NH vs. UTC

What did people think of the competition at UTC?
In my opinion I thought the competition in NH was better and it looked like the teams that came from that regional dominated.
So the question for those who went to both is “where was the toughest competition?”

-Bob

Not taking away anything from the UTC regional, but I was more impressed with the teams at NH. There were a lot of teams at UTC who were at NH and so it was more of a repeat of last week.

Granted though, there were a lot of awesome robots at Hartford. Two that come to mind right away are 571 and 229. 229 was the first true KOH I have seen so far this year and I was truly impressed. I think they are going to do very well in Houston. And 571 was the only robot that I saw who successfully made a stack of 6 and kept it safe.

Congrats to the winners and to all…everyone did an awesome job.

-TD

I would have to say the NH regional was alot better setup and run but CT was alot harder all the teams put up a good fight and over all i had fun at both.

I would have to say NH was much better. I say this mostly from a spectator point of view because I am a cheering person (The Technonut in me has never fully left).

  1. In NH everyone was cheering while in Hartford only one team was even trying.
  2. NH had a practice field which I know my team used a lot to work out a lot of bugs in the autonomous program.
  3. NH also had a better viewing area while Hartford is meant for bands not for robot competitions so half the time you couldn’t see what was happening.
  4. In my opinion the Team Social was also better at NH than Hartford mainly because it gave you a chance to sit down, relax, enjoy yourself, and not have to worry about who is winning or losing.

Dont get me started with CT. No practice field, really bad viewing no matter where you sit, small pit area. Just a bad place for a regional. The Civic center isn’t too far down the street. Why not have it there?

the venue in NH was so much better then then UTC. at UTC you couldnt see anything and it was impossible to film your rounds because even if you got up all the way to the back and zoomed in the ref’s and first’s film crew was always in the way.

the after party was a joke. i am not to sure but how many people actually enjoyed the sheet pizza, hot dog’s, and taco’s? when i got it it was all cold and soggy i know it’s had to prepair food for a mass of people all at once but in comparison to the granite state regional it was so much better. when looking around there was more people just sitting talking or playing hacky sack then were actually on or waiting in the long lines for the inflatable rides. if would have been cool for lego leagues but not FIRST.

did any one notice the differance in play. it was completely differnet on thursday and firday then the NH comp. there was no excitment people were sleeping and it seamed so quite. saturday was so much better when the ref’s started to let us play. glad to see so many NH team got it together and were working before shiping it was sad to see team’s not showing up on friday so they could work on there bot’s.:mad: congrad’s to 166 on yet another good showing.

*Originally posted by 157#1Driver *
**Dont get me started with CT. No practice field, really bad viewing no matter where you sit, small pit area. Just a bad place for a regional. The Civic center isn’t too far down the street. Why not have it there? **

Amen to that. The Meadows simply is the wrong place for a competition. On the quality of play front, NH and UTC watered each other down a bit. There’s a lot of veteran teams up here that put up good showings every year, but now they’re split between the regionals with only a few attending both.

Amen to that. The Meadows simply is the wrong place for a competition. On the quality of play front, NH and UTC watered each other down a bit. There’s a lot of veteran teams up here that put up good showings every year, but now they’re split between the regionals with only a few attending both.

At least they didn’t have the two regionals in the same weekend like they do in NY, NYC and LI regional are both this weekend!!! What’s up with that???

I’m glad that someone posted something about the 2 regionals. I went to the UTC regional so I would be able to actually watch a regional (at the BAE regional I was either in the pits or in the driver’s station). I was very disappointed with the UTC regional. I couldn’t figure it out untill Sat morning. The FIRST spirit was NOT there, gracious professionism was throw out the window on Friday, there was NO cheering for other teams. There were teams that were pushing their own alliance off of the top of the ramp so they could have the glory of being “king of the hill.” And don’t get me started on the refs. They flagged Merrimack twice for “aggressive driving.” Please tell me where in the rule book is that rule?? I ended up going to Woody after the second time they were flagged for “aggressive driving” because they knocked over a human player stack that was next to a rep and it flew out of bounds (first they got a warning because they broke a corner of a box…come on @ the BAE regional there was over 300 boxes broken over the 3 days). Even Woody was suprized at the call, asked if there was any points taked away, luckly no, but they were threatening to DQ Merrimack if it happened again, and he stated in Woody fashion “you are seeing new refs getting re-calibrated, let me go and listen to how they are making the calls and fix the problem.” For the rest of the comp, you never heard that call again. And as a coach, the amount of flaggs for the coaches grabbing controls…it was just mind boggling…the biggest thing thatI could have fallen out of my chair was when a team sent out a parent to play human player since thier robot wasn’t going to make it to the match…umm hello, can’t do that.

Basically…I wish I didn’t spend the time nor the $$ to drive 2 1/2 hrs to CT to watch the competition…and THANK YOU BAE FOR A GREAT REGIONAL!!!

*Originally posted by trollin1st *
Basically…I wish I didn’t spend the time nor the $$ to drive 2 1/2 hrs to CT to watch the competition…and THANK YOU BAE FOR A GREAT REGIONAL!!!

Come on now, look at all the good you did for the regional by talking to Woody! Can you imagine what it would have been like, had Woody not stepped in? DQs for touching another robot, DQs for knocking down stacks. Geez, it would have been a wonderful competition!

Really, after your discussion with Woody, the matches actually got interesting. But I agree, the NH regional was much better.

On another subject, I’ve been a little surprised by the lack of mention of our robot on Chief Delphi. Team 166 defeated almost all of the ranked teams at UTC quite handily (average score against us was in the teens).

(average score against us was in the teens).

Nothing against your team specifically but winning does not mean destroying the opposition. Winning is just barely squeaking by with a higher score. If you have not learned this yet then you have not learned the spirit of FIRST.

Yep, I would have to agree, BAE was much better than UTC. Our team didn’t compete in NH, but a few of our team members went there to volunteer. As I had never been to a competition before, I hitched a ride to see what it is all about. It was truly amazing! I had seats on the balcony, dead center over the field, so I could see everything! The teams were cheering and having a good time during the QM’s, but when finals started, all I can say is wow! The excitement was so thick I’m surprised the robots could drive through it. Needless to say, it was impressive and I couldn’t wait for UTC. It was nothing like BAE! Granted, I spent most of my time in our pits, but when I watched a few matches, the it was borderline terrible. You couldn’t see anything, the camera men kept getting in the way of each other, and the style of play was just different. Like I said, i was in the pits most of the time so i cant really pick out specifics, but I could tell it was different. Then finals came around, and i was hoping the matches would pick up and teams getting more involved, but I can’t say I saw it happening. i had friends come to watch the matches and told them to wait for finals, it will be so much better. Afterwords, they told me finals was worse! Oh well…maybe next year it will be in a better location. But, before then, see you all Houston and you know there will be excitement there!!

I cant speak for NH, but I have been to UTC for the past 4 years.

I’ll agree there wasn’t much in the area of FIRST spirit asin previous years, but thinking logically, the competition has been changed around a bit. Last year it was at the New Haven Coliseum. People complained about seating, the pits being too noisy, difficult to navigate, and farther away from most teams. So they moved back to the meadows. The last time it was at meadows was 2 years ago, and as I recall, the pit layout was a bit different- there wasn’t a black curtain separating the pits from the walking areas. But the stage layout was the same as 2 years ago, so that aspect hasn’t changed.

Also- keep in mind this was a “streamlined” event- and it underwent massive budget cuts. Maybe without red and blue lights flashing to signal each alliance cut the enthusiasm a bit, or the lack of spinning FIRST logo’s on the carpet.

As for the refs, 80% of them were reading the rulebooks Thursday. Keep in mind they are volunteers with other things to do and worry about in their lives. They are trying to help out by lending their services. Granted, they could have read up on the rules to make sure they were understood a bit earlier, but for learning the scoring and rules in one day, I don’t think they did all that bad. Some drivers were being aggressive (I was field crew, I know firsthand), and I did see the mentor act as human player. I also saw one mentor walk out of the driver station to the side of the field to guide the robot out of a tangled mess, during competition, not practice rounds. I saw a number of mentors touch the controls, either to release a mechanism, or get out of a sticky situation. I saw human players jump over the side rail back to the pad, ignoring the gate which was held open for them. I saw a number of rules broken, including tearing up of the field, pinning for 30 seconds+, even drivers who touched the controls of their bot before autonomous was over. I could see more than 90% of the rules broken were not intentional, as I am well aware of what the heat of competition can do to a person. However, the rules are in place to standardize competition, and I feel most calls were correct. Of course, that’s not to say some were not uncalled for, but overall I think they did a good job.

I think the level of competition was pretty good, and again, since I can’t speak for NH, I’ll hold my opinion at that. NH had a practice field??? That’s just nuts. I’ve never heard of any other regionals like that in any other year. Can anyone say pampered and spoiled? As for the robots who competed in NH and dominated UTC, maybe it’s because they’ve already been tested and tweaked in actual competition, whereas teams who’s first regional this was needed to tweak, test, and fix before achieving that level of competition.

I also have mixed personal feelings on teams attending multiple regionals… If a team attends one regional, dominates, and wins, then moves on to another regional, dominates, and wins again, is that not one less team that can qualify to attend nationals? I think it’s great that teams are taking the initiative to increase their competitive chances, but with the qualification system for nationals as it is, I think something should be done to allow as many teams as possible to nationals.

Sorry for the long rant, but I feel I have to explain a bit about UTC to those who bash it. Then again, maybe it’s because I had a different perspective as a volunteer, but I had also been a team member for 4 years prior.

*Originally posted by Marc P. *
**Also- keep in mind this was a “streamlined” event- and it underwent massive budget cuts. Maybe without red and blue lights flashing to signal each alliance cut the enthusiasm a bit, or the lack of spinning FIRST logo’s on the carpet. **

Streamlined!!! Umm… hello!! Team Party (sorry, social) and Big video screens??

That is not streamlined by any means.

As for UTC, I think that the teams there, while very good and competitive and nature, take it too far sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love most of the teams there… but some others…

Anyways, this weekend in NYC, my team (from CT) went and had a good time. Just about every team there is wonderful to work with and when we were chosen to be in the finals, and didn’t do too hot, the team that chose us actually had this very cool gracious cheer about how it’s ok and we’ll bounce back or something like that… I forget the exact words, but I was touched that a team woud actually have a cheer about losing.

It just shows you how the FIRST spirit works, and that even when you don’t do good you can still celebrate, and even root for some other team(s).

I liked the 2 regionals close together on the same weekend. More efficient use of my time to visit 2 regionals on one trip. From my past experience UTC is just in the wrong venue. The pits are just thrown in there and the field is to far from the crowd. By far my favorite venue was when J&J was still at Rutgers. The seating was better than any other place I’ve seen. If it could hold more than 100 people then it would be better. I haven’t been to BAE so I’ve got no comment on that.