CHS Platter - Week 4 - Supreme Pizza

♫ Today is where your [rule] book begins ♫ -

This week, the Platter is opening up the dirty window and letting the sun illuminate some of the issues that caused much controversy – and a lengthy delay – before VAPOR alliance selections. It turns out, teams were having to play under rules in the “unwritten section of the game manual.” Students who brought evidence that disagreed with the Head Referee were left with incorrect, event-changing results from interpretations which used rule verbiage from a game other than Destination Deep Space.

This issue came to a head when a difference of opinion about what constitutes a Climb determined the outcome of qualification match 66. At the end of the match, a red alliance robot was fully supported by HAB 1 and their bumpers were fully above the elevation of the HAB 1 platform. However, this robot’s bumpers extended horizontally outside the vertical plane of the HAB. As a result, this robot was not awarded a HAB Level 1 climb and the affected alliance lost the match by 1 point.

For reference, Section 5.3 of the game manual states:

Teams believed that the Head Referee’s interpretation was unfounded - there is no vertical plane guideline for HAB climbs in the game manual. It turns out that identical rulings were made in other matches at both VAGLE and VAPOR (such as Q22). Affected teams remained in the question box through the end of qualification matches because they were unable to be shown any documentation supporting the referee’s interpretation of the rule, which included an hour long delay while waiting for a resolution to be reached. After escalation to FIRST HQ, it was explained to teams that the ruling was indeed incorrect and had been incorrect for the entire event. No previous match outcomes would be changed, but the HAB Climbs would be scored correctly in Playoffs.

The “made up” nature of the rulings has been an issue on multiple occasions now, including this same event last season. Our hope is that the FIRST Chesapeake leadership will watch more closely for these types of incidents in the future. Great reffing is so close we can almost taste it, but what will happen in the next FIRST Chesapeake event is still unwritten.

Week 3 Recap -

Up north in Owings Mills, HAB 3 bots owned the top of the rankings. 2199 took the 1st seed going 11-1 and boasting the 2nd highest ranking score (2.83) seen in the district so far, outscoring the 2nd place team by 5RP. Alliance selections went by OPR with 2199 selecting 1629, then 2nd seed captain 836 inviting 614.

Although two sets of quarterfinals went to rubber matches, the higher seed red alliance prevailed in each set. 1 seed 2199, 1629, replaced 2988 with backup bot 5830 for their run through the semifinals and advanced to the finals in 2 matches. The 2 seed made up of 836, 614, and 3748 took the semis in 3 matches against a strong 3 seed.

Finals pitted the 1 seed vs the 2 seed in an offensive matchup featuring the top 4 OPR robots at the event. The 2 seed came out hot scoring 94 points in F1 even after 836 parked on Hab 3 for the last 30 seconds of the match. The 1 seed picked up the win in F2 after the 2 seed missed a HAB 3 climb, forcing the rubber match.

Down in Portsmouth, HAB 3 climbs dominated rankings yet again but two full rockets early in qualifications mixed up the rankings on Saturday. Out-of-district visitors 190 moved slowly and struggled with Hatches and Cargo early in their first event but improved as matches progressed and eventually pulled away with the 1 seed, benefiting from their consistent HAB 3 climb. Possibly influenced by their local celebrity status, 2363 was chosen by 190 for the first overall pick and rounded out the alliance with a defensive bot in 4466. The 2 seed 1599 selected Rocket specialists 1610 and also filled out their alliance with a defensive bot in 6882.

Quarterfinals all went chalk in two matches. After winning the first semifinal match handily, the 1 seed lost two straight to the 4 seed alliance of 2106, 1413, and 5546. The 4 seed’s upset was aided by a failed Hab 3 climb by the 1 seed in SF2.

Moving into the Finals, the 4 seed did not play defense against the 2 seed offensive onslaught of 1599 and 1610, while 6882 kept the 4 seed busy with effective defensive measures. The 2 seed of 1599, 1610, and 6882 went undefeated in the playoffs to secure the blue banner. This marks the first ever event win for 1599 who never missed a HAB 3 climb in playoffs.

Interesting CHSy Facts:

  • 2998’s win of the Quality award at VAPOR this week marks the first time they have won an award in their 11 years of competing. This week also marked their first ever semi-final appearance after making their quarter-final debut last season. It looks like they’ve secured their spot at the DCMP this year… congratulations to the VikingBots!
  • So far there have been 3 full Rockets in CHS, and 1610 participated in completing all of them.
  • 8 teams competing this week already have a Destination Deep Space Finalist/Winner medal.
  • With a Gracious Professionalism award win in Owings Mills, 888 continues their streak of winning at least 2 GP awards each year since the switch to districts.

CHS Platter - Week 4 - Supreme Pizza

Oxon Hill:

Number of Registered Teams: 38

TBA page:


Livestream: Primary, Full field view with corner insets

CHSyness: 8.30

Extra Sharp Prediction:

Winning alliance of 1885, 836, and 2421

The Favorites:

1885 (22.44) - As the highest-ranked single-event team in the district, ILITE has shown a robot that might be capable of everything in the 2019 game. Although their climb attempts failed in Bethesda, through rapid game piece output and effective strategy they were able to eventually topple alliances that had climbs in the tournament. Their first event looked a bit all over the place, but historically their second event has showcased a concentrated strategy with some of the best execution speeds in the district.

836 (19.44) - With last week’s win, 836 jumped into the top 5 in CHSyness in the district. The RoboBees put up some of the top un-penalized scores in the district at Owing Mills, beginning several matches with a delicate ballet which led to 35 points at the start of teleop. Every match also ended with a reliable level 3 climb. Their cargo game is a little slow, but their hatch game is on the money. On top of that, they’ve shown the willingness and capability to play very effective defense for just a few seconds at a time. If they borrow a few plays from 346’s strategy in VAGLE, then the Bees may be unstoppable at this event.

612 (17.55) - Chantilly’s success in Haymarket came from a reliable level 3 climb, a solid cargo scoring mechanism, and great strategy. Not only did they get one of the only other level 3 climbers at the event, they also got one of the only other hatch bots as well. The great news is they’ll have plenty of partners to choose from, and with one of the only level 3 climbers at this event we expect they’ll seed in the top 4.

Others to watch for:

116 - Epsilon Delta had solid cargo placement in Haymarket, a field that was shallow in hatch bots. With the right partner, a steady level 2 climb, and more purposeful driving while defending, they could go deep into the tournament.

339 - Kilroy was slow and steady in Haymarket, and it looks like they can get much faster with some software presets/tuning. Their reliable level 2 launch/climb propelled them to an alliance captain position, but that alone may not be enough for a Week 4 event.

611 - The Saxons were a sleeper going into Haymarket, and possibly the most-improved team in Week 1. They debuted a robot capable of doing multiple game pieces on multiple levels, but eventually stuck with what worked best - a solid cargo mechanism.

620 - The Warbots had a very rough start to Haymarket, in what appeared to be a battle between lag and integration of code. Towards the end of quals, their driving and robot functionality was much smoother. If the flurry of recent code commits is any indication, they’ll look to change up drivers and add even more improvements to a promising, mechanically-capable machine.

623 - Cougar Robotics’ lack of elimination berth at Haymarket this year was their first ever at a CHS event. They’ll be looking to correct that anomaly this week.

1418 - Vae Victus brought a very capable machine that came close to solo’ing the rocket ship twice in Haymarket; yet they needed some assistance from partners to top off the cargo both times. We count only two other reliable level 3 climbers at this event, so expect them to seed in the top 4. More confidence in driving while heavily defended would make this team a CHS Platter favorite for this week.

1446 - RoboKnight’s 2019 bot seems to want to turn right, alot. With just some minor ambi-turner tuning to that drive train, the defense this team puts out could scramble the top 8.

1727 - REX was undoubtedly KING of cargo in Bethesda, putting up top scores for cargo throughout the event. When paired with a single team competent in hatches, this team can put up major points if left undefended. Wait until you see their new hatch intake, it’ll have you spinning!

1731 - Slow and steady with both hatches and cargo, Fresta Valley is looking to upgrade their performance from Haymarket. Don’t expect this team to climb with 30 seconds remaining; their plays all the way up to the buzzer led their alliance to that Week 1 victory.

1895 - Lambda Corps was able to provide a few clutch cargo pieces in their Haymarket qual matches, but ultimately they were responsible for some smart defense in quarterfinals. If this team can get their Sandstorm hatch placement to be reliable, look for them to be a valuable late first or second pick.

2377 - After a strong 2018 showing, C Company is looking to improve on their first performance at Owing Mills. They have a very capable hatch & cargo bot already; just a few small tweaks with some extra practice are all that is needed for them to be in contention for a win this weekend.

2421 - RTR is looking to gain some stability in their play after having some seasons with very high and very low points since switching to districts.

2534 - The Lumberjacks had a strong performance at Haymarket and should rank high again with their consistent level 3 HAB climb.

2819 - Team Dynamite got a trial by fire experience last season when they had to captain an alliance into their first ever elimination round berth. They’ll be looking to turn their defensive experience from week 1 into some qualification wins. Alliances may be looking to grab a defensive robot in the last round of selections.

2900 - The Mighty Penguins went all in with a ramp bot this season which got them picked for the elimination rounds at their first event. We aren’t sure that will be the case here.

2912 - After 1123 was rejected by their first five picks at Bethesda, it was Panther Robotics who finally agreed to join their alliance. Their balanced hatch and cargo play helped them to three playoff match wins, but they’ll need to improve cycle times to stay competitive at this event.

2914 - 2914 has consistently a middle of the pack second pick team that is just on the verge of breaking into the next category. Their robot quietly scored a bunch of cargo in their QF matches at Bethesda and could be a good addition to an elimination alliance this week.

3650 - Bravely bringing a ramp-bot to Bethesda in week 2, maybe some geometric tweaks to the design can provide for some high profile climbing assists this weekend.

3714 - SOAR missed their first couple matches, but eventually got working and focused on defense. Expect that to continue at MDOXO.

4242 - Every year, FRESH tech always brings a great, “simple” robot capable of performing well, and Haymarket was no different. Their cargo game was their mainstay, and look for them to make minor improvements to make it even better.

4472 - SuperNova capitalized on last year’s success with another strong performance in Bethesda. They were able to put up solid hatch and cargo stats throughout the event, and really turned up the heat in elims with an average of 8 game pieces placed regardless of defense.

4514 - Calvert came into Bethesda with alliance station-only loading and encountered a swift quarterfinal exit. If they can find a way to navigate stray balls from the depot, there’s a chance for improvement.

4541 - The lone CHS representative on Einstein in 2018, will the CAV-ineers be able to recover from a rough start last week at Owings Mills?

4638 - Jagbots can match any team at this event hatch-for-hatch, and just need a partner to assist with some follow up cargo. With their smart sandstorm strategy and excellent driving in traffic, this team will make a valuable first or second pick.

4821 - The DC International School team suffered connection issues in the quarterfinals at Bethesda. That and a backup call brought a quick end to their first appearance ever as an alliance captain. They lost to the eventual event winners in two matches. An improvement in robustness could change their fate.

5115 - The Knight Riders’ suction cup manipulator struggled to hold onto game pieces at Bethesda, and they missed the playoffs because of it. Still, with both cargo and hatch capabilities and a four-bar arm (reminiscent of their successful 2018 design) that can reach the top of the rocket, they at least have the upside to do well here.

5243 - The only team attending their 3rd CHS event this week, Aegis struggled at Bethesda but defended their way to a captain slot at Owings Mills. Their always-strong outreach program won them an EI at that event, and they will be looking to keep their district champs hopes alive with a Chairman’s here.

5587 - Titan Robotics has been ‘in the hunt’ for a win for a few seasons now, and their performance in Bethesda proved they have what it takes. In QF’s and SF’s they were able to put up respectable amounts of game pieces on all levels. Unless they create a climber or get a favorable schedule, they will likely be the perfect first pick for any alliance.

5724 - The team traveling the furthest distance to compete in this week’s event, Spartan Robotics has already snagged a WCMP birth at the Miami Regional as the 2nd pick of the #1 alliance captain.

5841 - The Patriots came into Bethesda with a focus on hatches that started to come together late. Some practice and improvements could put this team in the playoffs at Oxon Hill.

6213 - Team Quantum has never made eliminations at a CHS event. However, if they can hone in their driving, their level 2 jump in sandstorm and extra wide chassis may make them a desirable pick for defense - if they can stay away from yellow cards during qualification.

6312 - 2017(0 events), 2018(1 event), 2019(2 events?)…2025(8 events!)

6543 - pumaTECH made it all the way to Finals in Haymarket, and could have tipped the scales with just a few adjustments to their defensive strategy. This Everybot-style machine still has potential as an offensive bot, as proven by 2998’s performance last week.

6893 - CHS Platter has seen things you people wouldn’t believe-- a set of bumpers that magically arrive in the perfect defensive position to frustrate scoring attempts by the opposing alliance. Those bumpers were driven by Bladerunners, and we’re eager to see more excellent strategic defensive driving by this team.

7714 - Guaranteed to pick up an award at this event, rookie RedRoad will serve as a competent defender if they can cross the baseline in every Sandstorm and maintain connection to the FMS throughout the matches.

Season Platter Prediction Results:

  • There will be an average of 73 pizza boxes brought into events each week. (Current average: 74.011899889991197253 PB/Event/Week)
  • There will be 3 new CHS District prediction accounts this season, and a corresponding increase in cheese puns. (One down, two to go)
  • VAHAY - 1731, 2363, and 339
  • VAGLE - 384, 1262, and1793
  • MDBET - 1885, 4472, and 2912
  • MDOWI - 836, 614, and3389
  • VAPOR - 2363, 1610, and 1793

Didn’t see your team mentioned? You probably aren’t playing this weekend.


Don’t the people who write this thing have jobs they need to be doing?


@wilsonmw04 probably just gave his kids a quiz while he wrote it.


Did you notice how our teams aren’t on here? What gives?


i’m not claiming this one. Some rogue actor stole the account and added some random commentary on reffing and transparency. That’s not my lane when it comes to a prediction account. That crap should be left for

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@Knufire so much pre-scouting

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this is hilarious

I’ll be here all week.

Do you take article suggestions?

I think that website is fake news. Did you see that thing they posted about the routers? Completely made up. HQ even put out a screensteps article refuting it.

Absolutely! But only if it’s satire. No no, only if it’s a real article that should be sent to every as offical information. Oh, hell, now I’m confused. Just send in whatever you want and let’s see what sticks. But above all it has to be EDGY and reek of elitism.


:confused: :question:

I’m lost.

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EXACTLY how I feel! glad we are on the same page.

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I stepped back a lot this year from FIRST, but when I heard about this incident elsewhere I watched the video, saw who the head ref was, and I have to say, I’m not surprised. In 14 years of FIRST, I’ve not met a more rude, uncaring ref than the one who did that event. After experiencing her in 2016, I made a point to ensure that my students would never be at an event that she reffed because of how horrible she was to my students. We had (within the rules) damaged a team’s robot playing defense that year and got cursed out from that team. Turned out they were friends with her, and so she went out of our way to make our lives hell, including lying to the judges saying we were bullying teams. We had later found out that we were going to win Chairman’s if it hadn’t been for her. I of course contacted FIRST, but apparently constant bullying of teams or the other complaints I’ve heard about her from other teams isn’t enough for FIRST or FIRST Chesapeake to remove her.

She is the exact opposite of inspiring, which is what every volunteer must strive to be. I’ve also heard a rumor that she’ll be the head ref at district champs this year. If I were a team lead, I would be extremely worried about getting on her wrong side considering how terrible of a person she has proven to be over the years.


That’s interesting because judge’s deliberations are extremely confidential. So much so that even judges notes are confiscated at the end of an event. That’s pretty chilling news that what happens in the judges room isn’t confidential after all. That or what you heard was just a rumor?

Deliberation is extremely confidential, but when a team is removed from awards due to behavior at the event the judge advisor is supposed to talk with the team and let them know. It was told to me that we were removed from an award that day, then when I received a forwarded email from an individual in FIRST Chesapeake who was looking into the incident from the judge advisor that read as follows (I still have the email) “The team was removed from the Chairman’s award due to unsportsmanlike behavior reported by the head referee.”

So yeah, I know typically judge things dont leak, but due to the nature of what happened it was confirmed to me by the judge advisor through FIRST Chesapeake staff.


This is awful this happened, Zac. I remember that 1111 helped out 2363 out of a serious bind at the event you’re referring to. I wish I could have could have helped advocate for your kids in some way.


Thanks Nate, I appreciate it. Sadly with even if every team had advocated for us I dont think it would have mattered. I distinctly remember after she gave us a red card after the match (which you cant do) my student went to the question box to ask for clarification just so that it wouldnt happen again if we did indeed screw up. Her only reply to my student was “I’m not done with you yet. I’m working on getting your team kicked out of the event for what you did”

Try comforting a team after that is said to them by someone who is supposed to inspire them. That was a hard day.


This reminds of a thread that got back to me about me as a teacher. A closed community group asked for a recommendation about what physics class to take. Two former students proceeded to bash my fellow teachers and myself for why they weren’t prepared for college physics and how bad the classes were. I couldn’t defend myself. I couldn’t rebut what was said. They used quotes and catch phrases out of context to put me in the worst light possible.

Sorry, this is getting out of hand. If you have a problem with a staff member, move it up the chain. If you don’t like the results, keep moving it up the chain. If you still don’t get satisfaction keep moving it up the chain. Airing it publicly in this one sided fashion is, frankly, more than disappointing.

Shhh you’re not supposed to tell anyone about that.