Scouting is important!

Hey all,
I just returned from the KSC Southeast regional, which is where I saw something very disturbing. A great deal of teams I see don’t scout. Our team makes sure that we always have scouts watching a match. I’ve been scouting for three years now, and I’ve seen how useful it can be. Occasionally, you’ll notice a team’s weakness or hidden strength and use it for your own benefit later.

But my real point is that at KSC, I saw a lot of good robots get left on the sidelines while other teams, regardless of whether or not they complemented the team picking them, got invited into alliances. A great deal of teams simply look at the rankings, but they can’t always be trusted. For instance, after a particularly bad streak of luck, we (ComBBAT) were ranked 36th out of 47. Right below us was the Turabo Hurricanes, team 866. Problem is, though, the Hurricanes didn’t even have a robot at the competition (there was a shipping error). How does a team with NO robot rank higher than 10 other robots?

The rankings don’t take a robot’s strengths or weaknesses into consideration, nor do they account for unprofessional enemies intentionally bailing out of their zones to remove our points (this happened to us twice,) but they do reward the luck of the draw (pairing with teams that can move is a privilege we enjoyed less frequently than we would have liked.)

I’m not naysaying any team at KSC, or at any competition, for that matter. All I’m saying is that the rankings cannot be trusted, ESPECIALLY not when picking alliances.

Take, for example, what I thought were the standout robots at KSC: Teams 180, 267, 312, 343, 61, and 86. None of them were in the top 8. 180 and 343 ended up with 186 and won the whole enchilada. The rankings may give a general idea what’s going on, but they do lie.

In conclusion, it benefits everybody if a team puts emphasis on scouting other teams. Not only will it benefit a team you pick, but if you scout for robots that work well with you, you’ll have that much better a chance of going all the way.

We don’t scout much. We’re too small and most of us are too afraid of other people at regionals. At nats when our entire team is there, we do scout. Some.

But we definitely know, very well, that the best teams are not necessarily ranked the highest.

I’d scout, but I’ve always managed to be a driver.

GO SCOUT EVERY MATCH! It doesn’t matter if your ranked 99 out of 100, go say hi to the other team, see what their bot can do. I as a driver have personally scouted every match our team has had for the past 2 years and its done a world of good. Sure you get the uppity team that doesn’t want to talk to you cause they think they are God or something, just move on, very few teams are like that. Scouting and getting to know other teams is one of the reasons our team got drafted into finals last year, let people know you have an amazing machine (but do be honest) and only the best can come of it. Don’t get lost in the crowd, its all one big family anyway! Anyone coming to St. Louis feel free to drop by and say hi, and rookies if your not comfortable going around talking to the teams yet your welcome to come with me! I promise I won’t bite :slight_smile:


We went scouting for every robot, watched every one at least two times. You are completely right, even a “bad” robot can get good scores if only it is paired with a good partner that can get some points.
And also, the matches are always fun to watch…

Scouting is a XXXXX ( students please watch you use of words - Martus), but yes-- it’s very useful. I scouted for most of the day of the practice rounds, and did about 2-3 hours worth of it on the 2nd day. Anyone on our team that wasn’t working in the pit was scouting the matches. Yeah… scouting is a XXXX ( same here - we do not tolerate this lanuage - martus).

We had a meeting back at the hotel after the practice rounds, talking about the good robots we saw and strategizing in case we had to play against them.

But it all paid off. :smiley:

It’s my first year on the team, and it really wasn’t until regionals that I saw what all of our hard work had led up to. FIRST is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been a part of… and to think, I had only joined to get out of my science fair project. :slight_smile: But I’ve been sucked in. Not that it’s a bad thing…

Do scouts pay attention to stats (among other things)? Rank #4 both times in average number of goals in scoring position. and


“Top 8” teams that create their “short-list” of top picks on Friday night do themselves a dis-service. Saturday morning is just as crucial, if not more, than Friday. Teams/drivers (can) get smarter and robots (can) get much better after reviewing their mistakes of Friday’s matches. Watch 108’s last three matches, especially the tug-of-war battles… match 78, 89, 99. I would love to see 108 and 71 battle. Beatty might still win, but you never know… :slight_smile:

Anyone know of more 8-1 (or similar W-L) teams that failed to make the elims?

Oh well, still had a great time. Pictures of Moto-MidWest forthcoming…
KA-108 :cool: