The 'We Graciously Decline' Record?

Recently, during the 2020 Midwest Alliance Selection, my team Ironclad (5847) asked 5 different teams to join our #1 seed alliance and they all denied until we chose Argos (1756). I’m not well versed with how many times other teams have been declined in the past, but I’m curious to see/hear about times where a similar situation occurred! :smiley:


hasn’t there been a case where a team “torched the field” - got rejected by all 7 other captains as the #1 seed?

Ive heard some people talk about it - I think it was at an offseason event, not at a real competition


2017 Chezy Champs


I could be wrong but I think 2013 Citrus Circuits burned an entire worlds division and then won it?


176 was the #1 seed on Newton in 2006 and was declined by all 7 other captains.

EDIT: Not true, apparently. See replies below for more accurate data.

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2018 Medtronic had 4 declines. The issue there was the #1 team was a switch only team and the tournament only had ~15 legitimate scale bots of which 7 were the next alliance captains. The field of the event made it such that every captain was better off saying no despite #1 being a team that belonged in elims.

To be honest, it was awful to watch.


Dang, they almost won to too… put up a fight on finals 1. GG to the OGs.

176 scorched the earth, but were only declined twice.

I still remember standing in the pits and word flying around that 176 was going to end up on top of a stacked Newton and that alliance selection was probably gonna be real interesting…


The Scorched Earth strategy, a legal but questionable course of action. Some well known cases are 176 in the Newton division in 2006. They were declined by all but one alliance. This was because many people didn’t believe that they deserved to be the number one ranking team. The next instance was 1678 in the Curie division in 2013. They were declined by the second through fifth alliances. One of the mentors confirmed that they did this purposefully in order to break up a potential powerhouse alliance.


Why did all the other teams decline 254? Was it coordinated?

2nd place team 115 was declined by all the other alliance captains I believe.

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It was 4 declines (including us) and then 148 accepted. 148’s full court shooter proved effective for their alliance.


I remember this clearly as we were in that division also.

On Curie in 2013, 1678 picked everyone but the #2 captain 1983 Skunkworks and were declined, then picked 148 who was ranked 16.

That’s not true. From what I remember hearing, they were declined by 2056, 1310, 1717, and 359 in some order. Not “everyone”. As someone who started FRC in 2014, it’s hard to imagine citrus being in a position to scorch earth rather than “win their division with whoever they pick first”.

AZ East (Chandler AZ), the year after Rebound Rumble, 60 was Q1 and “Torched By The Field” due to prior year acceptance and we had issues with the bot but accepted anyway (a bigtime wrong decision), and that big beam centerfield broke every weld in the bot, and we had electrical issues that year. The next year… After numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 had long memories…We picked up 9 and another later and won the event!

The gasping from the crowd was audible a half mile away from the 5th declination on. We were all talking about it just 3 nights ago to our team, about what not to do in the future. “Get Torched”, and those memories both good and bad, last!

Just a teaser of this years “Lemon Squeezer.” Or…Lookin’ down the throat of destruction.

Funny thing is, for the life of me without looking, I cannot remember the game we won, but certainly remember what led to the “Scortching the next year.” Lessons fully learned.

One of my favorite moments in FRC. I followed that alliance selection closely. It must’ve been so vindicating for 1678 and their alliance to move on to Einstein.

Why in the world would scorching the Earth be questionable


At the 2018 ISDE #3 event, Phoenix 5654 were ranked 1st due to their consistent climb and win record, even though they were a switch only bot.

Because of that, ranks 2-5 declined their invitations and were forced to pick outside of the first 8 seeds, which IMO turned the event into a more interesting one (but maybe I’m biased since we ended up winning :wink:)