I am the human player for my team here at SAC Regional.
During one match, our team’s drive coach told me that I should let the other human player (a javelin thrower, apparently) toss the litters for this match. I obliged, thinking it was for the best.
The next match, our drive coach told me that we weren’t going to toss any litters. I thought this was an agreement from our whole alliance; however, halfway through the match, the other human player began tossing noodles – in our own field – and so I reached for a noodle as well. Then, our drive coach yelled at me to drop the noodle and don’t toss any.
Of course, this ruined my mood for a little while. For the rest of the matches, I was on litter suspension for no rational reason.
To make it worse, the next day (Qualification/Playoff Matches) I was excused for the last three qualifications because of an urgent matter I had to attend to outside competition. When I came back for Playoffs, I was notified that I was permanently replaced by my substitute, whom I chose myself.
I just wanted to ask – is there a good reason why NOT to throw litter into the other alliance’s field? I see the risk if the litter fails to reach them because it could cause issues in our own field. If that’s the only reason however, I don’t see why I’m the only human player not allowed to toss.
I’m pretty confident that I’m a decent human player, and for a huge chunk of build season, I dedicated myself to throwing noodles and operating the chute. The team is well-aware of my throwing capabilities.
Personally, it was not the best drive team experience.
The biggest reason is so that the noodles do not inhibit a robots ability to complete a coop stack. Most alliances agree to not throw noodles until after the coop stack is complete (though not all alliances follow the agreement).
I think you may want to talk to your coach (and have your lead mentor present when you do, or another mentor if they are the same person).
First, you ask why you were restricted from throwing the noodles–strategy, or something else. Obviously, if you were restricted, there was a good reason, at least in their mind(s). As noted, there is the “Noodle Treaty” where alliances agree not to throw noodles until the coop stack is finished, BUT there is often a “kill statement” where at point X in the match, the noodles will fly regardless of actual stare of the coop stack. And sometimes a team or alliance will decide that they just don’t want to throw.
Second, you may want to ask why you’re having to ask the first question. To me, there appears to have been what I call a “severe communication breakdown”–plans apparently change (often late), but some segment of affected persons is, presumably accidentally, left out of the loop. Those incidents can be pretty serious, or pretty minor, and inevitably someone’s not going to be happy.
And third, I think you should explain that because of the first two items (being on restriction, and not being told why) and additionally the replacement for playoffs (with no apparent reason), you feel [however you feel]. I think that any reasonable mentor would–after hearing about this–do their best to explain the reasons.
I know you didn’t ask for all this, but–to me–it seems like you’re a bit hurt by the whole thing, so I’m offering some advice on healing a little.
From what I’ve seen, people don’t throw litter to obstruct the other alliance, but for the nice boost to point averages. A good human player can directly contribute 40 points to an alliance this year. That’s a ton of points at any level of play.
were you actually scoring all the noodles, if you score 2 of the noodles its not worth it because your getting 8 points but your throwing debris all over your-side the field costing your team more then 8 points a human player should be able to throw all the noodles and score all of them
I cannot disagree more with this. This is really the only type of defense that can be done this year, and my money is on the fact that the GDC was aware of it. To say “throwing stuff on the field” is a bit misleading in this case, as that is exactly one of the functions of “this stuff”. It is not as if the team is throwing totes on the field to break rules and disrupt stacks.
Every year, there seems to be a strategy that stretches the limit of Gracious Professionalism. I do not believe this is one of them, or even close. As a mentor and volunteer, I want the kids to want to win. I expect them to want to win. If there is a designed game function for creating chaos on the other side of the field and it helps them win, I hope they use it. The Gracious Professionalism comes in with how they deal with the actual outcome, whether it’s a win or a loss.
OP, I see your concern. As for all situations, there is always at least two sides to the story. I would urge you to talk to your coach about this and find out their reasoning. I can see a few scenarios that would make sense, but may not have been effectively communicated to you (especially regarding being swapped out of play at a critical part of the game).
I would also urge anyone who finds themselves in a situation left wondering why certain actions were taken to interact with the other party (coach, mentor, student, teacher, supervisor, etc.) and ask what the reasoning was. It should be an open and honest conversation. Often, I think lack of communication and assumptions/misinterpretation of their reasoning are the leading cause of breakdown and generator of doubt and mistrust among a team.
I believe that to not do your best is not honorable and shows disrespect to your opponents. If I can lower 3 of my opponents average scores while increasing my average score (by throwing litter, all within the rules) then why would I not do this.
… and secondly, I believe that GP should be an internal measure of your own actions, and not a measuring stick of others.
The litter this game is part of the challenge. So much of this game is not only dealing with the game pieces, but getting there in the first place. I can say with confidence that FIRST knew that litter would impede the enemy alliance, and intended for alliances to expect thrown litter.
Once we figured out we could get a good deal of points by throwing the noodles Willie our human player, the skinny kid with the golden arm, scored 243 points in quals all by himself. He only threw 7 of 10 noodles or less and we cooped 4/10 times.
Give the kids some instructions on when, where and how to throw. Throw those noodles it’s all in the elbow and the release.
Is that 24 or 43? serious question because there’s a huge difference in a game like RR. And we all know a human player can’t score 243 points unless they’re Chuck Norris, Dean Kamen, or some combination of the two (which would exceed God himself in holy awesomeness).
2959’s noodler and 2767’s noodler had a back and forth battle for all of St Joseph as to who would top out. Our noodler ended up coming in 2nd because of 3 or 4 matches in a row where we were teamed with 2 chute bots. This meant he had to throw over the center wall and his accuracy suffered a little.
Stryke Force ended up averaging 31.16 points per game
Robotarians ended up averaging 28.08 points per game
We had a 2nd HP but ended up replacing him because Noodling was a far more effective scoring mechanism than we expected and “Rigatoni” was just better. Heck both noodlers scored more than a perfect auton every game.
It sounds to me like this could be entirely resolved if you just asked your drive coach why he didn’t want you throwing litter. There are numerous reasons not to throw litter including pre-arranged agreements, waiting for co-op stack, or to avoid littering your own side of the field. You can’t know unless you ask though.
Speaking as a human player this year, there are many good reasons to throw noodles and not to throw noodles.
Doing a Cost-Benefit Analysis, throwing noodles is a kind of risk that you have to take and it really depends on the bot.
Cost (in order from most worst to least worst scenarios/ consequences):
Getting the noodle on top of a Scoring Platform on your alliance (leading to problems for the space to stack and your alliances scoring abilities)
Getting the noodle stuck on your landfill early in the match (resulting in trouble for a landfill bot)
Getting the noodle stuck on the ground where your own alliance could get stuck on them or damage (which results in a field damage penalty)
4 points for each noodle in the other alliances auto and robot zone
2 points for each noodle in your landfill zone at the end of the match
Limit the amount of moves the other alliance has (by blocking their path)
Limit the space on their scoring platform (thus in rare cases lowering their points)
Block a key part of their robot (and stop their ability to score) <-- I did this once
Noodle snipe and knock over one of their stacks while it’s still on their robot<-- saw this once
Although the last two are unlikely, they are possible. it just tells you that the game designers made noodles part of the game just so that it wasn’t a completely offensive game (although some could argue that some fat, big robots are defensive bots to even their own alliance partners). Noodles are meant to be thrown and as long as you can consistently get them past the landfill zones, you gucci.
For Co-op/ most qualification matches
Help other H.P(s) with their totes for the H.P stations (drag stacks) during auton
Keep refilling these stations until co-op is done
if there are thirty seconds or less left, don’t throw noodles
otherwise, throw from the H.P station or not at all (i can throw from behind drive teams, but it’s hella risky)
For Elim matches or no co-op matches
Help other H.P(s) with their totes for the H.P stations (drag stacks) during auton
Keep refilling these stations as needed- unless there is a station not being used
If there isn’t a station being used, take as many noodles needed (usually leave three for bins), throw
Don’t throw if the stations are both being used.
All in all, make sure it’s appropriate for you to throw the noodles and make sure you are consistent.
Talk with your drive coach and make sure you understand completely why you were treated that way, definitely have another mentor with you.