Left out in the cold...

Alliance selections turned out to be quite interesting in all of the divisions. There were a few excelent teams which somehow amazingly slipped through the draft and were forced to watch. Here are a couple of them…

Team 930: Excelent excelent hanger. I believe they won a regional with the Technokats. We had an excelent round with them as our partner against WPI in the Qualifiers. Absolutely stunned these guys didn’t go.

Team 173: I visited the 173 pit on many occasions, found that they had a little bad luck in the Qualifiers. But, I scratch my head…how in gods green earth did these guys not make someone’s FIRST PICK let lone not make it into elimination rounds at all!?! Amazing hanger, great small ball pickup, excelent strategy and driving…what more could you ask for? Another shocker.

Team 229: Clarkson = defensive powerhouse. Great strategy and a strong drive train make them a very strong partner to have…lets not forget, they won a regional! Defense wins championships people (see those little green Martians and Beatty) why didn’t teams like this one go?

It seems that alot of the teams were going for the offesive end of the spectrum when it came to drafting. Its no wonder Beatty’s alliance won…they had a great defensive alliance and they used the most textbook strategy in the game.

What are some teams that you saw that slipped through the cracks?

Good Job to all,
-Andy Grady

Team 25 didn’t get drafted in Newton, and I was shocked. :ahh: They were a great hanger :]

I was shocked when 25 and 303 weren’t picked. 303 especially as they won a regional and were finalists in annapolis. 25 was a great hanging machine and their human player was almost perfect (i think in 3 competitions i saw him miss 2 shots), and they played good defense. the problem was, the matches they lost were close high scoring matches and because of the change in qualifying points for ranking were almost obsolete in being picked. but hey, happens.

also 303 was a great ball herder and a successful capper more than 95% of the time. they’re human player was good, but mostly they were a team with good strategy. a lot of the alliances picked this year were surprising and not at all what i had expected.

Yes, I agree 930, but also 269, neither got picked.
Maybe a bit partial since this alliance won the MWR, but both teams were awesome at what they do. 930 with the hanging and defense up there, while 269 hangs from tim-buk-tu but also herds balls pretty well. I heard they had some bad luck early on in the qual rounds too. Both great teams to work with!

I’m really surprised that 5 didn’t get picked. Heck, they won TWO REGIONALS, and did a fine job qualifying in those regionals as well (i.e. they didn’t just tag along on a great team’s coattails). They were fast, drove well, could play defense, and hung quickly from the floor.

We didn’t go, because we were plagued by inconsistency.
I told everyone when we were going down, “We just need a little luck, and we’ll do fine.” We got TONS of luck, but unfortunately it was all bad.

We had a blast, had a few really fun matches, got the chance to hang out with friends new and old. It was a GREAT competition.

We knew if someone put some faith in us, and drafted us we could pull our weight and make something happen, but weren’t surprised when we didn’t make the cut.

But, this year was definitely a learning experience. We came out a little smarter, and a little stronger than before. We had some fun, and excited some kids (who are just DYING for some more Redemption ;))

Look for 229 in 2005, we’ll be back. :smiley:

I’m surprised 234 didn’t go.
They were in the same boat we were, but had one HELL of a machine. I expected them to complete some great Newton Alliance.

Both times 234, and 229 have been next to each other in the pits, we’ve both caught some seriously bad luck. CB, we love you baby, but next year for the good of both teams we should probably consider splitting up! :wink:


I really can’t believe that 303 wasnt drafted that amazed me, because they were a killer team. They could handle the small balls and the doubler so easily.:ahh:

Ya i’d definitely have to agree with you on that. We did everything we wanted to do at Nat’s but it just wasnt working out for us.:slight_smile:

Oh well…There’s always next year.:slight_smile:

I too was shocked when I found out that teams 25 and 303 weren’t picked for an alliance. Both teams in my opinion should have been first picks. 303 is an excellent small and large ball handler and their human player was great. 25 was one of the fastest bots out there and they were an excellent hanger. They both should have been first picks in my opinion :ahh: .

thats why i think national compeitition is alot of luck:)

I only saw a few matches in Galileo, and only one of team 5’s. However, they were having a lot of problems in that match. I don’t know how they did in the rest of their matches, but looking at their record, I can guess.

I guess that answers that question. I wonder what happened, considering their performance in the two regionals. Hmmm…

I definitely think 930 was the best team that didn’t get picked. Their ability to hang and take up some real estate on the bar would have been huge in the eliminations. Hard to believe that the pickers in that division missed them.

Not to mention the fact that they have proven themselves over time. Last year they were in the finalist alliance at MMR and this year they were in the Champion alliance.

I expect we’ll see more of Shawn and the Masters from Mukawisconsin.


I was surprised RAGE wasn’t picked as well. After their match with us, in which they did extremely well, I was surprised to see that they qualified so low. The had an awesome machine tho. Also, 5, considering how they won two regionals. I had expected them to be a major powerhouse in our division.

I found that team 5 hung very very quickly in the two matches I saw (one of them they were allied with us) however I think that their downfall may have been bad luck. They always seemed to hang very early in the match and allowed their partner to play the defense and score the extra points. For a team with that good of a drive system I would have liked to see them play a little more defense of their own and not put their fate in the hands of bad partners. I felt really bad for them because they hang very well, however they told me that their partners were inconsistent and never managed to do what they claimed they would. They seemed amazed in our last qualifying match when we actually did exactly what we said we would and helped them win… I hope you guys have better luck next year… great hanging robot

Lets see… Nats… where to start. I like the compitition overall a little disapointing that we didnt get pick but heck we were like 47th (Talk about bad luck… Im still surpirsed we didn’t win with that 145 point match… let alone the 90) I guess thats the luck of the draw though. Watching HOT BOT get ripped of the bar in Newton was very entertaining cause I didnt think it was possible. I to was surpised that 303 wasnt picked I mean just look at there record (well we knocked out the first alliance at GLR… I guess records dont matter to much). None the less great last Offical compitition sniff but hey its been a great 3 years… I’m just hoping to end up back at Nats as a mentor one of these years… cause FIRST robotics is 1337 j00!

I can’t believe RAGE didn’t get picked they are a great small ball picker and hanger. We got to the finals at UTC with them they were awesome partners.

I too was shocked to find out that RAGE was not in the elims…It just goes to show how some bad luck can bury teams because the divisions are so huge.

RAGE has an awesome amchine this year, and they would have helped any alliance enormously. They have consistent auto, a strong drivetrain, and are very reliable at what they do. I can’t wait to see you guys at summer competitions! Hopefully we can team up at some even this year. Maybe the alliance name can be RhodeRAGE… we shall see. Anyway, I am still amazed that this great team was overlooked.


This was the first year we got to do the picking at nationals, and the first time since 1999 (the first year of alliances) that we qualified high enough to pick anywhere (at KSC regional). That year at nat’s there were no divisions, the top 16 got to pick, we finished 19th, and we went home in shock after no-one picked us. Since then we have taken scouting and marketing very seriously, so I’d like to share how we arrived at our selections.

Anyone who is not on the pit crew is assigned teams to scout on Thursday. They go to the pits, talk to the teams, and get the details on what the robot is “designed” to do, as well as how well it has been doing them. Then they watch every practice match that their team in is, with yes/no on did they hang, did they grab the ball, shots made/shots taken, etc. We use a scorecard for this that everyone is briefed on, and we try to team rookies with veterans. Thursday night we have a team meeting where we go through each team and the responsible student presents his or her findings. We use this information to determine strategies for our qualifying matches.

On Friday we have 2 teams of students that rotate in 1 hour intervals (it will be 2 hours next year at their recommendation because of the distance to the pits) and take the same information for each qualifying match. Friday night we determined that our best alliance partner would be someone who could both hang and place the 2x ball, since we were a herder/hanger. We took all the cards and pulled out anyone who had successfully done both on Friday; I think it was about 15 teams. Then we sorted them top to bottom based on consistency. We felt 2x handling would help us better than hanging, so next we pulled out those cards and ranked them by how many times they did it, from 5 times (every match) down to 2. Finally we pulled all the cards of the hangers and ranked them accordingly. The last exercise was mixing them - is our best hanger better than our worst 2x handler? I think they ended up somewhere in the middle of the pack, then we went to the next hanger. Then, is our best 2x handler better than our worst hanger/handler? We shuffled them that way, and ended up with our top 30 teams.

Saturday we used for sanity check - are these teams still performing as expected? Is there anyone that dominated a match or worked consistently that we overlooked? This is when you need to come ask the top teams what we’re looking for, and focus on that in your match. That’s all the science, then going into selections we put the emotion and other factors into it - that’s where reputation can really help you. 67 and 107 were both at the top of our list, but we leaned toward 67 because they picked us last year and we made it to the division finals. When they went to the first seed we picked 107. Several people have posted about 303 not being picked - actually they were next on our list after 501. Not much consolation but they were an excellent team.

Notice that standings / ranking never entered into our process. I think our 3rd choice after 107 was cheezy poofs who finished 45th or something like that. They were on the list because of performance, but that high because of reputation.

Definitely some teams got picked that we scratched our heads and said “huh?”, and then went on to do great. Aces High (176) was near the top of our list but dropped down saturday with 2 inconsistant matches; I guess they were saving it for the finals because they were awesome.

I got to watch alot more matches this year, and I gotta say that the bar has been raised as far as performance. A special thanks to all the teams who carried us through qualifying.

We follow the same process as Gary. Reputation and driver confidence are also used for input into the final ranking. The most important advice I can give was stated already…

At UTC this year Team 195 was ranked 2nd until the last couple of matches. They dropped out of the top eight and were left out in the cold. Someone missed them!

I’ll jump in here with a bit of Canadian flair. I was very surprised to see team 1305 go unselected. They went undefeated in the qualifiers at the Canadian Regional, one of only 12 teams to do so this season. They were sitting in the top 8 for most of nationals, until their last match. This robot was a solid lower deck hanger. Despite strong performances, it’s still hard to be noticed as a rookie team, and as a team who qualified for nationals in April 3rd.

As for 229, my jaw hit the floor when I was informed that they didn’t get picked. I had taken it as a given that they would be picked. This team knows how to play defense. Defense wins championships, just ask the Martians.

I guess it’s just the nature of the beast, 293 teams and only 96 move on, someone good has to be left behind.