Our team has been doing a lot of discussion on how important it will be in order to cross the barrier. I think it comes down to how often you will need to cross mid-court. In 2010 crossing the bumps, for many robots, was not necessary as many robots would just play in one section of the field for most of the game. Do you think that will be the case this year?
With there only being 18 balls, and an alliance being able to hold 15 of them at a time, I believe that it is going to be extremely important to be able to cross the barrier. Teams that can do this will be able to get the remaining balls from wherever they are on the field, and also would be able to play defense as well. In addition, it might be helpful to be able to get on the ramp from either side of the barrier due to the limitations of other robots.
That all depends on your alliance. If you have a reliable defender/feeder robot, you can stay on your side of the field while they feed you balls. For example, if you had us on your alliance, and we were playing our feeder/defense strategy instead of our offensive strategy, then we could feed all of the balls you need, and keep most of the opponents at bay.
I also like the “squeeze” strategy, where you score enough balls on your opponent to squeeze them out of their darned hoarding inbounders so you can score them again! No need to cross more than once for that.
I voted one, not because I think that ALL teams will only cross once, but because I think that everyone vastly overestimates the number of times the center will be crossed.
Consider the different roles of robots on an alliance.
Let’s say you want to have a defensive robot: well, the defensive robot is going to want to play defense the whole match unless something goes seriously wrong with the offense, so you only need to cross once (to get to the other side of the field and play defense) before you balance.
Now, you probably want your most accurate scorer to spend most of its time, you know, scoring. Which means cutting transit time to a minimum… which means not crossing the bump. For maximum scoring, your best shooter should probably never cross the bump until balancing.
Of course, someone may need to go break a starvation strategy, feed the scoring robot, or play some defense, so maybe one robot per alliance actually needs to cross the midfield a few times. But certainly not all three will be crossing the field with any amount of regularity, or you’re probably screwed.
But as soon as they have a defender in their alley you basically have to clear out, or you get a foul (tech foul even?). So it’s tricky.
I assume that if you are in their alley, and they come hit you, it will likely be a foul on you because they have every right to be in that alley to retrieve balls, and their actions can easily be construed as going for the balls, with you in the way.
Remember, You can’t play defense or gather enemy balls (in a practical sense) without crossing.
Also, the scouting won’t be all that thorough until at least halfway through the qualifiers. There will be a lot of strategy adjustments mid game to do and that means likely re crossing.