How does your team spend the Kickoff afternoon?

Well, I’m now within a week of my third Kickoff. Both times before, I’ve been tied up doing other things (either work or getting on an airplane). This year, however, I’m going to do it right and be productive.

That said, how do you and your team spend the afternoon after Kickoff? Read the manual? Build the field? Plan? Sleep?

This year (and, as I’ve been told, every other year) Team 857 will get together to watch the kickoff and take both Saturday afternoon and Sunday (we never meet on Sundays) off, before getting together at 6 pm on Monday to go over the rules and game.

Personally, I’ll be spending “kickoff afternoon” at my boyfriend’s grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary party, before packing the KOP (we’re attending the Pewaukee kickoff - which takes place just a mere 2 minute drive from my house!) into my car and heading back to Houghton.

We already have four groups of students (and mentors) identified who will meet after lunch on Kickoff day. Over the next few days, each group will separately brainstorm, choose a game strategy, and come up with a basic robot design to present to the rest of the team.

We have a small group that attends the Local Kickoff, after the Kickoff that group inventories the KOP. In the afternoon the whole team has a kind of a Kickoff Party. We watch the recorded Kickoff and have pizza and stuff. After that we go over the game and identify the main points and might look at some basic strategy. The mentors and senior students have a rule that we don’t want to see any robot designs the day of Kickoff. In the first week of Build we go through the game and decide on which tasks we want to try for. We then do PEW analysis on different designs for the robot and its devices to find which one would be best for us to do.

I don’t know how we spend the afternoon because the next thing we know is its sunday morning. We usually have a group of talents from our team get together and discuss the game, its strategies and the robot we want to build. That’s when the pizza+soda party starts.

At the Novi/Northville Michigan Kickoffs, we have always had workshops that ran until about 4 or 5 in the evening. 1504 attends those and then allows the students to go home, realizing they’ve already been forced to spend about 11 hours with us and that’s just cruel and unusual punishment… :wink:

MOE will have the full team attend to watch the kickoff, and take notes during it. After a pizza lunch, we will list what was said during the game description, not what we “heard”. We will replay the game description part of the kickoff repeatedly until we capture every fact given. Once all the facts are listed, we then identify the items that are important to play the game, and rank them. We do no “robot” brainstorming on the first day; that will begin on Sunday, after people have time away to think about it. Understand the game and have a concept about what is important, then begin your brainstorming.

Concurrent to watching the kickoff, we have a small group attend a satellite kickoff to pick up our KOP, and also to get a look at the field constructed there. This group is made up mainly of Parentz/Boosterz of the Miracle Workerz. This group (non-mentors) will return after the kickoff and immediately start to build the field elements (not a “full-size” field – we do not have enough space).

Later in the afternoon/evening, after we adjourn our meeting, a few veteran students and mentors will inventory the KOP and put it away on our shelves, ready for use.

Cyber Blue makes it mandatory for all team members to attend the kickoff broadcast at IUPUI. Immediately after kickoff we meet there and go over the game rules, how to score, and anything else that pertains to the game. This helps ensure that everyone on the team is 100 percent clear on all aspects of the game and that we are all on the same page. We won’t meet again until Sunday afternoon when the real fun begins. At this meeting we discuss strategy. Do we want to play defense, do we want to score this way or that way. Those sort of things. At this meeting this is no talk about how the robot will do it, just what the robot will do. We will try to have a strategey finalized within that day or the next and then start figuring out how a robot can do it.

After the kickoff we’ll spend an hour or two at RIT brainstorming. It’s best to hit the ground running.

Team 228 has traditionally held a pot luck supper on Saturday night, and we do some brainstorming and game analysis over the meal. After last year, (anyone who went to NH knows that it was another snowy Kickoff) we’ve decided to hold our dinner on Sunday this year. Last year, the 2.5 hour return trip turned into a 3.5 hour trip, and our Bengineer waited even longer to leave after Kickoff and had a tough time making it home in time for the supper. At least this way, everyone will have Saturday night to think about the game before our meeting.

Also, a BIG Thanks to KathieK and our friends at RAGE for hosting a Kickoff site so our team members that aren’t going to NH can join in on the fun! :stuck_out_tongue:

Can’t wait to see what teams dream up for this year’s game! :yikes:
Good Luck to Everyone.

(Billfred, how long do you think it will take Art04 to have a vex version of an '06 FRC bot? I see an awful lot of vex parts on the workbench!) :cool:

Being teamless, I’m helping host an unofficial kickoff in the morning for CT teams, then going home and relaxing for a while and then going to a non-FIRST-related party in the late afternoon! :smiley:

Im kind of suprized most teams dont start designing right away, but it sounds like everyone has a cool ritual.

As for our team, prior to kickoff, we tell everyone to re-read last years rules as a refresher. On the bus ride to kickoff we contemplate what the game may entail. Then, on the bus ride home from the kickoff, we brainstorm ideas and stratagies. Once we get back to school, we open the KOP and start building the field. When all that is complete we spend about a week brainstorming and drawing countless doodles on a whiteboard.

We all show up early saturday morning. watch the kick-off event together. and then once its over we break for lunch, after lunch we break in groups and talk strategy, then after a good afternoon of stratagizing, we break off. Either later, or the next day we come back and share all of our group ideas with everyone and have team brainstorming.

I expect that my team will wake me absurdly early Saturday morning and drag me to the remote kickoff – then we’ll head back to the lab afterward and carry on with typical meeting sorts of things, except that we’ll throw some brainstorming into the mix for variety. We’re in the middle of a project that is a priority, so we may actually work harder on that than we generally do on the new game for a day or two.

We don’t do anything. Well, at least as a team. Each team member watches the webcast then we have our strategy meeting, complete with spinny chairs, on the following day from way to early in the morning for a weekend until after lunch.

Team 4’s whole team is going to watch the kick-off and then spend most of saturday at our school brainstorming and we’re doing the same thing on sunday.

After watching the kickoff at our remote kickoff location, team 1318 goes back to our school and brainstorms on everything from design to robot construction ideas until 6:00. Generally, during this time we send random mentors on shopping trips to Home Depot/Lowes to buy different hardware for game objects or whatever.

Team 836 sends a few mentors to NH and a few students parents and mentors to the local kickoff. The rest of the team goes to our electronics mentor’s house and watch the live web cast, eat food, and start to analyze and dissect the game. afterwards just hang out play games, and celebrate all the great things F.I.R.S.T has given us.

Two mentors from 237 drive to NH in the morning, attend the kick off and drive back home. The rest of the team on Saturday will be watching the kick off from the satellite or internet feed, some may also watch it in small groups and come up with ideas.

On Sunday we hold a potluck lunch at a local church where the students, thier parents, the mentors, teachers, engineers and others involved with the team can eat and talk about the new game. We will also show a recording of the kick off. A mock playing field (see below) of the new game has also traditionally been there also so people can get an idea of the game and try some strategies.

On Saturday, if I’m not working and I won’t know that until Thursday or even Friday, then I’ll watch the kick off on the internet. If I’m working then there’s nothing I can do. I’ll miss the kick off plus the mock field will have to wait until later Saturday.

Every year after the kick off I’ve built a mock field for the team to display. I’ve always used the same base pieces, they just get repainted and new lines drawn if needed, but the end zones and other objects are built from scratch every year since they change. I’m normally working on it from the time the kick off ends until later on at night and then hopefully finish it in the morning before the pot luck. I will have Elgin give me a hand this year, I know he felt left out last year, plus it should get done a lot quicker and I won’t have to rush the next morning.

On Sunday I will be at our potluck. Basic brainstorming will begin then but we really won’t get into it until Monday.

On Sat 1712 sends the entire team to a local kickoff site (royal assault) then we get buses back to our school and break up into groups of 3-4 to brainstorm ideas, then on Sun we take the day off allowing everyone to think individually about the various ideas, on Monday we make final decisions regarding the robot.