Three suggestions for FIRST

Posted by Joe Johnson at 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

I have two suggestions that I think we should press
FIRST to implement:

#1 publish the match schedule at least an hour before
the match.

Our driver coaches at UTC said most times they had to
tell the robot drivers what we were doing as the teams
were being anounced by Woodie. Often they would not
complete telling the drivers what they would be doing
before the match was started. “Don’t worry, I will
talk you through it” became an extremely common phrase
on stage just as the match began.

Little is gained by not giving teams more time to work
out a strategy and much is lost.

#2 run each group at the nationals like a regional in
that 4 alliances should be in the elimination rounds.

To me it seems crazy that only 10 out of 84 teams make
it to the elimination rounds. This is going to mean a
lot of team go home thinking they should have been picked.

#3 Change the tie breaker to time left on the clock not
average score for the 3 match set. At a mininum, put
time on the clock above rank in the seeding rounds. It
seems silly to break a tie between Alliances A and B by
how they played against groups 1 and 2 with no common
teams in the groups.

Comments?

Joe J.

Posted by Jason Rudolph at 03/10/2001 7:56 PM EST

Coach on team #459, Rampage, from University of Florida/Eastside High School and Adaptive Equipment.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

I am with you on this one. WE also ran into the problems of teams being announced, but nobody was in the operator boxes, because we were still working out a strategy. Also, with all the noise produced by the crowds, it becomes EXTREMELY hard to work out a strategy, and listen to everyone’s comments.
I am also for letting more teams get into the elim rounds at nationals. only 10 out of 84 is way too small. I mean think about it, at regional events, there are less than 84 teams, yet twice as many teams get into the elimination rounds, this seems a little misthought by FIRST.
AS far as the tie-breaker goes, I don’t agree with time left. I think average score is better, however, I do think that seeding in the qual. matches should not be taken into account.

Jason

Posted by nick237 at 03/10/2001 8:29 PM EST

Engineer on team #237, sie h2o bots, from Watertown high school ct and sieman co.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

Joe. FIRST has to give more time between games for teams to reset and or repair their robots after a game.
We ended one game and were immediatly called up on deck so we went to the side of the stage in near total darkness and struggled to fix some damage with no tools and reset the robot that at that time was nearly 12 feet long.
So we need more time and more light…
Thanks.
nick237

: I have two suggestions that I think we should press
: FIRST to implement:

: #1 publish the match schedule at least an hour before
: the match.

: Our driver coaches at UTC said most times they had to
: tell the robot drivers what we were doing as the teams
: were being anounced by Woodie. Often they would not
: complete telling the drivers what they would be doing
: before the match was started. “Don’t worry, I will
: talk you through it” became an extremely common phrase
: on stage just as the match began.

: Little is gained by not giving teams more time to work
: out a strategy and much is lost.

: #2 run each group at the nationals like a regional in
: that 4 alliances should be in the elimination rounds.

: To me it seems crazy that only 10 out of 84 teams make
: it to the elimination rounds. This is going to mean a
: lot of team go home thinking they should have been picked.

: #3 Change the tie breaker to time left on the clock not
: average score for the 3 match set. At a mininum, put
: time on the clock above rank in the seeding rounds. It
: seems silly to break a tie between Alliances A and B by
: how they played against groups 1 and 2 with no common
: teams in the groups.

: Comments?

: Joe J.

Posted by Janna at 03/11/2001 10:04 PM EST

Student on team #349, The RoBahamas, from International Academy and Ford Motor Company and Robert Bosch GmbH.

In Reply to: Re: Three suggestions for FIRST + 1 more
Posted by nick237 on 03/10/2001 8:29 PM EST:

I definitely agree with you, Nick!

We just came from West Michigan, where we were in the match sets starting with 58, 64, 70, and 76. As soon as we got back to the pit we only had time to tether our robot and put it back in starting position before we were called again. We ended up getting there after all the other teams had gotten there and had to deal with whatever strategy they threw at us. Also, our drivers were forced to be easy on the robot because we had absolutely no repair time.

Last year at Great Lakes our matches were always at least a half an hour apart, and we had 9 of them at West Michigan. I’d settle for a few less matches and more time in between.

Janna

Posted by lucia Sevcik at 03/10/2001 9:38 PM EST

Other on team Leopards from Booker T. Washington sponsored by ExxonMobil.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

: I have two suggestions that I think we should press
: FIRST to implement:

: #1 publish the match schedule at least an hour before
: the match.

: Our driver coaches at UTC said most times they had to
: tell the robot drivers what we were doing as the teams
: were being anounced by Woodie. Often they would not
: complete telling the drivers what they would be doing
: before the match was started. “Don’t worry, I will
: talk you through it” became an extremely common phrase
: on stage just as the match began.

: Little is gained by not giving teams more time to work
: out a strategy and much is lost.

: #2 run each group at the nationals like a regional in
: that 4 alliances should be in the elimination rounds.

: To me it seems crazy that only 10 out of 84 teams make
: it to the elimination rounds. This is going to mean a
: lot of team go home thinking they should have been picked.

: #3 Change the tie breaker to time left on the clock not
: average score for the 3 match set. At a mininum, put
: time on the clock above rank in the seeding rounds. It
: seems silly to break a tie between Alliances A and B by
: how they played against groups 1 and 2 with no common
: teams in the groups.

: Comments?

: Joe J.
In reply to your three suggestions for FIRST, my suggestion is to come to the Lone Star Regional, great venue, great lighting, great pit space, awesome team party and BEST of ALL "we’ll show you that good ole Southern Hospitality.

Posted by Matt Rock at 03/10/2001 9:48 PM EST

Student on team #115, Monta Vista Robotics Team, from Monta Vista High School and All those nice people.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

Hmmmm, our team hasn’t been to a regionals yet so this is speculation:

I’m betting that 2 minutes isn’t enough time for startegy, but i’m also thinking that an hour is way to much. I would think that 10-15 minutes should be top on that if they change it. This adds alittle excitment to the partnerships.

I agree with number 2 too, you get used to one way then they change it around on you. But then again going through 16 alliances at least a couple of times will take a while, so time contraints hold that one down.

As for number 3, I don’t think there’s much to say about it. The tie breakers don’t make much sense right now.

And for Nick’s point: I agree with you allready, last year we saw some trouble and it ended up costing matches all over the place. But this year it looks like they added the strecher for problems like this.

Posted by Chris Hardman at 03/10/2001 10:22 PM EST

Student on team #111, WILDSTANG, from Rolling Meadows and Wheeling High schools and motorola.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

If you watch how they stage people when they call out the 3 matches, just watch were they put you, you’ll automatically know your alliance without having to ask, we really never had any problems with not having enough time. As for suggestions, i dont know when the last time i calculated 10% but i know that 10% of 84 pts is not 9? rounding error in the database.

chris hardman

Posted by Patrick Dingle at 03/10/2001 11:22 PM EST

Coach on team #639, Red B^2, from Ithaca High School and Cornell University.

In Reply to: Re: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Chris Hardman on 03/10/2001 10:22 PM EST:

they way they do the calculations (per the rulebook) is round up any decimal… that’s why 0.1 * 84 = 9.

Patrick

: If you watch how they stage people when they call out the 3 matches, just watch were they put you, you’ll automatically know your alliance without having to ask, we really never had any problems with not having enough time. As for suggestions, i dont know when the last time i calculated 10% but i know that 10% of 84 pts is not 9? rounding error in the database.

: chris hardman

Posted by Joe Ross at 03/11/2001 7:29 PM EST

Engineer on team #330, Beach Bot, from Hope Chapel Academy and NASA/JPL , J&F Machine, and Raytheon.

In Reply to: Re: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Patrick Dingle on 03/10/2001 11:22 PM EST:

In match 27 at the langley regional, I noticed something strange. The base score for that match was 100, but there where a big ball on each goal and those 2 teams each got 111 points.

explain that one

: they way they do the calculations (per the rulebook) is round up any decimal… that’s why 0.1 * 84 = 9.

: Patrick

Posted by Patrick Dingle at 03/11/2001 9:50 PM EST

Coach on team #639, Red B^2, from Ithaca High School and Cornell University.

In Reply to: expaling this scoring scenario, then
Posted by Joe Ross on 03/11/2001 7:29 PM EST:

By the rules they provide, that score is impossible. hehe.

If the base score is displayed as 100, the true (non rounded) score is > 99 and

Posted by Jessica Boucher at 03/10/2001 10:34 PM EST

Student on team #237, Sie-H2O-Bots, from Watertown High School and Eastern Awning Systems & The Siemon Company.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

…How do you want to go about letting FIRST listen (not just hear, listen)? Im all for getting something changed in 25 days :wink:

For after all, in 30 days, none of these changes will affect us, but if we can start now, maybe we can get something done.

-Jessica B, #237

Posted by nick237 at 03/10/2001 11:07 PM EST

Engineer on team #237, sie h2o bots, from Watertown high school ct and sieman co.

In Reply to: Ok, now that we’ve agreed…
Posted by Jessica Boucher on 03/10/2001 10:34 PM EST:

We need to send a petition signed by as many team members as possible to FIRST.
Explain our requests and ask them in the interest of continued harmony for the good of the competition that FIRST make alterations to their set ups and rules.
WE, The people respectfuly ask Dean to consider some of the problems that we as teams are having to over come when the need is not neccesary.
We could make a form letter and ask teams to sign it and Email it direct to FIRST. If enough people do this FIRST will have to listen and act.
Joe… This is your site and you have the right to decide how it should be used but serious questions and problems have arisen and they need to be addressed, do you believe that this forum should or could carry this banner forward or should this be done on an individual basis.
Whats your thought Joe.
nick237

: …How do you want to go about letting FIRST listen (not just hear, listen)? Im all for getting something changed in 25 days :wink:

: For after all, in 30 days, none of these changes will affect us, but if we can start now, maybe we can get something done.

: -Jessica B, #237

Posted by Brian at 03/10/2001 11:14 PM EST

Student on team #126, Gael Force , from Clinton High School and Nypro.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

I think that it is good not know exactly who you are going out to a match with becuase if you were allowed more time then the whole thing would be too easy. A big part of this years compition plan, was to have to be able to communicate with the other teams to work out a plan and strategy with in about a 2 minute time period.

Posted by Chris Orimoto at 03/11/2001 1:54 AM EST

Student on team #368, Kika Mana, from McKinley High School and Nasa Ames/Hawaiian Electric/Weinberg Foundation.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

I agree in saying that, allowing more than the 2-minute time period for strategy will make the game WAY too easy. Teams could do a lot with a long time to plan. Therefore, another aspect of the game is added, and that is strategy itself. Not only do you have to have a good robot to succeed, you also have to have good strategies. It makes the game that much more excitng…it can also serve as a “separator” between similar robots.

Just my personal thoughts…

Chris, #368

Posted by Mike Aubry at 03/11/2001 9:35 AM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chiefs, from Pontiac Central and Delphi .

In Reply to: Re: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Chris Orimoto on 03/11/2001 1:54 AM EST:

: I agree in saying that, allowing more than the 2-minute time period for strategy will make the game WAY too easy.

Chris,
2 minutes to plan is not the only problem here. When you get into the heat of the battle, the clock starts and the 4 teams all try to talk about what they are gonna do at the same time - you soon realize that everyone can’t get out “their” plan and still create a comprehensive strategy. The 2 minute plan only works when a very exceptional AND proven team gets the other 3 alliance partners attention right off the start with a easy to understand and easily executed plan (limited every robots tasks to no more than 2). The key though, is 4 alliance partners coming together quickly with open minds and honest understanding of their capability. Don’t try to do to much, Do whatever task you are given quickly, and Don’t be afraid to say “we don’t think we can do that”. With 4 partners the plan can usually be slightly altered to allow everyone the capability to do the 1 or 2 things that they know they can do. DO NOT’s: Don’t be stubborn and insist on “your” plan, at least listen to the others, Don’t walk away and ignore what was said during the 2 minute strategy, Don’t waste time arguing too much - 2 minutes goes by a heck of alot faster than you think it will. Good Luck at the events your team is going to - have fun!

Posted by Aidan Browne, PhD at 03/11/2001 11:21 AM EST

Engineer on team #175, Buzz Robotics, from Enrico Fermi and Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems Intl.

In Reply to: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/10/2001 7:13 PM EST:

Joe,

The last thing that the folks at FIRST need right now is for teams to be petitioning changes to the logistics plans mid-stream. Or for that matter, for teams to be petetioning anything. The way the rounds and the staging are happening is the same for everyone, and in my opinion, is running extremely well. FIRST had to make a plan, they did, and they should stick with it (which, coincidently, is the whole point of this years game).

I think you are missing something here – the two minutes to plan stategy is part of the game. I don’t believe that Dean’s plan was for each alliance to come up with the ideal strategy every time. The alliances that are failing to come up with a plan are the alliances that go in with four coaches each hellbent on running their own plan.

I think the moral is that any plan is better than no plan. We all have to learn how to communicate with each other effectively and efficiently during that two minutes. The hardest part of this years challenge is for everyone to figure out how to do that well and quickly.

Accept the game for what it is and have fun figuring out how to overcome the difficulties.

Just my three cents,

Aidan

.

: I have two suggestions that I think we should press
: FIRST to implement:

: #1 publish the match schedule at least an hour before
: the match.

: Our driver coaches at UTC said most times they had to
: tell the robot drivers what we were doing as the teams
: were being anounced by Woodie. Often they would not
: complete telling the drivers what they would be doing
: before the match was started. “Don’t worry, I will
: talk you through it” became an extremely common phrase
: on stage just as the match began.

: Little is gained by not giving teams more time to work
: out a strategy and much is lost.

: #2 run each group at the nationals like a regional in
: that 4 alliances should be in the elimination rounds.

: To me it seems crazy that only 10 out of 84 teams make
: it to the elimination rounds. This is going to mean a
: lot of team go home thinking they should have been picked.

: #3 Change the tie breaker to time left on the clock not
: average score for the 3 match set. At a mininum, put
: time on the clock above rank in the seeding rounds. It
: seems silly to break a tie between Alliances A and B by
: how they played against groups 1 and 2 with no common
: teams in the groups.

: Comments?

: Joe J.

Posted by Jessica Boucher at 03/11/2001 11:40 AM EST

Student on team #237, Sie-H2O-Bots, from Watertown High School and Eastern Awning Systems & The Siemon Company.

In Reply to: Re: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Aidan Browne, PhD on 03/11/2001 11:21 AM EST:

Thats a good point, and if this goes nowhere, then I will fully accept the game for what it is…but FIRST has changed mid-stream many times before in the years past.

I think the reason why teams aren’t accepting the game for what it is is because FIRST has changed things in the midst of the competitions…and if they’ve done it before, they’ll do it again.

-Jessica B, #237

Posted by Joe Johnson at 03/11/2001 12:13 PM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: Re: Three suggestions for FIRST
Posted by Jessica Boucher on 03/11/2001 11:40 AM EST:

I can fully see a future in which the max score is
reached. 620, 720 or 820 or whatever.

It is VERY possible that every team coming out of the 4
groups can get that max score. My point is, it is
going to be very strange to have FIRST go back to the
scores that each team had in the group qualifying
matches to determing the winning alliance. By the way,
which team in the allaince do they take? Do they take
the highest ranked team from each alliance or an
average of all teams on the alliance? I am just
proposing a change that seems to make more sense to me.

As to not changing simply because the rules are the
rules and we should not ask for changes, I argue that
FIRST makes changes all the time in mid stream. I
don’t see any major “fairness” or implementation issues
with any of the proposals.

Joe J.

Posted by bill whitley at 03/11/2001 12:15 PM EST

Student on team #70, Auto City Bandits, from Powers Catholic High School and Kettering University.

In Reply to: Are you ready for 6 identical matches?
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/11/2001 12:13 PM EST:

I think that they should make time the tie break. No longer will teams only try to do it in 59 seconds, but try to shave off a few extra. This will add extra pressure, extra excitement making the game more fun to watch. It will also make the game more fair, imho.

Bill
Team #70

Posted by Jessica Boucher at 03/11/2001 12:28 PM EST

Student on team #237, Sie-H2O-Bots, from Watertown High School and Eastern Awning Systems & The Siemon Company.

In Reply to: Are you ready for 6 identical matches?
Posted by Joe Johnson on 03/11/2001 12:13 PM EST:

I agree as well…no matter what, I think FIRST is going to be creamed at the Team Forum with problems of this game…

Plus, I think the tie breaker problem is a major issue, but I would most like to see more teams getting into the finals, and I think everyone agrees on that. (If Im wrong, let me know)…so? what do we do about it?

-Jessica B, #237