FRC Blog - New Audience Screens & Waitlist

New Audience Screens

Check out the new ‘Match Preview’ screens below. These screens will be available for field personnel to display between matches starting with this weekend’s events and continuing to Championship. This is an optional screen for events this weekend, so you may or may not see it, but you will certainly be seeing it at Championship. Now would be a great time to make sure the ‘Team Nickname’ field in your TIMS account is up to date! That’s the field from which the system will pull the team name. We will have no ability to edit the name at events, so, especially if you are going to the FIRST Championship, please make sure that field is correct.

Championship-bound Teams and the Waitlist

Some folks, no strangers to the working end of a pencil, have noticed that if you add together the number of teams we currently show going to Championship here with the number of teams that will be qualified this weekend, you get a number much larger than 600. The way the system works, teams offered Waitlist slots, along with teams that have earned their way to Championship through performance at events, are moved to show ‘registered’ for Championship, even though they have not yet accepted those offers or secured payment. This allows them to pay registration fees via credit card in TIMS immediately, if they so choose. Of course, they can also continue to pay by check, school purchase order, etc, etc, by working with the friendly folks in our Finance department.

Some other folks have noticed that it appears as if teams from Districts selected from the Waitlist are not counting as part of the District allocation to Championship. This is true this year, as it has been in prior years, though with the number of Waitlist slots we have available this year, this is more prominent. Teams that already have Waitlist slots at Championship are essentially ‘skipped’ on the final District ranking list when it comes time to determine which additional teams will be attending from that District. This does add to the District’s total count. I probably should have codified this in the manual to make this clear, sorry for not doing so. We were aware coming into the 2015 season that this could create fairness concerns, but the ‘simple’ solutions of either not allowing District teams on the Waitlist at all, or counting Waitlist teams against a District’s allocation, have their own problems, so I decided to delay discussion and resolution of this issue with the Districts until the 2016 season, giving us time to address this properly.

Good luck to all teams competing at District Championships this weekend!


Constant improvement…I like it!

A concern I have is that it might be hard to read some parts of the display, specifically those areas where there are white letters on a medium color background. Something about a lack of light/dark contrast, and how eyes work when seeing details. (Maybe I’m just getting old.)

Good job Todd!

Now, what would be really cool is if each team could submit an entire slide of their own choosing (with tournament director veto option for anything inappropriate) and the slide would be shown as each team is announced by the Emcee.

This would help ‘brand’ each team to the public beyond just a team name and any distinctive look/performance of their bot.

Update: I do realize this would be logistically non-trivial, as the video technician needs a way to get these things cued up accurately, but the FMS could build a slide deck from the schedule and slides, and interleave match # slides (not shown) to help the technician to stay on track.

Update #2: Or maybe better, the FMS feed has the team slides, and the FMS operator clicks through as cued by the Emcee announcements. Video tech just leaves up the FMS feed during team announcements.

You just need a 1" black border around the white letters and you are legal. Oh wait I got that backwards :stuck_out_tongue:

The PNW district did something like this, but it only had the upcoming teams for the next match.

Also probably a non-trivial idea/request, but if the match preview is going to be up for any length of time, a current rankings ticker much like is used in many auto racing broadcasts might be helpful and convenient for teams and spectators.

It is subtle, but there is a black halo alpha blended into the background behind the white letters, to increase contrast. It shows both in the sample on the blog, and in the image below, captured from a webcast.

I’ve looked at the leaderboard from a variety of angles in both reflective and transmitted scenarios and there hasn’t been a legibility problem.




Do you have an example picture/link for those of us who don’t watch much auto racing? Is it like the scrolling marquee on ESPN with match updates and scores?

There’s actually a couple of designs for them
There’s the current FOX design which constantly displays the top 3 teams, and has a second box that flips through the entire rundown seen here:
The most traditional and widely used design is the scrolling ESPN marquee seen here:
Also, note that the number to the right of the names are that car’s interval to the leader in either seconds or laps, which in a 2015 FRC application would be changed to QA or potentially QA interval to the top team.

Yes you are getting old. :yikes: But you are correct that at a distance those areas will be hard to read. I know that even the students on my team had trouble reading the white on green section of the scoring slide when seated in the stands. For the team parents and I it was impossible. It was even hard for me when I was down on the field at the events I was working at and I usually had to go behind the scoring table if I wanted to know the info in the green section.

I thought there already was one. At least at all the district’s I’ve been at, there’s been a rankings ticker at the bottom of the sponsor slide, which included rank, team # and QA.

personally i despise this one, more or less because i grew up with the ESPN style, but for robotics that may be a really good way to show standings. Be able to see the top teams with one, while the other shows the current teams competing or the next matches teams competing.

Nice graphics!