Stop The Madness

As i sit in my room, with a bad cold and a sore throat, and read these forums, I am stunned by the actions of some of my peers and my fellow FIRST participants. When did these forums go from a source of knowledge sharing and community unity and become a forum of complaining about not getting picked for an alliance at a regional or jumping down the throat of a volunteer trying to do their job? These forums are supposed to show off the most amazing part of FIRST, the inspiration to do great things. These forums are not about verbally assulting other teams or individuals, calling names, making accusations, and general negative attitudes.This season things have simply snowballed out of hand, with thread after thread, often times one for every regional, of someone who has a problem with someone or something that went on. And rather then putting it asside and moving on and not letting it get to them, or trying to work the problem out.

Instead, we are seeing mentor who post comments about how referees are making unfair rulings, and that they are ruining the game, and that they are breaking kids hearts, when infact 90% of the rules enforced by a referee are intended to protect the safety of those involved in the competition and ensure that the game is played in a graciously professional way. What does it accomplish complaining about a call against your team? Do you think its going to change the score? Do you think that someone at FIRST is going to read your rant full of insulting language and unconstructive remarks and pay them any attention other then writing them off as an angry rant? What kind of an example of gracious professionalism is this for your students? Now we see students arguing with referees at competitions, and posting their own threads on here saying that the referees did a bad job.
I think that Chris said it best right here:

Instead of people congratulating others on their wins and their awards, we have threads by people saying that they should have been picked, that they were unfairly cheats out of a win, that they were the best team out there but that no body liked them because they have a high number or they don’t have a cool logo. We have kids blaming referees for crushing their dreams and preventing them from going to a championship event. What does this accomplish? What are you trying to do? Your not doing anything but making yourself less attractive and less likely to be seen as a team that someone wants in their alliance. Who wants to pick a team for an alliance that is going to shoot their mouth off and insult another team and make accusations against volunteers and FIRST? That makes the whole alliance look bad. Why would you want to make your team look bad, by making a post complaining about not being picked? By saying that all the other teams made a mistake by not picking you all that you are accomplishing is showing that your a bad sport and probably not a real easy team to work with.

Overall I’d say that the thing that I am seeing that is bothering me the most is just the general insults, name calling, and blaming of things on other people. Everyone needs to check themselves, think about what you are about to post, consider if its something that Woodie would say. If its not something you could see coming out of Woodies mouth, its probably not a very GP thing to say and probably not a good idea to post it. These forums are about helping each other out, and raising everyone up to a better level of competition, not all the negative stuff we have been seeing lately.

That is my 2 cents on the issue, I’ll step off my soap box. But i know i am not alone in this feeling, others have seen this squabbling and end fighting, the needless complaining and the general attitude of disrespect for people who work very hard for everyone to make sure FIRST is the success that it is. I am not saying that no one is allowed to voice an opinion, or feel upset, or that there are not problems in FIRST that we need to fix, but i am saying that people need to check they way they are going about this. If you think there is a problem, come up with a solution and work to have the problem fixed. If you think you can do a job better, volunteer, do the job and help everyone out.

Josh Hambright

PS> The second half of this thread is coming from Karthik soon.

I agree completely.

To all the people who complain about not getting picked for alliances: What about the teams that can’t raise enough money to even go to an event?

FIRST is not all about the robot, it’s about the experience. Don’t sour yours by whining about it later. Winning is an outcome, not the whole point.

I agree.

Very well said.

Thank you very much for that Josh. That sums up what I have been feeling this whole season. Yes, FIRST has some problems, but rather than coming on CD and *****ing and complaining, why not use constuctive criticism? That would work a lot better than bad mouthing people who spend countless hours as VOLUNTEERS. C’mon guys/girls, this isn’t what FIRST is about. Due to some of the threads and posts this year, there are a lot of not-proud grandmothers!

Josh, you rock.

Guys, I want you to read the first post again if you haven’t.

Now think about who is writing it, if you plan to smoke it. This is a volunteer ref, this is a FIRST volunteer, this is a team graduate, this is a mentor in every sense of the word. It takes a million and one people to build up trust in an organization, but it takes one word of dissent to spread problems around.

I can’t call myself happy about every call I’ve heard of, but Josh is right, it’s in the name of the game, and the end result is worth every decision that was made to get there.

Ok, I’m debating on whether or not to post this, but I just feel like I have to. I brought 18 new students into this competition this year. I brought in 5 sponsors who, even though I believe sponsor other teams, have now increased their faith in this program. I’ve brought in 2 new school districts and tried to bring FIRST to the attention of the East Lansing area. I didn’t work this hard to show off a bunch of people being negative. This program is incredible, it’s fantastic. That, to me, has always been the difference between FIRST and other groups to me. I want all of these new people to see my FIRST, not this one. FIRST is about coming together, not ripping each other apart, that’s what I love about it. I hope that these problems that people feel the need to attack FIRST over can be resolved. I really do.

PS. When I say “I” in this, I am talking about things that myself and my other mentors did, but the way that I felt about them.

I concur.

People should realize that there are less fortunate teams…like ones who couldn’t raise money to attend the event, before they complain about "not winning due to an “unfair call” or “not being picked becuase no one liked them”.

I’m sure everyone in FIRST has probably experienced a call or other situation that they thought could/should have been handled differently, whether it was against their team or another. Yes, it can be disappointing, sad even, especially when that situation happens in a place or manner so as to dramatically change the possible outcome of a match, or even an entire event. It is important to remember, however that it is the nature of the beast. Bad calls get made sometimes - the refs are human, and even when they try to the best of their abilities (and the refs at FIRST events are, in my 5+ years of FIRST involvement, very able) to make every call fair to every team, they can’t always make everyone happy. Sometimes they have to just make a judgment call, and stick by that call. This makes these volunteers (yes, the refs are volunteers, if you didn’t know that) very unpopular sometimes. You can comment on it to your friends or teammates if you like, you don’t have to like it. But Josh is right. Posting about every single little perceived slight or transgression on this board is not only not graciously professional, it’s counter-productive to our mission.

Obviously, really large issues need to be addressed, and if you feel there is a huge problem, by all means, go ahead, if you can be polite, productive, and graciously professional, address it. See if you can come up with a solution. Many a problem has been solved on this board. But needlessly complaining about a call that the refs made, not because they don’t like you, or they were out to get you, but because they were simply trying to do their job - their demanding, unpaid job - is not necessary and won’t get you very far.

As for the other accusation of not being picked because you are not popular enough: I don’t think so. I’m sorry to be blunt, but if you have a good robot, and you can perform your task efficiently and consistently, you will (most likely) be picked for the finals. A unique machine will further increase your chances. Most veteran teams have at least one person, if not more, watch each and every single match from Thursday morning through the last Q match on Saturday, and take notes on the features and abilities of the robot, the drivers skills, etc. Alliance selections are not popularity contests - the picks are carefully selected by each team to best complement their robot’s features. Team X may be team Y’s sister team, and they might be really good friends off the field, and even on, but if team X has a robot that is not going to help team Y’s cause in the elims, team X is not going to get picked by team Y. Period. Promoting your robot is good - it lets other teams know what features you feel are really important, and lets them know what to watch for them in the matches. But there is no substitute for performing your tasks to the best of your abilities, consistently in the Q matches.

Whew, this has been a looong post. Longer than I’ve posted in a long time. But when I saw Josh’s post, I had to reply and put in my $0.02, because this is something that has been bothering me lately. I’ve noticed a real lack of gracious professionalism lately. I don’t know if it is because the games have become more aggressive, or because of a “changing of the guard” among teams - more and more new teams, and a turnover in not only students, but mentors and such among old teams. All I know is that GP seems to be becoming less of a reality and more of an abstract concept - everyone talks about it, but nobody really knows what it’s all about. I don’t like that. I’m not sure what the solution is. Maybe FIRST really needs to go back to its roots. Time for a history lesson maybe?

I’ll leave Josh’s comments about complaining about the officiating alone. All I can say, is that anyone who has ever umpired a Little League Baseball game will NEVER criticize amateur officiating. I thought the refs at PNW were great. My hard hat is off to them, and I thank God daily I don’t EVER have to umpire a Little League game again.

I started a thread called “Highest Seed Not Chosen for Finals.” I started it because this was my first regional and I was interested in learning more about how picking is done, and whether it is unusual for a team seeded in the teens to not be chosen. I learned a lot. Of the 40+ posts to the thread I only saw one or two which might have been construed as whining. Most of them were along the lines of either “yeah, that happened to us and we’ve taken steps to fix it in the future,” or “scouting and seeding don’t have anything to do with each other.”

Since Josh wasn’t very specific in his comments, I don’t know whether he was referring to my post, or the thread I started. I can only repeat what I wrote in my first post to that thread, that our final record was completely our responsibility, and that if our TEAM worked better we would have been a chooser not a choosee.

Part of learning about FIRST, I think, as a rookie mentor, is learning how the game is played outside the rules. I now understand the politics, for want of a better term, of choosing alliances for the elimination round. Thanks to those who contributed to my education.

ReColdAndSoreThroat: I had it for weeks. Rest, relax, watch old movies on TV. If it lasts 10 days or your fever is over 101, go see a doctor. Hope it doesn’t last that long.

After 3 regionals I’m doing the whole bad cold, sore throat thing myself.

I have one thing to say-It is absolutely RIDICULOUS that two head referees, who have NEVER posted on CD before have had to come on here, and write an entire page justifying their decisions on the field, to satisfy a small contingent of people who cannot accept the fact that they lost, and insist on whining, and dragging out a matter that is done and passed.

The only thing this achieves is making yourself look like an idiot. People will not respect you. They will think you are a whiner, and a sore loser, and will look down on you. Nothing can be changed. FIRST will not go back and make you winners.

A sign of character is the ability to move on and make the best of what you have, even if you feel you were completely wronged. Dwelling on the past does nothing for the future.

$0.02

I agree 110%. Last year (my rookie year), I didn’t “get” what FIRST was about. It took a robot that was partially destroyed in a nationals elimination match and the resulting discussion to get it. I posted how I felt about about the match and how I thought it was “unfair”, but in reality, I could’ve done more. As pit captain, I could’ve fashioned better protection for our electronics. I could’ve secured our cooling fans tighter. I could’ve done so much more. Yes, I complained about it here, something I’m not particularly proud of. But what happened happened. There’s NOTHING you can do to change the fact that it happened. You can’t go back in time and slap the ref upside the head and make him change the call. The only thing you can do is learn from the call.

Talk privately to the ref. Learn why (s)he made the call. Understand the thought process. Once you do that, you’ll know how to avoid it in the future. Learn, and move on. Dwelling on it and complaining about it doesn’t help anybody, least of all yourself. The sour mood sits and ferments inside you, and pretty soon, you’ll be numb to all the goodness that FIRST has to offer. You’ll miss out, and it won’t be anyone’s fault but your own.

Dave

Josh, of course you are referring in part to my contributions to the recent discussion, which I wholeheartedly believe is a discussion, and not a witch hunt as some claim. I think what many people, including some referee volunteers who have taken offense, fail to realize, is that most of us (and search around - there are MANY mentors and students - frustrated more than bitter - who are publicly on this side of the aisle, and more on top of that who are privately on board) are not criticizing the refereering crews at each event; rather, we are criticizing the extreme discrepancies in the way the events are called across the board. I chose the penalty call against 79 at Midwest (and check the forums - that is the one and only call I’ve ever explicitly labeled as “bad” - based upon recent posts, I doubt I am alone in that sentiment) as the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. That call illustrates one extreme of the inconsistency spectrum. The other extreme could be illustrated by the on field activity at regionals like Waterloo and Finger Lakes, where many people labeled the allowable contact as damaging and excessive. Throughout the bulk of this discussion, the one common theme that has been made clear to me is that the refs at each event have done as good a job as they could of being consistent in applying their own collective interpretation of the rules. The point many of the frustrated and hurt people are trying to make is, FIRST SHOULD NOT ALLOW SO MANY DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF THE RULE TO EXIST! Furthermore, personally, I feel that it wouldn’t be very hard to fix the problem NOW, with a little extra effort, communication, and coordination from the people in Manchester. This isn’t one of those “grin and bear it” situations that can wait until the Team Forums. This inconsistency has had a big impact on the emotional states of many students and mentors this year, and I feel FIRST would be negligent to let this inconsistency go on unchecked. It is important for FIRST to understand NOW just how many teams and people have been adversely affected by this situation this season.

These forums are not about verbally assulting other teams or individuals, calling names, making accusations, and general negative attitudes.

This season things have simply snowballed out of hand, with thread after thread, often times one for every regional, of someone who has a problem with someone or something that went on. And rather then putting it asside and moving on and not letting it get to them, or trying to work the problem out.
I agree here. While opinions which differ from the status quo are encouraged and welcome here (ask any moderator), I’ve seen many cases of complaining, pointed ref bashing, and personal attacks mixed in with the constructive criticisms shared by people on these forums. I feel it is important to weigh each post individually and not be too quick to dump anything that isn’t a 100% “FIRST is wonderful! FIRST is perfect!” approved post into the trash heap pile, for some of those posts and calls for reform do have merit and should be considered as valid points of discussion on these forums.

I know I am also guilty of mixing in some over the top sarcasm in my posts (G25 Freightliner, anyone?), and this probably does me no good in my attempts to have my opinions heard and considered fairly by my peers here on Chief Delphi. Trust me, I used to be a lot worse, and I do need to make a better effort to filter my more biting comments before I unleash them upon all of you. In the meantime, please do your best to take some of those comments with a grain of salt, and try to find the true meaning of what I am trying to say.

Instead, we are seeing mentor who post comments about how referees are making unfair rulings, and that they are ruining the game, and that they are breaking kids hearts, when infact 90% of the rules enforced by a referee are intended to protect the safety of those involved in the competition and ensure that the game is played in a graciously professional way.

Josh, I just gotta keep saying, on the whole, the refs aren’t ruining the game. In fact, no one is flat out ruining the game. The problem is, the game definition is vastly different from regional to regional, and kids and mentors have no idea what is permissible and what isn’t from one week to the next. They aren’t quite sure how they should play the game - this variable is eating away at kids’ confidence in their ability to execute certain strategies - they don’t know if they will be flagged or not. When they attend the drivers’ meeting and hear the refs tell them that the game will be called completely differently from the last week’s event - how is that something that we can ignore? That cannot simply be written off as a “part of the game” - it’s an artificial barrier to confidence that must be removed. The emotions of far too many students (and not quite as importantly, their mentors) have been needlessly dashed against it.

I challenge all of you to sit back and imagine how those kids on 79, 107, and 648 felt upon hearing that they received a penalty in that match. Every piece of evidence from the rules and past events, every fiber in their body told them that the strategy they devised for that match was legal, and they poured their heart and soul into its execution. Do you know what it must have felt like to feel you just defeated an alliance containing some of the most respected and talented people and robots in FIRST? What was going on in those kids’ minds at that exact moment when the scores were flashed on the screen? What kind of confusion, pain, and heartache did they experience? Can you all honestly sit there and tell me you are so comfortable with the way things are right now that you’d be willing to risk having your kids go through the same kind of experience? Can you honestly tell me you are so comfortable with the way things are right now that you’d be willing to risk having your team’s work bashed to pieces at an event where ramming was allowed to run rampant? Can you honestly tell me you are so comfortable with the way things are right now that you’d be willing to risk having your drive team kids get struck in head at a regional where “breaking the plane” isn’t a penalty, it’s almost a suggestion? As I have said, my kids have been fortunate enough to neither be the cause nor the recipient of such actions described above, and I, along with many others in this community, wish to see that they never are. These are no life lessons those who are bearing the brunt of this inconsistency are learning, folks. It’s unnecessary mental anguish born out of negligence to act and shortage of communication.

What does it accomplish complaining about a call against your team?
Do you think its going to change the score? Do you think that someone at FIRST is going to read your rant full of insulting language and unconstructive remarks and pay them any attention other then writing them off as an angry rant? What kind of an example of gracious professionalism is this for your students? Now we see students arguing with referees at competitions, and posting their own threads on here saying that the referees did a bad job.

I would counter that this type of action is being driven not so much by mentors posting on these forums, as it is by the reality of the situation itself. A problem exists, one which is causing much stress among the community. Kids are kids. They are frustrated. They want to lash out. Mentors are adults. They tend to exercise restraint. I think this inconsistency situation this year is so severe that the adults’ ability to do so has been compromised. The question remains - how do we direct our frustrations in a constructive manner? Some have taken the high road (in my case, I think my sarcasm is gave me a flat tire travelling down that route), but others, as you said, have chosen to use my post and others like it as an opportunity to blindly vent their frustrations with little to no constructive input whatsoever. I do hope those people who do this refrain from doing so, or at least think twice about what you post before posting it - maybe then, you can think of a more beneficial way to channel your emotions.

Gracious professionalism is a great thing, but we must all take care not to use the term GP to the point where it becomes an excuse and a shield for people to hide behind whenever there are problems that need to be fixed. I’ve read some absolutely beautiful comments from some kids who have posted online or PM’d me - it’s refreshing to have some of these youth speak up and voice their dissenting opinions in such a constructive, logical manner. Quite frankly, they do a better job of it than I do. And they have much more at stake in this than the mentors do. They truly believe there is a problem with the game that affects their ability to play with passion and confidence, and many have eloquently stated that fact. I would never want to take that away from a kid. They, like many adults, believe a solution is needed, and they have made a decision to stand beside those who also wish to exact change for the safety and mental health of all participants. I can think of nothing more professional than to see these kids stand up for themselves and take part in this discussion. We mentors too often feel like we should be the spokepeople for these kids, that we “know better”. Well, sometimes it’s equally as important to LISTEN to what they have to say. You’d be surprised at what you’d hear.

I think that Chris said it best right here:…

The decision of who “deserves” to win should ideally be solely made by the kids driving the robots on the field and by the rules of a game that are as clear, concise, and irrefutable as possible. Unfortunately, this season, that seems not to be the case. It’s been very difficult for many teams to know what defines “putting yourself into a position where you are in danger of the officials deciding the outcome of your match for you”, because the boundary lines of that position vary so much from regional to regional. To ask teams to automatically understand what the refs are thinking from event to event is to ask the impossible. Unless teams are given some sort of FIRST crystal ball, these kids aren’t psychic. Yes, we should expect some standard level of common sense to be exercised by each team as they play the game. Play it safe. Don’t seek to damage others. Keep control of your arm. But I’m pretty certain that’s what Team 79 was doing as they competed in that Midwest semifinal match. Look what happened to them. Did they not, according to Chris’ definition, “deserve to win”? Hmm.

Instead of people congratulating others on their wins and their awards, we have threads by people saying that they should have been picked, that they were unfairly cheats out of a win, that they were the best team out there but that no body liked them because they have a high number or they don’t have a cool logo. We have kids blaming referees for crushing their dreams and preventing them from going to a championship event. What does this accomplish? What are you trying to do? Your not doing anything but making yourself less attractive and less likely to be seen as a team that someone wants in their alliance. Who wants to pick a team for an alliance that is going to shoot their mouth off and insult another team and make accusations against volunteers and FIRST? That makes the whole alliance look bad. Why would you want to make your team look bad, by making a post complaining about not being picked? By saying that all the other teams made a mistake by not picking you all that you are accomplishing is showing that your a bad sport and probably not a real easy team to work with.

No arguments here. Good points.

Overall I’d say that the thing that I am seeing that is bothering me the most is just the general insults, name calling, and blaming of things on other people. Everyone needs to check themselves, think about what you are about to post, consider if its something that Woodie would say. If its not something you could see coming out of Woodies mouth, its probably not a very GP thing to say and probably not a good idea to post it. These forums are about helping each other out, and raising everyone up to a better level of competition, not all the negative stuff we have been seeing lately.

I would agree completely, only I would ask that kids and mentors believe in their own words and opinions, and not constantly try to formulate responses based upon what you think someone else would want you to say. I am sure both Woodie and Dean have made many arguments against the status quo - that is how they both got to the respected positions they are in today. FIRST would probably not exist if both of them hadn’t taken the risk and initiative to stand up for a cause they both believed in and speak their OWN minds. People have a right to disagree with “the way things are”, and they each have a right to do it in their own unique way. We just all have to make sure what we’re saying and doing is helping foster discussion and positive change.

That is my 2 cents on the issue, I’ll step off my soap box. But i know i am not alone in this feeling, others have seen this squabbling and end fighting, the needless complaining and the general attitude of disrespect for people who work very hard for everyone to make sure FIRST is the success that it is. I am not saying that no one is allowed to voice an opinion, or feel upset, or that there are not problems in FIRST that we need to fix, but i am saying that people need to check they way they are going about this. If you think there is a problem, come up with a solution and work to have the problem fixed. If you think you can do a job better, volunteer, do the job and help everyone out.

Josh Hambright

Josh, thank you for your opinions. They will undoubtedly lend greatly to the discussion that will follow. I welcome Karthik’s input, too, even if he happens to disagree or even criticize me for anything I have said. I’ve told him in the past to tell me to shut up when he thinks my silence is warranted, and I’ll consider anything he says seriously. Thank you all for taking the time to read through this painfully long post. May we all - students, mentors, FIRST, volunteers, everyone - continue to work toward achieving a more beneficial and positive FIRST experience for everyone.

Thanks,

Well Josh, you said most of everything that I had wanted to say. Thanks, it saves me some typing. :slight_smile:

It’s easy to be graciously professional when things are going well. It’s how you deal with adversity that really illustrates one’s knowledge of gracious professionalism. It’s one thing to offer constructive criticism when you don’t think a rule is appropriate or if you feel someone could be doing their job better. It’s another thing to come out and attack someone for making a mistake, perceived or real. We all get upset when we lose, especially when we think we deserved to win. But taking our frustrations out on others will never make things better.

If you don’t like a call that’s been made, go talk to the referees about it at the end of the day. Most referees that I’ve met have no problem discussing calls with someone who’s maintaining a level head about things. Just understand that their calls are final, and that you’re not there to change their minds, rather to let them know about there perceived mistake in hopes that it won’t happen again.


A lot of people have many concerns about various rules in this year’s game. I’m very glad that people have voiced these concerns, because in the long run it’s going to help ensure that positive changes get made. Remember though, there’s a good way and a bad way to express your concerns.

Constructive criticism = Good
Insults, name calling and whining = Bad
Trying to make FIRST a better program = Good
Complaining about how much things suck, without trying to help = Bad


I was speaking to a friend of mine who said, “Wow, CD has really turned into a hornets nest…” That description is really sad. We can do better than this. There’s no need for all this bickering. FIRST is supposed be creating culture change. When most outsiders go to a FIRST event, they all notice how it feels different. They notice the gracious professionalism, because it’s overwhelming. Well, if an outsider were to read certain recent threads on these forums, they certainly wouldn’t be overwhelmed by GP.

Travis, I’ve enjoyed your posts on the subject of refereeing. You have a concern about the rules and you’ve eloquently expressed them. It seems that you want to make this program better for everyone involved. You’ve offered possible solutions, and have refrained from making childish insults. I genuinely appreciate the fact that you’ve started some discussion about an important topic.

We can’t let these important discussions degrade the way some of them are. There’s just way too much flaming and fighting going on. It needs to stop.

I agree somewhat… shocking isn’t it…
I completly disagree with people that come here with subjective reasoning and babble about how it didn’t go thier way… when it logically coudl have gone either…
I sympathize with those who were devestated by actual objective bad calls because simply… this doesn’t need to happen…seeing as how the game is not rocketscience and the judges should be aware… you can say whatever you want… but there is no excuse for this… people make mistakes-- yep but it seems TOO MANY are being made… I believe all the head refs are excellent at what they do… but when I’ve seen two go to the rule book during a match… kinda makes you think- anyway I like the refs bunches anyway
Many people invest unthinkinable amounts of time into their programs… and to see it waste away by anothers bad call is too say the least frustrating… how can you just say… well good try … we’ll come back next year shucks (lets move on to the real world… where I talked to the team that won the sportsman award at a regional whine about a call that didn’t go their way)

people vent… they need to… here is as good a place as any other… and some of you have the right idea but most don’t… they are just jumping on the don’t express any negative thoughts because that is BAD BAD BAD bandwagon… which needs to crash very haaard

to sum this up… many live in teh GP fairyland where everything is just dandy perfect-- to you I say lets make baby steps toward that goal… and not assume everyone is perfect
</end of incoherent rant>

this GP fairlyland as you put it is what the first community is based on. If i remember correctly i joined first to learn about real world situations…IE things not going your way, dealing with inherent controversy, and moving on. Building robots was just a ploy to drag me into it. Debating rules is about as low on the totem pole as you can get besides name calling and team bashing. So, i dont know where you all come up with the ideas that the refs are soley out to “break your hearts”, we simply do our job…you p*** and moan about why your robot was shut off when your arm is 10’ above the players station…oh i dont know, maybe FIRST doesnt want the liablitlty of tetras falling and splitting someone skull open.

Jeez, im not that smart…but with a little common sense i manage to find logical decisions. i think more people should use that, common sense, its a shame to see so much wasted potential due to stupidity.

now for some lighter comments, at Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago, one team floored me with their GP ora. team 395 straight outa bronx blew me away. there were tons of decisions that haad to be made…and wether they went thier way or not, they kept their heads high, and my gosh…if i had a sticker and cookies i would’ve given all of them to them.

i need to go to bed BLAH

Have you ever been a referee? Didn’t think so. You directly contradicted yourself. Too many mistakes are being made, yet head refs are great at what they do. Please explain to me how that happens. Referees are not walking rule books. Situations arise in which we have to check the rules to be certain we’ve called a situation right, or to see if we need to call a situation.

You complain that you’ve seen two go to the rulebook. Well think of how pissed you’d be if you’ve never seen a ref go to a rulebook. A whole lot more “bad” calls would be made.

If you think that all the time spent in FIRST is “wasted away” by not winning, you clearly have absolutely no understanding of the meaning of FIRST.

Ok, lets move on to the real world. Im up for promotion. I think I rightfully deserve the promotion. I don’t receive the promotion. I go whining to my boss, about how I deserved it, and he screwed me over, and I hate his guts. I then proceed to whine to all my coworkers. Now what do you think will happen in this situation? Most likely, my boss now hates me, and my coworkers think I’m annoying and a whiner.

Ok, you have a point here, but there are appropriate ways to vent, and then there are those that are not.

I don’t have any problem with someone that says “Hey, did you guys see that call in the finals at so and so regional? I really don’t think Team XXX should have been penalized”

However, if someone says “Wow, the refs at so and so regional are horrible. They made the worst call ever and absolutely screwed Team XXX. I really hate them”, that is not an appropriate way to vent, and it is not well received by most people.

In short, having criticism is fine, the manner in which you deliver them is important. There is a fine line between criticism and an attack on a person, or group of persons. Lately the latter has been occuring far more often than the former.

Think it is time that Woody redefine, for some of us, Gracious Professionalism; I’m getting nastygrams from someone’s granny! :slight_smile:

Seriously though, it is apparently futile to combat emotional outburst with reason. It is defiantly counter productive to counter emotion with emotions of our own. I suggest we simply “starve the beast.” Just let it go and watch the whiners slide down the recent posts list into the forum for the disgruntled.

Everyone knows the old saying about opinions and everyone having one, so I will refrain from typing it out.

Point is, though - People just love to let others know what their opinion is.
This website is like a double edged sword, we encourage communication and ideas to be shared and in doing so, those darn opinions slip in.

Just can’t seem to figure out how to create a filter that eliminates them.

So, now you all know one of our website inadequacies.

Please use tolerance as appropriate. Please allow the free exchange of ideas. Please continue to share your thoughts, ask questions, communicate and discuss issues. We have rules posted about acceptable behavior. We have moderators in place to assist us when discussions go over the line.

And for a moment, consider what it would be like if you were not allowed to, or provided a place and opportunity - to share you thoughts.

We are providing that place, not FIRST. Our team believes in the mission of FIRST and choose to encourage folks to come to our site “where the community of FIRST gathers to share ideas”. Sometimes that includes positive and negative feedback. FIRST can handle constructive criticism - just make sure the method of delivery doesn’t foreshadow the message.

We choose not to filter and pre-approve every post. We trust that the community of FIRST can act appropriately, and that they can distinguish between positive and negative comments. Everyone has a choice, they can choose to respond or choose to ignore. Just my opinion, but sometimes it is more appropriate to ignore some of the opinions posted. Sometimes some of us feel compelled to take the opportunity to share thoughts and opinions - and that is also okay too.

Rather than proposing to “stop the madness” - I will simply request that everyone use even more restraint than usual before posting your opinions.

I encourage the communication of constructive ideas on how to make FIRST a better program.

Travis, stop your whining. If you stop a minute and think of what you are saying then … OOPS I agree with Travis. I hope that this doesn’t negate things he says. There are many who say that the game is a small aspect to FIRST. That it is just a hook to get the kids interested. If you take away that hook how will you get them interested. The Game is an essential part of FIRST. Without it who would pay $6000.00 US (I’m Canadian) to get a kit of parts to build a robot that really has nothing to do.

Many of us who are voicing our opinions are volunteers. I have been a Ref for Hockey, Soccer and Umped Slow Pitch ball. I understand that Refs make mistakes. I have seen some this year at FIRST. Does that bother me, NO. They are calling the game as they have had it portrayed to them. I believe that the Issue is the inconsistent , regional to regional interpretations. There is a lack of written “rule interpretations and non rules” to the teams. Breaking the plane was a written rule last year. This year is was employed by the head ref without a back up by FIRST of what the call is and how it should be enforced. The tipping penalty is called anywhere from a non call, 10 pt, 30 pt, shut down to DQ. Every regional that I have attended (4) has been different. Heck I get frustrated and I don’t always have a team there. I you happen to touch a robot in the auto load zone 30 pt penalty but if you flip them over a 10 pt. Where is the logic behind the penalty structure. Touching a robot after a tetra has been loaded? I have seen it called that as soon as the robot starts to leave the zone that they are fair play. I have seen any robot passing through the loading zone as drawing a penalty because the ref could not determine if the robot was in the process of loading. The rules on this seem to be changing week by week, regional by regional.

What is it we are looking for? A clear written form of communication from FIRST on what the rules are and how they should be called. This would take the pressure off of everyone. I don’t mean a Q&A response because there are many incorrect responses on the Q&A. We need an update and/or email blast. I know that as an announcer I need to know and understand the rules if I am to do my job well and I am confused. Please let’s just have some firm guidelines to follow.