Serpentine Draft

So I am in a catch 22 I like and dislike the serpentine draft. This year IMO way to many teams have been killed by the serpentine draft. You just can’t over come a broken robot.

I heard a suggestion (2590 drive coach) and I really liked it. It would add a new twist to alliance selections. Allow the 1 seed pick where they want to draft from. Then the 2 seed picks where they want to draft from and so on. It means seeding number 1 or 2 is not a as a severe penalty as it currently is allowing them to build an alliance of working robots.

I was initially skeptical and thought this was a crazy idea.

After reading this a few times, I like it. It’d give the top seed a really interesting choice, although the only qualm that I can see with it is that it might complicate things a bit for the spectators. Not severely so, but it’d be there anyway.

Still, I do like this idea if it came to pass somehow.

Are you suggesting that both rounds of picking be consolidated into a single round? If so, I feel like that would lead to an overwhelming concentration of power in the top 1-3 alliances at most regionals.

To clarify, are you saying that because high-ranked alliances have to wait until the very end to choose a third robot, they end up losing because sometimes their pick isn’t functional?

I agree that it can be difficult (if not impossible) to win this year with a broken alliance member. However, it’s a very game-specific problem: while last year it certainly wasn’t fun to have a broken 3rd robot, it wasn’t necessarily something that could sink an alliance with two solid robots.

That being said, it’s week 6. We only have one week of regionals left before higher-level competition (district and world championships), and at those levels functionality is more or less guaranteed for all robots there. While I’m not stupid enough to suggest that no robot ever breaks in St. Louis, there are enough teams there at a high enough level so that this just won’t be a problem.

I hear what you’re saying, but at this point in the season I don’t think it’s possible to make a real difference. It’s an interesting concept, though.

No It means the 1 seed would get to to decide they want to be drafting from the 4th spot or 5th spot or 2nd.

I think they are saying let #1 choose when they pick. So they could choose to be the “5th” alliance captain per say.


Wow. I really like this idea. While the top 8 are being called onto the field they could announce which position they would like to draft from. The only issue I see is what happens to the 9 seed if they move up to a picking position? Would everyone more up if 1 picks 2, or would the 9 seed jump into 2’s spot?

I am pretty happy with the championship draft format: the serpentine draft with an extra round. I think it keeps the alliances competitive while still giving the top alliances an advantage. It may not be doable at the regional/district level though, choosing your draft position would.

Maybe I’m missing the point, but why would the #1 seed team want to allow three or four of the top seeded robots get swooped up before they get a pick?

Pro sports teams trade draft positions for players. And unless there are some sort of backroom deals going on I don’t see why a top seed would want to chose from a smaller pool of alliance partners.

You get your 3rd earlier. I’d be a fan of a pick-your-poison draft order.

Maybe the 5th top seeded robot is just as good as the 1st, but the 20th is significantly better than the 24th.

I independently had this thought as well. I think it would give #1 seeds a bit more of an option and incentive for ranking first. It would remove the dread that comes from jumping from 6th to 2nd due to assist points.

The issue I see with it is how to deal with top 8 compression.

In a hypothetical situation:

Team A - 6th seed - 1st picking
Team B - 7th seed - 2nd picking
Team C - 8th seed - 3rd picking
Team D - 3rd seed - 4th picking
Team E - 1st seed - 5th picking
Team F - 2nd seed - 6th picking
Team G - 5th seed - 7th picking
Team H - 4th seed - 8th picking

Team I - 9th seed
Team J - 10th seed
Team k - 11th seed

When the Team A picks Team B where does Team I go into the draft order?

Options that I have so far:

  1. Team I is always inserted at the bottom
  2. Team I is inserted so all higher ranking team’s original wishes are satisfied. This method can hose high ranking seeds because the number of picks become unreliable.
  3. After every pick the #1 seed is asked if they want to pick now, if they don’t then the #2 seed is asked and so on. This is probably the best way to give the advantage to the #1 seed but will take the longest. This makes it so the #1 seed may still never be picked by another team.
  4. Completely different Idea: If the #1 seed picks outside of the top 8 then they go to the top of the list for the 2nd round draft. They will be pushed down if the #2 seed does likewise.

None of these methods are great, just something to think about. Also, it would make describing the process a nightmare.

Has anyone actually done some sort of analysis this year on the number of regionals won by #1 seeds, #2 seeds, #3 seeds etc. and compared it to previous years? I am not sure that I buy that this year alone there are a standout number of upsets by low seeds.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this, but it is definitely an interesting idea.
One situation I was wondering though is what if the alliance that picks first ends up picking the number one seed? Now the number one seed lost all of their power in picking. I’m not sure that this is a risk that many teams would be willing to take.

Couldn’t the number one seed just decline in this case?

Teams and the audience have a hard enough time deciphering the current drafting system. I don’t think we should make it any more complex, or alliance selection along might run through the awards ceremony.

Cool idea, but consider this situation

Team A 1st pick 8th seed
Team B 2nd pick 2nd seed
Team C 3rd pick 1st seed
Team D 4th pick 3rd seed
Team E 5th pick 6th seed
Team F 6th pick 4th seed
Team G 7th pick 5th seed
Team H 8th pick 7th seed

Team A can now pretty easily employ the scorched earth strategy by picking the first, second, and third seed. One of them would either have to join the alliance with the 8 seed or be left unable to pick one another. Cool idea, but I don’t see why a team would allow for this possibility. Plus, this year at the 3 events I’ve been to, the #1 alliance made it to the finals all three times, and won twice.

Yes, looks like I should think about my posts a little more before I reply. :rolleyes:

Thanks for catching that. :slight_smile:

This is a neat thought experiment. I expect most teams would still select the top spot available and there are often booing accusations following a decline.

Raising the minimum number of teams would also decrease the serpentine’s bite but I suspect most venues are near capacity already.

of teams | minimum elimination robot percentile

30 | 0.2
36 | 0.33
42 | 0.43
48 | 0.5

Allowing the top alliances to select their opponent from those below them each round would help the stronger alliances to advance.

I’d also be interested in seeing the winning percentage of each seed in each round this year. I bet this year’s percentages are very much different from the past two, with lower seeds winning much more often.