getting picked for finals...

Posted by Ken Leung at 03/27/2001 4:09 AM EST

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

With only two alliances from each division going to the finals, I know it¡¦s going to be extremely tough getting in the top 4 of each division. So what are teams going to do about this?

One thing I am pretty sure about is that FIRST will not be able to add more alliance going into the finals. So that leaves the teams to work the rest out¡K

One thing I notice from all the years of competition with the system of alliance is that some teams tend to aim for ¡§getting picked¡¨ in the finals, instead of pushing to be the top finalist¡K

Sometimes, those teams will totally give up getting high score, and just consistently do what their machine is good for, and show that they will be great alliance partners. I think this will be especially true for this year¡¦s competition, since there will be special demand of certain robots in an alliance. I know for certain that limbo bots that handle big balls are highly in demand, as they are like to get out of the way of the bridge, while scoring big balls. And then, there are the ramp bots that will also be extremely helpful in the traffic of the field¡K etc.

Do their ability justify their intention of showing off how good they will be as partners, instead of trying to get high scores? They can be consistently doing the one thing they do best in, while not scoring a large amount of points. Will that kind of action not lower the overall qual. points of their alliance partners each match? Is that kind of strategy not fair to other teams?

I am really interested in hearing what other people plan to do to get picked into the finals¡K Do they really have to do anything? Or would their reputation built in the regional competition carry them to the next level automatically? Are the qualifying rounds really that meaningful for this year¡¦s competition where only 10 teams get to go to finals out of 84 teams? How will gracious professionalism play in this kind of situation¡K?

Posted by Ellery at 03/27/2001 8:49 AM EST

Engineer on team #191, X-CATS, from Joseph C. Wilson High School, Rochester NY and Xerox Corporation.

In Reply to: getting picked for finals…
Posted by Ken Leung on 03/27/2001 4:09 AM EST:

Hi Ken!

In my opinion I think people should concentrate on wach team’s ability to accomplish their given tasks while still try to get the most points possible by planning properly.

The X-CATS have always been a great contender at all the competitions throughout the 10 years involved and I say honestly say that having a great machine isn’t always everything. It’s a whole package deal!

I believe in reliability in the team’s machine (no break-downs), experienced drivers (consistent), student Coaches’ with great scouts (proper info to develop the best strategy) and last but not least a team that is easy to work with and has a strong cheering section! :slight_smile:

Going for BIG scores will always have risks but might as well go for the gusto if you only have 7 matches

Posted by Rob Zeuge at 03/27/2001 8:57 AM EST

Coach on team #121, Rhode Warrior, from University of Rhode Island and Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

In Reply to: getting picked for finals…
Posted by Ken Leung on 03/27/2001 4:09 AM EST:

This is a very interesting situation that is actually a real concern. My strategy is to go for the max every time because the only way I see to get into the finals is to qualify high. Six out of 80 teams will end up getting picked, and they will probably be picked by teams that were in rounds with them at the nationals or at a regional. I feel sorry for teams who are only attending nationals, as their chances of being picked are almost nil.

I have concern for teams like mine. We attended the New York regional, and had a decent performance. We seeded high, but our average points were low. Teams will probably base their picks on the scouting databases set up from regional play, and many teams will not have good representation in this.

This brings up another fun thing we could do with the alliances. It will probably be easy to determine which 10 teams will make it out of each division as soon as the divisions are set. For fun we could set up something like the NCAA tournament does where people try to pick the alliances and who will win. (this would be purely for fun, we don’t need to taint FIRST with any semblance of gambling)

Anyway, those are just some thoughts…

Best of luck
Robert Zeuge
[email protected]

Posted by Carolyn Duncan at 03/28/2001 4:00 PM EST

Student on team #495, The Pack, from Jamestown High School and VBEP/Raytheon/Saic.

In Reply to: Re: getting picked for finals…
Posted by Rob Zeuge on 03/27/2001 8:57 AM EST:

I like the idea of the bracketing. I’m game. Anyone else in? It would be a great way to make sure everyone gets to compete in something and people will get to know more people from other teams.
:Carolyn
Team 495

Posted by Carolyn Duncan at 03/28/2001 4:05 PM EST

Student on team #495, The Pack, from Jamestown High School and VBEP/Raytheon/Saic.

In Reply to: getting picked for finals…
Posted by Ken Leung on 03/27/2001 4:09 AM EST:

I think tis is a great point to address. My thoughts are that teams should flaunt what their bot is great at and get the most points. For instance, team 495 is an excellent bridge ballancer. We balance the bridge with 2 full goals and another bot from off the bridge. We can flaunt this and score many valuable points for the alliance because of the multipliers, both balance and time. It would be the most impressive and make the biggest impact if the teams that emerge from this competition had flaunted and scored well.
:Carolyn
Team 495

P.S.
Sorry for the plug but I think our bot is “money”!

Posted by Patrick Wang at 03/28/2001 8:43 PM EST

Student on team #115, MVRT, from Monta Vista High School.

In Reply to: getting picked for finals…
Posted by Ken Leung on 03/27/2001 4:09 AM EST:

Definately I think going for High School is the way to go. I know this through expierence last year and this year. If you do not get a high point base, you will NOT get noticed. Unless you completely stand out from the rest of the field as dominating, there is a great chance that the scouters will not be able to convince people in the decision making group whether or not to pick a certain team.

Also,

Don’t you just LOVE the cheers from the crowd when you score over 400 points during elimination? you gain much more recognition by doing that. (And gratification :slight_smile:

Just my 2 cents.
Patrick

Posted by Patrick Wang at 03/28/2001 8:44 PM EST

Student on team #115, MVRT, from Monta Vista High School.

In Reply to: getting picked for finals…
Posted by Ken Leung on 03/27/2001 4:09 AM EST:

Definately I think going for High Score is the way to go. I know this through expierence last year and this year. If you do not get a high point base, you will NOT get noticed. Unless you completely stand out from the rest of the field as dominating, there is a great chance that the scouters will not be able to convince people in the decision making group whether or not to pick a certain team.

Also,

Don’t you just LOVE the cheers from the crowd when you score over 400 points during elimination? you gain much more recognition by doing that. (And gratification :slight_smile:

Just my 2 cents.
Patrick

Posted by Joe Johnson at 03/28/2001 9:18 PM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: getting picked for finals…
Posted by Ken Leung on 03/27/2001 4:09 AM EST:

There are a few teams (notably Team 71 and Team 254 –
5 and O in Regional Play – unbelievable!) that will
rise to the top no matter what partners they get.

For most of the rest of us, it is likely going to be
very tough sledding. Luck is going to play a huge role
in who gets to the top 4 slots of each division at the
Nationals.

Between the luck of having a partner fall over on the
ramp and the luck of having several tugger/balances in
a single match (only one of which will be in charge of
its destiny) there are going to be a lot of teams
feeling that luck did them in at the Nationals.

I wish us all luck at EPCOT.

For what it is worth, in my view, in the six years I
have been playing the FIRST game, the outcome of the
Nationals has never been in less doubt while at the
same time, the correlation between a team having a
great robot and a team’s likely finish at the Nationals
is as low as it has ever been (with certain exceptions).

As I said, good luck to us all… …we will need it.

Joe J.

Posted by Rob Zeuge at 03/29/2001 9:44 AM EST

Coach on team #121, Rhode Warrior, from University of Rhode Island and Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

In Reply to: Being lucky vs. being good…
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/28/2001 9:18 PM EST:

The difficulty this year is that there are many good robots that will not be able to figure out who should perform what task, and very few superior robots that will always get their way.

The superior ones will set a simple and effective plan, be consistent, and rise to the top.

Who knows what will happen to all those good bots out there who deserve more than a shipping crate for lunch on Saturday…

Best of luck

Robert Zeuge
[email protected]

Posted by Jessica Boucher at 03/29/2001 3:17 PM EST

Student on team #237, Sie-H2O-Bots, from Watertown High School and Eastern Awning Systems & The Siemon Company.

In Reply to: Being lucky vs. being good…
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/28/2001 9:18 PM EST:

: For what it is worth, in my view, in the six years I
: have been playing the FIRST game, the outcome of the
: Nationals has never been in less doubt while at the
: same time, the correlation between a team having a
: great robot and a team’s likely finish at the Nationals
: is as low as it has ever been (with certain exceptions).

Joe, I dont think Im totally comprehending here…you really think the outcome has never been in less doubt?

Please elaborate for the exhausted one :wink:

-Jessica B, #237

Posted by Joe Johnson at 03/29/2001 5:15 PM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: less doubt?
Posted by Jessica Boucher on 03/29/2001 3:17 PM EST:

By saying that the Nationals are in less doubt than ever, I don’t mean to imply that there is no doubt about who will win but rather that there is less doubt about the outcome than ever before.

Clearly there are 2 teams that are have to considered front runners:

Team 71
Team 254

These teams have shown that they can seed high (at 2 regionals) AND score above 600 in the elimination rounds.

There are a few teams that may be tossed in to the mix as potential favorites (e.g. Team #365 based on Philly), but for the most part Cheesey Poofs and Beatty/Hammond have to be considered the top contenders going into the Nationals.

I don’t say this to degrade anyone else’s robot or chances rather I am just calling them the way I see them at this point. I believe from what I have heard that this is a very common belief among the FIRST faithful.

So… …this is what I mean by the outcome be less in doubt this year than any other year. I cannot recall a year when such a small set of teams were so highly favored to win by so many people.

Will it turn out as the wise guys predict? I don’t know.

One thing I like to tell my students is that 7 is the MOST LIKELY outcome when rolling 2 dice (6 times out of 36 rolls), but 7 is not a LIKELY outcome (5 times out of 6 the dice do not come up 7).

Who is the most likely team to win the Nationals? I think it is clearly either Team 71 or Team 254.

Is it likely one of those two teams will be National Champs? Time will tell.

Joe J.

Posted by Jessica Boucher at 03/30/2001 6:42 AM EST

Student on team #237, Sie-H2O-Bots, from Watertown High School and Eastern Awning Systems & The Siemon Company.

In Reply to: less doubt vs. highly favored
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/29/2001 5:15 PM EST:

: Who is the most likely team to win the Nationals? I think it is clearly either Team 71 or Team 254.

: Is it likely one of those two teams will be National Champs? Time will tell.

: Joe J.

Joe, now you know I’m not one to doubt, or to self-promote (::cough:: except when it comes to theatre! Come see “Brigadoon”, tonite & tomorrow at 8pm in the Watertown HS auditorium in Watertown, CT! Tickets are $8! ::cough::), and I agree that these robots are both dominating forces within the competition…

…but, I think the reason domination is in this competition (by any team, not just them) is to inspire us to test that domination, and for the dominating forces to test their ability to resist being thrown.

As I said, time will tell…

-Jessica B, #237