Community Reaction to Triple Play

I was doing some FIRST look backs, and a question popped into my head. What was the reaction of the community to the introduction of three team alliances? Since the years before only had two teams per alliance. I couldn’t really find any reaction threads of the era, so I’m curious if anyone who remembers that era of FIRST could teach us youngsters.


I did some digging and found a few things, like this thread.

Looks like most people were fine with 3 team alliances, but a lot of criticism was directed at other things like a registration price increase and the gameplay in general.

I did find one particular comment that didn’t age very well, though…

The 3vs3 thing will, I think, ■■■■ more people off in the end, because, with the same size field, your robots are going to be crunching into each other.

Not to mention the ramifications this is going to have on scoring. The discrepencies between the high ranked and low ranked teams will win, and it is even less likely that a deserving team will go to the finals. After all, one great team might be able to carry a two person alliance, but a three person alliance? Pish.

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While I was only in FRC for one 2v2 season, initial reaction to 3v3 alliances was pretty nonchalant among most folks. There had only been five prior (non-consecutive) 2v2 alliance games, so changes like this were not unexpected.

Once it got time to the competitions, 3v3 was both exciting and somewhat stressful when you realized that you could get 12 qualification matches with fairly quick match turnaround times in a small 30ish team Regional.

Overall, Triple Play has always been among my top three favorite FRC games that I’ve participated in, and has been the only FRC game that I was genuinely sad would never be played again after its final off-season competition match.


Although there were some concerns about the field being crowded, there were two things that were received very well:

  1. With more robots in each match, teams were very excited about getting extra matches at their events. This was a time when most (80%) of teams only attended one regional, and often only played 6-8 matches for their entire season.

  2. With 3 robots being on an alliance, teams were thrilled that having a partner who couldn’t move (which was much more common back in this pre-COTS era), wouldn’t be as debilitating as it was with only 2 robots on an alliance. At the same time, it created a bit more parity, as it became harder for 1 dominant robot to outscore an entire alliance.


100% agree with this. I was a student for the 3 games prior to Triple Play. Our team got 8 Qual matches in 2002, 8 in 2003 at a regional, 7(!) in 2003 at CMP, and only 6 matches in 2004. Compare to 2005 and we got 11 qual matches.

I also seem to remember that behind the wall was much more chaotic for the drive teams. It’s hard to communicate with another group of 3-4 people while driving a robot, but now you had to communicate with two other groups!

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