Wow, what a roller coaster of emotions this event was for our team! We went from being nervous, to excited, to upset, and finally overjoyed! We’ve only played one district event, but I’m loving the 12 qualification matches, smaller competition size, unbag window before competition, and the more relaxed feel at competition. We’ve already played 2/3 the amount of matches we played in 2014, and we’ve still got 2 competitions to go before worlds. I’m looking forward to seeing how the season progresses and how much better teams will be by the time we get to state championships!
As per tradition, I’d like to list some of my positive experiences at the event:
Reffing: Reffing was on point. The ref crew did an amazing job, didn’t miss too many defensive crossings, and if they did they admitted it and changed the score. I saw all of the proper penalties and fouls being called, and I hope the ref team keeps up the good work!
The seating: I absolutely LOOOOVED the style of seating in the venue. The raised arena-style seating really added to the event. It’s inspiring to the kids and mentors on the field when they look up and see everyone looking onto the field, and it’s incredibly inspiring for the kids to see their robots down on the floor, and the seating really allowed that to happen.
Pit space: The pits were pretty comfy. We had a lot of space to spread out and stretch our legs while not working on the robot. Being in the pit felt less stressful, less cramped, and it helped us stay organized when we needed to do crucial repairs.
So while our team is very happy with the hardware we took home from the event, there were some serious issues at the event. I’m hoping the issues that can get ironed out will, but the other issues need to be addressed.
The field carpet: Putting the official field carpet over an astro-turf layer is absolutely unacceptable. The field was almost un-drivable by most teams at the event. Everyone was getting brown-outs at the end of every match, with many teams dying on the field during the beginning and middle of the match. When our robot is on a carpet on top of a solid surface, we can glide around the field. At this event, the robot could barely turn and drove like it was driving through sand. When we’re having to spray compressed air to cool our breakers and motors when we didn’t encounter any defense, you know there’s an issue. I sincerely hope that this will never happen again, because it’s really awful to see kids upset when their robot browns out in a match.
The field: There was something going on with the communication system, as the teams in the same driver station during quarter finals kept dying in the matches. I don’t know what was up, but there has to have been something. It’s not inspiring to see multiple dead robots on the field during the elimination tournament.
The venue’s food policy: I couldn’t bring in a fun sized bag of doritos or a bottle of water into the venue. That’s just plain ridiculous. I understand not bringing outside food like pizza and such, but if I can’t even bring a snack or bottled water for the pit crew and scouts, there’s something wrong.
Finally, I’d like to extend my congratulations and thank some teams we had the pleasure of working with at the event.
Congrats to 4468 for their first event win. This has been a long time coming, and I’m excited that your hard work paid off! I’m looking forward to seeing how you guys improve in time for state championships.
Congrats and thanks to 1746. That quality award was well deserved; you guys build amazing robots and have some of the best design solutions around. You couldn’t believe how much it meant to our team that our robot was the first overall selection of the eliminations draft, and I’m really sorry that our comms issues kept us from playing to our full strength. While it will always be a “what if” scenario, I feel that our alliance would’ve won the event had everything gone to plan. Thanks again, and I’m really looking forward to seeing you guys improve and play at States!
Congrats and thanks to 3091. What your team does with the Destination Einstein practice field is truly one of the best practices of coopertition that I know of. I know for a fact that being able to practice on the field has helped us so many times over the years. Working with your team during the eliminations was a great experience, and I hope to see you guys shine at the State Championship!
Looking forward to playing the rest of the district season and competing alongside the best in the state at the State Championship!