CHS Platter - Week 3 - Double Cheese

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
Livestream: Twitch
CHSyness: 7.86
Number of Swerves: 15+

Predicted Winning Alliance: 4099, 1727, 7770

The Favorites:

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.

Rookie Spotlight:

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
Livestream: Twitch
CHSyness: 8.25
Number of Swerves: 10+

Predicted Winning Alliance: 2363, 5804, 5954

The Favorites:

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.

Rookie Spotlight:

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.


Just a quick edit, the Ocebots are team 9033, not 9003 (it gets kinda confusing since both are rookie teams in CHS)

Its nice to be mentioned once in a while. Keep in mind we do have some history with 2363 and 5804. 5804 were our alliance partners twice last year both times against 2363. Once at Richmond and then again at DCMPs. 2363 lost to us at VCU in 2013 , We were paired together at the Maryland regional in 2014 when we had the “perfect cycle” in match 51 and won with them in 2015 at VCU. We then pulled off a win in 2017 with them at Portsmouth. No telling what will happen at Portsmouth this year. Luck and the match schedule will play a part in that. We may not have a swerve drive but we’re working on it .


Oops GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Fixed, thanks!

Excited and can’t wait to show yall what 9214 has up their sleeves. :wink:

Good luck to all those competing this week. We’ll be streaming and cheering you on while we try to figure out how to make our robot work. :slight_smile:

Two of these three rookies did not make it to the Portsmouth event. What should our district organization and our community as a whole be doing to help ensure teams - and particularly nascent rookie teams - actually make it to competition?

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What specifically kept them?

That’s a great question! I’m just a busybody on the internet who plays with spreadsheets so I have no idea. I hope our district staff, FIRST Senior Mentors, and/or Team Advisory Committee know the answer and are using it to shape plans for future years.

I think some helpful hands would go a long way with rookies in this region. We as rookies this year were never contacted on how it’s going or a welcome to FIRSt by the locals, only after I reached to see what there was to help us. Local teams reached out and helped, but not our local leadership.

That’ll go a long way.

What ya’ll think of 9214? Not that much of rookies with me helping out with 18 years of experience. :stuck_out_tongue:

We would have loved to start working together even earlier! :smiley:



Yup. The local teams were great and helped us a lot! Much appreciated!

Congrats on the win.


There was some data presented on this topic in tonight’s town hall:

We have 60 teams that are gonna compete at our Championship. We currently have 137 Active teams-- that’s teams who have readied up with FIRST-- and we saw about 111 of those teams compete this season.

So we’re feeling good, we’re hopeful that next season we’ll have some more of those Active teams who have readied up, participate and really help grow our FRC population.

Do those numbers jibe with your observations @pchild ?

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I think that “active teams” are teams that have payed in the last 3 years. Don’t ask me to quote where I read this because I can’t remember.

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It’s definitely in the vein of recently active teams. On that list are 6334, who haven’t been active since 2021. With regards to the engagement with the newly formed rookies, I feel like as Alex stated previously, getting those rookies connected to nearby teams to help them through it, especially if all facets of the team(Mentors, Students, parents, etc.) are new to the program, they often don’t know what all they need to do and what the full process of a season is. Potentially make some engagement events for the teams to attend as a one-day thing that will allow them to get to know the community and find a vigor for it before the season starts.

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Realized I never responded to this. They don’t. FRC Events / TBA show 139 teams on the rankings pages, I guess 137 isn’t that far off? We had 109 – not 111 – teams compete in 2023, had three teams who didn’t make it to any competitions, and had five teams who only made it to one comp.


As an aside it seems strange to use “paid within the last three years” as a definition of “active.”

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