RFID - Is it a GOOD idea or a BAD idea

no pre ranking… the 1st round … as far as team play statistics is thrown out. Individual robot statistics are used to match the next round… so on after that… adjustments made every rounds schedule based on real numbers.

I fail to understand how the current random match schedule fails at ranking teams accurately enough.


You still haven’t answered the question why?

You are making an assumption that these alliances need to be balanced. You have not provided any rationale or justification for this assumption.

What is the intended purpose of Qualification Matches? Why does this change better serve your stated purpose?

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Wouldn’t your proposed system be less fair? It IS balanced right now. Within practical constraints (preventing back to back matches, and evening out alliance colors and driver stations) the system is optimized so that as many teams as possible see the greatest variety of partners and opponents.

Relevant to my previous post: I went and counted the number of times my team played with and against 33 in quals from 2014-2019. We were partners 5 times and against each other 10 times, about what it should be statistically. Good job alogrithm.

You’re basically proposing punishing teams for being good by pairing them with less capable partners.

Edit to add for anybody reading this post in the future: I know it’s not exactly optimized, and that it would theoretically be possible to run billions of possibilities and select the perfect schedule for every possible number of teams at an event/division, that seems a bit outside the scope of this discussion however. The algorithm is fine.


You get two ranking points for winning a match. If you are on teams that statistically have no chance against the other alliances you get no ranking points for a win because you lost them all. No robot team can win a match by it self. well most any ways.

If you’re going to be snarky, stop posting.

That’s exactly the point! If you’re a lower performing team, you will have more matches that you have a low chance of winning, and therefore will earn less ranking points. The opposite is true for higher performing teams, they will have more matches where they have a higher chance of winning alliance matches and therefore earn more ranking points. This seems to be the way the system is intended to work, no?


Points are what win a match … correct?
What if… a robot scores individually in the top of the teams on the floor for points but still loses because their Alliance is weaker than the other alliance.

This happens quite often, you can get get unlucky in a single match.

Sometimes the opposite will happen, as well, you will get blessed with a good alliance and win matches against teams better than you.

As long as you play a large number of matches against a diverse set of opponents, all these factors will balance out in the end. This is basic statistics, right?


That literally never happens and is a guaranteed disaster. But seriously…

I guess I have to say, so? As a team that gets slaughtered from time to time, what’s the big deal?

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except if you are assigned to 10 out of 12 Alliances that are weak. The senerio just repeats.

Quite honestly if 10 of your 12 alliances are weak then the event as a whole probably doesn’t have much depth and and it shouldn’t have been that hard to control the match yourself. You’re saying that 20 out of 40 teams weren’t helpful to you?


Right, but this is statistically unlikely and will happen very infrequently. You’re chasing a very, very, very unlikely scenario that might have happened to you. I think this is why people are claiming that your view is very colored by your personal biases.

Also, in the system you proposed, a high scoring team would continually be placed with worse partners in order to make the matches more fair, making this problem even worse.


Not on a pure lets go out and score points level. Most could not shoot enough or climb enough. We never drew Hot team on our Alliance… never had Technodogs… nope… but our Alliances played against those teams in their Alliances.

Ok, is this thread about:

RFID as a potential way to automatically gather individual robot scoring Pros, Cons, Challenges


Changing the Qualification Match structure
Changing the Tournament Structure
The Current Balance of Qualification Match Schedules
Is scouting important/fair/balanced? (already branched off to another thread)

I’ll admit I thought it was the first one and that is why I started reading/responding. There is a lot going on an its hard to keep track.

If it is the first one, there are legitimate why questions which may relate to those secondary topics. The downside is each one of those is a huge upheaval of the current structure of the event and we still don’t even have how RFID could help with this on a technical / logistical level. I’m not talking about high level how RFID works or how we would “just” do this or that.

I’m interested in if a way exists to automate recording how each robot contributes to a match.

What sensors / rfid tech could be used?
Does it work in a metal filled FRC environment?
Can the selected sensors read only intended game pieces at the speeds / orientations / volume needed for scoring?
Is it simple to implement from a volunteer perspective?
Is it simple to implement from a team perspective?
Can the system be quickly / easily adapted to the teams?
Can the system be quickly and easily adapted to games?
What would this cost for a single field?
What would this cost for a single robot?
Is there a demo / proof of concept built ?
What steps need to be taken to get to a PoC?
How does this work on a SW level?
Who writes the SW?
Is there a PoC for SW?
How is it distributed to teams?
Who hosts the data?
How would teams access the data?
PoC for the above? (There is a theme here)

I can go on, but before talk gets deep on all the change this could bring, those are some of the questions that need looking into. I think there is interest in this in its basic form (can we automate tracking of individual robot contributions) so lets focus there rather than potential benefits that people aren’t quite sold on.


Can we get RFID into First with just that one reason?

If so then great! Everything else will eventally shake out once it is in place.

I did adjust the white paper so that we are just on that one point.

So your proposed solution is to use RFID to track individual robot scoring to shuffle the match schedule every round to punish the good teams for being good by intentionally pairing them with lower scoring partners?

Doesn’t it strike you as a bit odd to actively dissuade teams from being too good and use field tracking statistics against them? Because that’s really not selling me on RFID here.


That depends. Its fun to talk about the pie in the sky things that could happen IF a method for automated tracking of robot match contributions was available but if the groundwork for that isn’t even in place then its difficult to argue for any of those grander ideas.



I guess were not going to do that. Were going for the one message. Individual robot scoring…and RFID… see the white paper.