HELP! Why weren’t we picked?

Exactly the title. Our team was one of the best at our comp at cargo, pretty good at hatches, had a slightly sketchy level 2 climb, and the one time we defended we were very good at it. We played against the top 5 teams in quals and beat all but one. We didn’t play with a single one of them, but we were 8 wins 4 losses, and ranked 14 out of 40. A team without a game mech, a ramp bot, and five bots worse at cargo and hatches got picked. Our team is trying to understand why we didn’t. In fact, many of the first round picks said they wanted us but the captains wouldn’t hear it. Any suggestions to make us better at next comp would help.


I think the only people that can answer that, are the folks on the teams that had the opportunity to pick you, but did not. There are an awful lot of factors in these decisions, that you might not be aware of.


Only problem is, we don’t want to just ask them “why didn’t you pick us” I would like input from others at FIM Jackson

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Did you consistently stick to the gameplan that was agreed upon prematch? We are guilty of this more often than I want to admit, though usually for reasons outside our control…


Yes! In fact, often times we were the lead strat team on the alliance

So I can’t tell you why other teams didn’t pick you as I wasn’t there. Finishing 14th and not getting picked is a bummer.

But I can give some general advice on what to do at Lansing.

A lot of high numbered teams get lost in the noise so make sure your team is personable and notable.

Have the nicest kids on your teams walk around the pits to the leaders of the competitions – especially the ones that are hatch bots – with your scouting data and point out that your cargo and their hatches would be like like a Reese Peanut Butter cup together.

One problem that you will see going forward is that the second picks at many FIM competitions have begun to lean towards defensive capabilities. It looks like you’ve got a WCD so show that capability off too.

Good luck


That’s the thing. The defense picks eventually lose to the triple scoring alliances

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Well there are no match videos on TBA, but you guys had the 12th highest Cargo score at the event, and the 20th highest Hatch Panel score. 3rd robots are almost exclusively drafted to play defense, so if you guys have a drivetrain that isn’t conducive to that, it might be an explanation for why you weren’t selected.

Also I would generally disagree with this statement for 2019. Triple offense is great most years… but when you get 4 robots on your side of the field and 2 robots operating unimpeded on the opposite side of the field, that’s a recipe for losing. The fact is, teams are currently using their 2nd pick for defensive robots, whether that changes for higher levels of play or not (I think it will) is a different debate.


Sadly, it may be due to the age of your team. I remember thinking that when we were first starting out, and before we made a little bit of a name for ourselves. The experience in the elimination matches is very valuable and the maturity of the team can help carry them through each match. I know it sucks that you obviously can’t control that but you may have to stand out more because of your team number. Obviously, teams with good scouts should be able to see your capabilities, and you were 12th ranked with cargo and about the middle of the pack with hatches. This is what about what I call the anti-goldie lock zone. Maybe not quite first pick but not defensive in quals, which is what we look for in a second pick to avoid congestion in the two loading stations and play defense on the other half. Like @MrForbes said, it’s complex and it is for sure a bummer that you guys weren’t picked especially sitting at 13th. Good luck in your next competition.

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In cargo and hatches I meant scouting wise what our bot could do. We got paired with pretty sad alliances most of the time. When we did do defense, we were really good. I guess we just need to show that off more.

So we should do worse next time?

You always do your absolute best. Always.


On Saturday morning, go to the top teams and ask what they want to see from you. Do exactly that. They want you to play defence, play defence. They want you solidify a system, solidify the system. They want you to spin in circles on the hab and fall over, spin in circles on the hab and fall over. A weaker but far more compliant alliance member is almost always better.


Don’t do worse, the gamble of sandbagging rarely works out in your favor. I’d rather be at the bottom of the top than the top of the bottom anyday.

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Of course not, always do the best you can.

Talking to teams about your capabilities on Friday evening/Saturday morning is never a bad idea. You just need to be sure to be respectful about it. Approaching teams that are in the top 8 (or expected to be in the top 8) and letting them know what you can do, that you’re willing to play defense, and other information doesn’t hurt. Ultimately your play on the field will determine where those teams select you though.

What I see is we just need to advertise and ask other teams what they want. Is that right?

Also remember that lots of teams read these boards, throwing out criticism of other teams designs and performance publicly may be a hint of something here…


It’s not supposed to be criticism. I’m trying to figure out why we didn’t get picked and give details about what happened. and I’m not trying to tear other teams down. (And most certainly not trying to violate C8) This wasn’t good for our team either. We are trying our hardest to qualify for states, and a picking ceremony that hinted at politics and bias destroyed our chances at that. We had done the math before comp and figured out how we needed to perform and were reasonably certain we would fall within the parameters we had figured out. Then we don’t get picked and our team is pretty uninspired right now.

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I know exactly how you feel, we lived in that range for many years. Hope to be picked 1st round then stressed when it’s back up the the 3rd alliance pick in the second round…

I think it is important to realize that calling out a specific design issue and saying that you should have been picked over that team is a criticism, whether you want it to be or not. Positivity is a powerful thing, and thats a lesson that I have learned the hard way a few too many times since I started mentoring a team.