How long to wait for a match to start?

Seems there’s a lot of discretion for the FTA and Head Ref for this, and every situation is unique, but what’s typically a reasonable time to be staged on the field and ready to go while waiting for a match to start?

Let’s say 6 robots are on the field before the match starts, but one is having issues. 5 of the 6 are ready to start. What’s considered a reasonable and acceptable amount of time to try and resolve the issues and start the match?

Definitely want ALL teams to have the chance to compete in EVERY match that they’re assigned. Just asking for your perspective. Is there a typical amount of time before the decision to move forward with a 2v3 match?

1 Like

From my experience as an FTAA for several seasons, I can say that the goal is to have every team play every match. That is the goal, but reality is another thing. There are several factors that need to be balanced.
There is a schedule that needs to be considered, a sense of how often and how consistently a team shows up unprepaired to play, is the issue one that can be easily and quickly resolved, etc. Many factors are at play.
All of these things can cause delays. As of this past weekend, the biggest issue appears to be “Week One” related. It is amazing how many issues get ironed out after week one.

Yes, I totally and completely agree, and have absolutely nothing but respect and gratitude for ALL the volunteers at the events. Every team deserves every possible opportunity to compete and succeed. But is there a quantifiable guideline for time limits? I’m not at all interested in anything like a “shot clock” type of solution by any means. Are there guidelines from FIRST? Taking to extremes, an hour would obviously be too long to wait. Is 30 minutes? How about 15?

And really, the intent of these questions are NOT to stir up controversy or argument. Truly just looking for clarification and enlightenment.

In Montreal, it went anywhere from a really nice 5 minutes to an agonizingly long 3 hours when the FMS disconnected from the FIRST HQ server and could not reconnect.
In general, it was around 10 minutes, and I hope that time will shorten over the weeks because it is really anticlimatic!!!

Very understandable about match delays that all teams experience due to overall field issues. I remember a significant delay at FiM State Championship for a similar problem.

But my question is really about how long to wait when there isn’t an overall field fault, and 5 of the 6 teams are ready to go.

It can depend on if the issue can be easily fixed on the field or if the robot needs to go back to the pit. For example I’ve been in a scenario where the roborio was disconnected before a match so the FTA helped us fix it but there was another team who had a connector to there roborio malfunction where they needed to go to the pit to fix it so they couldn’t play that match.

1 Like

How long would you want them to work on your robot before bypassing you and having you sit out a match that you paid for?

1 Like

The biggest reasons I’ve seen bypasses happen is either for missing code, continuously crashing code and non formatted radios. In fact, in my experience this is likely 98% of actual bypasses. Since the ports on the fields are closed, you can’t deploy from the DS, and the tethering rules are not usually permitted during non replay or elims scenarios. Formatting the radio takes a while, and is supposed to be done to pass inspection, so usually those are bypassed. Past those 3, nowadays there really isn’t much that causes robots to be bypasses. The field has backup DS laptops to help with DS Comm issues, and once there is a DS connection unless one of the other 3 causes comes into play usually the robot immediately connects. Missing Ethernet cables happen more often then you might think, but they’re also instant fixes. I’ve never really seen any other things cause a bypass, unless theyre rules related. Especially with today’s control system, its MUCH more reliable then years past.

1 Like

That’s a valid question Tom, and one that I’ve thought about. Certainly FTAs have helped us when we have issues. I recognize that wholeheartedly. No stones being thrown from inside this glass house whatsoever.

We have C6 and C7 in place regarding coming to and going from the field. But I guess I kind of look at the situation of 12.7.4 Time Outs as being more similar. If you can’t make it to the field during playoffs, you can get an extra 6 minutes to facilitate repairs. But there doesn’t seem to be a time limit (at least documented) for delays once you’re on the field.

I’m not advocating for a 6 minute limit for dealing with field issues. That too short. How about double or triple that time. 12-18 minutes of “best effort” attempts at repairing the robot and then the match proceeds either with or without you?

In Montreal, the answer was wayyyyy too long… During Finals 1 match, a robot running a pretty agressive defence crashed hard enough into our robot that the battery broke its retaining mechanism and hopped onto the field floor.
The match was immediately suspended and FTA personnel worked with the team’s technician for 30 minutes with tie-wraps among other things to fasten a battery back into place…
The game was then re-started, but the result ended-up being the same with Red Alliance winning the exchange.

That’s problematic. It should have been a 6 minute time out and that’s all. We had to put our partner in the playoffs back on the field with a broken arm when our time out ran out.

I think connectivity issues are different though.

From the stream, Palmetto was rocking a 5min T=0 to Match start which I thought was fantastic.

Well, if you are going to have a match delay, Montreal is definitely the competition to have it at.
What a venue! It looked like a rave at times.
The MC’s and GA’s, per usual, were very entertaining.

1 Like

Palmetto ended up over 1 hour and 20 minutes behind schedule when all was said and done. Connectivity issues, on the red alliance side especially, seemed to be prevalent.

From the field reset times in quals that I saw it looked like good timing :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes indeed. The Montreal Regionals are always set as a spectacle as much as it is a competition. You are here in the land of festivals and Cirque du Soleil.
The Québec City Regionals in Week 6 should be a similar deployment.

Yeah I think we ended around 8pm or so at Gibraltar. I think that’s kind of Paulmreiz’s point. There was a few lengthy delays at the end of the day that kind of felt drawn out. I don’t know what the issues were and I definitely want every team to be able to play, but, field issues not withstanding, I agree a guideline of some kind might be helpful. Especially when the event is already running way behind.
I think it was field issues, but I’ll never forget leaving MSC at 12:30am for our 3 hour drive home with 3 students in my car to get home safely to expecting parents. That was probably the toughest one for me.

I would much rather wait for a solution to the problem, whether it is with the field or with a team, because solving the problem means that you know the answer the next time it happens and you will solve any future occurrences quicker.

A 15 minute fix in week 1 might turn into a 5 second fix in week 2.

In the end it is up to the head referee and the FTA. If it is a field issue it tends to be as long as it takes. If it a robot issue, anything more than you are not ready when the field is is up to the grace of the FTA and head referee. The competing pressures is they want every robot to compete, but they also have a tight schedule to stay on.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.