Scouting 2021 Ideas

I want to make this a topic where everyone can list and discuss ideas for 2021 scouting. So far from the game I am imagining pre-scouting to consist of watching videos of robots in previous years and looking into their scoring. For scouting I am still unsure on the most effective way to organize and find the best data.

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I am also unsure about how to collect the data but something I am planning on doing is spending time looking at old match videos to watch things that teams do differently driving-wise and using that to translate into pathing for some of the challenges.

To Clarify: This discussion is for any hypothetical “in-Person” competitions right?

Because for the IR@Home challanges I doubt there would be any data that would be useful (even if you somehow could collect data from other teams…) because there really isn’t any “strategy” other than your own robot design (because you aren’t directly competing with/against other robots).

This thread can be either comps. The reason I am thinking there is a need for scouting is for the future. I do not know if there will be in-person competitions therefore frc still should be treated like there will be competition. Not just that but I am still unsure on how they will do worlds and stuff like that even if they will. This discussion is just ideas and if it doesn’t end up happening its all good and can be used for next year.

So far I am thinking of doing it on Excel/Sheets for organization. I again not sure on how to organize it where its simple and effective, as I am thinking of doing something similar as you.

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In theory, I could see some scouting be helpful in the At Home Challenges. IF you knew who was in your group, I could see value in looking at the teams in you group. If your group had several really good auto driving teams, perhaps you put more time in the shooting and driver controlled challenges where you can be more competitive. On the flip side, if your group has a lot of good shooters but didn’t do much auto driving, investing more time in the auto driving challenges may be a better use of time.

I’m not sure why FIRST hasn’t released the groups. Not only would it increase the excitement but would provide an avenue for scouting/strategy students to get involved.

Edit: While FIRST has teams who signed up for 2021, they don’t know who will do the At Home Challenges, so that explains why they haven’t announced groups yet. Obviously would have been nice to know, but not feasible.


Scouting @Home seems like it will be hard to scout, no practice to watch, no defense, no real matchups. I see scouting @Home only of real value if an in-person event comes. This could provide some form of pre-scouting area teams.

As for in-person, we use excel and handwritten notations, we found using an app to be useless as the things we really wanted to track in strategy were team tendencies, and time per action, scoring location on the field, etc. So, we only did the app for half-day while the strategy team did paper/excel and their own scouting.

One point of discussion is to integrate the needs of strategy how better into what scouts collect were there to be in-person event later this year. This is the second year trying an app has failed us. Paper seems to be the way to go for us at least as it always seems useful and much more detailed.

I envision scouting in 2021 to look like scouting your own robot. You have the opportunity to run the challenges over and over. Having a team dedicated to filming, scoring, documenting , and analyzing those runs seems like it will be huge in maximizing the performance of your team. The purpose of the scouting team is the same, it just looks inward rather than outward this year.


Teams are assigned to a GROUP by FIRST Headquarters. After assignments have been made, on or around Monday, March 8th, the GROUP is shown on the FRC Events webpage.

Team Update 2 indicates that the groups will be released after the submission dates, so you wouldn’t be able to use scouting data to affect your IR@H strategy.

That seems like a really long time away. Why not assign them earlier? I was looking forward to finding out what other amazing teams from around the world we were grouped with and perhaps doing some meets and collaboration sessions.
Also I was thinking there could be some really cool star wars themed group names like the Chewbacca group, or planet alderaan group etc. Kind of like how they name the fields at worlds.

The Groups are assigned based on which teams submit and that won’t be known until March 4.

Call me captain obvious:
I suggest using videos of old matches with caution.
I’m certain that most teams are improving on their old design, if not redesigning their robot.
Having said that, old videos are a good reference.

the way I had planned last year was using google sheets and google forms. I had set up some tablets with a sim card for cellular internet for comps. And locked the tablets down to being able to stay on the google forms. So the Scouters could not get distracted, once they submitted their data it all complied into a sheet. And could be accessed live rather with manual input and runners to the drive team.

That is not fully true. The opt in period and the judging submissions are due on March 4th. But the portal reopens from March 8th until April 8th for teams to submit to the skills challenges. Groups will be released around the day the portal opens up.

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