Hey, CD I am thinking about mentoring my team’s strategy group, and had a cool idea. Since some competitions are before the one we attend, usually some highly involved team members watch these matches. I thought of making almost like a viewing day on a weekend where the whole team comes to watch all of the matches at a competition (with snacks and discussion). Making it more of a fun team bonding day, and also getting more team members involved in actually watching the matches and seeing how the game is played (good practice for teaching the scouting forms to rookies as well).
What do you guys do when watching matches, is it more individual work, or group oriented?
I would love to hear your thoughts thanks.
For the most part its an individual event when we all watch separate locations, but we all are in a team chat room on skype or the like were we all comment on the game play on the match. The only time we all watch together as a team is worlds where we make a whole weekend out of it and team bonding works very well into this
Bonus points if you use it to prescout your opponents at your regional, should any be attending the regionals you watch.
Double bonus if you correctly predict the winners once alliances come out based on your scouting data and a best guess at strategy.
In other words, I think this is a great idea. By having the entire team there, you can also potentially:
–modify your team’s strategy based on what works elsewhere (risky move, though),
–plan for parts to build at the event/prebuild if legal,
–start building said parts, and
–have a team meeting with general plans and stuff like that.
Great idea as long as your not Week 1…Crap
I like the full-team idea. As a coach, I’m trying to watch some matches with my drivers at our Week 1. Well, let me rephrase that…when we can watch a few matches, I’m trying to talk to my drivers about them. Our drive team (both us coaches included) are heavily in pit crew, so time is the limiting factor. Doing it queue would be good too, though it’s usually hard to see the field.
I bet pre-competition viewing would be even more effective, not to mention a lot less stressful. Catching matches at competition is one of the challenges especially for pit crew-drive teams, but I would recommend the effort for fellow first-weekers. (Because, of course, nothing ever needs to be changed on the robot at week 1, so you’ll be rolling in time.)
it is difficult to use your scouting system while watching matches online. The cameras don’t follow robots the whole time. Use this time to get an idea of soring, strategy and game play. It is much easier to scout teams by looking at the results and pictures of their robot design.
An idea I like to promote is training scouts by using one of the 2-3 simulators that rattle around each year.
Even if you are watching a viedo recording that jumps around, if the audience can begin to agree on the crucial locations, actions, or other parameters that separate wins from losses, then youhave made a huge stride.
Don’t be surprised if in the beginning every 6 people involved offer 8 different and conflicting opinions about what is important and what is not. Work through that, perhaps use a little math to help organize your thoughts and assessments (maybe read a paper or two on the subjects), and have plenty of fun.
Also another good idea to keep in mind when viewing some matches as a team is to gauge how the game will evolve.
Earlier events like weeks 1 and 2 tend to have slightly different strategies than the later events of weeks 5 and 6. The game evolves as the robots and teams learn from each other and make improvements. Understanding this and getting a feel for how the game will evolve as the season moves on is a good exercise for your team to do.
Our team always sends a large contingent to the nearby New Jersey Regional (week 1 - we try to avoid competing ourselves in week 1 for a number of reasons). We sit in the stands and watch matches together, making notes of strategies, common penalties, common robot issues, etc., and it has proven to be invaluable every season.
We will often (1-2 times/ season) do competition prep sessions on Saturdays and bring in a projector. The whole team is typically invited, though frequently it is less than the whole team attending. We usually have it going on in the background and watch for particular teams/matches.
It is good to view Saturday as most teams are actually functional and it is good to see the change from Qualifying to Eliminations. Sometimes there is very little difference (2008), sometimes it is huge the difference (2002, and 2010).
My Freshman year (2009) we did this. We met at our facility, set up a large projector with plenty of snacks, set up the Buckeye Regional from UStream, and discussed what we saw in the competiton. It was good to see how the game was played as opposed to how we thought the game would be played. We were also able to get ideas for auton (we saw many matches where robots went straight to the middle and got stuck), and overall it was a fun time to hang out with other team members.
Since we’ve gone to first week competitions, so we haven’t done this since, but I wish we would do it again. I high recommend it.
I, personally, have done this with a few alumni and current scouts. We go to New Jersey, even when we do not formally attend the event.
Besides seeing everyone and saying our hey’s, we mostly watch how the game is played. This year, I watched the finals in NJ, and realized that ball possession was the way to win. Our robot had HORRIBLE ball possession, so we created a completely new ball possession system in the week and a half until our next regional, Florida.
It just goes to show that knowing the game and how it will be played is probably the most important thing to consider when creating your robot.
Yeah I thought it would be really fun for the kids to hang out with other robotics kids and get to know members outside of their grade. When I was a freshmen in 2007 I didn’t know anything about robotics I had to teach myself mainly. So throughout the years I strived to make the freshmen experience a lot more fun so that more members would stay with the team farther down the road. But one thing I noticed is that a lot of our scouts are team members who don’t always work with the robot. So I thought that if they watched a regional, with friends. Then a lot of the younger kids would know what to look for. It is a lot easier to show a WCD, Swerve, 8WD and so on in the field, so that they will learn the information about FRC when they need to scout.
Thanks for all your guys’ thoughts, it’s great to see how excited people can get about engineering.
We hold practices every Saturday during competition season (unless we’re competing, of course). During these practices we always have webcasts up. During breaks we’ll sit down and watch a few matches. If there is a set of finals that look like they could be good, we’ll stop and take a break to watch them. We like watching matches for many reasons:
–It gives us a chance to see how the game is changing from week to week. Sometimes we’re idle for 2-3 weeks and the game can change a lot between that time.
–Lets us see how different teams with similar robots are playing the game, and how others are defending them.
–Gives us a chance to see teams we may be playing with at future regionals or championships.
– Shows us what we should be practicing and preparing for (getting pinned, playing ball starvation, breaking 469’s cycle, etc).
–Sometimes, we’ll actually play webcast audio while driving so our drivers get used to crowd noise, tuning out the announcer, etc.