Hi, all. We have our first regional coming up this weekend in Chandler, AZ.
The Bit Buckets have built a low profile, fast shooting, floor pickup bot that we have added an angled feed to the top of so that we can do full court shooting. (We withheld the shooter and put it on a wooden mule for post-build time-wasting.) We seem to be able to score ~90% in the 2 point goal and ~50% in the 3 point goal at 50 feet.
I assume that full court shooting is most likely to be useful to win qualification matches, since in those matches when there’s no wallbots, we should be able to shoot all 51 frisbees in about 1:30.
Have any of you folks actually done full court shooting? What was your experience, in terms of actual success vs planned success, and when was it useful as an extra scoring strategy?
What we did was run cycles. Load 4 go to pyramid and score. We switched to full court shooting when we ran into either too much defense or when we wanted to avoid interfering with alliance partners who were also running cycles.
This strategy will be very effective in qualifying matches. In most cases a bombardment of 2 pointers should suffice but be prepared in the elimination matches to be blocked. You will draw a lot of attention to yourself being a long range shooter depending on who your partners are that may be exactly what you want to do. Let them shoot while the opposition focuses on trying to stop you.
Case in point: The St. Louis Regional and team 1706.
1706 plowed their way through qualifications (scoring 100+ points in almost every game they played in) and ended up on the 1st seeded alliance. However, they ended up losing in the finals due to 3284’s defensive net completely shutting them down.
Depending on the robot’s exact configuration, Full Court Shooting is a viable and extremely effective strategy. In our last district event we were lucky enough to partner with 225 and their FCS. They were devastatingly accurate shooting into the 2pt goal and that combined with their high exit point (~50" or so) made them really, really tough to effectively defend. Most wall bots that were built on the fly to counter their shooter weren’t all that effective.
That being said, if you’ve got a low FCS, say under 48" tall or so, odds are, someone will be able to block the better part of your shots. Though, it’s worth noting, that the difference between a shot clearing a blocker and not is usually a matter of a few inches…
We were shooting full court sometimes at Traverse City (Week 1). It worked well, but beware teams blocking you. We saw many many teams adding poles to their robots to block us (and other full court shooters). Be prepared to deal with defensive robots. Hope this helps.
I think we’ll see some excellent full-court strategies at MSC/MAR/Champs, where there will be more full-court shooters available. 2, or even 3 full court shooters that are also great at pyramid cycle runs could dominate one of the Divisions. Full-court shooters are especially useful if they can also drive underneath the opponents’ pyramid for an end-around reverse (bot 3 comes underneath either bot 1 or bot 2, both of which leave their full-court shooting positions to run a cycle, thus taking defense with them; bot 3 then begins full-court shots).
It’s an age-old remedy to a long-standing FRC defensive strategy of clogging up a field against great teams ('07, '10-'13): Fight them where they are not.
In addition to being blocked once you start shooting, expect to be blocked on your journey to the protected feeder.
Work with your alliance partners on a good strategy to get you past the defense into the protected zone. For example, your partners can pin the opponents to the rail while you zip around the right side of the pyramid to the feeding zone. Or have a partner push you through the defense to get to the feeder zone.
You can expect to be blocked and slowed on your way there, so you will need to have help from your partners to get in the zone.
Assuming your pyramid cycling is pretty fast, and your setup time for full-court shooting slows things down, you just might be better off cycling shots at the pyramid. In this case, the threat of a full-court shot keeps the defence close to you at the feeder station, which makes it easier to drive past them through their pyramid when cycling.
You may not have the full-court shot very often as a low-profile robot. But sometimes you can take advantage of a defender who needs to go and hang early in the match.
As much as I like the full court shot, at BAE our cycling ended up being faster and more accurate.
Your mileage may vary of course… but my non-answer is to do what’s going to score you the most points :D.
This works phenomenally against rookie teams and for the first half of the competition or so. By that point, even at Detroit where a quarter of the teams were rookies, almost all bots had installed some form of wall to deal with the cross court menaces (though limited driving ability of some rookie teams rendered a lot of the walls limited in their effectiveness)
As part of 225, I have to agree that blocking is going to be an issue for us. We lost once in the semis, and once in the finals due to the heavy defense stopping our robot from ever reaching the feeder station. Metal Moose in particular played an awesome defense, relying on their powerful drive to shove us around the field.
Full court shooting should work well during qualification matches, but it is not a viable primary method of scoring in eliminations, unless you have some way to shoot through or around defense (I’m looking at you, 225~). Any and every alliance will add a net (or pool noodle) to block you, and will be on you before you can fire your second disk.
It does, however, add an interesting secondary effect. If you should, for some reason, need the defensive robot to move closer to yours, shooting full court is a sure way to force them into blocking distance or closer.
I have personally seen full-court shooting wreck havoc during qualification matches (1 robot scoring 100pts by themselves, another robot scoring 23 consecutive discs).
I have also personally seen those same full court shooters get shut down during the playoffs.
What I have yet to see is an alliance prepare for this ahead of time and draft a robot with the specific task in mind to stop the defender/mobile wall from blocking the cross-court shots. When alliances realizes that there is a legitimate way to prevent your cross-court shooter from being blocked, this game will get really interesting. For now, it’s relatively predictable.
Well, think about the maneuverability you lose with an 84 inch robot. Bots who just tack that kind of height on become unbalanced, and they tend to tip. Plus, most full court shots come out fast, and unless the blocker is big and heavy, it causes damage.
ROBOT height (as defined in relation to the ROBOT) must be restricted as follows during the MATCH:
If in contact with the carpet in its AUTO ZONE and/or its PYRAMID, ≤ 84 in.
Otherwise, ≤ 60 in.*
You cross the carpet at the edge of the pyramid (outside the auto zone) and it is a foul, a technical if you keep doing it. Not exactly a good strategy for an “on the fly” modification. You are trapped and can’t load disks, not that you had been shooting any in the first place.
Now, if you built a wallbot that could raise and lower it’s wall from 84" to <60", that may work. Just don’t leave the AUTO ZONE while you are extended.
1806 was the most feared bot at the Kansas City Regional because of their versatility. They were hitting high percentage 3 point shots from full court, then if you blocked them, they would just run cycles at the pyramid, then climb for 20 and dump for 20 more. It had everyone in a panic trying to figure out how to defend it. I would be surprised if they didn’t make it pretty far at Championships.