The Regional Wars

Atlanta was very cool for me because for the first time in 3 years, I was able to meet and have some excelent discussions with some of my midwestern counterparts. During these discussions, I came to one big conclusion…what happened to the northeast this year? Sure we had a couple of teams make a good run at it, but the finals were a Michigan and Indiana dominated set of matches! Over the years I think that there has been a definate split in FIRST reguarding the game style and teams in the region…i separate them into 4 major groups.

Northeast: Primarly a defensive region. Great past national champions such as Gael Force, Tigerbolt, Raider Robotix, and Rage and Aces High among others. A very competitive region where everyone is out for blood at the regionals and offseason competitions.

Midwest: Has quickly become the powerhouse region. Primarily an offensive oriented region, with champions like Beatty and Hammond (4 times over), the Technokats, Wildstang, Sunny Delight (now extinct), and Juggernauts among others. From the outside, seems to be quite a tight knit group…very competitive on the inside.

South: A good mix of offensive and defensive robots. Teams like Baxter Bomb Squad, Heatwave, Cortez High School, Space Coast, and other oldies make for an excelent competitiveness.

West: Another strong offensive division with a few very solid defensive teams. Home of the Cheesy Poofs, Kingman, GRT, among others. Region thus far has been pretty much dominated by the Poofs and Kingman, but other teams are starting to show some good strength.

You can almost see the rivalry forming between the regions. I know that in the northeast, very often we talk of knocking the midwest off the pedistil (sp?.) that they have been sitting on as of late…makes for some very exciting matches and great trash talking :wink:

Now, the question I pose to everyone is this…

What do you think of an event that would bring teams together from each of these regions to decide who is the “King” of regions. Very similar to the Ryder Cup in golf? I think it would be very cool if you could manage to get all those teams in one place for something like that. :wink:

I think it would be awesome.
I would like to see a regional regional, but how would you decide which teams could compete.
-Maybe the teams from each region would vote on 5-10 bots to go and play for them. Kind of like an election.

The Grady Cup??? Sounds like goooooood watchin’!

I didn’t realize the Northeast trash talked about the midwest so much. I’m going to have to step up my game. How’s about this: “You guys don’t win anymore because you’re all too tired from the shuffle board games at the retirement home. It’s about time you dinosaur teams pulled your 350 HP / 25 MPH-going, left-turn-signal-stuck-on Cadillacs off the road!” Okay, okay. I’m just kidding - but I had to get a jab in somewhere.

Back to the topic… It does sound like a lot of fun. The only problem is that it would be tough to get all of the teams to travel for another event.

If you are including Rochester in the northeast, there were two Rochester teams in the finals (i.e. they were Division Champions). That means, at worst, 1/6 of the teams were from the Northeast. While that’s not exactly proportional, I’m not sure it’s quite as bad as you seem to be making out.


Off Topic -

Define extinct? Team 144 (P&G - WHHS, 1994-1998) moved to P&G - Northwest HS, 1999 - 2002 then migrated to P&G - Lakota East HS, the team # stayed at NW and has since been dropped. Team 1038 LEHS got the same mentor crew that existed as Sunny D :slight_smile: Check out the history, you’ll see evidence that they still exist. Team 144 - NWHS 2001 National Finalists, 2002 National Semi-finalists, Team 1038 - 2004 National Semi-finalists. Of course those last three years needed great alliance partners too!

Back on topic - I think it, “The Grady Cup,” should rotate year to year…IRI, Beantown Blitz, BBS Brawl, California Robot Games, etc. and could have the regional “best of the best” sponsored to compete. It would have to have some careful selection criteria to take the luck of strong vs. weak FRC pairings out.

It would be very cool if we have the “Grady Cup” event. Each team get to qualify for the Grady Cup at the regionals they went to. Imagine only the best teams get to attend, and the best of the best play together to determine the king of the event. That’s going to be totally wild!

There are a tons of west coast teams who would love such an event. You mentioned the cheesy poofs, kingman, and GRT, but there are few other teams who are not exactly famous to the rest of the country, and always have a powerful machine each year, like Beachbot 330, Thunderbot 980, Team 968, and team 852. And they are going to take the champion trophy sooner or later!

The “Grady Cup” has the potential to turn into something very exciting. Sure the logistics of it are rather complicated, but let’s forget about that for now.

One region that wasn’t mentioned was my little part of the world, Canada. Teams like 188, 1114 and 1241 would definitely be able to give some of the “big boys” a run for their money. Despite the fact that their money is worth more than ours… =)

It’d be neat if each region had to choose one three team alliance. Wow, that choice would be extremely difficult in the midwest.

This sounds like a fun idea and could turn out to be very exciting. After some brief thought I came up with a rough draft method of accomplishing this.

How many teams
Each Regional would be given one entry (entry could be one robot or one alliance) to the “Grady Cup” for every 30 teams in attendance. This would guarantee every regional at least 1 representative and mega regionals (like the Canadian one) would not be under-represented.

Choosing the teams
The representing team(s) from each regional should be chosen by their peers with guidlines saying that whomever is chosen must have made it at least to the quarter-finals.

If this event were to take place I agree with Dave Campbell that it should rotate every year to a new location. The offseason events would be a good option since the competition structure is already in place.

There would be many details to work out (e.g. Can team afford to make another comp. trip?). Maybe Andy already has a plan in the works :slight_smile: . Just my thoughts…

i pick the Northeast because of the bond with the other teams out there like 237, and 222, i can’t forget 25.

tune down the ego there, buddy…

the only issue I see with this is- money. Wherever it is held, there will be teams that can’t make it. Probably half of them, actually, as it would cost over a thousand to drive, sleep, and spend a day somewhere far away from home. Anyone have a way to get past this issue?

Hmm. Interesting. The question is, would discounts be enough to help, and if so, where would they want to be? (IE: Hotel’s not so much the issue as is transportation costs, or vice versa). After that, it’s just a matter of making the cost part of what you normally would fundraise.

For simplicity, why not invite the winning alliance from each regional. Then the competition could be more of a finals atmosphere with no quals. I mean, i realize that there are duplicate winners and teams that wont make it. But if a team from an alliance will be missing, the other two could choose a replacement from their regional? Obviously this wont represent all the great bots, or even the best bots of each regional. But it is the best representation of what it takes to win a given regional. And if these alliances face off, the winners would best represent the strongest regional. What do you all think?

As far as housing goes, rather than hotels why dont we actually make it “housing” as they do for like the Little League World Series and such where there are sponsor families that house a few kids and take care of them (i.e. travel around town, maybe evenb food, and a roof over their head obviously). If it is ever to be held at B@B I know my house would be open for a drive team (sorry 4 is the max I could get my parents to agree to… yes I already checked with them :yikes: arn’t you so proud of me! )

I do like the idea of finding the strongest regional, however since the game changed so much from week to week and teams kept improving their robots Im not sure that asking regional winning alliances to stick together would be fair. Just for example, 177s alliance won the philly regional, but since then one team that stands out in my mind that improved A LOT was MOE… for that reason we picked them to be on our galileo alliance. Perhaps letting the winning alliance captains from each regional pick two other teams in their region would be a better way since the alliance captain is often the deciding factor on winning the regional. Then each regional is represented AND it is a better representation of the region also (because some teams may have travelled the country to go to certain regionals). That method would also reduce the factor of deciding who gets to go and who doesn’t

Another thing, last year Wildstang really didn’t become what everyone now remembers until late Friday of the Championships…same thing with 469 this year…they didnt make the elim at GLR, they were quarterfinalists at Midwest and then they were finalists in atlanta…

I See what you are getting at, but I was trying to provide an accurate representation of a winning alliance at a regional. The captain of a regional doesnt just get to pick the two best teams, they must make intellegent decisions from a field of remaining robots. I guess I think that some regionals may have a few incredibly strong teams(type a), and others a well rounded field of good teams(type b). The question isnt what regional has the most insanely powerful teams, rather which is most difficult to win. By comparing winning alliances, you can gauge the difficulty of winning different regionals, fielded with different types of teams. I guess I would like to see if it is more difficult to win type a or b. Not which regional has the 3 best teams attending.

I know its not cool to be egocentric, but here goes:

The Midwest IS WHERE ITS AT!!! LITERALLY In terms of robotics, the Midwest won at least two years in a row, one year with the winning alliance being made up ENTIRELY of Midwest teams

2003 (Houston, Texas): 469 (Las Guerrillas; Bloomfield Hills, MI), 111 (Wildstang; Schaumburg, IL) and 65 (The Huskie Brigade; Pontiac, MI)

2004 (Atlanta, Georgia): 71 (Team Hammond (aka Beatty); Hammond, IN) , 494 (The Martians; Goodrich, MI), 435 (The Robodogs; Raleigh, NC) 2 of 3 were from the midwest.

2005 (Atlanta, Georgia): 461 (Westside Boiler Invasion; West Lafayette, IN), ???, ???

(the last one was just an egocentric prediction)

Anyways, now that I responded with all my egotism, I think its time to get that out and just say that there are great, strong regionals everywhere! :smiley:

(as long as everywhere means Evanston, IL; Ypsilanti, MI; or Cleveland, OH) :wink:

I never looked at it like that but now that I think of it you’re right… hmmm… That would be cool to have some sort of competition and for the northeast to take it all back!!! :smiley:

out for blood? That’s putting it a bit mildly, if you ask me.

The reason MOE had so much improvement from Trenton to Philly to Atlanta is because our Competition and Autonomous Team literally spent every day working on controlling the robot better. The number of hours spent by those two teams was tremendous, and it showed by how well the robot improved through each of the competitions we attended. Even now, the Autonomous Team is still tweaking code for our off-season activities. Look out for us at PARC!