Minnesota Robotics Invitational: Shirt Design, Teams competing

The 2019 Minnesota Robotics Invitational is on Saturday, October 12th at the Roseville Area High School.

This year’s shirt design:

This year’s team list (some changes at the last minute with a major winter storm coming in this weekend):
Team Number Team Name
1816 The Green Machine
2052 KnightKrawlers
2129 Ultraviolet
2177 The Robettes
2220 Blue Twilight
2239 Technocrats
2491 NoMythic
2500 Herobotics
2502 Talon Robotics
2508 Armada
2530 Inconceivable
2532 FLASH Power
2606 Irish Robotics
2846 FireBears
2987 Rogue Robotics
3100 Lightning Turtles
3184 Blaze Robotics
3244 Granite City Gearheads
3407 Wild Cards
3883 Data Bits
3926 MPArors
4198 Waconia RoboCats
4229 Magnetech
4511 Power Amplified
4536 MinuteBots
4607 C.I.S.
4859 Cybears
5275 T.I.M.E. Bots
5638 LQPV Robotics
7028 Binary Battalion
7038 Pizza Pi’s
7068 Mechanical MasterMinds

This looks to be a very competitive field… There is a good mix of traditionally strong teams and some up-and-comers. It will be a fun day!

NM. Sad to see these teams have to cancel. They are all perennial powerhouses and a ■■■■ ton to play against.

Here is the webcast URL: https://youtu.be/BDgyUnQ4Q8Y
It has been submitted to TBA.

I would like to make a suggestion to the rules for future years. Please remove one or both of the following rules: no interpicking amongst alliance captains, and 1-4, 1-4 draft order. The combination of these rules severely punishes the 4th seed because they’re not eligible to be selected by the 1st seed and they also receive the worst pick in both rounds. Seeding 5th instead of 4th is extremely advantageous with this rule set. I don’t believe you should be punished for seeding high

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Or, give teams the option to decline the captain slot. Then seeding 4th is still better than seeding 5th as you have more options available to you.

Ok… then you end up with a captain that believes they otherwise wouldn’t be picked into a better situation. Which in theory, being picked by any other alliance would be better than ending up on the 4th alliance given this alliance selection rule set.

Add my voice to the list of those that believe the alliance selection rules could be improved for future years.

We talked a lot about how nice it would be to lose certain matches throughout the event so as to seed outside the top 4 and be the number 1 pick. We would never throw a match or play below our ability so of course we ended up in the 4th captain position. I’ll also say that the fact that the 4th alliance won this event doesn’t validate the alliance selection process at all. That only happened because we ended up with the same alliance we wanted if we were the 1st seed.

Hmm, yeah, I guess that rule change doesn’t work so well when there is also a no inter-picking rule.

What seems silly to me is that the no interpicking and 1-4 1-4 rules have contradictory effects. Events like IRI believe the 1 seed should have more of an advantage, so they have 1-8 1-8 selection. Events that think the 1 seed have too much of an advantage often run 1-4 4-1 selection with no interpicking, nominally to break up powerhouse alliances. MRI does both though, which just convolutes the selection process with no clear gain and also incentivizes more match throwing.

My dream system is 1-4 4-1 with interpicking allowed, and when you come to a captain to make their first pick, they have the option to decline the captainship. There is much less quals gaming in this system as you get a legal outlet to essentially lower your rank, so you don’t need to do so by throwing matches.

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The past three years MRI was won by the 3rd, 4th, and 4th alliances, so it is more than just this year.

Really, it’s an off season event to get teams more experience. If the focus was on elims they would run 5 qual matches and draft 8 alliances.

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I believe this speaks more towards the quality of scouting at offseason events than anything else. 1816 was our #1 team on our picklist and we got them with the 4th pick. We almost didn’t include 2987 on our 2nd round picklist because we thought they wouldn’t make it to us with the 8th pick. In short, we got our best case scenario alliance.

The system in place still puts the 4th and 3rd seeded teams at a huge disadvantage with no way of escaping it unless if they decide to tank. I understand it’s an offseason event, but I still think this would improve the experience for teams. A previous team I was a student on was asked to tank at MRI. We decided to try to rank as high as possible and ended up as the 2nd seed. We lost in the finals. It left a terrible taste knowing we were the 2nd best team and we would’ve won if we just decided to tank.

I totally agree offseasons are all about getting teams more experience. It’s always confused me why offseason events go out of their way to give teams a different experience than what they would have at an in season event when it comes to alliance selection. If MRI were my first exposure to FRC, I would have no idea that captains are normally allowed to pick other captains, or how the declining process works (and that it’s not a bad thing), among other processes that go along with alliance selection.

The benefit gained by not allowing captains to pick each other is that (in theory) the best 2 robots can’t team up and steamroll the competition. The tradeoff is that teams are punished for seeding high, and therefore have incentive to not seed high to maximize their chance to win the event. Offseason event or not, the goal is to win. I don’t care if it’s used for training, no team is attending the event without at least some hope of winning it.

The benefit gained by running the alliance selection 1-4, 1-4, 4-1 is that you are incentivizing the number 1 seed significantly over the 2-4 seeds. As others have mentioned this makes no sense when paired with no inter-picking amongst the captains.

Ultimately these rules are the MRI committee’s to determine. I’ll happily play under whatever rules they set and I really appreciate the effort they put into hosting and running the event. These posts are just meant as feedback for the committee to consider for the future!

This is wrong. My team does not attend with a goal of winning. We attended with a goal of getting experience for anyone that wanted to drive. We also had a goal of getting a brand new intake working, one that wasn’t even finished being built a week before. In both cases, we were highly successful - everyone got a chance to drive, we discovered a bunch of issues with the intake and fixed them between matches, and we were able to show that we could handle both hatches and cargo, at least in the pit. We never expected to win, be in a picking position, or get picked - If that’s what we wanted, we would have had our driver from last year driving every match, and our on-field performance would have been significantly different.

Your team may have a goal of winning the event, that doesn’t mean every team there does.

But we do have a hope of winning, whether as captain or last pick, which is what he said.

Read the first sentence I quoted, please. Hope largely stems from goals - if your goals aren’t oriented towards winning, then you aren’t even going to be thinking about it. We intentionally put ourselves in a position at MRI where we don’t have a hope of winning. Having a different drive team each match, with new rookie drivers, does not give a team that hope. We recognize different goals, which leads to different hopes. A goal of building a new intake leads to a hope of seeing that intake work on the field. A goal of getting rookies drive team experience leads to a hope that they enjoy that experience and try out for drive team next year. Neither of those leads to a hope that we’ll suddenly to better and win.

I’d like to add we also attended MRI to provide new students with exposure to new roles. Once we made alliance captain our focus then changed to winning. The experience provided our team with some insight that I would not want to endure at a Regional. Overall was a great event.

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To clarify, I’m not suggesting every team’s primary goal going into the event was to win. In previous years when we didn’t have a returning drive team our primary goal was to determine our driver for the next season, and get new students acclimated to new roles in the pit, scouting, etc. Our secondary goal was winning/competing our best. Even this year our primary goal was to get students comfortable in their new roles.

I intended to say that every team, at some level, has a hope of winning the event, or at the very least competing their best. I imagine each of your drivers that you were swapping in hoped to drive well enough to win their individual match. The group I worked with when we were alliance partners was awesome, and certainly wanted to win the match. They also did a great job contributing to the alliance’s win!

My broader point is that an alliance selection structure that detracts from a team’s desire to win/compete their best isn’t a good thing, and can be improved for future years if the MRI committee sees value in it!

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How does it take away from the hope of winning? I’m assuming every drive team that your team used played with the other two teams on the alliance with the intention of winning the match. Though you did not set that as the top priority, which is common at offseason events where the priorities are much different than in-season events, the priority still existed because that’s the point of being at a competition. I love all the practice my team can get driving outside of competition, but it’s invaluable to get “real matches” where the inexperienced members are still trying to win and building skills off of that.

I am kind of indifferent on interpicking or no interpicking. One thing that no interpicking does do is simplify the draft. All the second/third order draft oddities go off the table. With the rest of the stuff going at an off season event (rotating drivers, minimal scouting, new draft reps, etc) that isn’t the worse thing.

I do like the drafting of your back up team that MRI does. At an off season event - if teams are going to stick around to be backup bots they might as well be part of an alliance.

Totally agreed, this was an awesome move! Our backup team (2129) taught 2987 some tips on how to defend effectively since they had done such a good job of it throughout quals. Their students were also involved in match strategy leading up to the playoffs which is always good learning experience. 2129 was also ready to jump in when all three of our robots were broken after finals match 1… we were fortunate that everybody was fixed in time, but 2129 was the perfect backup.

The 1-4 1-4 selection has the opposite intent of “no inter-picking.” I’m not quite sure why both are implemented at the same event since they offset each other and create incentive to throw matches. I’m certain none of the teams at MRI would actually throw a match at an event where the whole purpose is to get experience for our newer members, but I heard people mention it would be advantageous to lose a particular match. That should never be the case. In my opinion keeping the snake draft we use at regionals would be a positive change going forward and remove throwing matches from the equation.

Our team fielded 8 unique primary drivers in our 8 qualification matches and none of them had driven before that week (well a couple drove a little at the State Fair or a demo I think but not in a match). They each had a 5 minute session on Monday where we taught them the controls and they drove on a small piece of carpet. The purpose of the event is to get new members experience, but we still try our best to win each match and scout as if it were a regional. In my opinion that is the best experience they can get.