Re: Trying not to seed.... (same wish)

Posted by Ken Leung at 03/20/2001 5:56 AM EST

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

: However, if I was allowed only one wish to change something, it would not be this. I would use my wish to allow more teams to be in the eliminations from each division in the nationals.

: Raul

I also would use my wish to have more teams going into the eliminations… Just like the regionals where 4 alliances go into the elimination, and determine the winner of the regional, but in this case, the winner of a division.

I wish, I wish, I wish, but nothing is going to happen if I don’t do anything about it…

But there are so many good things about this…

Here are a couple of comments people came up with about this:

The whole point of FIRST is to inspire students into Science and Technology. By getting more teams into the finals, more students will have been involved in the heat of the competition, and more students will ultimately be more inspired. Especially this year, the finals are much more exciting than the qualification matches. It is much easier to keep students inspired when they are involved and excited. Having more teams in the finals can only help to get more students inspired about science and technology.

This is an unduly difficult challenge for teams, both rookie and veteran. However, the pressure on rookies is likely to make nationals a less appealing experience than regionals, thus reducing the growth of teams competing in the nationals, and reducing the growth of FIRST as a whole. This helps in public relations and sponsorship as well as boosting team morale. Treating each division as a regional will makes things more familiar to teams, making it a less stressful experience for each team. In addition, each team will be much closer with each team in their division, allowing a better bonding experience.

Most people will be in favor of getting more teams into the finals, regardless of the likely consequences. After watching the first regionals, we see that the finals are very fast paced, with few matches lasting longer than a minute, and virtually none lasting for the allotted two. While adding another round to the finals would increase the length, it would not be much, if any, longer than what finals have been in the past.

FIRST has made changes to the game play during the season in the past: FIRST
implemented the spare alliance partner during Great Lake regional in 99. Also, FIRST ended up increasing the # of teams in elimination at Nationals…it only makes sense…larger event = more teams advance… There should be no reason that they can’t do it again.

Posted by nick237 at 03/20/2001 8:10 PM EST

Engineer on team #237, sie h2o bots, from Watertown high school ct and sieman co.

In Reply to: Re: Trying not to seed… (same wish)
Posted by Ken Leung on 03/20/2001 5:56 AM EST:

Ken. you must be assuming some one in FIRST cares what you or any one else has to say.
If I had a wish I would wish that they at “FIRST” would listen to the “COMMON FOLKS” and work with some of the great ideas that have been seen on this site.
nick237

: : However, if I was allowed only one wish to change something, it would not be this. I would use my wish to allow more teams to be in the eliminations from each division in the nationals.

: : Raul

:
: I also would use my wish to have more teams going into the eliminations… Just like the regionals where 4 alliances go into the elimination, and determine the winner of the regional, but in this case, the winner of a division.

: I wish, I wish, I wish, but nothing is going to happen if I don’t do anything about it…

:
: But there are so many good things about this…

: Here are a couple of comments people came up with about this:

:
: The whole point of FIRST is to inspire students into Science and Technology. By getting more teams into the finals, more students will have been involved in the heat of the competition, and more students will ultimately be more inspired. Especially this year, the finals are much more exciting than the qualification matches. It is much easier to keep students inspired when they are involved and excited. Having more teams in the finals can only help to get more students inspired about science and technology.

: This is an unduly difficult challenge for teams, both rookie and veteran. However, the pressure on rookies is likely to make nationals a less appealing experience than regionals, thus reducing the growth of teams competing in the nationals, and reducing the growth of FIRST as a whole. This helps in public relations and sponsorship as well as boosting team morale. Treating each division as a regional will makes things more familiar to teams, making it a less stressful experience for each team. In addition, each team will be much closer with each team in their division, allowing a better bonding experience.

: Most people will be in favor of getting more teams into the finals, regardless of the likely consequences. After watching the first regionals, we see that the finals are very fast paced, with few matches lasting longer than a minute, and virtually none lasting for the allotted two. While adding another round to the finals would increase the length, it would not be much, if any, longer than what finals have been in the past.

: FIRST has made changes to the game play during the season in the past: FIRST
: implemented the spare alliance partner during Great Lake regional in 99. Also, FIRST ended up increasing the # of teams in elimination at Nationals…it only makes sense…larger event = more teams advance… There should be no reason that they can’t do it again.

Posted by Nate Smith at 03/20/2001 9:53 PM EST

Other on team #66, Frostbite, from Willow Run High School and GM Powertrain.

In Reply to: Re: Trying not to seed… (same wish)haha
Posted by nick237 on 03/20/2001 8:10 PM EST:

: Ken. you must be assuming some one in FIRST cares what you or any one else has to say.
: If I had a wish I would wish that they at “FIRST” would listen to the “COMMON FOLKS” and work with some of the great ideas that have been seen on this site.
: nick237

I was talking to some of the people from FIRST today at the setup for Great Lakes…none of them have even had the time to check this site lately. The only people still in Manchester are the Accounting staff, and everybody else is following this schedule: get to a site on Tuesday, set up, run the event, pack up Saturday night, fly home Sunday, take a couple days to recoup, relax, and get ready for the next event, repeat, etc… Just look at all the work that you do on your team to prepare to go to ONE regional…FIRST has a small staff and 13 regionals to not only compete in, but set up, organize, etc, etc… During most of the year, they do follow this site, and take suggestions based on it, but this time of year, posting something here is not the best way to get an idea to them. If you want to get an idea to them, talk to somebody at the event(which I did today, but more on that in a minute), or organize a petition and have ONE person e-mail it to FIRST(I don’t think they’d really appreciate e-mails from all of us who post here on a regular basis.)

And I brought up the idea that has been discussed here about increasing teams in the elimination matches for each division in Disney to some of the FIRST staff during dinner tonight. It turns out that the idea of making each division a “regional” and then having the winners from each advance was discussed at some point among the FIRST staff, but they were leaning against it for time issues. Yes, it may seem based on the events thus far that most elim matches will run in a shorter time than the full 2:00, but remember that they have to consider a worse-case scenario, which is every match running a full 2:00 minutes. So, let’s say with setup time, 5 min a match…currently, it works out like this:

4 divisions x 6 matches per division = 24 matches

  • 4 alliance champs into a “regional” = 18 matches

                                     42 matches

Now, figure each division is on its own field, so just say figure for 6 matches:
= 24 matches
24 matches x 5 minutes = 2 hours


If they increase the # of teams in the elim matches, it works out to this:
4 divisions x 18 matches per division = 72 matches
4 alliance champs compete = 18 matches

figure for the separate fields:
36 matches x 5 minutes = 3 hours

Without having an exact agenda for nationals yet, I can’t say how this fits into the master schedule, but the time that we sit around waiting for awards is not wasted time entirely…Disney and FIRST need time to get all the awards figured out, and the field on the Einstein stage torn down and set up for awards(I remember seeing Disney staff out there with a platform lift adjusting things in the rafters between finals and awards…) So they can’t necessarily eat into that time for another set of matches. Just a few things to keep in mind…there’s a lot more to consider than just getting more teams into finals…

Nate

Posted by Jason Morrella at 03/20/2001 11:18 PM EST

Coach on team #254, Cheesy Poofs, from Bellarmine College Prep & others and NASA Ames/Cypress Semiconductor/Unity Care.

In Reply to: Re: Trying not to seed… (same wish)haha
Posted by nick237 on 03/20/2001 8:10 PM EST:

So much energy complaining and making negative comments towards FIRST.  What amazes me about FIRST is that for EVERY SINGLE THING you can find to complain about they do another 100 amazing things that you choose to ignore or not appreciate.  
About the number of teams making the playoffs in Orlando - running a 340 team event is truly an incredible feat.  No one seems to give FIRST credit for creating a system that will result in MORE TEAMS THAN EVER BEFORE leaving Orlando with awards and trophies.  While 40 teams make the playoffs - there will also be 4 rookie all stars, 4 #1 seeds, 20 division champions, 5 finalists and 5 champions, in addition to all the other awards.  So more kids than ever will return home with awards.  I think that's a pretty fair trade off for having less teams in the playoffs.

(Yes, you can ALWAYS find little things about the game or rules that you could change afterwards - that’s easy. Some of the points you bring up are good & real - no one at FIRST would deny that and no one will ever debate that the competition is not and never will be perfect). But what FIRST does is pretty amazing, and the game is MUCH better and MUCH more fair then you give FIRST credit for. Perfect, no. I have my own list of things I think could have been done better or could have improved the game this year. But as Andy Baker said, we’d rather concentrate on the game and the competitions ahead of us, prepare the best we can, and have the best time we can. The kids put in too much time & work not to have fun. The off season and team forum are the times to give CONSTRUCTIVE criticism & ideas to improve things for next year.
Those who imply FIRST doesn’t listen to teams or care what they say are just plain wrong and out of line. I commend all the people at FIRST in Manchester for listening to teams as much as they do. I commend all the FIRST people and all the volunteers for putting on such great events for the kids. Keep up the great work!!!

Posted by Joe Johnson at 03/21/2001 10:53 AM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: Glass always half empty for you Nick?
Posted by Jason Morrella on 03/20/2001 11:18 PM EST:

Jason,

I am one of the frequent suggestors of ways that FIRST can improve.

I hope that my suggestions are not taken as evidence of my disatisfaction with FIRST as an organization.

Let me be clear.

FIRST is a fantastic organization that is doing ALOT right. They are very quick to improve on things that are wrong. AND, they are generally speaking an AWESOME organization.

So…

Hats off to the FIRST Folks, who get it right almost always.

Joe J.

P.S. I will continue to make suggestion and to comment on things that I think FIRST can improve. I am egotistical enough to think that such suggestions are responsible for improving FIRST from time to time. I encourage others to do the same, though perhaps tempered once in a while with a “great job” message :wink:

Posted by Fran at 03/21/2001 12:48 PM EST

Other on team #166, Team Merrimack, from Merrimack High School and Texas Instruments/R.S. Machines.

In Reply to: FIRST is amazing…
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/21/2001 10:53 AM EST:

The nice thing about your posts are the solutions/suggestions you always offer to resolve the problem. Even if they go unacknowledge, they are seen by the FIRST crew and I have noticed some get implemented. I have a greater issue with the complainers who only point out the problem and what they would like but seldom offer a solution…like an unfunded mandate by the government…all talk , no action but still welcomed by the FIRST community.
FIRST is a good lifestyle, it will steer you well throughout life and my family supports it.

Fran
T166

: Jason,

: I am one of the frequent suggestors of ways that FIRST can improve.

: I hope that my suggestions are not taken as evidence of my disatisfaction with FIRST as an organization.

: Let me be clear.

: FIRST is a fantastic organization that is doing ALOT right. They are very quick to improve on things that are wrong. AND, they are generally speaking an AWESOME organization.

: So…

: Hats off to the FIRST Folks, who get it right almost always.

: Joe J.

: P.S. I will continue to make suggestion and to comment on things that I think FIRST can improve. I am egotistical enough to think that such suggestions are responsible for improving FIRST from time to time. I encourage others to do the same, though perhaps tempered once in a while with a “great job” message :wink:

Posted by nick237 at 03/21/2001 5:29 PM EST

Engineer on team #237, sie h2o bots, from Watertown high school ct and sieman co.

In Reply to: Glass always half empty for you Nick?
Posted by Jason Morrella on 03/20/2001 11:18 PM EST:

Jason. Your missing the point of my posts, telling me I see the glass as half empty or half full is not true, I see the glass as " half missing " and its the missing half that Im addressing.
If we as members of the FIRST community do nothing or say nothing then were are sheep and have no interest in impoving this great organization. As with every organization there is room for improvement and by speaking our minds possibly we can achieve those goals, speaking vegative gets changes its not dissent.
FIRST was informed during the off season, at last years forums and the year prior to problems that teams were having, if you were at Ruttgers and had to wait three or more hours to get in you would know how they fixed that problem.
FIRST does a great job, and we as teams are told to excell in our task by FIRST each year and continue to improve the game but FIRST has droped the ball a few times this year and its this droping of the ball that FIRST needs to be aware of.
Dont confuse discontent with concerns because I am a perfectionist and im concerned that FIRST is losing its
perfect rating. Some times some thing can grow too fast and then the whole organization suffers.
My mother always told me to look after the little things in life and they will take care of the big things. I hoped that I was trying to take care of the little things before they became a disaster.
Last year two of our students were hurt trying to get the robot off the field, one fell over the 18" rail and one was hurt trying to manouver the robot cart around the corner off the stage at the UTC Regional.
We asked if they could put a gate in the frame work so you didnt have to step over it, we also asked for lights on the side of the stage and a less degree of turn off the side stage… “guess what” nothing was done and again a student was hurt.
Those are concerns not complaints. FIRST didnt listen.
Enough babble, have a great time in Florida and hopefully next year will be better.
nick237

: So much energy complaining and making negative comments towards FIRST. What amazes me about FIRST is that for EVERY SINGLE THING you can find to complain about they do another 100 amazing things that you choose to ignore or not appreciate.
: About the number of teams making the playoffs in Orlando - running a 340 team event is truly an incredible feat. No one seems to give FIRST credit for creating a system that will result in MORE TEAMS THAN EVER BEFORE leaving Orlando with awards and trophies. While 40 teams make the playoffs - there will also be 4 rookie all stars, 4 #1 seeds, 20 division champions, 5 finalists and 5 champions, in addition to all the other awards. So more kids than ever will return home with awards. I think that’s a pretty fair trade off for having less teams in the playoffs.

: (Yes, you can ALWAYS find little things about the game or rules that you could change afterwards - that’s easy. Some of the points you bring up are good & real - no one at FIRST would deny that and no one will ever debate that the competition is not and never will be perfect). But what FIRST does is pretty amazing, and the game is MUCH better and MUCH more fair then you give FIRST credit for. Perfect, no. I have my own list of things I think could have been done better or could have improved the game this year. But as Andy Baker said, we’d rather concentrate on the game and the competitions ahead of us, prepare the best we can, and have the best time we can. The kids put in too much time & work not to have fun. The off season and team forum are the times to give CONSTRUCTIVE criticism & ideas to improve things for next year.
: Those who imply FIRST doesn’t listen to teams or care what they say are just plain wrong and out of line. I commend all the people at FIRST in Manchester for listening to teams as much as they do. I commend all the FIRST people and all the volunteers for putting on such great events for the kids. Keep up the great work!!!

Posted by Jason Morrella at 03/22/2001 3:01 AM EST

Coach on team #254, Cheesy Poofs, from Bellarmine College Prep & others and NASA Ames/Cypress Semiconductor/Unity Care.

In Reply to: Re: missing the point
Posted by nick237 on 03/21/2001 5:29 PM EST:

: Dont confuse discontent with concerns because I am a perfectionist and im concerned that FIRST is losing its
: perfect rating. Some times some thing can grow too fast and then the whole organization suffers.
: My mother always told me to look after the little things in life and they will take care of the big things. I hoped that I was trying to take care of the little things before they became a disaster.
: Last year two of our students were hurt trying to get the robot off the field, one fell over the 18" rail and one was hurt trying to manouver the robot cart around the corner off the stage at the UTC Regional.
: We asked if they could put a gate in the frame work so you didnt have to step over it, we also asked for lights on the side of the stage and a less degree of turn off the side stage… “guess what” nothing was done and again a student was hurt.
: Those are concerns not complaints. FIRST didnt listen.
: Enough babble, have a great time in Florida and hopefully next year will be better.
: nick237

 Nick - that is exactly my point.  If you had noticed, two of the kee klamp fittings on each side of the field are different and one of the bars on each side of the field this year is removeable.  Teams have the option of using it if they feel they can not safely lift their robot over the bar.  Check the field at the regional this week - you will notice this is true.  Also - this addition is due 100% to team feedback FIRST recieved at the team forum over the summer.
 Teams did complain about possible injury carrying robots, FIRST DID listen, and they tried to provide a solution.  The solution is by no means perfect, and you will undoubtedly say it is not good enough - the point is that you continually say FIRST DOES NOT LISTEN - you are very mistaken about that.
 Teams also asked for a way to size their robots without having to push it into the box sideways (because it was damaging the wheels and robots) - again they listened, and we now have a sliding tray to put the robot on at the bottom of the sizing box.  Again, all because FIRST listened to teams.  
 My point was NEVER to stop pointing things out Nick.  I agree with what Joe Johnson said, and I would never ask anyone to stop giving "constructive" criticism.  Many of the ideas people like Joe Johnson, Andy Baker, and others have given are now part of FIRST and have made the competition better for everyone.  But just because FIRST has not used EVERY ONE of their ideas, it doesn't mean they aren't listening.  There is nothing wrong with pointing out ways to improve things - but there is a place, a time, and a way to do it.  At the end of the year, I will have many suggestions and ideas to improve things - just as will many others.  

The reason I made my post is because sometimes the tone of some of these posts is VERY disrespectful and rude towards FIRST. Anyone who would ever imply the people at FIRST don’t care about the teams or listen to their concerns is just wrong. They have showed year after year that they try VERY HARD to listen to the teams. Are there always things to improve - absolutely. Do they try every year - absolutely. I have no problem with expressing your ideas about FIRST - I express many myself. I apologize if you thought my post was telling you or anyone else not to share your observations and ideas to improve FIRST. Just please don’t make any more comments about FIRST not listening to the teams - it sounds petty, it is unfair to FIRST, and it is not true. Other than that - save up all your ideas & suggestions - many of them are very good and I agree with some of them. FIRST needs to hear them at the Team Forum to prepare for next season.

Posted by Jessica Boucher at 03/22/2001 3:02 PM EST

Student on team #237, Sie-H2O-Bots, from Watertown High School and Eastern Awning Systems & The Siemon Company.

In Reply to: Re: not missing the point at all
Posted by Jason Morrella on 03/22/2001 3:01 AM EST:

:Other than that - save up all your ideas & suggestions - many of them are very good and I agree with some of them. FIRST needs to hear them at the Team Forum to prepare for next season.

Maybe we should…237 has never been represented at the forum (the obvious people to go have always had schedule conflicts), and if noone’s going from us, I am certainly going. We’ll work something out, worry not :wink:

-Jessica B, #237