Human Player Athletes in Recycle Rush

The Human Player’s level of importance and their abilities have varied over the years.
Ladder Logic required a good shot or soccer throw, Stack Attack actions were were quickly dismantled, First Frenzy was all about basketball, Rack’N’Roll a lucky toss, A TV remote for OverDrive, last second rare Moon Rock shots in Lunacy, Rebound Rumble had the Kinect Hybrid and a lucky last second shot, Ultimate Ascent had ATM slots and the rare high goal, Aerial Assist, can you toss an exercise ball?

We all have our thoughts on the nature of the game this year, but I think that Recycle Rush has the most athletic and important Human Player role in the history of FIRST.

These are all from the New England District Championship and show three teams Human Players up close and personal.
Titanium Tomahawks. Their intelligent endgame where they capped a 3-stack and cleaned up the field rather than attempting another stack themselves was cool.

Windham Windup. Note how the drivers try to seat the mis-oriented tote after they loaded their 2nd Stack.

Watch and Learn. A little fuzzy at the start, but don’t worry, it gets much better.
This is how a Human Player does it. Check out how they grab, rotate, and position the totes from the alliance station stacks. Note the perfect timing of lifting and loading and the clearance between the previous tote and the one being loaded. A slight miscue at the end.

I don’t even want to start on those danged noodles that can easily add 20 points with a competent javelin thrower. (Tip of the hat to Apple Pi 2067)

What do you think about the role of the Human Player this year?
What’s your opinion on their athleticism?

Obviously human players were important this year. At a low level event, they could get close to robot score levels. At higher levels, their contributions were often the difference between alliances that moved on in Playoffs and those that didn’t. At the highest level, human players define the scoring ceiling of great HP-fed robots. Even the best robots and human players combined take 15+ seconds to get 6 totes out the chute and in a stack (with 3-4 stacks, that’s the plurality of the match).

But no game will ever compare to Lunacy in human player importance. Human players were the main scorers for most teams. HP players accounted for more than 50% of the scoring.

But how about the athleticism needed and the coordination with the Robot required to perform well?

Our human player actually does throw javelins!
“Sonny, how many noodles did you score?”
“All of them.”

Noodles can clearly have a substantial impact on matches. During finals 2 of NECMP, there were 48 litter points. 4 noodled stacks, and the other 6 all made it to the other side.
And successful human playering takes skill and athleticism, too. In addition to throwing them consistently to the opposing side, putting totes down the chute requires finesse and skill to do fluidly.

And the vast majority of fouls.

The human player for 1241 that year was probably the most athletic human player I ever saw in FIRST (he was a basketball player) He jumped above the plexiglass and slammed balls down into the goal (sometimes so hard they would bounce back out). After a while teams learned to avoid him much to his dismay.

How were these people with cameras able to get so close to the field. At all the events I have gone to the media people for teams are kept far from the field.

Our Human player is on our coding team and plays soccer. He throws the noodles like you would throw a paper airplane. He was our biggest source of points at our first district event. We seriously lucked out because he had never really thrown pool noodles or a javelin before.

At most of our NE events, we have a dedicated volunteer walk around with a vidcam on a mono pole. This was Francis who gets right there.
As you can see, the HP was at ease & having fun, dancing in between. She has the right frame of mind. There were other teams that the HP was frantic/hyper. They all could learn by watching her. I noticed this with 175, BUZZ. Their HP tended to make mistakes because he was hyper & rushed things. He has done this in all the event/matches I have seen. He needs to calm down & he will actually be faster & more efficient. 175 is a great team this year & if they take care of these little issues they will be another team to contend with. 176 is equal to 175, but had bad luck with other teams doing their own thing in quals.

2 things on 2013’s games:

  1. 118’s HP was the most ridiculously good example of quick feeder station loading I have ever seen; props to that guy (they were there maaaaaybe for 1 second, while the average team was there for a good 2-4, and some for more than 10)
  2. Our HP won at least 1 game with a well thrown frisbee (it’s funny that the shortest guy who tried out for HP got the spot because his Hammer throw was so good)
    2014 was kinda a throwaway; you needed someone who knew the rules more than someone with some sort of special other skill to be your HP, our strategist-in-training was our HP that year.
    I dont remember 2012 very well (I was pit crew and unaware of what else was going on), and this year people have seen the ridiculous noodling if they’re on this website

poof jordan

Offical media is free to do as they pretty much please. as Kelli simply pointed out to me it’s very easy for them to simply not come at all and FIRST wants the public to know about us so we are basically told to leave them alone. Team media for the most part is pretty much controlled to either being corralled to a certain area on the field and are only allowed on the field with their teams. During elims at MSC they were banned altogether.

I remember everyone losing their collective minds in the stands at IRI when that happened. I don’t think anyone knew that was coming.

Yep, we figured if the guy filming for PBS wanted to stick his expensive camera lens 2-3 inches inside the field, it was his fault if it got hit.

Human players actually have a rather important role this year. In our matches at Midwest Mars Wars 4143 their human player had won them quite a few matches with point contributions ranging from 36-40 points.

I am the culprit. I volunteer at many events. I asked the teams and field personnel if it was okay to video their work and the action on the field beforehand.
I was careful to stay clear of the alliance station and kept the camera outside of the plane of the field.

If you check out the videos on my YouTube channel, I have many field side perspectives of games in the past, as well as matches viewed from the catwalks at the CMP. (Especially good for Aerial Assist and Ultimate Ascent)

Watching Human Players at four events over the last seven weeks, I wanted to document how good some of them are at what they do.

I maintain that the Human Player role in this game is more athletic and strategic than in past games.

Thoughts or comments?