Shafted again

Once again FIRSt has shown their disdain for the animation competition. Only this time they have decided to lump in the website, Autodesk Inventor and (amazingly) the Woodie Flowers Award into the same trash heap and banish it to the Friday opening ceremony. I guess it’s not worthy for prime time.
Animators, website designers and cad designers (and Woodie Flowers nominies) work just as hard as any person who has worked on the robot and do not deserve the insult FIRST has put forward to them. This is an outrage and FIRST owes every single animator, website designer, CAD designer a written apology!!!

I was not at the Championships this year, but I created most of the 2003 and 2004 Autodesk Inventor Awards.

I know that the Closing Ceremonies are always long and carried on forever.
I would prefer that FIRST split up the awards.

I do not know what awards were given precedence over these so called “overlooked” awards, but I am sure they are all just as important as the others.

These Technology/Computer awards may not have as much publicity as the others, but they still are awards.

These awards can be compared to publicity situation:

Which do you think get more publicity the drivers or the rest of the team in the stands?

Insult? explanation?

Also most of the Saturday Closing Ceremony Awards are only decided at the last minute.

Many of the Friday Closing Ceremony Awards are decided ahead of time or easier to choose the winners.

Well, to put it simply, the animations & animators get very little (if any) mention anywhere, anytime. This recent series of events was the icing on the cake. Essentially animations have always been on the sidelines, mumbled about, and the awards seem to be nothing more than a formality. This view is further solidified by their slumping of the AVA/ AIA presentations at the opening ceremony. FIRST’s attitude seems to be “Oh yeah… there’s an animation thing over here that some people did …umm. Who cares, lets move on to the robots.” Granted the Focus of FIRST should be robots, not the AVA. However, if the animation is a part of FIRST, why not give the animations the same respect that one does each team’s robot? This mindset is heartbreaking to animators and destructive everyone. Walking around at any competition, the only people who seem to care about the AVA are the animators themselves. I think this attitude would change if animators were given a little more notice. So in short, yes, I too believe ‘the AVA’ to be a long history of neglect and insult.

Let’s be realistic here. The “Show” went on all too long as it was. Saturday night was long and we did not even get to present the teams that won our division their medals. They were told to send someone down to pick them up.

By putting the Woodie Flowers award on Friday shows that they believe that all of the other awards are just as important as the WF one. Maybe I am wrong but show me a WF winner that is not a well respected part of FIRST and deserving of recognition. Let’s give FIRST a break. They are trying to do the best they can and most of these awards given on Friday were prejudged and ready to go. I have issues with FIRST from time to time but I am positive that there was no reasoning behind the timing of these awards presentations.

when this is addressed it always seems to be that “this is autodesks compitition not firsts” so they really appear that it shouldnt hold anywhere near the esteem that FRC holds. it is dissappointed but i think we can change this. groups of ppl hold a lot more influence then a lot of people by themselves. this is why i have suggested forming an animators union. c the post about it if interested or if u have suggestions.

Those are some pretty harsh words; it surprises me (and makes me a little sad) to see this post coming from you, Ed.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday … whenever; Animimators/web designers/CAD people are recognized for their work. There are plenty of aspects of FIRST that are recognized solely by a round of applause, if that. You don’t see FIRST giving awards for the “best team travel coordinator”, “best public relations crew”, or “best parent organization” but without the people involved in this part of FIRST, most teams would not exist. Yet these people keep doing what they’re doing without being recognized.

Be gracious; at least there is an animation competition.

I don’t think I was out of line at all.
The animation aspect has always been an afterthought and it always will be. They don’t even show them on the screens anymore at the fields.
I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

I was really glad that they announced the Inventor Award during Friday morning’s ceremony. What better way to start off the competition, than with a big win? Plus, the Saturday awards were jammed in between matches which seemed to diminished their significance.

Where I thought FIRST really blew it was in not announcing the scholarship receipients. What was up with that? I fail to believe that giving an invited speaker opportunity to talk is more important than recognizing the students who, through great effort, earned the scholarships that FIRST is so proud to talk about.

I am our team’s only AIA person. In addition, I was the person who nominated LeRoy Nelson, the winner of the SoCal WFFA.

FIRST does not owe me an apology. Since the awards run so long (one member of our team fell asleep) and these awards are all judged beforehand, I feel that this was a good decision.

Not really. Which award has the most precedence? Which one was given last? Which one involved the indoor polytechnics (which were really cool)? Which one has the most impact on the community; the country; the world? That is where the true focus lies.

I dont know that I would consider these awardees “shafted.” I think the ceremony that the did was really nice, and it wasnt split up at all like the later ones. They showed the animations and inventor winners submissions(which is an improvement over the past/some regionals) and I think they gave a lot of credit to the awardees.

Plus, if you look at it, these are the awards that are decided well ahead of time. The judges dont have to go and interview the teams, they already have the materials before the competition. FIRST knows that all teams will be there friday morning, because they dont know when their qualification matches are until that morning. If they did it friday evening, half the teams would be gone, same with saturday morning.

The only thing I would suggest for improvement is to make it clear that these awards are going to be given then. It may have been mentioned somewhere, but our team missed what was going on. We made it for what we expected to be opening ceremonies, only to realize that awards were going on.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the awards :slight_smile: An award is a huge accomplishment, no matter when it is given. Heck I would take ours even if they were going to give it to us at our pit with no one else watching! Its that you know that you accomplished that much, not that a million people got to see it while exhausted and sleeping through half of it.

Ed, I appreciate your comments. You present your opinions honestly and forthrightly. In this case, however, my view is that you over reacted. I do not believe that anyone with FIRST meant to slight any area of effort or expertise, but rather, presented first those awards that already had been decided, so that the second awards ceremony would not be additionally prolonged.

And, yes, I would agree with the comment that the fact of these Friday award presentations could have been more conspicuously posted. When we attend the post-season meeting in our areas, we need to voice that suggestion.

As has been already mentioned, the animation and website awards (as well as the Founder’s Award and volunteer award… not unimportant honors) are presented earlier because the winner is known in advance, as opposed to the technical awards, rookie awards, Engineering Inspiration, and Chairman’s. My guess on why they put the Woodie Flowers award at the same time is so that the winner can be recognized through the whole event. I don’t think I’d have had a chance to find and congratulate Paul Copioli at the last minute on Saturday, so I’m glad I was able to do so on Friday. Trash heap? I think not. Besides, much as I admire Dean Kamen and Larry Page, I think we were all pretty antsy for things to move along, and I’m glad we didn’t have to wait through even more awards. The one point that I agree with, though, is that they should have been showing the animations between matches, both at regionals and in Atlanta. I remember seeing many animations countless times in Sacramento last year, but the only animations I’ve seen this year were the winning safety video and the award winners in Atlanta. Since the animations are about the ideals of FIRST, it seems like an appropriate interlude throughout the day. I am curious to hear why FIRST decided not to show the animations (I’m certain it’s not out of disrespect for Autodesk, one of the largest contributers to the program), but I understand why the awards were part of Friday’s ceremony.

Look at it this way: Animations is recognized, and it’s not an essential part of FIRST. The program could get along just fine without the Autodesk awards, as nice as the finished results are. Programming, however, is a required part of FIRST, and we don’t have any programming-specific awards.

I’m not sure if you’re justified in complaning. And beyond that, I’m not entirely sure why this is a bad thing. Animators were recognized, and there isn’t any real reason to wait until Saturday afternoon to do that. Why not do it at the beginning of the day, when we have yet to be distracted by the finals or other, bigger awards?

And there is a typical attitude towards the animation.
Why is that?
Probably because it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ROBOT AT ALL! Why should anyone care about it? They have to change the competition so that it is more useful to FIRST’s needs instead of just paying lip service to it
I think it needs to be tied into another aspect of the competition like with the Inventor award or the website or retooled so it’s better utalized as an actual TV commercial that has to be used on television to actually advertise the team or FIRST or a regional (give them a minute to do so). As it is now it’s really not being utalized in a useful manner that serves any real purpose than to give a bunch of talented people a place to showcase their talent in an event that really has nothing to do with what they are doing.
That has to change.

Just as a thought, why not have a Friday closing ceremonies as well? It might get a little hard getting four fields together, but the format there works at thirty other events.

(As for the original comment, I did find it a bit odd to have those awards there–but I definitely can think of worse things to happen.)

It was announced that these awards would be given on Friday in an e-mail blast a few days before the championships.

I agree with Ed’s comments. The animation competition is always an afterthought and that will never change because the animations don’t benefit FIRST. I don’t think they should’ve put the WFA on Friday because it deserves better than to be put with the animation award.

During the Friday awards ceremony, no one payed attention and no one really cared. The “trash heap” was not given out Saturday night because the closing ceremonies were way too long. I think rather than giving them out on Friday morning, they should give them out Friday night so people might actually listen.

You’re right. It does. And there’s a good chance that it will, now that Autodesk is becoming a more prominent sponsor.

It’s worth pointing out that all of your changes go back to my original point: right now, FIRST doesn’t need the animations. It’s not tied to the rest of the program in a way that makes it essential. I’d support the animations fully if FIRST changed how they were used, maybe, but they’re currently a nice distraction. They aren’t pushed by FIRST, it’s not easy to see them while at competitions, and they aren’t a required part of the competition.

Still, I’d say that the fact that animation is recognized at all while other aspects of FIRST teams are ignored shows that you’ve already got some respect.

I also think that they should go back to the way awards were before '03 where they would go through all the final matches, then give out awards, there was also time for teams to get the division awards before hand, and people did stick around after the event to watch the award ceremony and listen to the speakers. I definitely liked that structure better because there was more focus on each individual event, the final rounds and the awards, versus now where they clump awards in with speakers and matches, which seems to cause everything to go more slowly and have people fall asleep in the stands or go to other measures to end boredom such as paper airplanes and Frisbees coming down from the upper tiers of seats.

Also, AIA is more “neglected” (notice the quotes) than animations. AIA does not have regional awards (which I’m confident 294 would have won) and this has been the first year in which any other award other than winner has been given. Honestly, though, using Autodesk products is its own reward. Users get a new robotics experience, as well as knowledge that can be used in a career. Can’t we all just look at the experiences?