Einstein should return to being a Round Robin

This year marks the first time FIRST has changed the Einstein Tournment Format in (checks watch) a while, and overall, I think the Double Elimination format should not be done on Einstein. For most teams, the Einstein field is a holy grail, a white whale, and honestly having teams go out after losing two matches, is no fun for the teams involved and cheapens the overall experience. The round robin format meant that you got to go up against each Division winner once, which in years past (where there were 6 divisions) teams would get to play 5 matches before finding out if they were eliminated or moving on to the finals. This meant that even if an alliance had no chance of beating an alliance at that moment, or they had an unlucky breakdown, they at least would be able to play on, and potentially still make it to finals. With the Double Elimination format that is all but eliminated. The round robin format for Einstein is what partially made einstein special, since all of the standard playoff assumptions no longer applied. The things that made the format special such as champ points and the focus on different point averages, disappeared, and with it part of what made Einstein special.

For me, it would suck to be on an alliance that lost twice in a row, and was eliminated after two matches on FIRST’s biggest field(s). The round robin means that you get to play everyone once, and it means that teams play more matches. For those teams that have made it onto Einstein for the first time, this would be their only chance to play against the other top teams in the world, doesn’t it make sense that only playing two matches before being eliminated suck for those that have gotten there for the first time? Let the divisions all play each other, and have a tournament where we get to see them all play the same amount of matches, rather than at worst only 2.

Should Einstein return to being a Round Robin
  • Yes.
  • No.
  • They should change it to something that hasn’t been done before.

0 voters


Absolutely not.

Its not great to have useless matches that don’t effect the outcome of the event. This format is also much easier to follow who is doing well, and who is still advancing.

Also 8 team round robin would take absurdly too long.

Your argument of “what if a robot breaks down” or “what about playing top teams” falls flat I think because that applies to playoffs in general. Using your logic you could say something along the lines of “it’s not fair that they played against a hard alliance and got knocked out because of it, they deserve to play all teams!”

Double Elim is a fantastic compromise of being fair to team matchups, while still being reasonable time wise.


8 team round robin would take 28 matches, compared to 15 for 6 teams. 2 groups of 4 would be a possibility, at 12 matches and each team would be guaranteed 3 matches, but it would still be 2 losses and out.


Only if they weren’t paying attention.

Round Robin is literally the worst and I’m so glad it’s gone.


I’d like to point out that this happened previously. As a team this happened to: No.

(This was before Round Robin, which was required because 6 doesn’t go well in a best-of-3 bracket setup.)


The point is more that you get to play 5 matches instead of just 2 at worst.

1 Like

Round robin with 8 alliances is 7 matches per alliance.


Presumably they’d select a division quantity that matches the selected Einstein playoff format.


Yes, but my point was still referring to past years. Comparing 2022 to 2023.
In a 2023 RR Teams would play 7 matches. But I think if Einstein was a RR, they wouldn’t have had the 2 extra divisions.


The round robin was great for those who could not attend because you got to see how each division stacked up against each other as well as seeing the best play the best.


For a total of 28 matches, over twice the amount in the current Double Elimination bracket. Consider how long that would take.


Again, I point to this:

Presumably they’d select a division quantity that matches the selected Einstein playoff format.

Regardless of its strengths or weaknesses, I think round Robin is a non-starter with 8 divisions. For it to be a possibility, we would have to change something else, 1. Back to 6 division, 2. Two groups of four round Robin. 3. Two championships. Etc.
There would simply be too many Einstein matches to run round Robin as is.


Well, all the 8 and 15 minute breaks could be removed (until the finals). So that buys time for 7 of those additional matches right there.

But FIRST would never want to give up its speech and entertainment time during Einstein.


Not only that, but consider how beat up the robots would be. My team has only been part of one off season event that had a full round robin. It was a lot of fun, but it was a battle of attrition with only 6 teams.


So in the interest of the teams that make Einstein, you would prefer to… Have less teams be selected for elims as a whole by reducing number of divisions?

Sounds like a losing proposition.


That’s not how they select division quantities.

They select based on how many teams they want to attend, and giving teams a reasonable number of matches.

Then they select the Einstein format based on number of divisions.


All I’m saying is that Einstein should be a place for all divisions to go up against each other. Not an elimination affair. It is the biggest stage for FRC, and it should showcase all of the divisions equally until the finals.


I get that there’s something satisfying about seeing every alliance play each other on Einstein, it truly feels like a “who’s actually the best” situation.

However, I think Einstein round robin had some sticking points. For one, sometimes match outcomes would not have any bearing on who makes finals, particularly near the end of RR. In some cases, we saw a team’s advancement to finals would depend on OTHER teams doing better or worse due to tiebreaker rules (much like qualification rounds), and to me that takes away some of the pure tension and excitement of each match having stakes only for the teams on the field.

Double elims was REALLY great for Einstein I think. To see Daly lose a match pretty early and comeback to finals vs Hopper who made it undefeated was cool, and especially that the two alliances hadn’t yet faced each other, so you weren’t sure what exactly to expect. That’s something from the pre-RR Einsteins that I missed dearly.


Personally I wish each of the 8 alliances would get ranked 1-8 with some criteria and then do bo3 to finals.