Remember Why You Participate in FIRST!

With all of the scoring issues that have come up in the first week, I just want to remind everyone to remember why you participate in FIRST.

Is it a disappointment when something isn’t scored correctly and causes a team not to advance? Absolutely.

Is it a tragedy when something isn’t scored correctly and causes a team not to advance? Absolutely not.

If you find yourself extremely upset, frustrated, angry, or any other term of emotion, please stop and ask yourself why you participate in FIRST. Was it to win a competition? Was it to educate others? Was it to inspire the next generation? This will help put the issues in perspective.

Additionally, if you have an issue with how things are currently going with scoring and/or fouls, etc, rather than just posting the issue, please try to post a possible resolution to prevent it again.

As mentors and teachers, we have to remember that we are modeling behavior that we want the students to pick up on. Is posting multiple times about something not going our way modeling the behavior we want them to learn?

Just some food for thought,

I agree 100% with this statement.

Personally I stopped caring a lot if my team won or lost a match after my first year on my team. The whole experience of FIRST is to teach students like myself about how to be a leader and to prepare you for the next step of your life (ie college, trade school, workforce, etc.). I can say, once you look pass the winning and loosing and reflect on what you have learned going through this program, some might be surprised how much they have actually learned.

I help mentor 6 local FTC teams in my school district and I try my hardest to instill this idea of learning being more important than winning before the go into FRC so they can have a better experience.

Winning to me is just the icing on the donut, the experiences is the whole donut itself :slight_smile:

FIRST mission statement:

'The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."

As for the topic at hand, I see no issue with questioning scoring especially when the kids themselves bring it up, as long as its done in a gracious professional manner. Science and technology are often about absolutes and self-confidence is where you believe you are correct in what you witnessed.

I know I brought up in my posts the RP ranking issue for missed crossings, others have seen the same. So we cannot be blind to what is on tape That is not what FIRST would like any student to do. Its there.

Once I learned that video review cannot be done by refs I understood and dropped it and thanked the refs for an outstanding job.

Its week 1 and issues come out in week 1… people like myself bring the issue up so that there is a spotlight on it for subsequent weeks of competitions. If everyone is more aware then perhaps the engineering challenge of doing so many things in a finite time frame can be achieved.

I think its good to bring up issues other teams may face in week 2 through 6 and then to the Championships from a week 1 perspective. Then teams go in more aware as do the refs. We all I assume are here to make First better season to season and mentor some of the finest students anywhere.

I did not petition any refs myself at the completion we as a team accepted the results after the kids asked the refs…but this is an online forum where people come to get information and as an open forum discussion takes place.

For now my advice is make sure all crossings are clear , keep track yourself and challenge missed crossings at end of your match then accept the outcome graciously. My 2 cents.

I agree–word choice is important.

The Titanic was a tragedy. The Tenerife Airport Disaster was a tragedy. Challenger space shuttle, JAL flight 123-- to compare these things with a scoring error in a competition is to defame the lives lost and/or ruined by them.

I will say that the refs do need to get some kinks worked out. A few times at Mount Olive, the refs missed defense crossings. I agree that this negatively impacted the events. I was frustrated, my teammates were frustrated, my alliance partners were frustrated.

But nobody died. Nobody was injured. No planes crashed, no space shuttles exploded, and no ships sank. If you are disappointed in the results of an event due to ref mistakes, shake it off, let it go, and work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I wouldn’t normally bother to bump a thread, mine or otherwise, but there has been so much going on in these forums the last few days that I felt it important to allow more people to see this that may have missed it.

I’m here because I want to make a positive difference in kid’s lives! I also enjoy making robots, CNC, CAD, 3D printing, welding, and the like.

I do not enjoy writing grant requests, begging parents to fundraise, dealing with school politics, hoping I have mentors year to year, teenager drama and the endless hours I put in.

When I successfully manage to fund the team, navigate school politics, and inspire the students and mentors to build a great robot; only for the team to get hosed by a bad call is less than motivating or inspiring.

With the money we are paying for registration, the amount of time mentors and students dedicate, and stress we all endure; **we deserve the correct calls be made. **

I’ve been watching this thread float around for a while now.

I don’t think it’s wrong for people to show ‘extreme’ emotion either positive or negative in reaction to FRC. No, nothing that happens on the field should be construed as a tragedy. At the same time, many students have put a lot of metaphorical blood, sweat, and tears into their robots. Please be patient with them when things don’t go their team’s way. Sometimes, they don’t need a talk about the true values of FIRST at that moment, they just need someone to empathize with them.

Refs are people, students are people, mentors are people, judges are people, we’re all in this together. It can be easy to forget that in the heat of competition.

Cheers, Bryan

I told my team last year, and reminded them this week before going into the regional. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose the regional.

What matters is what yo take away from it. You’ve learned many valuable skills. While talking to one of the newer students, he is already planning on going into engineering when he graduates in a few years. He said this program is great because it gives a head start on college.

While talking to our drivers, they told me, how from our rookie year to now, how much they have learned. How they joined this program not too sure what it is, and were able to gain many skills. Champs in 2014 showed them, we can improve and do better for 2015. With 2015 teaching them we can work harder, and work smarter in the future. This year, they were more prepared going into build season and cared more about creating the full bot and having it accomplish the tasks they set out, rather than see it win. It was a win in their book seeing the bot preform as planned on field.

Every team I feel should inform students, that refs could make bad calls, and you could sulk over it. But you may not realize on the flip side if you won based off a bad call, you’re still calling it a win in your book. So their are two sides to that argument.

Thanks for this post. Excellent point about accomplishing tasks and learning instead of winning at all costs.

I cannot be in more agreement.

When some people forgot the real and principal goal of FIRST, they transform the competition into a war zone. Where the only thing that cares is to win, and this is far from the real objective of FIRST.

When I have the opportunity to explain What is FIRST I always try to explain that this competence isn’t only about win or lose, it’s more than have the best robot in the competence and defeat the other teams, I see FIRST as a competition where the most important thing is what we learn from all the experiences that we have gone through, sometimes we experiment the victory or sometimes we have to experience with the defeat, but what really matters is what we learn from these experiences.

To build on that, in the last few years the teams I was apart of didn’t have the best bots. But we always placed well, for playing our alliance well and making the most of our alliance. Teaching a new level of strategy and thinking outside the box. You don’t need the best teams to win, just the ones that compliment you well enough to make up for your shortcoming.

That is like in the real world not every product can have every feature wanted. Teams have to pick and choose what they want to do. This program allows varied experience depending on how the team tackles the challenge.Many times you also look at other bots and see sometimes the simple solutions, or unique ways to attack the challenge that even the most bare bones team can do.

Having the most tools, largest student body, most mentors/sponsors isn’t the key to success. Every year you always see events where the underdogs rise up out of know where and succeed. Sometimes having less supplies, or facing the shortcoming some of the most successful teams haven’t helps shape the students and team. FIRST is here to get kids ready for the real world, and not everyone gets the best or most fair situations. The key is to learn from failure and to keep moving forward.

Sadly for some a bad call means they can’t move forward until the next year. But it also helps give them something to hopefully look forward too.

Being I know what your referencing I am going to remind everyone in this thread of one thing.

A lot of times when these teams get so focused on winning its because they have never done so.

The person who started this thread just won RAS with his team.

The second poster was a district finalist at their first event and on a team that constantly makes champs

The third poster (Boltman) is not on a team that consistently makes champs and he brought up some valid points.

The fourth poster won their first event

The fifth poster has not competed yet but were finalists in 2015 and won in 2014

The sixth poster is from team 33 nuff said and he raised some more good points

The 7th poster just won NYC congrats by the way

The 8th poster is from a rookie team that has not competed yet so, I do not know his/her history

and lastly the 9th poster already were finalists this year. Won EI, and chairman’s on the regional level and EI at CMP.

The reason I just listed all of those out was not because I love scrolling around The Blue Alliance (Which I do) but, more because I want to raise the point that people have to take a step back when they read threads of that nature. When your from a team that constantly performs well a win may not win as much as when your on a team that is more recently successful. Either way there are some very good points raised this threads. I specifically agree with BJC and that is coming from a team that has been on Einstein 7 times.

Yes, my team just earned RAS at a district event. That same team did not have a robot on the field for five matches because over the course of at least three hours, one of the Control System Advisors and a Microsoft programmer that mentors team 4911 were working to figure out what was wrong with our RoboRIO. The first match we were able to be in, we all held our breath waiting to see if the robot would be drivable. When we saw it was, the team erupted in cheers like they had just won everything.

As for me personally, that is the second team I have been involved with where the team was having a rough competition, but was able to have at least one good match that made the students elated.

Finally, I remember quite bitterly two sports coaches I had when I was in 9th grade and 12th grade that took all the fun out of playing sports simply by two comments that were made. Do not think for a moment that my original post on this thread is because I come from a winning team. It comes because I care about the students and don’t want them to have some of the negative experiences I remember from over 20 years ago.

I know i can speak for everyone with this, but the consensus on my team wasn’t winning. This season was about challenging us in ways we’ve never have before. Going to another regional, building a more intricate bot, changing to java, as well as trying out vision. We don’t have much time in the off season so most of this learning has to come in the build season.

As I have been apart of this program for a while with another team, I can confidently say my old team was always trying to win, and we’ve gotten close in the past, and faced the sadness of getting so close and failing. In 2012 we lost comms every other match at nyc and sbpli, which causes us to lose in the finals. 2013 we lost comms 3 times in semis #3, it prevented us from climbing, which we never missed once. The first time, the only time we missed was the field losing comms with our laptop, and we lost by 7 points. We didn’t argue for a replay, our team accepted it. Also in 2013 at nyc we had our 30 point climber and 20 point pyramid goal bot lose comms to the field, and our opponents lost comms as well. They won the match and even argued on our behalf for a replay seeing as it wasn’t fair the match didn’t play out to its fullest.

I’ve seen first hand how refs, FMS, and human player/driver mistakes can cost a match. But have always learned to not dwell on it too much. Its something to use as a reason to fight harder next year. A way to inspire students to try harder, because you got close but you didn’t get to win.

Heck 66 teams competed at NYC only 3 teams get to win, that means 63 other teams have to go home disappointed. I know some teams think the end goal is winning. Being apart of FIRST, and being taught so much by my mentors lead me to want to study engineering in college. Me and two friends from my team wanted to give back the same way or mentors did. We created a team in college, and give up most if not all our free time. Were not doing it to try and win/ stay in the program. Were trying to help inspire kids the way our mentor inspired us. We want to bring FIRST to a new set of kids. Thats why our students are pushing to try and create new FLL, FTC, and FRC teams in our area. This kids first hand went from just a driving bot that didn’t preform how they expected to building a bot they are proud of. I think some of these kids might try to mentor teams in college if they could, and thats what this program is really about. Outreaching STEM, not going after some medals.

The medals and winning is what keeps us like sports, what separates us from is the fact that we see our results and hard work come to life, and even when we lose we still have gained experiences and learned valuable skills.

I’ve gone back to my high school and seen the old bots I’ve helped build and can remember how much I learned that year while working on it. Its physical proof of concept to reality, other sports don’t get the same gratification that FIRST gives.