Coaches keeping track of score

In the kickoff video did anyone notice them mention something about a tactician that would be keeping track of the scoring and tube placement? In the one video shot that they had of him, he a pad of paper of the rack, presumably to keep track of tube placement. Placement of the tubes is incredibly important this year, and strategically positioning them for maximum score looks to be vital to win the game.

So my question to the CD community is… What tools could/should the Coach/Tactician use to help keep track of tubes/scoring? Is memory and mad mental math skills enough?


i know in one of the kit boxes i had saw a small dry erase board ( the one in the video to use for the tactician)

Thats what I thought. However it is just a clipboard.

Are laptops allowed to be brought onto the playing field?

I already coded up a quick and dirty version of the rack (looks just like an 3x8 tic tac toe board) which allows you to enter in pieces and gives u a score in real time. The only problem in using this would be the fact that you can’t really see the other side of the board.

Neone know some awsome connect four players?

I think the “tactician” was the coach.

I knew I should have gotten that tablet PC.

i’m with macgyver on this one; a small dry erase board should be enough. as long as your tactician can hand two different markers and tell the difference between red and blue, keeping track of the tubes already on the spiderlegs shouldn’t be a problem. the challenge for the tactician will be to figure out which spiderlegs the team should try to place their inner tubes on. obviously the middle row will be the most important, but the strategic value of certain spiderlegs could change constantly based on the state of the rack. i say make your tactician the most pragmatic and logical person on the team.

as for b_mallerd’s question, i don’t think laptops are allowed on the field. i could be wrong, but i think that was the rule last year. if you are allowed, though, an interesting project would be to implement an algorithm in your program to determine and suggest which spiderlegs would be most advantageous to target based on the state of the rack at any given moment. just a thought. i’d be very impressed if you could do it.

I was thinking about a pocket PC strategy computer. At the very least, it could point out places where you should be blcoking incipient super rows from the other alliance. I know everyone’s convinced this could be a super high scoring game, but I think a good tactician is going to be blocking the super rows atleast as often as building super rows of her own. I suspect the really high scores will mostly come against weak opponents. No one’s mentioned this yet, but defensive robots aren’t just keeping opponents from building up rows, they’re protecting the rows you’re building up from being cut short by a well played opposing ringer. Your tactician(s) are going to have their hands full directing traffic and efficient coordination between teams is going to be key to success.

Also, I dispute that the middle row has any more importance than the other rows. Spoilling a vertical row of three from the bottom turns 8 points to 4 points just the same as spoilling from the middle or top. As such, I suspect the top row will be most important simply because there will be less teams than can place that high.

Well people seem to hold the middle as very important because from there you can build left, right, up, or down.

For the official competitions i think they will have a nice little program that should be able to calculate score based on where the operators tell the computer where the rings are (did that last statement make sense)? Suppose the red alliance scored in H-3 (highest rack row 3). The operator would simply click that spot and assign it a value, denoting the red alliance. Then if the blue alliance put a spoiler over that, the operator could put a spoiler over that (virtually). At the end the program would count the rows and singletons.

Afterwards it would display the score to the big screen, and it would be verified by the people on the field. Much as they did last year.

I’m going to add my voice to the people advocating small dry-erase boads. Not only does the Rack pose a physical challenge, but a visual one as well. You don’t want to be wasting time seeing what color is where on the other side assuming you still can late game, or worse, getting it wrong.

Another suggestion: only keep track of what color is where, not points. As long as you know the length of rows and colums, you don’t need to claculate point values unless you’re debating whether or not to run home for the bonus.

Here’s an interesting thought regarding the tactician: In theory, all the coach would have to do is monitor the opposing color, because it can be assumed, especially at the end of the match, that if the opposing alliance doesn’t have it, you have it. Maybe coordinate coaches so that one is watching the opposing, the other is watching your alliance. One says where to put your rings, the other says where to defend/put spoilers. The other coach and a human player could be relaying this information- there’s only two slots for tubes to go through, which at max will use 2 HPs. Just a thought…

Andy, one of the programmers on our team made an excellent suggestion for small blue/red magnets that would go on a magnetic board with a rack diagram on it. Does anyone know of teams creating anything like this before?

We had the same idea, but <T23> makes it illegal:

If it were part of the console, it would be legal, but then the coach and human player couldn’t touch it (the penalty is disable & disqualify). It isn’t decorative, and it isn’t for accessibility.

Maybe I’m just crazy (what a novel concept!), but in my mind the knowledge that the scoring is exponential could be enough for a level-headed coach to work with after some practice. I think it would be easier not to have to worry about dry-erase boards, etc. The only issue is visibility, but there’s no guarantee that ringers will be visible enough to mark down anyway.

Practice practice practice. i know through my experience coaching. you need your eyes all over the field all the time. Im taking the full time role as coach this year with 1889. i already have that whole field burned into my brain. taking your eyes off that field for half a second to mark down where those donughts are or to look down to see what you’ve written could be the end of you.

not to mention my handwriting sucks anyways

Whatever happened to real time scoring? With this game it will probably be simple enough that it should be fine for keeping track of rows and points.

Similarly me and my mentor were considering a project for my ISM course and one of the possibilities was to create a touchscreen little dealio with the rack and it would highlight your 3 best scoring options and it would give you 3 places you want to place a spoiler. We only got to the brainstorming but right now that wouldn’t be that of an idea since in the Q&A they said that it was okay if one of the drivers was using it.

The software displaying the status of the dashboard information may also display the state of the field, and any estimated score. A laptop connected to the Dashboard Port of the Operator Interface would be considered part of the Operator Console. As such, the Coach may not touch the dashboard laptop without violating Rule <G49>.
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I agree 100% tytus…I don’t think its a great idea for a coach to be attempting to “keep score” during the match. It doesn’t make sense. You just have to practice, stare at the field and get a feel for the game. If you do take your eyes off the field for a split second, something could change and your entire scoring process to that time is screwed up. You don’t need to know your score, you need to know how to increase your score and thats easily done with your eyes and some good old common sense.

Our team had posted on the Q&A board about bringing laptops on the field for coaches to use, but as stated earlier. To comply with the rules, the laptop must me connected to the OI, and only the drivers can touch it.

I would think that your coach should be very aware of what is going on, and try to figure out where the best place to score is, without using any kind of Aid. It will be pretty had to write things down on the board and such, when robots are flying around and tubes are rolling everywhere.