Magic balls at PCH championship

So, at PCH, it looks like the scoring is not working properly. Doesn’t look like they will do replays for some reason. Look at this match:

During auton, red got a free ball (five balls go in, credited with 6) but at T=40 (113 left to go in the match) the count of red balls goes from 7 to 19 with no balls scored. Looks like someone from FIRST need to look into this


I’m not familiar with the FMS, can they not look and see that 12 balls were scored in less than a second, which is impossible?

This is 100% a replay worthy field fault as it is definitely affecting the rankings.

If you have contacts on 1771 have them send a student to the question box first thing tomorrow morning and explain what happened and that it lead to them not only losing the match but is affecting the overall tournament rankings as well.

This should result in the match being replayed.


The head ref made an announcement that, after talking to FIRST HQ, this would not be happening as they can’t find anything wrong with the field.

Apparently several other teams, not involved with that match, also inquired about it.

Disclaimer: I’m not at the event and just going off what I heard from the stream. And I hold no ill-will towards the event staff, they are not allowed to review video, and if the field says it’s working, not much they can do.

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That is… absurd.


I’m a mechanical engineer, but I have written a lot of software. I don’t understand why there is no error check routine or ‘sanity check’ in FMS?
We know that with three bots on the field, and a max legal cargo of 2 balls per, there should never be more than six balls of one color scored at once. Even then, it takes a few seconds for the balls to pass through the sensors.

So if twelve balls are detected in less than a second, it should have flagged an error and faulted. (especially considering there are only 11 balls on the field).

Am I missing something?


We had a similar event at Central mo with an alliance getting 13 cargo counted in auto.


“Idk man, we can’t find the gas leak so new rotten egg smell must be normal”

“The check engine light is on, but the engine is clearly still there”

and other similar mental gymnastics


The ref crew did the right thing and called FIRST HQ about the issue. If FIRST HQ says to NOT replay the match, I’m not sure what more they can do. I mean clearly we can all see from the video that the field scoring system broke that match, but if reviewing video footage is not allowed, it’s one team’s (5 teams apparently went to the ref about this, including teams not in the match) word against the scoring system.

It certainly appears the scoring system has a bug.

While it sucks it happened in this match, what about the matches where we don’t know it happened?

Again, to be clear, I don’t think any teams are holding ANY ill-will towards the refs or other field/event staff at the PCH championship.

As soon as the twitch stream vod is posted I will try and find the timestamp where the head ref addressed this issue.

I mean, the solution is fairly simple IMO. The sensors/scoring system do not work within even an order of magnitude of what is acceptable.

The event, wether it be with the blessing of FIRST or not, either ceases all matches or devises a system to ensure continued fair play. If that means cutting one round of qualifications to give time to count from several recording and either verify or override the score, I don’t think many teams would complain.


There certainly seems to be something up with the upper hub blue side exit sensor. Aside from the errors already pointed out, at 93 seconds remaining the blue alliance gets credit for six cargo when only one exited.


This is the answer I got at the drivers meeting at our last event. They said that if they can’t find anything wrong with the field, it won’t be a field fault.

This is absolutely an easy thing to do, and even without it, first should allow refs and FTAs to replay the match if the scores that are appearing are literally impossible during auto.

Wouldn’t be the first time auto-scoring has messed up like that…

Way back in the first year auto-scoring was tried, the auto-scoring for a finals match was messed up. One robot on each side scored: one dropped 4 shots for 3 points each (12 total), one sent 10 for 1 point each (10 total), nobody else even tried. Winning auto that year changed the entire game. Guess which team was in the question box when the alliance scoring 10 balls had 15 counted?

(Yes, the match was replayed. On top of the automatic system acting up, the field reset crew had not been following directions to store non-preloads in bins behind the station instead of the goal’s catch feature.)

The auto-score that year was so bad that manual counting of every ball was implemented for all events, with a pause between auto and teleop to confirm scores. I have a feeling that that’s about to happen for this year…


You make it seem like manual counting is a bad thing. I’d be THRILLED (yet surprised) if FIRST announced they’d be manually counting cargo at the Championship.


Maybe its nice for teams…


Teams already spend hundreds, if not thousands, of man hours counting cargo go into the HUB for an event. The least FIRST could do is to have volunteers do the same to make sure the matches are scored correctly.


That was your rookie year. You didn’t want to have to stop between first and second periods to figure out who went on defense first. Manual counting is bad if you want fast scoring (which FIRST seems to want speed, over accuracy if need be).

Manual Cargo counting is… doable. You’d probably want 8 crew on it, maybe could get away with 4, with each covering one outlet or one vertical pair. Some other years, don’t even bother doing it manually…

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I agree. Manual counting shouldn’t be ‘live’ but should be used as a sanity check to correct the issue the OP found and the countless other matches that had automated scoring issues. Now, if the manual count is one or two cargo off and it doesn’t affect the match or RPs, then let it go (don’t want a repeat of 2007 Curie Finals :wink: ). But, if there is a significant difference between automated scoring and manual scoring, there should be something to alert the FTA/HR that something was up in that match and a replay should be strongly considered.

If I recall correctly, at least one Einstein match in 2013 was changed due to a volunteers manual count.


Again, to be clear, I don’t think any teams are holding ANY ill-will towards the refs or other field/event staff at the PCH championship.

Agreed that it’s not the ref’s fault that they cannot review video. Is there another thing they could try? does the FMS record balls scored over time? Can they look and see 12 balls scored at once? Can FIRST headquarters look at the video and advise the refs that something needs to be done?

I do have one bone to pick. She made the statement that several teams that were not in the match came and pointed out the error. She said that “irritated her”. Why would you be irritated by multiple, independent, corroborating sources of information? They might not be in THAT match, but they can be affected by problems in future matches.

How about an analogy using this year’s game sponsor? If I am a pilot of a Boeing 787 taxiing for takeoff, and someone not on the plane radioed and told me my horizontal stabilizer was falling off, I would appreciate that information. I doubt I would be irritated that someone “not on that flight” had bothered me.

I do understand her frustration. On the stream, I can see that there are students in the question box after almost every match. That in itself should be a red flag.

Disclaimer: I am not at the event, just watching the stream. I am not affiliated with any team. Any opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.