"Random" match Schedules

yes, i agree that of course the seeding doesnt reflect the actual rank of the robots acurately and scouting should determine who goes in the alliances, but the ranking does determine who gets to choose the alliances. Because there are some teams out there, i will not name any specifically but we all know about them, who just build a boxbot and run around doing alot of nothing, they will have a team that always plays them and always wins because they are basically playing 3 v 2. even if the robot isn’t that great, it wins every match and gets placed up top where it is made to choose an alliance. this robot might not be one of the best 24 teams and might not be worthy of its spot.

One other thing relating the perpetual opponents to alliance captains is, it is impossible for both teams to be alliance captains. Your record is the inverse of your perpetual opponents record. you cannot possibly both be alliance partners, which is unfair to two really great and worthy teams who just so happen to be numerically close.

my team, we play every match against the same team. the bad thing is that the one downside of our robot is its traction. we have omniwheels and they arent gripping well. all of our opponents mechanisms arent functional so they have to focus on defense. we keep getting alliance partners that cant tube like we can so our opponent just slams us every time we pick up a tube. by the 5th match however, they received a yellow card (if not the first at the regional then definitely the second) for excessive violence. now we play an unagressive/paranoid partner for the rest of the matches which is too much in our advantage in my opinion.

while i see what FIRST is trying to do, i really think that a purely random schedule would be the best, getting paired with whoever you get paired with, assuring the variety you expect.

I don’t mind if you disagree with me, Karthik. I’m not certain that I agree with me on this reasoning, either.

I’ll have to agree with Karthik. The seeding is very important for ranking atleast the top 8 teams. A veteran #2 seed that has played and beaten all the other veteran teams at the regional with a rookie #1 seed that has barely beaten all the other rookies at the regional… That’s just asking for trouble.

In addition, I can’t see how a rookie team would prefer to be paired with and against other rookies for an entire regional. Many of these rookies were planning on being enabling robots to leverage the ramps and other features of veteran teams. Basically telling them that they’ll never be paired with a veteran team just because is not a nice thing to do.

Mostly, I’m just surprised because the only serious complaints I’ve ever heard about the alliance pairing algorithms were that teams had to play with or against another team for half a regional or so. I can’t really understand why first would turn around and go with a system like this in the face of that feedback.

All this discussion about Richards idea that this type of seeding rounds was a new approach by FIRST to level the playing, or that this was planned by FIRST, is simply wrong. When this happened at the scrimmage in Suffield, CT 2 weeks ago, it was discussed with 3 high level people from FIRST.They all agreed that what happen that day, and whats happening this weekend, would be corrected by the 1st week events. With all the other fixes that came out of the scrimmage, I guess they ran out of time.

By continuing this line of discussion you are giving FIRST, and the software people an excuse for not fixing something that needs fixing.

Has anyone else notice that Mr Lavery his not added his voice to this discussion. Last year he was all over Hatch for every little issue.

I don’t think they should even try to fix it. Why should the first week teams have to be the guinea pigs? Why should teams attending only the first week events end up having a less rewarding experience than ones who picked week four or five? This is an issue that could have been resolved way before the first event. I’m reminded of last year’s first week debacle with the scoring system and automatic scoring hardware. Not much changed in five weeks. Milwaukee probably had as many or more re-starts than VCU. They were still human counting in Las Vegas. It was not until the Championship that they programmed a break after autonomous - so they could at least get the autonomous winner right! Not much changed, except that we learned to live with it and made the best of it.

But last year had a really great game to make up for the warts. IMO, this year’s game is not as good, not even close. Whether the total experience is enough to make up for [insert pet peeve(s) here] remains to bee seen.

The biggest problem I see with the perpetual opponent is simply the issue of an actually enemy appearing. In previous years there have been slight rivalries etc but by having a team that you play over and over ruins the atmosphere that we, or at least I love about FIRST regionals, a team could be your enemy one round then your ally the next. Without that I think teams can begin to get bitter towards each other, and whatever team ends up playing the number one team every match ends up being last just because of that it really adds too much negative competition into the game.

I personally think instead of having a ‘if i cant have it nobody can’ attitude one should have a ‘well, at least everyone else will have fun’ attitude. The people in the first week got the short straw, yes. but this cannot be changed; it already happened. i would hope that first will learn from its mistake immediately and try and make it so everyone else has the best experiance they can.

You sir, are putting attitudes in my mouth.

This is something that I think should really change. I don’t want to sound like I’m whining, but this happened to team 494 at Milwaukee last season when we had to play 111 in several of our matches (6-7 in qualifying), it was not that we don’t love playing against WildStang, more we just hate losing to them every round. Really my point is that it is fun to play against/with great teams every once in a while, but I would much rather play with several different teams so we can rekindle friendships and create new ones.

It scares me at Great Lakes, because I know we will be put against 469 and 503 in every single match we play. This would probably lead to me quiting FIRST and hiding in a hole to cry the pain of losing all these matches away. And yes I’m being sarcastic

St. Louis:

1646 vs. 1098 7 times in a row out of 9

Well, I definatly noticed this. Being on the loosing alliance about 5 times in a row is not fun… Dropped from 8th to 39th. But… it’s over, only one more match left before we go home. Unless of course we are in the finals… but 39th is not good when other teams are scouting… BUT, not much you can do.

Hopefully they will maybe do something about this for the next weeks to come. Just gotta say… right now, in my eyes, those ranks are pretty inaccurate.


I hope this gets fixed by next week…

otherwise we will be up against 254 or 330 every match!!!:ahh:

Wow, I came into this thread expecting similar gripes of “ooo, our (n+1)th match had somewhat similar robots as our nth match” as there was last year, but this is horrible if teams are really getting 60%+ matches against the same teams.

In past years it was always kinda like

match 1: paired with team x
match 2: playing against team x
match 3: playing after a match that had team x

Teams would kind of ‘fade in’ to your matches over the course of the day, then ‘fade out’.

The worst part is that this isn’t even something that could possibly be called an unforeseen bug, since you can always just generate test regionals with dummy teams and see if the results are sane.

I suppose one upside is that if everyone is playing their own little sub-regional with the same subset of the robots AT that regional, then finals will more closely resemble finals at the championship: you’ll be playing against robots you’ve never played against before, and scouting is that much more important.

I’ve said something similar to the following before, I’ll say it again.

We are customers of FIRST.

And, I’m not sure the service FIRST is providing with this method of pairups is what the customers ordered.

I’m hoping for much more varied pairups for week two.

Without formally polling them, I am confident that “my” team (1885 at VCU) as a whole strongly dislikes the current approach to assigning teams to matches.

When I had to set-up match pairings recent for a Potomac Vex League scrimmage, I sweated my way through this subject for one long night and came up with a handcrafted schedule that spread things out evenly in time; and ensured that over 6 rounds, no team ever faced the same pair of opponents and never had the same ally. Once I did this for my 20 hypothetical teams, I randomly assigned the 20 real team numbers to the hyothetical teams and was done.

It was tedious to do this for the twenty teams coming to that scrimmage, and out of ignorance I probably made the job harder than it needed to be, but (here comes the punch line of this part of this message) I absolutely know that I could automate the process; and that it will not be all that hard to generalize and automate my process (or a better one).

So… By the time we get to the Las Vegas Regional, I certainly hope that this week’s experiment is in the dustbin of history. I hope that FIRST chooses to go back to something that is blind to any prejudices about team age or ability needing to be factored into the scheduling method.

I say this because I am willing to trust that over a 6 to 8 match set of regional qualifying rounds a regoinal’s participants can get an accurate-enough assessment of team abilities to be confident that the highly seeded teams are generally where they should be and that all the teams have generally gotten an adequate opportunity to strut their stuff.

PS: Perhaps the story within the story here is this question… Should the match scheduling algorithm (described in layman’s terms) be part of the published rules, so that we can all point out that discontent is high before the season’s matches start?

In my opinion, this schedule kind of sucks. We’ve had to play 114 (Los Altos) the whole day (6/6 matches), which isn’t terrible, but it’s nice to get to play against a lot more robots. At the same time, we haven’t gotten to play on the same side as 114. Not to take anything away from 114, but our robot has had a lot of problems, which may have inflated 114’s score to some degree. Basically, when you have these perpetual opponents, you don’t get an accurate measurement of how good a robot is. Instead, you get a composite of how good your robot is plus how bad the other team’s robot is.

Seeding is meaningless, but having no variety at all in the qualification play is like only having one qualification round. Did we pay $6000 to play a mini event with only 5 other teams?

Please note that this problem was seen and pointed out BEFORE these regionals.

This seeding in unimaginative and damaging to the spirit of the game. If it is the result of someone’s “policy” they should take a close look at what they have created. From what I am hearing here it is damaging the experience of many teams this weekend and should be changed for TODAY’S matches.

I carry a really ‘mix’ opinion on this issue. May be for some teams going against the powerhouse teams; its going to be a big issue, while for others it might sound right.

For my own personal experience, it has showed kids (especially our team) the spirit of GP. 612 is going against 611 in every single match. Their pit is right beside us. Even though both teams are going against eachother in every single round, they’ve been helping eachother throughout the competion. This example emobodies the true meaning of FIRST, Gracious Professionalism.


Has FIRST missed the mark? Part or the excitement to watch as a mentor is how the kids learn to stratagize with and against almost every team at a regional. While the mix for who you are paired with seems fairly random, having one team that you are always against is bad. Other than really getting to know that team very well and being able to easy tell your new alliance partners how to defend against them I don’t see it having much benefit. I much prefer an offensive match and this looks like it will breed defensive matches. From what I have seen, simply pushing a robot around near the rack makes scoring ringers almost impossible. Veteran vs veteran and rookie vs rookie, what’s up with that? There have been extremely competitive rookies and veteran teams that have had less than impressive years. All beit, a few power houses can always be counted on. Speaking of that, how many teams are looking at the teams attending thier own regionals today to see who they will be paired against. I know I did. First two listed vs eachother, Second two vs. eachother (At least that is how it goes at VCU)? The more random the better. You should be able to test your skills with and against as many teams as possible. This just doesn’t measure up.

EDIT: I looked at the information available from NJ, STL, PNW, VCU. No match results were up for BAE. At PNW and VCU it looks like the first two teams listed are vs. each other every match. At NJ and STL it looks like the first two teams listed are vs. eachother every other match. I/We should all know more once today’s matches are posted and when/if anyone has time to analize all the information.

Company X just started selling their 2000SUX sport utility vehicle. The first thousand SUX’s on the road have airbags that deploy when the radio is tuned to 107.9 MHz, causing major accidents and injuries to the vehicle occupants. There is a public outcry calling for Company X to issue a recall and fix the problem IMMEDIATELY. The Company X CEO, nose firmly jammed north of horizontal, issues a statement declaring, “Oh, sorry, it wouldn’t be fair for the first 1000 buyers if we fixed the problem for everyone else. You’re just going to have to live with it blah blah blah blah blah…”

I’m pretty sure the first 1000 buyers would be more appreciative of Company X **AND WOULD MORE LIKELY CHOOSE TO BE REPEAT CUSTOMERS **[size=2]if Company X admitted the problem and did everything they could to repair the defect. [/size]

Jack, I certainly hope FIRST doesn’t follow Company X’s lead. I expect them to be proactive. If they can’t figure out a solution to this problem, then I’d hope they are willing to keep an open mind and consider outside algorithms brought to them by established members of the FIRST community, pride or contractual obligations or whatever be durned. Otherwise, I’d fear a significant increase in the risk of their “customers” taking their business elsewhere.

This is a major problem - a “design flaw”. Let’s correct the problem so our customers are more satisfied with the product.