I would like to call attention to the position of human player. I have played through two regionals now as the human player for my team and have experienced a wide range of styles of play. For some teams, it seems like the human player simply in-bounds balls as soon as he/she receives them from the corral. Then the field is littered with unused balls at the end of the match.
Personally I like to keep the balls until my alliance actually is in need of them, why overfeed the team and risk not getting the ball over onto the offensive side? The other advantage to this is I usually get to throw a few at the end of the match. I am curious as to what other human players are doing? How good are you at your full court shots? Did you know that we are allowed to shoot in the final 30 seconds of a match? (Unfortunately a human player on my alliance did not know this was allowed and simply dropped the ball over the top of the in-bounding station when I informed him there was 30 seconds left).
I am on Team Titanium FRC 1986 and am the Inbounder. I personally throw every ball through the slot that I get. My strategy would change however if we had an immense amount of balls on our offensive side. Most of the time we are starving for balls so I try to get them over to us as fast as possible. I have gotten pretty good at getting them through the slot and over to our robot every time. Personally I feel that giving a ball to our robot is almost a guaranteed 3 where throwing them over during that last 30 seconds is game of chance.
But when you throw, and (presumably) miss, isn’t that equal to throwing it through the slot, as the ball is most likely end up on your scoring side of the court anyway? And by the last 30 seconds, most teams will be heading for the bridges, unless you are limited by mechanical difficulties or strategic play.
If the ball was held from earlier in the match to be thrown at the end (and missed, perhaps), then it wouldn’t be the same. If it was bounced over with 50 seconds to go, it could’ve been harvested and scored (>50% chance, for a strong alliance). If it was held until less than 30 seconds remained, it likely missed and likely won’t be harvested and scored.
I suppose this is where it gets situational. If you are in a strong scoring alliance, then by all means toss it through the slot, but if your scoring side of the court is saturated with balls, or if your alliance is weaker at scoring than desired, then there is definitely something to be said about hoarding to 30 seconds, IMO.
Yeah if you have a ball to throw and you happen to miss, But I don’t try to hold on or save a ball for the last 30 seconds just to try to hit a full court shot, as you said most of the robots are heading for the bridges by that point anyway so I don’t really find myself getting anymore balls to throw over. I normally leave the “throwing over” up for negotiation with other teams as I would rather have a steady supply of balls going through the slot during the game. If a team is happening to score that late in the game I normally will give it to another Inbounder on the alliance and let them throw it over.
FIRST goes to a lot of effort to come up with terms that differentiate each game and there is no reference to human player in the manual. The person/s that handle the balls are called Inbounders.
That one is right up there with autonomous, nationals, and my biggest complaint pneumatic piston.
/end GOM rant
I have not been around long enough to know the history of autonomous, but this is the first year where I have had to call it something different. I think it is just hard for people to switch over to a new name, especially if so few people are taking advantage of the new abilities of the “hybrid” mode.
As far as Human Player vs Inbounder goes, I think it does not matter. We all know who we are referring to even if the proper term is Inbounder.
Going back to 2005 (the first game of FRC that I know well), there has always been a 15 second “autonomous” period and a “Human Player.”
In Overdrive (2008) the “Human Player” was called a “Robocoach” and could signal to the robot during the “Hybrid” period to change its behavior using an IR remote control. This was often used to indicate which position the trackball(s) were in on the overpass.
In Lunacy (2009) the “Human Player” was called the “Payload Specialist,” for no reason other than to fit the theme of the game. They didn’t have any particularly unusual function.
In Logomotion (2011) the “Human Player” was called the “Feeder” or the “Analyst,” which I didn’t really recall until just now when I confirmed they didn’t have any special name. This was since there were two Feeders and one Analyst, each with distinct roles.
Generally, I’m not a fan of the “Autonomous” period being made into a “Hybrid” period… This year, primarily, I see no reason to have added the Kinect function besides FIRST being sponsored by Microsoft to use it or FIRST seeking to get it incorporated for the future. Adding the ability to interject special commands reduces the level to which a team is motivated to use sensory feedback to reliably complete tasks. Personally, I’m not a fan of that… I can understand how others might not be, though
Changing the name of various roles mostly seems to add to the vocabulary that those involved with the team have to re-learn every year. It can be confusing enough for parents, grandparents, siblings, sponsors, etc. to get into the game each year, but changing the name because of some nuances in the role seems silly. I don’t think the change in Overdrive was unreasonable, but the change in Lunacy and Rebound Rumble seem silly. Given the distinct roles in Logomotion, I can’t complain too much about the name change.
These aren’t things that merit much of a complaint, but I’ve found them to be silly things that FIRST has had a tendency to do these past few years…
I am the human player for team 2826 (Wave Robotics), as for me personally during qualification matches i hold as many balls as i can until my team needs more otherwise they maybe stolen and try to score at the end of the match.
In our last regional (Wisconsin) the strategy for the elimination rounds, was to feed as many balls to the middle of the court as possible until there were to many on the court at the end. If there were too many at the end i went for full court shots. The Robot is better at scoring than i am so its more important to get the ball to the robot rather than shooting and missing wasting time.