Scouting Strategy

Howdy, Fortitude [8014] team mentor here. I was wanting to know the benefits of different strategy mediums.

What do you mean by a strategy medium?

Are you referring to pre match strategy planning? Or something else?

I’m referring to the methods of gathering information and storing + sorting it

(Paper & Pencil / Google Forms + Sheets / FAST for FIRST / and any others)

I personally am a fan of pencil and paper methods and then entering the data into a Google sheets, It’s relatively easy to develop and hard to have things go wrong. We use Google sheets for all of our analysis and sorting. As I see, you’re a rookie team, if you want any of our resources, such as paper scouting forms and/or a simpler version of our excel/gsheet from 2018 - 2020, feel free to dm me and I’d be happy to share.


Oh, you mean SCOUTING!

Start simple: paper/pencil, enter into Excel, filter.

Or try forming a scouting alliance with another team at your event to learn a bit.

During the next offseason, play around a bit with other methods.


We use an app downloaded on inexpensive Amazon Fire tablets, which sends the data right into a Google Sheet. It’s easier for the scouts and a bit easier to organize than paper, but it ultimately requires a good amount of work before competition season.

I changed the thread title to reflect that the OP wanted to know what to use for scouting.


Strategy , Rules and Scouting are tied to the success of the Drive Team. They are the in-game support.

In general Scouting is what is traced and its output help dictate game strategy. In the past I was Scouting mentor and used exclusively Pen , Paper,Highlighters and Excel. Team grew now I am Strategy…I was both in the past + rules

This paper choice is for one simple reason, the most I ever need to track is under 65 in Regional’s.
The apps are superior when manual tracking becomes unfeasible.

The Brain to notes synapse is much faster than limited app tracking. It allows for more relevant information. An app is custom designed could approach that and possibly help organize it better.

The bottom line is I am only worried about my team and the other 23 teams we may face in eliminations or partner with…we track up to 28 to allow for quick decisions on whom to select. Strategy is often formed in discussions. There is so much to track that could make a difference in the game. The key is to only track what helps win, form partners strategy and defeat another three,

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I agree, For your first year, paper and pencil is best for the initial capture of scouting data. We are a 7th year team and we will be recording both pit scouting and match scouting by paper and pencil. We then transfer to excel (in the stands for match scouting) for calculations, internal ranking, and match predictions.

For the first year, you need to end up with a priorities list for alliance partners as a minimum. A nice addition would be to have your spread sheet ID what the capabilities the team has shown for match planning.

IMO, The future of scouting for powerhouse teams is : phone App to central DB (really central spread sheet). I’ve been a programmer for 30 some odd years and I think this is possible and reasonable. I’ve just never had the time to work it all out. I’d bet some of the current powerhouses are using it already…

I also suggest starting with paper before moving to another medium. When my team started scouting we had 2 forms, one for pit scouting and a second for match scouting.

Try to capture data that is not available from the FIRST API or The Blue Alliance such as good driving, break downs, easy, and with your alliance partners, easy or hard to work with.

Good luck this season.

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I suggest exploring different strategies/ types of accounting during the off season.
Paper & excel is the easiest to adopt for a rookie team.
Find what works best for your team - ignore those who speak ill of your chosen method.
We’re use paper & excel with a tremendous degree of success.