[FRC Blog] Timeout & Playoff Tournament Updates

Wow, I am genuinely shocked and incredibly pleased that FIRST is taking this type of comprehensive action to improve the playoff experience for teams.


The most obvious example of why is considering when the Upper Bracket Winner faces an alliance they’ve already defeated earlier in the tournament, and then that series goes 2-1 in favor of the Lower Bracket Alliance. Those two alliances split their four matches 2-2, but the Lower Bracket alliance would be crowned Champion anyway.


Yes, based on the prospective bracket linked in the blog, 3rd place is always the loser of Match 13, and 4th place is always the loser of Match 11.

is this change better for equity?
  • yes
  • no
  • probably
  • probably not
  • remains to be seen
  • :taco:

0 voters

Which change are you referring to? This is a large collection of changes.


And now we can bring back the bronze medal that was just participation medals from back when.


Oh right, completely spaced out that M12 loser plays in M13.

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looks like the Finals will just be best 2 out of 3

The lot of them, as a whole. We don’t get them individually, so take it as a block. I also totally didn’t make a grammar mistake and mean to say “Are these changes” instead of the existing first three words.


I’ll admit, I’m low key wanting the #1 alliance to grab the back up every time in the 1v8 matches. Gives the robot that’s “good enough to be ranked, but not picked” a chance to be in playoffs (Even maybe have them play both matches) and will hopefully make those matches a little closer and more exciting. (Not to mention a solid 4 robot team for #1. I expect it to happen a lot)

Personally, I would rather just allow all the teams to pick 4 during alliance selection and play them when they want.


Not all events have enough teams for 8 alliances of 4 teams each I believe.

however it seems like that backup robot wouldn’t be able to play in 1v8 and HAS to play in the next match… will be extremely confusing though as I see a lot of people probably wanting to pick up a backup robot

yet they are going to want a specific backup robot and will want it before a specific match so it will be eligible to play

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I bet FIRST won’t call this “winners” and “losers.” Even “upper” and “lower” feels unlikely…but maybe.

Just wait till we have the “gracious” and “professionalism” brackets or whatever.


In some ways the change will be more equal. I don’t see that it effects equity one way or another from the other options. It is going to make strategy and scouting more important. That is going to benefit the better prepared teams. I think the #8 seed is liking it.


Speaking from the district perspective, that creates an issue within the alliance regarding which teams see the playing field. 4 team alliances are already a bit of an awkward situation at times at Champs and Off-season events, as all 4 teams obviously want to play, but there’s no change in advancement criteria at those events regardless of whether or not you play. However, in the district system there is. As it stands, district points for playoff advancement are awarded based on how many winning matches an individual team plays in (see rule This creates competition within the alliance to ensure that individual teams see the playing field in order to obtain district points. This would be exacerbated even further by the drafting strategy that @XaulZan11 proposed (which would also impact district alliance selection points). In this form a 4-team alliance, if used interchangeably, the 3rd and 4th teams are at serious peril of not having enough district points to advance to their DCMP, even if their alliance wins the event.

While the district playoff advancement will have to be overhauled for the double-elimination bracket, there’s a chance that doesn’t happen until 2024 (with 2023 using the current district point format and playoff bracket). I certainly hope these considerations are taken into effect for both the Double Elimination district format, but also the immediate impacts in 2023 if the single-elimination Bo3 bracket is retained for that season.

The document already refers to them as the Upper Bracket and Lower Bracket in the diagram showing match flow.


For those that didn’t even have enough to run quaterfinals, what does the double elim bracket look like then? Or if there is say 25 teams, does #1 call a backup keeping everyone else from getting a backup?

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Yeah, you’re right. I don’t like that part though, because if you’re trying to fix something between alliance selection and playoff and you don’t get it done in time, the first match will still be a 2v3 because you can’t call up the backup. Probably not a problem for 1v8 but a real bummer for the closer alliances. Especially in a double elimination bracket.

Call one bracket “playoffs” and one “eliminations” for maximum fun. Have it be random between events too.


Good question! Hopefully FIRST will make SOME modifications to this. (They did say not everything was final yet) I’m sure there are all kinds of situations / strategies that haven’t been thought of yet that will need to be addressed.

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