Reflections on a FIRST Season

Posted by Ryan Shanley.

Student on team #191, The X-Cats, from Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School and Xerox.

Posted on 4/18/2000 8:11 PM MST

I don’t know how many other people felt the same way, but our team was a little disappointed that amidst the 250+ teams, it was hard (with only about seven qualifying matches) to get a chance to play with many teams. I, as a driver, especially wished I could have worked with many other teams that I saw for the first time or knew from past years.

However, I did get to know some of the students from team #25 at the Rutgers regional (and send my congratulations to them, especially since they almost weren’t able to make it to nationals) and other teams that I hadn’t worked with much before (Chief Delphi, for example).

I am a little disappointed in how the inspection process has progressed. I understand the need for careful safety precautions, but our team was even asked (and I’m not joking) why one of our wires was blue! It is an improvement in some senses from what these inspections used to be: ‘Is there anything illegal on your robot?’ Sometimes, though, it seemed like they were looking for something to criticize. And I don’t want to say ‘I told you so,’ but when they told us that there’d be a scoreboard visible during matches, I didn’t believe it would happen (but…maybe next year).

FIRST has continued to improve and grow each year (this year Disney’s All Star Resort was booked less than an hour after they opened for FIRST reservations), and I look forward to my last year. What new twists Dean and his cronies have cooking for next year’s game are a mystery that I can’t wait to discover! I hope the alliance system remains for all the benefits that it has provided to the game and to the spirit of FIRST itself, and I look forward to a new and interesting game.

well, thanks all,
Ryan

btw, did anyone else see the big screen on Einstein up close? When I was on stage waiting for one of our matches, I got a good look. It’s actually a huge board of hundreds of LED’s in four colors (for those of you who haven’t seen), and it’s really interesting to see from behind.