How long are your picklisting meetings?

So, a frequent topic of disagreement on the thread for Gettin' Picky: A Guide to Alliance Selections (Part 1: The Picklist) was how long a picklisting meeting should take. So I will pose these questions to the masses:

How long does a typical district/regional picklisting meeting take your team?

  • <1 hour
  • 1-2 hours
  • 2-3 hours
  • 3-4 hours
  • 4-6 hours
  • 6+ hours

0 voters

How long does a typical division picklisting meeting take your team?

  • <1 hour
  • 1-2 hours
  • 2-3 hours
  • 3-4 hours
  • 4-6 hours
  • 6-8 hours
  • 8+ hours

0 voters

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I don’t know how to answer your division pick list meeting because for us its entirely on where we are and where we think we’re going to be picked.

2015 was maybe 2 hours but we worked with 987 in their hotel after we each had done our own preliminary lists separately.

2018 we didn’t do a pick list meeting because we knew we would be a late 2nd round early 3rd round pick so spending time on a pick list didn’t make sense.

2019 knowing we were going to be the 3rd seeded captain we took 6.5 hours.

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Depends where were seeded/how we’re performing. If we’re definitely a first round pick or captain we’ll take our time to go through our inept scouting data to create a shoddy picklist. If we’re likely a 2nd round pick or later we’ll spend an hour or two to figure out our best case scenario so we know who to talk to on Saturday morning… sometimes we do it just so I can go to sleep Friday night knowing we’ll get picked or not… luckily with some great new mentors we’ll be turning a corner with all of this and I’ll sleep a lot better on Friday nights knowing we’ll be a captain/1st pick with a great picklist.

As @Ginger_Power points out, much depends on your ranking. If you’re not in a picking position much of what you need is directed toward who is picking and how can we play with them and what else will the alliance need for success? If you’re deep in the ranks perhaps directing your “pick team” to attempt to determine how they see alliance selections to go is a worthwhile exercise.
That said, this past year in Detroit we were about 4 hours in and I saw the kids and mentors were crashing hard. While we had more to do, I had to call it and send the team to bed. Thankfully a few dedicated and astute Mentor/Alumni who weren’t with us continued the efforts at home and we had what turned out to be a very valuable and complete pick list in the morning. Thank you @Liu346 and crew.

2 Likes

Over the past few years we have noticed that the length of our scouting meeting is directly related to how how well we use our data.

2018 was a great example of bad data management. Our data base did not present any charts or summaries. So, while we had collected relatively accurate data on all the teams, it took us hours to sort through it all. Add to that a little bit of personal opinions not meshing and we ended up with a 6+ hour division pick list meeting.

2019 we completely revamped our scouting system based on the system that we saw 4944 using at champs in 2018. We placed a large emphasis on automatically presenting the data in useful ways. This enabled us to drastically cut down our pick list meeting time. Our division pick list meeting this season took just about 3 hours.

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Brian, you know I’m your biggest fan, but your pick list meetings take legitimately 2 hours longer than optimal, and I think deep down you know that.

It’s not that every minute isn’t productive, but that you really have to consolidate the meeting time down to what’s absolutely essential, or your returns really diminish and you lose students left and right.

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District events - The length of the busride home (plus remote conversations and various updates through-out Sunday morning). Typically 45-90minutes

Divisions - 2-3hours, with selects students polishing in their room afterwards.

Excellent point on the polishing afterwards. After 2ish hours productivity severely drops off, but non essentials for the next day who are involved in strategy, so not drive team or match strategist, the finishing work can really help dive deep into some picks and allows for ample time to evaluate match tape on very similar preforming teams.

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As everyone pointed out it all depends on your rank. Even in your confident you will be picked before you get your opportunity, it still makes sense to have a pick list meeting because you can’t always predict what going through the other teams heads when they are designing there picklists. Personally speaking during district/district champs competition we do 1-2 hour for meeting unless the field is in a interesting case where there possibilities of something such as a scorched earth happening or the field has a interesting depth to it. When comes to champs we’ve only really been the position once to be picking and we spent about 3-4 hours thinking about who could we possible ally with.

I think it depends on the team. Some teams are able to sit down and crank that out. If every minute is productive, then there has to be someone caring about the meeting. Besides, as Eric pointed out, if you are a high seed, you may take a long time going over data, especially if you are at a deep event, like worlds.

I think this is really important to have efficient picklist meetings and something I’m surprised to see a good amount of teams struggle with. The goal of the scouting system should be to type in the team number, press enter and have all the helpful information displayed.

For those that answered 4+ hours for divisional picklist meetings, is that including any time before the event or Thursday night? I’m all for being thorough, but I’d look to finding ways to avoid a 4+ hour meeting on Friday night. Especially now with all the match videos available, it’s reasonable to have a preliminary picklist / tiers before the event even begins.

It takes as long as it takes. Having said that all meetings should be managed to be productive. Have a moderator. Don’t beat any dead horses.

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Could i ask, why do you take nearly 7 hours? What do you do during that time frame?

We don’t normally, this was an anomaly and was directly related to the shallowness of the field in our division, making several different lists based on what the other alliances looked like, and the uniqueness of this year’s game where the 2nd pick was pretty much more important than your 1st.

On average our pick list meetings at regional events are 45 min to an hour and about double at champs.

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Depends where we’re ranked. If we’re predicting to be a captain or a first pick we make the whole list if not we just say yes. It also depends on the game and what week of competition. Early weeks of picking for this game you just picked the best scoring robots based on your scouting data vs say 2016 where you would need to look at what defenses each robot could do which took a little longer

Something in common with all the longest picklisting meetings I’ve been in - there’s often a lot of watching match footage. Especially if you’re trying to evaluate defensive driving without a lot of good notes from scouts, match footage can fill in the gaps in your knowledge pretty well.

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How do you get match footage so fast?

Worlds has it posted by night time or you can go watch the twitch vods.

Most regional matches are available on YouTube shortly after each match as well. Really helpful to re-watch matches where scouting data is significantly different than FMS data.

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Ideally picklisting should take less than an hour. Scouting team can make software tools that speed up the meeting. Match predictions, analyses, etc are all things that could be automated, says the cs nerd in me.