GAME - Team UPDATE - 2012-03-14
Special Message from the GDC
The Coopertition Bridge in Rebound Rumble is this year’s method of fostering Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism among students while inspiring an appreciation of science and technology. The white bridge’s purpose is to motivate participating players, teams and alliances to collaborate with other players, teams and alliances (even in the heat of competition) by rewarding them for working together. Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism are tenets of FIRST – they are part of what makes FIRST different and wonderful; all FIRST participants, teams and alliances should strive to exercise those principals at every given opportunity. To quote Woodie, “FIRST does not celebrate being an incompetent jerk. FIRST does celebrate high-quality, well-informed work done in a manner that leaves everyone feeling valued.” In other words, bullying, coercion, and unsportsmanlike conduct have no place in FIRST. We expect all teams to always try their best to accomplish the tasks at hand, and always push themselves to achieve even greater successes. Best of luck to all of you as you continue to balance the real-life struggles of competing against each other while cooperating with each other – both on and off the Court.
After what happened last weekend, and the huge argument that took place in the forums here, this was bound to happen. I personally think its a good thing the GDC did this. FIRST is all about gracious professionalism and coopertition, and tipping that bridge, especially after it is already balanced, goes against both of those principles.
If anything the rule will prevent future conflicts, by not allowing teams to sabotage the bridge.
While it’s a great way to word all of it and to address the situation, it’d be nicer if they actually gave a ruling and would set forth a penalty for some of this stuff. Obviously, there’s no way to know if certain “meta-coopertition” strategies actually are those strategies, or if they’re just a simple mistake. But they should at least address teams intentionally ramming the cooperititon bridge…
That is true. I guess this is more of just FIRST saying they don’t approve. Maybe if it continues to be a problem, they will make a specific rule/penalty. At least they are acknowledging the situation.
I see no rules on the books that says we should loan/give parts/expertise to other teams who need them, regardless of how it impacts our own team, just because it’s the right thing to do… but it’s the right thing to do, so it doesn’t need a rule. It is perhaps the absolute best thing about FIRST.
You typically don’t legislate or codify good behavior. It isn’t necessary. Most people or teams already know the right thing to do. But based on last week’s problems, clearly some people or teams do not know what should be done here so rules will likely be necessary.
I was actually appalled when i heard about the unbalancing. It is definitely not in FIRST’s nature and has no part in it as well. If I were to see it happen at one of our events i would blacklist you. Even if you placed higher than us and decided to choose us i might say no. It is something that you just don’t do. I don’t know what more to say. I’m glad that First addressed it because it definitely needed to be.
Despite the update being full of platitudes and non sequiturs, I do appreciate that FIRST has considered the controversy. Indeed, I’m all for outlawing predominantly destructive strategies employed against robots—but that’s why we already have [G26]. And [G15] already covers bullying and most unsportsmanlike conduct. And there’s [G12] for breaking the bridge (or other arena parts).
Is there any particular reason we needed an update to reinforce those obvious aspects of the competition?1 (Yes, I see what happened at GTR East. And yet, this merely skirts the real issues exposed there.) Fortunately, this update also gives the impression of action, which ought to be enough to quell the controversy (mainly because of people, officials included, jumping to conclusions that will serve to limit the behaviour of a few).
Despite the unsavoury parallels with libertarianism in government, I do like the fact that they haven’t established a new penalty for it. What would that new penalty be for, anyway? Perhaps I’ll lay out my thoughts in more detail later (or in that other, excellent thread), but essentially, it would be an impractical judgment call to speculate about the intent and eventual effect of contact with the bridge.2
And despite what Woodie said, the issue isn’t of “incompetent jerk[s]”: it’s of competent ones. Competent jerks are willing, under the proper circumstances, to hurt a few feelings to advance their position in the rankings. That’s not against the rules, but it might be offensive to moral values held by individuals in the community. The competent jerks are taking that risk, in the hopes that the good that comes of it outweighs the bad.
In fact, I really shouldn’t even go so far as to label all such teams as jerks—the (good or bad) motivations of one team shouldn’t reflect on all teams utilizing these controversial strategies.
It accomplishes that effectively. I just hope we don’t fall into the trap of believing that one carries the same weight (morally, practically, etc.) as the other.
Aside: Real life intervenes for a week, and I miss most of a good controversy? How disappointing.
1 Given that the update changes nothing (apart from removing uncertainty about whether FIRST would change something), it would have been more than sufficient to say: ‘The white bridge’s purpose is to motivate participating players, teams and alliances to collaborate with other players, teams and alliances (even in the heat of competition) by rewarding them for working together. Bullying, coercion, and unsportsmanlike conduct—even directed toward that purpose—have no place in FIRST. No rules or official interpretations of rules are being changed at this time.’ Next time, could they please spare us the recapitulation of FIRST’s “principals”?
2 For example: Is the team trying to adjust its own ranking? An alliance partner’s ranking? An opponent’s ranking? The winner of the co-opertition award? (Or a combination of those?) Or maybe they’re trying to appear stupid to avoid getting picked by a #1 alliance they don’t like. Maybe it’s a driver who didn’t read the rules. And what about honest mistakes that have similar consequences? And if there was a penalty for trying to unbalance the bridge, how would you determine the proportion of culpability between the robots on top, and the ones on the ground? (After all, if FIRST had added a new penalty, in a limited set of circumstances, you might reasonably unbalance the co-opertition bridge yourself despite being on top, in an effort to secure the penalty for an opponent that could be interpreted to be attempting same.)
Ironically, if you cross the barrier to the opposing alliance’s side and attempt to help them onto the Coopertition bridge, you risk getting penalties. Due to the geometry of the field and how the Keys of the field are very close to the Bridges, there is a high chance that an opposing alliance robot will touch you and deal you penalties. In other words, only use the Coopertition bridge from your side of the field.
I saw this happen numerous times throughout the weekend at Waterford.