build their most competitive robot ever. Swerve, a fast pivoting elevator, and two game piece auto modes will make them a serious contender for this event. Swiss cheese? No, we call those speed holes. This well machined bot looks extra sharp.
Three rookie teams are on the roster for Alexandria. Gouda luck, rookies!
- 9033 Ocebots - Rookie Inspiration Award in Blacksburg
- 9072 Tigerbots - 2023 debut
- 9235 ThunderBolts - Rookie All Star in Blacksburg
Hot takes from reveal videos and other inside info:
This data was gathered from social media, ChiefDelphi, and other publicly-available means including Week 0 events. These are in numerical order.
623 (18.24) - After removing their arm and swerving their way to the 4th seed alliance captain position, Oakton Cougar Robotics will need some serious changes from what we saw at Blacksburg to brie competitive in Alexandria.
1389 (13.50) - The Body Electric has been busy making upgrades since last week in Bethesda. They’re sporting a new intake for Alexandria that will improve their cycles.
1418 (7.91) - Vae Victus will debut an impressive extending, pivoting arm on top of a swerve. While never the fastest, they are known for consistent cycles and completion of all game elements, and we expect no less this year. Their 2-game-piece autonomous will boost them to be an alliance captain and/or on playoff short lists, but they will have to play carefully due to their somewhat high center of gravity.
Portsmouth will potentially feature a little more offensive power than in Alexandria, at the expense of a shallower field. With only 32 teams registered, only 8 will miss out on the playoffs and the top seeds may struggle to find a bot to match their playoff strategy.
Number of Registered Teams: 32
TBA page: CHS District Portsmouth VA Event (2023) - The Blue Alliance
Number of Swerves: 10+
Predicted Winning Alliance: 2363, 5804, 5954
2363 (43.64) - Can the win streak continue? We think so. 2363 has had two weeks since their win in Blacksburg to fine tune and work on additional auto modes. If Triple Helix can lock up the top seed the only question is: Who do they pick?
5804 (27.23) - Skill with their swerve helped propel TORCH to a Finalist appearance at last season’s District Championship, followed by a Newton Division win and an Einstein appearance. If they can keep the tread on their swerve modules, 5804 will surely find themselves high in the rankings.
1610 (21.47) - On the opposite end of every winning streak has to be a losing streak. Who lost to Triple Helix in the finals at all three events they attended in 2022? That’s right, Blackwater Robotics. The top-ranked non-swerve bot in the district in our pre-season rankings, 1610 are the defending champions in Portsmouth. Expect to see Blackwater snap up cones and cubes with an Everybot-style intake on the end of a pneumatically telescoping arm. Their cycles will be fast, but can their air compressor keep up?
Others to watch for:
384 (20.66) - A perennial favorite, SPARKY has, you guessed it, a swerve drive. High in CHSyness based on two high rankings and two district event wins in 2022, the two-time district champions are making their season debut at Portsmouth.
1908 (19.62) - The Shorebots ranked 3rd (their highest qualification ranking ever) in Bethesda last week and led the 3rd alliance deep into the double elimination bracket, coming away with a 4th place finish and raising them to Top 20 in current CHSyness. Even with an event’s worth of experience under their belts, 1908 will have to pick up the pace to break their blue banner drought at Portsmouth.
Three rookie teams are on the roster for Portsmouth, all making their FRC debut this weekend. Gouda luck, rookies!
- 9010 CrabBots
- 9179 Ballou Robotic Knights
- 9214 Roadstead Montessori High School
What exactly is CHSyness? We’re glad you asked! We take real district event results (no Championship data, sorry 4099) and merge it with some magic formulas, throw in a little Elo, then mess with it until we like the results. We also give bonus points for inside info and secret reveal videos. The way we do the calculation is subject to change week to week. Super straightforward? Yeah, we thought so. Just trust us. As we move through the season, the 2023 events will be weighted higher than 2022 events.