Rookie All-Star Award in 2015

Frank noted in his August 22 blog post that Rookie All-Star would not necessarily be awarded at every regional in 2015. I would like to start a discussion on the impacts of this decision.

Almost every regional that I have seen so far has given Rookie All-Star. Some general food for thought:
Is this a good change? Or should every event that has a rookie team in attendance be distributing a Rookie All-Star Award?
Which events have not given this award when they had the option to do so?
Are there any teams (in your opinion) that should have received this award but did not?
Are there any teams (again, in your opinion) that should not have received this award but did?
Are events more or less likely to give this award if they are in a district model, possibly because the award has a point value and not an auto-bid for championships?

Please keep the discussion on-track and civil. For example, the following is okay:
“I don’t believe that team 56xx should have won Rookie All-Star at Y regional. Their team consisted of 5 students and 2 mentors who didn’t seem interested at all in FRC. Additionally, their on-field performance left a lot to be desired. I would be surprised to see them return as a team next year, and I believe that their qualifying for championships only takes a spot away from a more deserving team.”

However, the following is not okay*:
“Team 56xx SUCKED SO BAD at Y regional their’s no way they shoud have one ANY award. they didn’t make eliminashuns and I don’t even want to look at their robot its so ugly and when my team was in rookie year, we were easily 10,000X more better then them. And we didn’t get any award”

*Poor spelling and grammar added for emphasis

My opinion as a RAS winner in 2014 is every event should have one… we got clobbered at worlds with our slow defensive bot (Rank 95 in Galileo) that did relatively Ok (top 35) in San Diego. Had we not made worlds we would not have produced the very capable-Bot capable of competing the next two weekends back-to-back regionals… the world’s allowed us to see what we needed to do this season to compete at a high level… a humbling experience seeing your major deficiencies… allowing you to come back stronger, much stronger… we expect to make it back this year, with knowing what it takes. We are not slow and will try our best.

So I am supportive for others (even less capable first year bots) to experience and compete with the best bots at worlds their first year as RAS, think that sets a team up for success early at a critical juncture…to see what it actually takes. Be unfortunate not to have that award at every sizable event. With 600 teams at world’s there is room for many RAS’s which I believe is the most influential award in terms of future team results. Not only from an expertise standpoint, but also in fund raising, organization and pride.

Did we deserve it?.. we hope to prove so this year and earn our way in by being among the best.

The Bit Buckets are a fourth-year team that won RAS in 2012. We were so inspired by attending the championships that year, that we vowed to come back to St. Louis under our own steam as soon as we could.

I’m pleased to say that we managed to do that this year, winning our second regional event as alliance captain.

Based on our experience, I understand exactly why there’s a Rookie All-Star award. I say it should be awarded at every regional.

I don’t personally know of any events that failed to give out a Rookie All-Star. That said, I can certainly envision a scenario where it’s not appropriate to give it out.

The award is defined as:

Celebrates the rookie team exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology

If you only have one rookie at an event and they don’t meet those criteria, why give them the award? Being the only rookie at an event shouldn’t be an automatic 3-trophy event for the team. RAS is something that should be earned by a team who “gets it” and can show that they are on their way to being a consistent, long-lived team that will have an impact in their community. I’ve known plenty of rookies like that, and I’ve known some that have me walking away from the event wondering if they’ll be back next year.

Greater KC Regional didn’t award Rookie All-Star, though the scenario was that there was only one rookie team, which IIRC was a reformed combination of two teams. 5476 was awarded Rookie Inspiration award though.

I think the driver of this change was districts. As districts become more prevalent, average event size decreases, meaning fewer rookies at events. If the 1 or 2 rookies in attendance don’t meet the qualifications for the award, it shouldn’t be given out. Furthermore, in the district model, while winning RAS at a district allows you to present at the District Championship, chances are if you’re not deserving at your district, you will not win at the district championship, meaning you are not forfeiting a slot at worlds.

That being said, I love the idea of inspiring lots of rookies by allowing them to see the world championship, and am kind of sad that this change affected some regionals, but in the future, it should be less of a problem. HQ needs to make sure they keep giving out enough RAS’s at the district champs.

From the aforementioned FRC Blog Post:

This issue is not a concern at District Championships, as Rookie All Stars selected there have already had to pass through a selection gate at the District level, and only one or two Rookie All Stars from each District as a whole are selected to go to the FIRST Championship.

There are two criteria for this award to be presented, “Rookie” and “All-Star”.

It makes no more sense to present the award to a Rookie team that fails to meet “all star” criteria than it does to present the award to an All-Star team that fails to meet “rookie” criteria.

Jason

At the 2014 Central Illinois regional there was only one team. The MC said “They’re the smartest team here, because they automatically win the award” or something along those lines, as a joke. The next day he comes back and says that he found out they don’t automatically win, and they don’t have to give the award out. I was glad to see they did give the award in the end though.

the Midwest Regional will likely not be awarding out any of the Rookie Awards, as we have no Rookies :frowning:

That said, I’m at a cross-roads. As a rookie team that won an event, and made it to worlds, we were very heavily inspired.

All season long they were captivated by these amazing teams and amazing robots, and it was like being able to meet their idols when we went to world. In fact, one of our team members pretty much tried to join the Cheesy Poofs during Archimedes finals.

Worlds has always been this kind of magical place and event, and offers a lot of inspiration.

So personally, at the end of the day an award is a trophy, and yes while it does represent something, I would give it out to an undeserving team if it had the potential to make them push harder to become a deserving team.

Well I guess the awards ceremony will be short.