Quality of Regionals

While having a discussion with a friend on another team during SVR, we were talking about the level of competition, which we thought was significantly lower than in 2003 and previous years.

We hypothesized that this was because of the increasing number of regionals per year, which was distilling the quality of competition between events. For example, before Sacramento, Arizona, and Colorado had regionals, all those teams would have likely gone to SVR or Socal, instead, there’s now more teams spread out among regionals.

I do think that more regionals are a good thing, but has anyone else noticed a lower level of competition throughout any of the regional events?

Cory

I think the level of competition gets higher because the teams get better and FIRST gives us better games and challenges each year.

I have to say that I both agree and disagree :stuck_out_tongue: .

I agree that the increase in regionals has somewhat “distilled” teams throughout regionals. I wouldn’t say it has decreased the quality of competition, though. Teams, in essence, are given the chance to compete in more matches because of the decrease in participation… and this basically allows for good competition because teams can see the abilities of other robots, not based on 3 or 4 matches, but rather, 6, 7, or 8 matches. Consistency becomes a key factor in determining the quality of the competition.

True, some of the more experienced and successful teams may not be present because of the “distillation”. This doesn’t take away from the spirit of the regionals, though. Attendance by spectators has gone up. Honestly, I think this is also a key factor - when drivers and human players are encouraged, competition goes up. You know the dealio :).

I’d have to say it’s not the teams at the regional, but the game itself. This years game had very little offensive untill the last 20-15 seconds. Compare that to 2003 and 2002. I think if FIRST gives us a game like those years, we’ll see levels of competition like that.

While if you were to ask this last year i would have said that the competition level greatly increased, this year and last year it was basically the same, as opposed to king of the hill, this year it was king of the bar/2X ball

I voted “about the same” and I see two reasons for this.

  1. There has been a lot of growth in FIRST so there are more rookie teams. This would suggest that the level of competition would go down.

  2. With the additional regionals, more teams are able to attend more than one regional. This provide additional experience and brings the level of competition up.

I think these balance out and the level of competition is about the same.

To clarify, I didn’t mean overall. I would have to say the finals at nationals were among the most competitive I have ever seen, and there were a lot of very great, innovative robots across the board.

From my experience on the West Coast, from regional to regional, the competition was less stiff. Perhaps this wasn’t noticed so much in the midwest where the team growth rate is much higher (I would assume) and is adequate enough to cover any new regionals that are started.

I just thought of another reason which is probably more accurate. My guess is that a large number of teams tried to build robots to accomplish every part of the game, and then many found out that they couldnt perform very well in any one part of the game.

Cory

One of the biggest things I think is a current problem is that I see teams over engineering their machines. Being able to do one or two things well and consistently is very important and lends to a successful machine. I see many teams go and design their robot for all parts of the game and then find out none of their systems work the way they need to. Ive observed larger teams with the ability to do this but for the majority of FIRST they dont have what it takes to master this complete multitasking machine. My team year after year has success just doing one or two things really well. To me this is what alliances are for, checks and balances between three machines, strategizing. I think just having two machines that do the same thing well duke it out is the most exciting aspect of a match.Please correct me if Im wrong

Just my two sense
-Pat

The competition level at the Pacific Northwest Regional felt about the same as last year, maybe a little bit more challenging.