Second Chance Bracket... ...A Crazy Idea...

Here is a Crazy Idea* for you to consider… …but 4 Divisions at the CMP was once a crazy idea so who knows?

What if there was a “Second Chance Bracket” at the CMP?

I envision this going on backstage (i.e. on the two fields farthest from Einstein) after the divisional champions are determined.

This Second Chance Bracket is for the teams that made it to the Elims of the Divisions but didn’t make it to Einstein. They get a chance to play for their own glory but also for that of their division.

Here is how it could work. Teams that are eliminated from the divisional tourneys are not quite “done.” After the divisional champs are crowned, the “second chance” tourney takes place on the two fields farthest from Einstein. This is a low key event for the participants mostly not so much for the public.


  • The 16 alliances that lost in the QF would play 8 matches among themselves - of course, they would play alliances from other divisions.
  • The losers are done.
  • The winners are matched up with the 8 losing SF alliances – again pairings are arranged to avoid divisional re-matches as much as possible.
  • They play another 8 matches. The losers are done.
  • The 8 remaining alliances and the 4 Finalists from the division give us enough alliances for 6 more matches which produces 6 more winners and 6 more alliances that are done.
  • Those 6 alliances now play 3 more matches which produces 3 more also rans and 3 alliances (9 teams) that can call themselves “Second Chance Champions”
    It is a total of 25 (=8+8+6+3) matches on 2 stages with 6 minute cycle times that is an hour and 15 minutes. It would be over before the teams even realized it happened. I don’t think we allow time outs or subs or even 4 minutes between back to back matches. Play when and where you’re called. If you’re ready you play if not, you’re done. Also, we don’t make a big deal about these games. Perhaps we don’t even announce the team names and numbers. “Thumbs up red, Thumbs up blue, 3 2 1 go…” As to awards, we hand them the trophy as they exit the field and that is that.

Even though this event would be a low key event and there would be little official notice taken or given, do not underestimate how great it would be to participate in this second chance tourney.

Redemption is a funny thing. It requires so little to heal so much. At a minimum, it lets 9 more teams go home from the CMP having won their last match.

I believe that this tourney would provide a non-trivial boost to the overall mood of the event, as it allows more teams to go home winners… …and it gives us more comparisons between the divisions so that the fans can have more data to compare just how “Stacked” Newton or Curie was this or that year.

So… …what do you think?

Comments welcome.

Joe J.

*I initially posted this idea in another thread about the divisions at the CMP but upon reflection I thought perhaps it was best to start a new thread about the subject.

The fields are set up, we paid good money to go.

I think this is a darn cool Idea.

Its almost like an off season event that starts the second your season ends.

Chill, Relaxed, more play time, all good things!!!

Is it possible that the eventual winners of the “Second Chance Bracket” would then face the Einstein Champions for one final match?

This would be sort of like the pre-alliance FIRST brackets where you had to play through a long series of tough matches before you were awarded the chance to take a strike at the currently undefeated champions.

Either way, more matches and chances to play is always a great idea!


This seems like a Brilliant Idea. I think we would see some awesome matches come out of this “Second Chance” bracket. I imagine teams would play so much harder knowing that they’ve already been eliminate once, and they probably won’t want to get knocked out again.

I like this idea, but there is one minor problem

What if a backup robot is called on to Einstein; that could be a major problem.

I’d love to see the three winners play the three teams who didn’t win on Einstein in a bonus round.

another idea to consider, what about a bronze medal game during the finals at a regional? (I know it was discussed back in… 2006, I just wanted to see if anybody’s opinion on this has changed, and to get some of the newer faces in FIRST introduced to that idea.)

I am concerned about making this a method back to Einstein (or actually, TO Einstein, since these teams didn’t make it) because I think the Einstein event is already borderline too long (well… …actually it is WAY too long, but the realities of FIRST are such that it is almost impossible to shorten the talker bits so anything we add to the robot bits would be a net add to the finals ceremony which I just can’t see as a good thing).

IF (and this is a big IF) we changed the format of the CMP such that qualifying matches ended late on FR night or early on SA morning then perhaps we could have time for a full blown 64 Alliance Double Elimination Tourney on 5 stages! Think about that for a minute… …if we had kept the "must loss 2 games to loose a " format for each “match” then lets assume that it takes 2.5 games per match. In order for 63 alliances to loose twice and assuming that the winner lost 1 match, you would need 127 matches or 318 games. On 5 stages at 6 minute intervals is over 6 hours of matches! But oh what matches!!!

By the way, at team that lost in round 1 but then went on to win it all would have to play 11 Matches (~28 games)! Even an undefeated team that wins in straight games plays 14 games! Whoa… that’s a lot of games in 6 hours.

Maybe some day but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Joe J.

Or, we could have a 5th place tourney, where the divisional finalist play in a tourney like the one on eistein, except, like the original post said, it would be really low key.

I’d also hesitate on changing the ‘actual’ structure of deciding which alliance are world champs. More matches on the Einstein field, like Joe said, isn’t a good idea. A 5th-place tourney would be interesting (It would take 4 more ‘matches’ than last year to decide places from 3-8). Since this is a game based and partly inspired by the FIFA World Cup, I think it’s good to note that they have a 3rd place game.

I think that a “Second Chance” tournament would be a distraction and the focus should remain on the Finals and the Awards. Also, there is a lot of tear down to be completed and those folks need to get out of there at a reasonable hour, too.

The idea of a Bronze medal match is interesting; I would enjoy seeing a single match between the first and second Finals matches to determine a Bronz medal alliance (alliances if it ends in a draw). I understand the concern for not extending the Closing Ceremony time. I also believe that recognizing Division Finalists and Champions along with World Finalists and Champions is probably enough recognition for “robots”.

I like this idea a lot. I would like to ‘tweak’ it a bit though.

First, I wouldn’t call it “second chance bracket” since that (may) imply a second chance at the championships. Instead I’d call it something like “Divisional honor bracket”. Kinda tying it back to your other thread about divisional identity.

Additionally, I’d like to see the “Divisional honor bracket” champions get a trophy that they must bring back the next year (IE only have it for a year, like the NHL hockey trophy). They should also get an automatic invite to the next years championship (still have to pay for it) in the division that they ‘played for the honor’ of.

They could possibly also get a special web badge for their site stating “2010 Curie divisional honor winner” or such.

Keeping count over the years could provide some fun statistics and maybe even some divisional rivalries :smiley:

There is also another minor problem.

All of the volunteers on Einstein come from the other fields, usually the best and first field crew done gets to move onto Einstein.

Pretty cool. I’m not gonna get to in depth into an opinion, but the one thing I see is how crazy tired these drivers and pit crew would be.
As a driver, I am completely worn out after the eliminations at a regular regional. Our pit crew is cranky (unless we won, then they get cranky later.) Quite a few kids on our team are so tired they will collapse if they have to cheer for another match.

I think the 2nd Chance Bracket would detract from the Einstein speeches.

Regardless of how much they do or don’t bore you, the speakers are important to FIRST. Additionally, sometimes they make a very good point that may add tidbits to a good ‘elevator speech’. Finally, currently during Einstein speeches the only thing you hear are the speakers themselves and the crews who are breaking down the fields farthest from Einstein. Not only would 2nd chance matches delay the breakdown crews, it would add noise to the Einstein speeches and be disrespectful to the speakers since there would be 20-25% of their audience off making noise doing something else.

I’d rather they figured out a way to shorten Einstein’s ceremony overall and increase the amount of offseason events. I’d also like to see the speeches distributed via CD/DVD to teams after Atlanta, and as a bonus include all of the Einstein matches with it. Those speeches contain FIRST’s core messages as seen from the perspective of partners and thus should be heard by more than just the 350-400 teams who sit through Einstein.

I believe that “going home a winner” is more a matter of perception than anything else.

I could be wrong, but I think there is a break in the schedule after the Divisions are over and before the Einstein activities start.

My thought is that the 2nd Chance Bracket would be over and done before the first bit of yammering is done on Einstein.

For what it is worth.

Joe J.

I am not totally in favor of this idea. I think this Loser’s Bracket could detract from the honor of going to Einstein, and try to replace it with something else. There cannot be anything that can replace the honor of going to Einstein.

As well, logistics. Figuring out where to get tired volunteers would be a hassle, plus you would have to figure out how and where to implement it. Putting it at the same time as Einstein would give it more prestige and honor, rivaling Einstein. I am not familiar with the time frame of the event, but this should not take place with Einstein.

And, the winner shouldn’t be able to play the winner of Einstein. In my opinion, the loser’s bracket winning team wouldn’t have earned it.

As a small sideshow to Einstein, sure, great idea. But anything bigger than that, and I’m not sure.