The Advantage of Being in Position for a Replay

It has occured to me lately that if you are in the position of a field fault that hurt you in a match it could actually be a massive advantage. The reasoning for this is that if you lose you can argue for a replay and have another shot, and if you win you just don’t say a word.

This makes me think, if my alliance loses but my opponent loses communication or something, can I argue for a replay?

There seems like there could be some not so graciously proffesional strategy to it all.

If you’re asking the question, you probably already know the answer. Letting a field fault grant your alliance a win but not commenting on it doesn’t strike me as very gracious.

You should never be in a position to “argue for” a replay anyway. T16 specifies that the decision to replay a match due to an arena fault is made by the Head Ref based on whether the fault affects the outcome of the match.

I’ll add that the handful of times I’ve played a replay it wasn’t really a choice, per se. We finished the match and were told to hold tight- then ‘reset your robot, we’re playing the match again.’

I can’t think of a reason to protest or try to dodge that. I’ve replayed matches my alliance had won, but then again, by definition there had been a fault that affected the outcome of the match so we hadn’t really won. Playing again is just a chance to get some more practice, keep the robot in front of scouts and frankly, have some more fun. If we loose in the replay, oh well. It’s worth the extra run time, in my mind.

In a replay, everyone wins* - one more match. At the current cost of a match, that’s a big win.

But the attitude that “if they’re not at their best, let’s get them at their best…and then beat the snot out of them”.

*Not the match though.

I guess I see what everyone is saying, but then again I have experienced instances were matches that should have been replayed aren’t replayed because it hurt the winning alliance.

It sounds like you have a specific example/examples in mind.

In almost every case I’ve seen, the affected team/alliance asks for a replay, or is told by the Head Ref/FTA/FTAA that the issue does not warrant a replay. Once the Head Ref makes a decision, I doubt that anything the winning alliance says at that point would change the decision on replaying or not. That being said, I think if anything fishy happens in a match (dead robots, ball re-entered to the wrong part of the field by a ref, etc.), the winning alliance should still inquire as to why the match was not granted a replay. I don’t think it’s their place to request a replay since they have no knowledge of the cause of the issue, but they should hold the Referees accountable for their reasoning to not replay.

What I think we really need is a bit more transparency in to what kinds of things are considered replay eligible. Certainly a true field fault (ie, Roomba stuck under the bridge) is always cause for a replay, and robot mechanical or electrical failures are almost never replayable. But there’s a really big middle grey area of “Comms issues” that are poorly understood by teams and not always well explained by FIRST technical staff. “Comms” embodies such a large set of problems, some of which can be caused by team programming, some of which cannot.

What “should” be replayed? If the issue is due to a bug in the background SmartDashboard code that can’t be fixed by the team at the event, does it warrant a replay? Do they keep replaying until they get lucky and all teams have a good match? There is a lot of code that is used on the robot and the DS that teams don’t have any control over which may contain bugs that get triggered by certain events. If a team’s code triggers one of these bugs, whose fault is it?

T16 only allows for replays due to ARENA faults, which includes physical field failures and FMS issues but not FIRST supplied code templates on the robots and driver stations, which are not considered part of the FMS according to the FMS whitepaper. Any issues between the DS and the ROBOT, at present, are not specifically allowed for under T16.

I think that a more explicit guide to comms issues would be very helpful. Not every problem is known or common right now, but if the Referees and FTA’s can tell a team “We know it’s none one of A/B/C issues, check your DS logs and see if any of X/Y/Z is happening”, and the results of that guides whether or not a replay is warranted. Teams will understand and respect the decision to replay or not a lot more if it is explained why it is or is not a problem that is their fault and that they can fix.

I wish they would have let us try to complete the triple balance anyhow. We were half way there :slight_smile: