re: overlooked

Posted by Patrick Seeney.

Student on team #469, Las Guerrillas, from Oakland Robotics and Lawrence Technological University and Magna Seating Systems, Nachi and Kuka Robotics.

Posted on 4/10/2000 1:29 PM MST

Obvioulsy the big name teams were the ones that were going to go to the finals, or even the teams that could hang. These were the alliances that people wanted to have. Some teams, however, were over looked. Our team, yeah we couldn’t hang, but we scored average 49 qp’s, most of which we did on our own. We were able to keep everyone off the ramp that we had wanted to, but were still overlooked in the elimination rounds. Teams that we had destroyed had been picked over us, not to say that they didn’t perform amazing, but the ability to hang was a major influence. I mean, it takes alot to finish 25th out of 270, but hey i guess there is always next year.

Posted by Daniel.

Coach on team #483, BORG, from Berkeley High School and NASA Ames & UC Berkeley.

Posted on 4/10/2000 3:14 PM MST

In Reply to: re: overlooked posted by Patrick Seeney on 4/10/2000 1:29 PM MST:

First I’d like to congradulate all those in the finals and the award winners. You guys were all amazing.

However, there were quite a handfull of amazing robots that didn’t make the final cut. The problem, as I see it, is that the whole event is growing too fast to realize how things are going to be before they come upon us. However I think we can learn from this. There was an easily noticeable flaw in the alliance selection process this year, which mainly showed its face in the lack of breadth in partner selection. Now I’m definitely not saying that those picked weren’t deserving. They were. Mainly I’m referring to all those teams that didn’t get picked for the finals and would have easily given some of the best alliances a run for their money.

I remember hearing this in past years, but I think each year the effect is magnified by the shear quantity of rookie teams. This year it got a little too big to be ignored. Not only was this visible in the alliance selection but also I noticed something missing in the pits. I saw no judges. Maybe they made it around to the bulk of the teams but I for one was in my pit for the entire event except during matches and never once saw a judge walk by to look at the robot. If this was the case in my pit I can’t imagine it would be any different for all the other teams in the pit corners. Maybe it’s a lack of staff, maybe it’s a lack of process. Whatever it is there’s definitely a lack of something.

Finally, the finals. I think the finals are definitely the pinnacle of the event. Definitely worth watching. However, they were run just as ordinary matches. I was completely unable to follow who was in and who was out and I surely missed many exciting matches. Matches that I would be able to LEARN from. I think seeing what designs were effective this year is one of the key educational things this competition has to offer. When you can’t see more than three finals matches, the finals loose a lot of their excitement. Did you notice how empty the stands were during the very final match? Not to mention Einstein was the hardest arenas to watch matches from.

Lastly I’m noticing how harsh I’m sounding towards FIRST. I don’t mean that. I think FIRST does a great job with what they’re given. They, just as us, need to learn from their mistakes however. This is where I’m coming from. The event this year was great and the game was my favorite yet. So FIRST? I’m not bashing you. You guys rock.

Thanks for another great experience, everyone!


PS – Loved the adjectives from all those picked for finals. They should distribute a tape of that ceremony to all those taking their SATII - Writing test.

Posted by Andy Grady.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Coach on team #42, P.A.R.T.S, from Alvirne High School and Daniel Webster College.

Posted on 4/10/2000 4:33 PM MST

In Reply to: that and more. posted by Daniel on 4/10/2000 3:14 PM MST:

I totally agree with you guys on this one. So many proven teams, overlooked. The biggest shocker to me, team 293 not getting picked. They may not have had the most intimidating looking robot, but one thing is for sure, THEY KNEW HOW TO WIN!! Its sad to see them overlooked, how could they be overlooked, they won 2 regionals!! This happened alot at the nationals. Not to mention how many extreemly good teams ranked really low. Nypro and Clinton was lucky to pick up a gem like Chaos before anyone realized how good they actually were, but because teams lacked good scouting power, chaos was overlooked until Nypro picked them, the same deal goes with team 25. They were Nasa’s second pick! there were 25 teams picked before they were!! That is absolutely absurd for the team that I feel (and im sure many others feel too) was the biggest factor in their alliance winning the national championship. Now don’t get me wrong, teams like Wildstang and Delphi had very stunning robots and deserved to be picked quickly in the first round, but still there were alot of teams with big names picked over quality teams with lesser known names. Unfortunately there is no way to avoid something like this from happening, but I just think that teams like team 293 and 1 and all the others who had the skill to be picked should be recognized (Especially Big Jimmy the wedge robot, i loved that thing =) ) But anyway, congrats to all the teams who competed, you definatly made this year one of the best.
Andy Grady, DWC/Alvirne team 42

P.S. By the way, after this year, ill never trash alliances again, they make the game interesting =)

Posted by Patrick Seeney.

Student on team #469, Las Guerrillas, from Oakland Robotics and Lawrence Technological University and Magna Seating Systems, Nachi and Kuka Robotics.

Posted on 4/10/2000 5:15 PM MST

In Reply to: Lack of the good ol’ strategy team posted by Andy Grady on 4/10/2000 4:33 PM MST:

Regardless of it all, our team took it pretty hard. We worked like crazy to get our robot to that 25th position, that takes so much work, especially with being a rookie a team. Only one other rookie team did better than us, and that was 388, and they deserved everything they got, they were simply amazing. I just think that next year FIRST needs to do something to recognize these teams who finish in the top 10%, maybe a different way of picking the alliance. Either way, the Las Guerrillas robot is looking to go to Zeeland, hope to see you all there.

Posted by Mark Stover.

Coach on team #293, Bullbots, from Hopewell Valley Central HS, Pennington, NJ and Janssen Pharmaceutica / Morehouse Engineering.

Posted on 4/10/2000 6:21 PM MST

In Reply to: Lack of the good ol’ strategy team posted by Andy Grady on 4/10/2000 4:33 PM MST:

I’m glad to see that there are some teams that are shocked at how we, 293, did not get picked for the finals (along with several other good teams) while there were some seemingly not as good teams that did. We left nationals with a smile on our face and had a great time, but also with a severely bitter taste in our mouths.

I had posted a message before nationals mentioning that my greatest fear was that we would not get picked even after winning 2 regionals – and sadly my fear was realized. I knew it was possible because we did not have an impressive looking robot, a large team with bright, bold colors, and a reputation (we were rookies to nationals). Our motto after the regionals was ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.’ and we fought valiantly.

Several of us disected the reasons why we got overlooked. The first reason is that best robots for the qualifications are different than best for elims. While we won 6 of the 7 Q-matches, we could not score enough for the other alliance to get points (especially when both played full-D) and look impressive in scoring ability. Several teams also got lucky in alliance pairing and got the full effect of the 3x scoring. The second major reason is that we did not have the marketing ability and connections as the larger teams do. With only 6 students, we could not afford to have them selling our team to all the teams all day nor did we have a huge cheering section with bright, wild shirts to make everyone recognize you. I am absolutely positive that that is why some teams got picked above us (the squeekly wheel syndrome). Also, a lot of scouting efforts fell apart with 4 courts to watch and plus, we did not even have an official practice slot so that people knew where/when to come watch us.

And you know what? after all the disecting of what we could have done differently, we realized that it is not about winning or even finishing well, but the experience itself that is truly rewarding. It was just really tough explaining to the students (and adults) that it’s just like life and sometimes the best do not get recognized and you get delt a bad hand, epecially when you feel just as bad.

We had a great time, learned a lot from this experience, and truly embodied the spirit of FIRST among our team – which is everything we could ask for. We are truly proud of our performance this year (2 Regionals and still undefeated in Elmination rounds), more than any of us ever dreamed of. The Bullbots vow to be back next year and hope to be a bigger and better team than this year.

We congratulate ALL FIRST participants and hope to see everyone next year.

Posted by Mike Kulibaba.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Student on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional and Johnson and Johnson.

Posted on 4/10/2000 9:29 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Lack of the good ol’ strategy team posted by Mark Stover on 4/10/2000 6:21 PM MST:

Any team that won 2 regionals could of been my alliance partner at any time. I saw team 293 and they were near the top of my list, along with team 25 for a defensive robot, if we were in the top 16 we would of went for 1 robot that could score and one that could play defense. Defense was the name of the game in the elimination rounds and I had my eyes on a few defense robots. The way team 131 picked out of the goal was very quick and effective. I was hoping for the chance to do the picking because there were alot of teams that I wanted to allay with in the elimination rounds. A popular phrase in basketball is ‘Defense wins Championships.’ this can be placed well with this game. But Defense always gets over looked cause they don’t put points on the board. I wish we had the chnce to pick, I wouldn’t doubt that we would of had 293 as an alliance choice

Kuli Team 88 TJ²

Posted by Mike King.

Other on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

Posted on 4/21/2000 10:38 PM MST

In Reply to: Team 293 had my vote posted by Mike Kulibaba on 4/10/2000 9:29 PM MST:

That was our head stragist. If he said he wanted them, they would have been our first choice.

Don’t you just love what if’s and coulda’s?

Mike King Team 88 TJ²