[Team Update] 2015-01-06 The Noodle Agreement

Link to PDF

And some other updates:

Section 2 - The ARENA

Section 2.1.3 - SCORING PLATFORMS**

Each SCORING PLATFORM is adjacent to a BACKSTOP and positioned such that the bottom edge of the Platform Ramp is 3 ft. 3 in. from the center of the Landmark. Please see Figure 2-5 for more details.

Section 2.1.5 - Zone Markings

T̶a̶p̶e̶d̶ ̶B̶o̶x̶e̶s̶ STAGING ZONES: Each ALLIANCE has three (3) STAGING ZONES…
Section 2.1.6 - The Landmark**

Each AUTO ZONE contains one (1) Landmark, which is centered across 1̶5̶ 13 ft. 7 in. from the ALLIANCE WALL.


The lids are secured to the g̶a̶r̶b̶a̶g̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶s̶ RECYCLING CONTAINERS using cable ties, and each lid has a 4.75 in. diameter hole in the center.

Section 2.3.3 - LITTER

Each LITTER is a solid core, green Pool Noodle, manufactured by Tundra (Part Number: SR20C). They are between 4 ft. 7 in. long and 4 ft. 10 11 in. in length and have an outside diameter of approximately 2.6 in. Given that the manufacturing process for Pool Noodles is not tightly controlled and the Pool Noodles used and distributed for the 2015 season were made in different production runs, teams should expect some variation in rigidity, length, diameter, and surface characteristics.

Section 3 - The Game

Section 3.2.1 - Safety

G6-1 DRIVE TEAMS may not use any object to prop the CHUTE DOOR open.


Section 4 - The ROBOT

Section 4.2 - General ROBOT Design

Size constraints specified in part B may be met with additional aids such as bungee cords, minor disassembly, etc., provided transition from/to the TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION does not risk violation of other rules, particularly G̶5̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶G̶6̶ G10 and G11.

Section 5 - The Tournament
Playoff Tournament MATCH nomemclature in Sections 5.4.4 and 5.6.3 was corrected to be consistent with nomenclature used in Figures 5-2 and 5-5.

Section 6 - The Glossary
BACKSTOP – an aluminum structure positioned between each SCORING PLATFORM and the GUARDRAILS, primarily used to determine the LEVEL of a scored RECYCLING CONTAINER.

I thought that a rule change would happen. Well there goes that.

PDF up now: http://www.usfirst.org/sites/default/files/uploadedImages/Robotics_Programs/FRC/Resources/2015TeamUpdates0106.pdf

Very interesting. Very very interesting.

It sounds like they will not be removing the Noodle Agreement, but Nerfing it somehow.

And lets be honest, TNA as it stands is indeed a tad OP… near zero effort and a simpler robot for 40 points.

Very curious on what changes.

A simple solution to this would be to tape the ends of the pool noodles with red and blue tape, identifying which alliance station the noodle originated in. Noodles would then only count for points at the end of the match (as processed or unprocessed litter) if they were on the opposing alliances side of the field.

if your noodles are on their side, you get points. if your noodles are on your side, you lose points. if their noodles are on your side, they get points. if their noodles are on their side, they lose points.

Simpler yet is the +2/-2 scoring system, or -4 scoring system. 30-minute change to the FMS code completely removes the point of TNA with no colored noodles to keep track of or anything.

Also, I know CD is a highly focused and motivated community and as such, memes and strategies developed here won’t necessarily be as popular in the larger FRC community, but I think think Frank’s wrong about how prevalent TNA would be at a regional. As soon as a few veteran teams started explaining TNA to other teams, and teams started seeing 40 point jumps in scores, you’d pretty quickly reach a majority of matches with TNA happening. And that’s leaving out the semi-final playoff shennanigans possible with TNA.

This honestly seems like a great solution. Also adds some more risk to throwing the noodles.

It seems like the best solution to de-incentiveize TNA is to make noodles scored in a can worth more relative to noodles scored on the floor. Right now, a successful agreement nets 40 points, and the best you can do playing straight is 54, if you manage to get noodles in 7 scored cans, and the other 3 on the opponent’s side. (Like I have to tell you to correct me if I’m wrong). If the noodles on the floor are worth 1 or 2, the cans become more attractive.

Don’t give up and start creating new penalties, Frank! Hold the line! Change the point values!

Alternately, you could just get rid of the litter altogether…

The question is, would you consider +2 point to the opposing alliance and -2 points to your alliance a penalty, or just a different way to add up scores? Is it a new tax, or is it just a new fee?

Processed should count as any color. You should be able to score +10 by moving it to your own landfill zone.

How about just getting rid of the 4 point non landfill score and upping the landfill score to 2 points that way teams have a better incentive to score in RCs or if they miss to get the noodles to the zone (it would be worth as much as a scored tote)

A simple solution to the noodle agreement issue would be to only give points for placing it in a bin. No penalties, no bonus.
That would eliminate any incentive to artificially inflate the score.

I surely hate to keep these TNA threads going, as rule changes are being currently formulated for a further UPDATE. But…

There currently are so many ways to get a larger max score using TNA (as part of the process), than it is without it (Up to 100 points shared or not shared between the 2 alliances using a half/half collusion litter game strategy), you agree to collude & each use half of each, waste half of each as UNPROCESSED LITTER (+50/+50=total 100 points or there about, w/ many variables avail. and presenting), if of course Recycling Containers are evenly split or unevenly split, and all 10 litter each are used & (removed from the originating litter Bin & are entered onto the field & are all scored).

There still is left currently in the wind among other “litter game strategy” considerations (though rule changes are coming, that much we do know).

OTHER QUESTIONS: What happens to those “litter pcs” sitting outside the origination Bin, and currently in transition between the drum and the field when the game ending buzzer sounds? (EG: In human players hands or human stations, or in transition, and “not yet entered onto the field,” or “half entered/half not entered onto the field…in the litter shute?”). I could go on and won’t…go further…down the slippery slope.:eek:

The diagram (and accompanying explainations below it), at “Figure 3-6: LITTER within the ARENA at the end of a MATCH”…And the explaining litter rules info below the “Figure 3-6:” (Does not explain fully enough, except for the exception of LITTER IN THE Bin “F” is excepted)…And it tends to make me believe that by the explicit wording of that exception alone, that litter in transition between drum & field, is also not counted as UNPROCESSED LITTER, as it also has not yet entered the FIELD? (EG:“Finally,
LITTER F remains in the Bin and does not score as an UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus as it is not on the FIELD.”)

I think that "Figure 3-6 also needs to have added “G, H & J Examples”…(G being in transition from Bin to the human station, H being in the human station, & J being in transition from human station to The Field). (Or just G being a clarification of ALL LITTER in transition from the Bin (once removed & cannot be returned to the bin), to the field would suffice. Or, “G” (an allowance that)…All LITTER in Human Player Hands at the end of each match, and not yet released onto the FIELD, be allowed to be returned to the Bin.

Sry to be a further headache, but it isn’t real clear due to the wording. And I just hope they take that omission of litter outside the originating bin, but before it enters onto the Field into account also, before the promised UPDATE & rule changes take affect.

"Finally, LITTER F remains in the Bin and does not score as an UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus as it is not on the FIELD."

Writing rules is HARD! (Especially, if you are going for rule simplification for sure). I’m not attempting to Lawyer…It just isn’t covered yet…“YET being the key word.”

Good Luck Frank & Company (GDC)…And TY Again!

Last “Litter I’m spreading” until the update is released.

Kevin said…“The question is, would you consider +2 point to the opposing alliance and -2 points to your alliance a penalty, or just a different way to add up scores? Is it a new tax, or is it just a new fee?”

Answer: It would fully depend…“Is the IRS and the US Supreme Court Involved?” If so, It is a tax…If not and only The Lawmakers are involved, it is a fee…until that is, there is a lawsuit filed…Then it becomes a tax after all the briefs are filed, all the arguments heard and a decision rendered!

As far as I understand, it states quite simply that a piece litter not on the field is NOT unprocessed litter.

To take it a step further and answer your question: a litter piece “in transition to the field” is still NOT on the field, and therefore fits under the above description of NOT being a piece of unprocessed litter.

I will state the problem much clearer I guess.

“Figure 3-6: LITTER within the ARENA at the end of a MATCH” (Notice ARENA).

“C. as UNPROCESSED LITTER on either the Red or Blue side of the FIELD.”

“Finally, LITTER F remains in the Bin and does not score as an UNPROCESSED LITTER Bonus as it is not on the FIELD.”

Look again at Figure 3-6 please. That exception of “F” does not even deal with the Human player Stations in the A~F examples, or any litter that transitions out of the Litter Bin, or in posession of the 4~6 Human Players that may be handling them when the game ends…Then What? Do they show it to the Refs, walk it back to the bin, eat it, drop it, hide it, there is no way they can possibly pocket it…Though there will be at least 1 that tries without a doubt. (Tying it in a knot and wearing it for a hat is a Violation:FOUL, according to G16-H & B. “H. tying”, & Blue Box…“B. humans or ROBOTS tying or weaving LITTER into a knot”).

(It needs just a bit more clarification and explaining is all, to be able to show and help train & teach human player students). You are assuming that the “F exception” applies. I will just say that the word “ARENA” as stated in the Figure 3-6 title, and “LITTER F remains in the Bin” & “is not on the FIELD” conflict a bit to assume anything at all. (That only refers to Litter remaining in the Bin). Once removed by Human Player Hands, it can not possibly “remain in the Bin.”

Litter in the hands of human players is not even discussed…Period. (Except how it may be entered onto the field or not using the Litter Chute…But, not how said Litter “would be scored if taken from the Bin”, and never entered onto the FIELD, and there is only 1 way to introduce LITTER…By Human hands, thrown over the Alliance wall during Teleop (all but the last 20 seconds of a Match), or through the Litter Chute in each Human Station during the entire period of Teleop).

There will be matches where Human Players still posess LITTER at the ending buzzer without a doubt in my mind, some still in the act of entering it onto the field without a doubt.

Now go to THE ARENA and THE FIELD Sections please, and look at BOTH OF THE Figures associated with each Section please.

THE ARENA encompasses all of the Red & Blue carpeted area and the Step, both inside & outside of the Field (where the Human stations are located…outside the field), but inside the Arena, which includes ALL GAME ELEMENTS.

I only question if the rules don’t deal, or are not specific enough with an aspect to fully understand. I assume nothing if I can avoid it.

I am so glad that they are making changes.
I hope that the collusion problem isn’t the only thing that they are going to fix - since it isn’t the biggest problem with the current Litter rules.
The ability to directly give points to your opponent has serious implications in the Playoff matches without any collusion required. There are several scenarios where an alliance would have an incentive to give points to their opponent:

An Alliance is confident that they will advance without using Litter points, so they give their opponent 40 points to help them advance to the next level over alliances that are actually stronger.

An Alliance knows that they can’t advance, so they start donating points to their favorite teams.

That’s without talking to another Alliance at all - the consequences get even worse if they start making agreements.

Alliance A and Alliance B could mutually increase their chances of progression by giving 40 points to each other.

Alliance #1 could promise Alliance #8 that they will give them 40 points (increasing their average for the Quarterfinals by 20) if in return, Alliance #8 returns the favor by contributing 40 points to Alliance #1 in the Semifinals.

I seriously hope that they take away giving points directly to the opponent - it only made sense in the Win/Loss system, but it can be abused in the Average Score system.

I personally am upset that TNA is being put to death. It was a viable strategy, and a good simulation of game theory and the Prisoner’s Dilemma. I still don’t understand why people are having such a fit over it. If a team doesn’t want to do it, they don’t, so what.

It artificially inflates scores. In a qualification system that is based on your score, rather than W/L, it makes it so teams can collude to prevent other teams from getting the points they need to ascend to top 8, and in a nastier way than refusing to perform coopertition.

Quite honestly, if GDC doesn’t want unprocessed litter to be subtractive from own score rather than additive to opponent score, simplest solution is:

Nerf unprocessed litter value to 1pt. So if it’s in your landfill or their side, 1pt for you. If it’s in their landfill or your side, 1pt for them. Collusion nets you no advantage to simply playing the game honest.

They could also value both at 2pts, or 3pts, or whatever they feel like. As long as they’re equal TNA gives no advantage.