I just wanted to throw my thoughts out from having been on the drive team of a team attending the world’s largest regional this year in week 1.
There seems to be a large delay often times between a team putting up the sign for a dead ball and smashing the lexan wall to get the ref’s attention before he/she acknowledges it and re-lights the pedestal. In some cases, there was as much as a 20-30 second delay where the alliance truly could not score because a new ball could not be entered into play.
Put a button on the drive station that the drive team can push that indicated (whether a light, or sound, or pop-up on ref screen) that notifies the referees. If a bright yellow paper and entire alliance yelling and banging can’t get the attention of the ref and thus can’t continue to compete, there’s clearly something that needs to be fixed.
Similarly, if a ball went out of bounds, it often took too much time to return it to play if it bounced away. The volunteer had to go chase it (no running!!) and figure out who to give it to in order for the ball to be inbounded once again.
Put a spare ball by each human player station that can be used if a ball goes out of play. This would greatly cut down on the time required to get a ball back in play, and would result in more exciting matches where both alliances could actually compete the whole time, rather than waiting for a ball to be carried back.
Did anyone else notice the game seemed to be held up due humans? I feel like this game is too heavily reliant on a referee’s opinion and, more broadly, humans, to determine the outcome of the match rather than watching great robots battle it out on the court. Don’t get me wrong, I think the refs are doing a great job with an incredibly tough role this year. 2012 was fantastic due to the nearly completely autonomous nature of the scoring/field in general. I feel like FIRST almost moved backwards with this game. Just my .02¢.