[FRC Blog] Week 1 Reflections

Posted on the FRC Blog 3/8/23 by Collin Fultz

Week 1 Reflections

Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST Robotics Competition Senior Program Director

Week 1 events are officially complete and the CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas season is off to an energizing start!

This was no ordinary Week 1, as snow impacted events across the northern US and Canada. I extend my sincere thanks to the teams, volunteers, partners, and staff who planned ahead and showed incredible flexibility and problem-solving acumen to give our participants the best possible experience given the circumstances dictated by the weather.

As teams are now qualifying for the 2023 FIRST® Championship, I want to remind you that information about the event can be found on both the FIRST Championship webpage and the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship Information page on the Resource Library.

Good luck to the nearly 900 teams competing in Week 2 events!

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Where are the reflections about week 1?

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Week 1 Reflections:

  • Week 1 events happened
  • Weather happened
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Collin’s from Indiana. That’s about as prose-y as we get.

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I think there’s at least one reflection in that photo (plexiglass at lower left and on the opposing driver station area).

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When the skipper doesn’t say “Avast!”, or “Belay that!”, the implied command is “Steady as she goes.”

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I think that team 610 would like to speak with 4403 about the legality of those bumper numbers…

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Pretty underwhelming.

I was hoping to hear about any potential changes with the Charging Station getting stuck.

Also any potential changes with the scoring as the ceiling for this game is already being reached week 1.

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This issue is being worked on.

So you’re saying it’s not stuck?

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Was there a section in the manual saying where scoring could be changed? Last time I recall this happening was 2016 when the tower limit went from 8 to 10 boulders. Not sure if they can change it without having the exception in the manual saying you can.

What could be changed scoring wise at this point that wouldn’t make it too far from the current game? The number of links required for the RP could be increased but it still wouldn’t change the ceiling. Difficult thing about this year’s game unlike 2016 is that you can only score 9 links before the grid is filled up. Getting bonus point for having multiple robots balance in auto would be neat but I don’t see FIRST doing that.

Rules and lawyering aside, I think this is a really hard game to change.

There are only so many nodes. If they fill up, it doesn’t matter if we adjust point values. Changes would need to somehow impact the order of operations, create additional scoring opportunities, or create additional hurdles. All of these things would probably impact strategy (make some teams wish they built a different bot) and be hard to implement.

Some bad examples:

  • Require that the bottom row be filled before the mid row counts/require that the mid row be filled before the top row counts.
  • Restrict certain nodes to auto or teleop only.
  • Create additional valid scoring locations in other places around the field.
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You could increase the number of cones behind the player stations and allow cones to be double stacked once the grid is full, triple stacked if all cone nodes are double stacked and so on.

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Sounds hard to score, but no worse than my bad ideas.

Im still liking the idea of letting an alliance stop the match early if and only if all locations are filled and tripple balanced then the game scored as is. This way time becomes the tiebreaker. (Obvious penalties for stopping early to prevent abuse) Or let us double score cubes and the like. There is room on those scoring locations for more than one

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