Look Back: Week 3, Predictions: Israel, and More.

First, a quick message.
Over the past couple weeks there has been several comments left both in the thread and sent to LF directly about the nature of these discussions. Please remember, this is for fun and is all in good spirit. It’s unfortunate that not every team is equal, but in the very nature of competition, that is impossible. Some teams will do better than others, and that’s not a knock on anyone. In a vast majorities of matches, someone is going to lose. That’s just how it works.
The simple truth is that not every team is going to win an event. At maximum four can, and every event so far this year has been the standard three. It would be boring to only write about three teams at each event, and would implicitly state that every other team is not going to win.
These posts will often, intentionally, leave out some of the top teams for various reasons. While the very tip of the iceberg (top two or three) will always make it, so will the best stories. Some “high profile” teams will make the cut regardless of whether or not they’re the best, because FIRSTers want to hear about them. Some underdogs and “little teams” will get thrown in to give them a chance to shine. Mostly, it’s the teams with great storylines that will get incorporated.
Please remember that it’s all in good fun. If you don’t like what is or isn’t written about your team, go out on the field and prove that you’re better than it.
Thank you,

Now, onto the real part!
With week three wrapped up, half of the regional season is over. Lunacy continues to evolve, and at least three distinct, viable strategies have emerged and led alliances to championships. The value of the super cell varies by event and by alliance. Defense is emerging as a governing force, as important as it has ever been. Yet offensive firepower has proven essential to any alliance who plans on winning.
After the first two weeks of the season, despite regional victories by the likes of 188, 70, 1742, 1747, 341 and others, most of FIRST was seemingly prepared to bury the shooter as a less than effective design. Week three saw strong performances by a number of shooters.
1771 performed very well and was selected first overall in Georgia, by 1746 (also a shooter). That alliance was upset in the quarter-finals though by three shooters. That #8 alliance also became the first 8 seed Champion of 2009, besting a pair of potent dumpers (342 and 1319) in the finals to win Peachtree.
1771’s anagram, 1717 also did very well in Long Beach. D’Penguineers’ shooter made its way to the finals (along with 597 and 294, another shooter), but were ultimately bested by the potent combination of 207, 973, and 2659. 973 was the primary scoring machine, and while they had a lot of work to do on Thursday, they hit full stride fairly quickly and could score with anyone.
217, yet another shooter, won at Cass Tech as the top selection, but HOT had the best event. 67 is one of only two teams currently undefeated, though they did have a tie (17-0-1). They topped 100 five times over the weekend and averaged 82 points/match (even including the defense played against them in the finals). In the eliminations, 217 did help bail 67 out of bad situations more than once, particularly with their ability to utilize super cells (there will multiple matches were this alliance scored two super cells). 3098 performed very well for a rookie and 24th pick, and were a big part of the reason that the opposing alliances were held to exactly 56 points in each of their last four matches (and averaged 55.5 in the quarters).
HOT has taken the lead in the FiM standings, but leads 217 and 123 (competed twice) by only a single point, and 245 within very easy striking distance. It appears it will take 20-25 points/event to make the state finals, leaving some notable teams (such as 910, 494, 68, and 1718) very much on the bubble heading into their second event. FiM’s “march madness” resumes next week with two events (Detroit and Lansing).
The Robowranglers blur the lines between “shooter” and “power dumper,” but they too won their event. 148 was far from unstoppable though, losing twice to heavy defense in qualification and having their two wins in the finals come by a combined five points. They were hammered by defense all weekend long, but when they broke out they could score like crazy and lifted their alliance to victory during the eliminations. The #1 alliance combination of 935 and 1158 could score as well as anyone, but the slower, defensive tempo of the event drove their and the other alliance’s scores down. It was also the second time this season that 2641 lost in the finals.
Most shooters are having success up close, often while in contact with opposing trailers. Their additional range is an advantage, especially for when they need to score without pinning, as they can hit trailers that are beginning to move away, but it isn’t often game-changing (and some “power dumpers” like 79 and 190 can do the same thing). Turreted shooters, when driven and coded properly, have the ability to score even from bad angles and don’t need to re-orient their bots. 1717 is probably the best example of this so far, and scored from all sorts of positions (even strafing sideways next to a moving trailer).
To put it simply, its clearly become this. The teams that can score a lot, do well. Rather shocking, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter if you’re a shooter, dumper, power dumper, gravity dumper, spitter, flinger, dunker, shumper, barfer, dropper, or whatchamacallit. Points are points.

Not all the action was consumed by shooters this weekend.
Winnovation became the first multiple regional winner of 2009, when they won Wisconsin. They played well, and was selected first over-all by 2039, but weren’t quite on the same level as in Chicago (likely due to the sickness of their primary driver). 2039 improved from their finals trip at Midwest, and was considered by many the best team at the event. Fondy Fire, 2194, aided the alliance with their super cell expertise, and the #1 cruised through the eliminations, with only two matches even be held within 30 points.

Both 337’s Pittsburgh win-streak and 222’s finals losing streaks were broken in Pittsburgh. The Tigertons finally caputred a regional victory in their sixth trip to the finals, and were clearly the best at the even with a 14-1-1 record. 1218 provided strong secondary scoring, and 1743 enough defense and smart play to keep the alliance out of trouble as it captured gold.

The Cybersonics and Raider Robotix filled their quota of being paired on the same alliance in Florida, as they combined to form a formidable #2 alliance with 86. Even with improved play by both teams, in particular 103’s transformation to a dumper, they couldn’t escape the scoring abilities of Krunch and Shark Attack in the semi-finals, who bested them.
The finals showcased 179, 1649, and 233 against 744, 79, and 1251, and lived up to expectations. Each alliance took a very solid win in the first two matches, and the third went down to the wire (88-80), but the 4th seeded combination ultimately won. 179 was the big scoring threat, but a criminally underrated 1649 snuck in some big points. Pink was clearly not at the level where they wanted to be, unable to score consistently nor drive with the same speed and confidence we’re used to seeing out of 233, but they were able to provide just enough of both to help their alliance edge out the competition.

Oh yeah… the Poofs did it again. 254 won their tenth Silicon Valley regional, and their 17th overall. 971 seeded #1 over-all and were a very very strong team in their own right, but when paired with 254 they became the secondary scoring threat (though much of that was because a majority of the balls went to the Poofs). While some was applied, the #1 alliance didn’t see the same level of defense applied to 968 until the finals. They returned the favor, setting 852 on the #2 alliance’s biggest threat, 1280. Much of the finals were spent locked in the corner of the field, with the few scoring opportunities that occurred deciding the match.
The High Rollers looked solid, but not spectacular (somewhat similar to their 2007 performance at SVR, and we all know how that season finished for them), but their bot displayed a lot of potential. Their quick and unorthodox shooter was capable of scoring from all sorts of angles and even banged in a few shots on moving trailers. If they can continue improving, they’ll be scary in Vegas.

Don’t worry Israel, you weren’t forgotten. Here’s a mini-prediction for the week 3.5 event:
From its humble, 12 team origins in 2005, Israel has grown into a 47-team event. Yet it’s the youngest event not in Minnesota (obviously no team is older than 2005) and very few teams have ever competed against any team not in Israel. Most teams struggle to create effective scoring machines, and the event is highly defensive. Even during the finals last year, which featured a very effective Miscar team, there was a 10-0 match.

No event has as clear a favorite headed into it as Israel. Miscar has won every single Israel regional to date, and often does so in very convincing fashion. 1574 has a dumper that should be highly effective in this field, especially considering some of the woes the bottom level of teams will face. It will take a great deal of defense and the emergence of other scoring bots to knock them off.

Homosad has also had tremendous success at the Israel regional, earning a spot in Atlanta in 2006 and 2007. They have a large hopper and a static-mounted shooter, but their low mounting of their shooter and lack of turret may make it difficult to score reliably (especially up close). They should still be able to put up bigger scores than many in this field. 1657 will be on one of the top five or six alliances, and has a solid shot at reaching the semi-finals.

1690 has an ambitious design, combining a swerve drive and a polycord driven power dumper. They have a small capacity compared to some teams (such as 1657, 2669, or 1577), but a consistent power dumper will have an advantage over many teams in the field. If they can avoid technical issues and drive well enough to gather in a somewhat small intake, 1690 has a very good chance at being one of the top two or three teams and possibly nabbing gold.

KY Bots has a large spiral that will funnel balls into other robots (by dropping them out of the top of the robot). A lot of the success of 2669 will depend on their drivers, their ability to pin other bots, and the rate of fire of their spiral. They’ll be in the eliminations, but it will be difficult for them to get past the semi-finals.

Props to 832, 2655, and 2415 for well deserved win! As to the shooter / dumper debate: 1771’s can be called a shooter, since it does have the ability to shoot (accurately up to about 5 feet). However, accurate shooting requires the camera to track, and with the incandescent lighting First brought into the arena, combined with the limited access to the field for camera calibration, the team was not able to get the camera to track on the field (it worked great at the school under florescent lights). Fortunately, the turret was designed to be able to adjust the ball trajectory so the bot could deliver a large volume (4-6 balls per second) into a trailer at close range. The team spent the matches driving around filling the helix (usually 7-10 balls at a time), then chasing down a trailer and emptying the helix into a trailer. I only saw two balls fired from 1771 that didn’t end up in a trailer. I saw many true dumpers that could dump 10-15 balls at once, but fewer that 5 ever landed in the trailer from such a dump. So is 1771 a shooter? Yes. Is 1771 a dumper? Maybe. What is a dumper? Who defines the term dumper? I do know that 1771 was able to score at will and at a high rate, so maybe the debate is pointless.

Once again, congratulations to 832, 2655, and 2415 for winning the regional, but I do have to hand it to the kids on 1771, 547 and 1726. Even though there were problems with one of the bots during every match of the quarters that left only two bots operational, they were able to hold their own, and force 4 matches to decide the round, tieing one match and winning another, before finally losing in the end.

LF, your posts are AWESOME!!! I always look forward to the predictions, and them the look back afterwards… I hope 1089 performs well enough at Philly this week to ber featured in your looking back post for week 4… keep doing what your doing, its awsesome to know whats going on around FIRST, and what teams will be the ones to look out for at Atlanta… thanks for your great posts!

I know that there are at least two other undefeated teams as of right now (out of teams who have competed). 45 and 1747 both won their regionals without a loss.

LF totally stole my word. That’s so uncool. =P

Anyway, Thanks a lot LF. Your predictions give me something to look forward to on Wednesdays.

There was no lack of strong robots at Peachtree Regional and Palmetto will be an even greater show down. Basically Peachtree round 2, but without 1771. :D.

Also, my team was sitting at 3rd, all the way until the last match when our sprocket became lose. It would have been so cool for 3 GA team to go 1, 2, and 3 in seedings. ;D.

How did LF know??? LF is EVERYWHERE :eek:
(LF probably helps Santa with his Naughty/Nice list.)

Sounds like a perfect moniker for Team 1649 EMS.

They took the highest rookie seed award in Florida back in 2005. A modest achievement to be sure until you learn that their sponsoring school, Windermere Prep, only went as high as 8th grade and the majority of students were 6th and 7th graders. There is even a scurrilous rumor floating around that they needed to stand on milk crates to see over the control station.

In 2006 they returned as 8th and 9th graders and by virtue of their size were again overlooked by the older veterans. That is, at least, until their alliance motored its way to the winners circle.

Last year some of you will remember that we showed up with a robot that really sucked. Its twin gray car vacuums and Walmart donated garbage can lid left an impression in Florida and Atlanta.

Each year since our rookie season the school has added one grade and this spring they will graduate their first and *FIRST *high school class.

Chronically short of students, short of dollars and short of stature, (see note) they have a history they can proudly pass to the next generation of 8th graders.

To give you an idea what they have overcome, last year the trailer they rented never received a permit to connect power. They literally built that sucker on the covered sidewalk outside their classrooms using hand tools and flashlights. It sounds like I am joking but I swear to you I am not making this up.

Sorry I must sound like a proud daddy. But heck, this is my 8th grade daughters second season with 1649 so I am a proud daddy and the proud mentor of a bunch of wonderfully dedicated kids.

All the other mentors and parents in the FIRST community know exactly how I feel.

Editors Note: The short of stature thing isn’t strictly true anymore. They grew up just fine. :smiley:

Loved your predictions, LF.

We’re a rookie team from Israel, and had just returned home from the competition with four awards, one being the All-Star Rookie Award. We beat Miscar, not because our robot was better, but because we managed to secure a better alliance (after having reached 2nd place in the qualification tourney on our own) and, apparently, a better strategy.

We came in 2nd place, losing the finals by merely one point.

Regardless, as I’ve already stated, your predictions were good. Miscar were one of the best-- having an extremely aggressive robot-- and to beat them we had to block their way… twice. It paid out well enough, as we’re heading to Atlanta.

Kind regards,

Can you post the rest of the awards, or possibly tottanka.

Team 1771 was able to find a way to attend the Palmetto Regional. What does that mean?

It means that on Thursday, there will be a match between 1771, 1261, and 1746 vs 343, 342, and 1319. The match will be at 5 PM and no doubt it will be recorded by many.

It also means that 1771 will make another strong run for the gold.

Well, we didn’t really care about the team who won the finals as we were extremely amazed and cheerful after having received our awards. I did see the other prizes handed out, but no sort of written information has been given regarding them and I’m afraid that my memory will betray me if I dare say a team number.

However, what I do remember correctly, is the two other teams who did not win the finals, but did get an important award that has granted them a spot in Atlanta:

Engineering Award (can’t recall full name) - 1577 (Steampunk), which, by the way, were our mentor team.
Chairman’s Award - 2033 (or 2030). I don’t remember completely, so don’t quote me on this one.

Anyhow, as our very first competition, we’ve had a GREAT time and have enjoyed every bit of the tournament. We’re looking forward to Atlanta!

Kind regards,

Oh, and by the way, what’s a “tottanka”?

“Tottanka” is the Chief Delphi username of one of the mentors for 1947 and 2669. I believe he was also the FTA for the Israel Regional.

Well I don’t know about 1947, but 2669 were pretty tough at the Qualification tourney. We wanted to pick them as our 3rd robot (after having picked team 1690 which had an excellent robot with a good driver), but were too late.

They were invited in by a relatively weak alliance, and thus lost the competition pretty early.

I wish our qualifying matches went as late as yours did over there Wednesday


again LF, great job as usual

Hello everybody! - from team 2230.

I’m here to present to you the results of the 2009 Israel Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, as compared to the predictions in this post. :smiley:

Before I begin, just to let you know that I’m not sure I’ll remember all of the details and might confuse with other stuff, but I know there are some other Israeli CD users who will gladly help me out with that.

So, here we go:

Tuesday, the practice day, was not too successful for the teams and for the Field Mangment Crew. Lots of teams had to fix technical issues in their robots and there we a lot of Communication problems with the field and the robots. After a few first practice matches, where a lot of robots didn’t move due to those connectivity problems, the event organizers decided to call all robots to the field and do go through a connectivity inspection (and that was also after the WPA update that teams had to go through before going up to the field). About 10 teams failed the inspection and were personaly taken care of in the pits after the inspection (Which took 5 full hours to go through 47 teams!). After that, the practice matches continued. We had some robot issues such that the cable connecting to the access point was a bit loose, so it got disconnected after we abruptly stopped after the autonomous period and we thought it was a field problem again.

End of Day 1.

Wedensday, first day of qualification matches, was a bit of a dissapointment for some teams. A lot of matches where rookie teams were involved were missing those rookie teams, who apparently were still working on their robots. There were some veteran teams who didn’t show up too. Because they were not present, a lot of matches have been decided from the begining, yet some matches proved that 2 robots working together in team work can beat 3 robots storming over the robotless trailer(!).

The final match of the day was the most intense match ever.
Miscar - 1574 were against Thunderbots - 2630. Miscar and the Thunderbolts were tied up very close, with the Thunderbots in a minor lead. 20 seconds call. Miscar’s alliance shoots a Super Cell into Thunderbots trailer, putting Miscar into the advantage. Immediately after that, Thunderbot’s alliance shoots a Super Cell themselves, brining back thier lead. But just before the end of the match, Miscar’s alliance shoots another Super Cell, brining them to victory.

End of day 2.

Thursday, the final day. All matches went well. Miscar had some robot/field issues which brought them down from 1st place to 3rd place on the ranking list.

The main powerhouse robots from the Qualifications who were in the Eliminations were 1574, 2630, 2231, 2669, 1690, 1657 and 1946.

2630 took 1574 to their alliance, what was supposed to be the most feared alliance in the Eliminations. 1690 was also a very powerful bot who was picked by a 2nd seeded rookie team(!).
All of the those teams I’ve mentioned were titled the best robots in the regional.
In the quarter finals, 1574 and 2630 (with 1579) were against 2669, 1577 and 2215. In one of the two matches they’ve won, 1574 was unstoppable, pushing 1577 as it wanted to all the way from the center to one of the corners and poured all their Moon Rocks into their trailer. There was nothing 2669 could’ve done to save 1577 from 1574 scoring them.
1690 special swerving drivetrain was deffinatly too much for 2211’s alliance and they advanced to the Semis.
1946 - Mishka Monsters - were very good with defense and pushing and that was our alliance’s (1657 as captain, 2230 and 2214) fear. We planned on having 2214 use thier pushing power to ground one the lesser strong robots so 1657 and us will be able to score on them.
We were quite shocked when in the game 2212 has pushed 2214 to one of their corners, allowing their thrower to score about 6 Rocks into thier trailer. They were blocked there most of the game and we and 1657 had a difficult time trying to gain an advantage by scoring some more Rocks our selves. By luck, we came out winners with 54-52 (2 point difference!!!) and our alliance knew that we cannot afford another close match like this where one of our bots was locked in the opposing thrower’s station. We eventually won the quarters due to the opposite alliance’s penalty.
2231 had a chance against 1690, but from my POV, they had some difficulties scoring which was one of the reasons they lost.

The most intense part came: We were faced against Miscar’s alliance in the Semi-Finals. We witnessed their (I had to use this word :smiley: ) ownage from the previous matches and we knew that if we would let Miscar loose from our grasp, we would lose the match.
The first Semi-Finals match against them was just luck. Miscar got loose a few times and they nearly scored 1657 who had a bad battery and barley moved(:ahh: ). It was just luck - we won again by a difference of 2 points: 64-62.
The second match was just amazing: Our driver had Miscar entirly locked in the opposite outpost and scored all the 6 balls we had. We received some balls onto our idle trailer from the opponent outpost thrower, but we didn’t care; Miscar had to be stopped!
1657 did an amazing work of scoring even more Rocks into 1574 and 1579. 2214 passed the empty cell to our throwers and kept scoring more balls as it could.
We also won by luck: an empty cell has reached the opponent’s fueling station and they did a terrible mistake - He took the EMPTY CELL from the rack and threw it to one of our trailers and THEN HE THREW THE SUPER CELL WHICH LED TO A G-22 PENALTY!!!. Score: 52-30.

Going against 1690 in the Finals, we applied the exact same tactic on 1690, but it deffinatly was not enough to stop 1690. Thier amazing swerving drivetrain allowed them to escape from our grasp soo easly, yet we kept the pressure as much as we could, and the amazing scoring of our throwers and robots was what gave us the main advantage over them.
We had an opporunity in the second match in the Finals to throw a Super Cell into an opposing robot’s trailer, but for some reason the drivers of 2214 who were blocking the robot near the fueling station decided to pull back just before the 20 seconed alert.
We thought we won, but we heard from the announcers that there was a chance of a turn of the tide due to a penalty.
Before they announced the winners, they said there was a difference of A SINGLE POINT.
Final results: 66-65 to the Red Alliance of 1657, 2230 and 2214.

These finals deffinalty showed that a good strategy can beat any excellent robot.

Congratz to all the teams in Israel for building an excellent robot. Congratz to Miscar for keeping up the amazing work of building excellent robots and reaching the finals. I hope that your defeat will not bring you too much sadness and that it will only make you stronger, wiser and even better for next year, because you are deffinatly one the most powerful teams in the Israeli regional and your name and reputation is what gives the other teams in Israel the Competitive Spirit to be even better. :slight_smile:

Soo…where was your prediction about our robot, eh? :cool:

Atlanta, meet Team 2230 - Zecharia’s Angels!!!:smiley:

971 is 12-0-3 after winning Silicon Valley.

The last match of the second day wasnt between 1574 and 2630 as Nir said, it was between 1574 and 1690 - where 1574 won.

Nir - Congratulations on your very well deserved Chairman’s award - it was an honor to hear about your team’s work…

to 1577, Steampunk’s - congratulations for the EI award, and thanks for beeing aweosme partners at the Quarter Finals. Also 2215, we are looking forward to working with you next year!

Also - congratulations to Barak form MisCar 1574 for his Woodie Flowers Award! it was time for him to get this recognizance.

1947 no longer existed this year due to funding issues…we are hoping to regain power and come back next year stronger than ever.

2669 has been ranked 10, and invited by the #5 and #7 alliances to join but refused. Ending up choosing 1577 and 2215 to join them and eventually losing to the #1 alliance on the Quarter Finals.

We also won the Imagery Award.

It was a great Reginal despite all the problems of the practice day.

The semi finals and finals were very difficult and i would like to thank our alliance partners 2230 Herzelia and 2214 Yemin Ord for the great games we had with them.

We’ll see you all in Atlanta!!!