The Scoring system has a built in limitation on the number of Matches that can be generated. From the manual:
"For the following Event types, Limitations have been set in the Scoring System to a maximum of 5 Matches. In addition, the cycle times (time between Matches) will automatically be no less than 7 minutes:
Anyone know why? We can put 6 to 8 matches into our events easy and think it gives teams better results.
I haven’t seen it offically anywhere, but I heard FIRST wanted to promote parity between events in different regions, hence the limitations. Here in MN, I believe the plan is to run 3+ practice matches before the official matches for teams.
Personally, I’m a fan of letting regions decide how many matches teams get over a certain minimum, but then, I also am a fan of actually giving teams feedback and we know how FIRST feels about that.
You could always run the amazing VEX Tournament Manager software. Everything is a user parameter you can set. I’ve run 32 team events with 4 fields and have gotten 10 plays per team in before 2PM (with a lunch break).
We do pre-warn teams about quick turn times and they need to manage their battery collection. We also have spares and extra chargers on site.
High cost of the robot, high cost of the entry for the event, transportation, food and only getting 5 plays seems like pretty bad value proposition.
What effect will a low match count have on the integrity of the rankings? Are there any statisticians in the crowd that can run quantitative data showing the relationship between number of seeding matches and accuracy of rankings?
Five matches seems a bit on the low side for accurate ranking. Though running extra practice matches is better than nothing I suppose.
If the issue is event consistency vs. event quality my opinion would be that inconsistent numbers of matches between events is the lesser evil compared to artificiality limiting all events.
Edit: I recall within the past year or two a post in an FRC thread showing the difference in noise in the rankings at 6 vs. 8 vs. 10 vs. 12 matches. It may have been one of the district vs. regional discussions? Anyway, tried to search but it’s lost to me at the moment.
VEX seems like a bad value proposition to me. I’d much rather my students learn about design and the manufacturing of your design than “let’s buy a specific set of parts and be limited by that”. My students build a completely customized robot using a combination of 3D printed, CNC’d and manually milled parts after being designed from the ground-up in CAD. VEX is cool but students in more customizable programs learn a lot more and in turn become more inspired.
This definitely sounds like a great question for the Q&A forum. I know from my experiences at some events, they have started doing judging before the qualifiers start to avoid having one run late and the other suffer scheduling wise, similar to at many FLL qualifying tournaments.
Certainly not without an agreed enumeration of expenses and results that can be assessed to determine both value, and barriers to entry.
The skills, tools and techniques you named can all be taught, used, and improved in VRC (and any of almost all other STEM programs that build things).
“… students in more customizable programs learn a lot more”
Students in all programs can learn what they are taught. If a student I am helping doesn’t learn something they want to learn, I blame myself, not the program that happened to bring us together.
“… and in turn become more inspired.”
B) We determine this how?
Do we weigh the students at the beginning and end of a season, to determine how much inspiration they absorbed? Do we measure their lung capacity, because “inspiration” can refer to breathing? Do we normalize the results by the number of students reached, or by the dollars the students can afford to invest in the program/team/robot costs?
This is a sore subject for me. FTC, VRC, FRC, and … are all tools that all need to be used well. It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.
Didn’t say switch to VEX said, run the Tournament Software, it runs lots and lots of matches.
The second sentence applies to any robot program. Roboteers work hard on the robot, there are costs it seems a shame to only get 5 matches. Depending on the number of teams, 5 matches does not give a good base for rankings.
I’m a fan of all robot programs, just wished there were more roboteers in them.
Just checked the 11/1 update and the 5 match limitation still remains.
Anyone know where on the public FIRST forums we can discuss the Scoring system and other Tournament related questions?
Maths222 - Why would anything about the scoring system be private conversation? Without the Field Control System, Scorekeeping will be the central position of the event. We need to understand as much about it as we can.
FTC has been showing wonderful increasing transparency by posting all the volunteer documentation for the last couple of years. Just a few of these areas remain a mystery. I hope they continue to open up the transparency and let everyone in on the shared knowledge of these hidden forums.
FIRST is already not happy with a number of regional partners for all sorts of deviations from the party line that benefit local teams. In my opinion they need to take a step back from forcing a homogenous FTC on everyone and build back in some regional options (like feedback, or number of matches).
I don’t disagree, but I think that as long as we operate under the FIRST program, we should be doing things as directed by FIRST (and adapting within the rules/encouraging FIRST to change the rules rather than explicitly breaking them.)
I have heard back from FIRST regarding the match generation limit:
With the introduction of new technology this season, and our strong desire to have consistency across events, we have set a hard match limit for Official Events. We may revisit this later in the season, when we have a better understanding of the turn times for our matches, and when our teams have a better grasp on the new communications model, but for now, we would like our official events to adhere to this limit
The FTC Affiliate partner in Florida gave permission to all leagues to run their events as a super regional so we would not be stuck with the 5 match limit. It seems as if this was a last minute decision by first, as the Event Host manual still has an equation for calculating play time, etc. So there have been nearly 165 teams in Florida who played more than 5 matches. Maybe FIRST will ‘revisit’ this and remove the silly restriction.