After reading the threads about the technical problems with the fields at the Championship this weekend, I have to start a thread to let FIRST management know that I’m happy about how they managed the final hours of the event.
Our vehicles were in an open parking lot between the Dome and Busch Stadium where someone was KILLED by the weather while we all sat watching the matches. One of our dads had left early & texted us about this so all the adults in our group kept one eye on the matches and the other on the deteriorating weather conditions.
Because we’re experienced with this type of weather, we moved our team from the nose-bleed seats down to an inside hallway away from the windows. I slipped out on the arena floor and brought our two team reps to the hallway to wait with the rest of the team.
Yeah, we all missed seeing the final matches. Yeah, we missed seeing officials looking stressed.
*But has it occurred to anyone who is complaining to think about how stressful it is to be responsible for a stadium full of people in the midst of a severe storm that showed signs of turning into a tornado? *
Those of us from Missouri recognized the danger. Our team lives 40 miles almost due east of Joplin, Missouri. Joplin was destroyed by tornadoes last year. We saw the debris cloud pass over our homes. Look up the before & after pictures if you want to see why event officials were sweating.
Sure, our team also didn’t do as well as we expected and we believe it was because of field issues. As second year rookies with non-engineering mentors we recognize that some of our problems were ours.
Several arena technicians came to our pit and showed us how to check out our systems. And they did this politely & patiently as we asked rookie level questions. We learned a lot of stuff that we should have learned at home but they never made us feel slighted at all.
However, since we won our way to the championship by being picked at GKC by Teams 16 and 1986 AND because we crated the robot and sent it directly from GKC to the Championship and the only electrical/programming change made before playing was to add a servo to the camera…and we had multiple people with more experience & better credentials than ours check it out…well, you see where I’m going with this.
**My “remembering mind” is happy with how Saturday turned out. If the event had ended earlier and crowds of people had been caught trying to load-out the pits or put kids on busses during the hail, it could have turned into a tragedy.
Sure, we’ve got some hail damage on our vehicles and we’ve all experienced real-world issues with technology failures, but in the giant scheme of things we’ve got to be happy that no humans were injured.
Robotics Program Director
Team 3784/Bit by Bit 4H Club
2012 Championship, Galileo Division Coopertition winners
2012 GKC winners (thanks to Teams 16 & 1986)
2011 GKC High Seed Rookies
2011 GKC Gracious Professionalism winners
2011 GKC winners (thanks to many, many other teams)