TRIPLE REPLAY ... the consequence for not doing Dean's homework!

Warning: You have entered an it’s-so-crazy-that-it-might-just-work zone.

The year is 2006, the day is January 7th, and the hour is 12 noon. After months of anticipation, Dean, Woody, & Dave are on stage ready to announce the '06 FIRST Challenge. Dean starts by saying, "Ladies & Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that you have not been doing your homework. And we ALL know that when you do not do your homework there must be consequences. Here are the consequences.

Consequence #1: (The curtain drops) Welcome to TIPLE REPLAY!"

You instantly think that you must have fallen into a time machine and gone back 364 days; it looks like last year’s game. Dean continues, “Woodie & Dave, would you please explain this year’s game.” Woodie takes charge, “Sure Dean! This year the game pieces are tetras and the teams will try …” Dave then feels the urge to take over, “Woodie, Woodie, Woodie, we are running out of time, let me try to explain the game. Ladies & Gentlemen, Triple Replay is the same as last year’s game with a few modifications. Now Woodie, wasn’t that easy.” Woodie with a puzzled look, “Sure Dave but don’t we need to explain the changes.” Dave, “You’re right Woodie. Here are the changes. Capping the pink vision tetra in the 25 second autonomous mode is worth ONE TETRA IN-HAND AT THE END OF THE MATCH FOR THE HUMAN PLAYERS TO PLACE ANYWHERE THEY WOULD LIKE. Since the stacks are so high, they will be putting this special tetra next to the goal to indicate the goal to be capped. The next change is that there will be not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7, but 8 robots on the field at a time.” Woodie chimes in, “Sorry Dave, we are out of time. Everyone will have to read the rules to discover the other changes. Dean, back to you.”

Dean is excited, "Wow, I never thought replaying a game could be so exciting. We ARE really trying to help you with your homework but I don’t think just giving you the same game will help that much so there must be other consequences. Buckle your seatbelts, here we go

Consequence #2: Teams that have been in FIRST for more than 1 year, i.e. competed in '04, can not start building this year’s robot until January 30th UNLESS they start a new team and give their '05 robot and '06 kit to the new team; in this case, they may start building their robot as soon as the '05 robot & '06 kit is given to the new team and the coach of the new team calls FIRST telling us that they have your kit and robot in hand and will be competing. We will ship you another kit as soon as this happens. The new team CAN use your old robot in the competition if they desire. Another way to get your build season sooner is to give your '05 robot to a rookie team and your build season will be moved to January 23rd. Likewise with new teams, rookies can use robots that were given to them by another team.

2nd year teams, i.e. rookies in '05, may start building their robots immediately but can not use their '05 robots in the competition. We do not feel that they have been around long enough to understand my homework.

Finally, we are so gracious that these new teams will only cost $3,000 each and payment is due BY THE VETERAN TEAM by June 1, 2005. In addition, rookie teams will be given a $3,000 credit (assuming the entry is $6,000 again) to use toward their 2nd year entry fee. There are only 333 extra kits so you better start recruiting.

Consequence #3: 2+ year teams (competed in '04) must ship their robot on February 21st and put down THEIR tools on February 24, 2005 BUT may pick up ROOKIE tools at any time. Rookies and 1 year teams will be able to keep their robot until the competition.

Veterans, before you fill up Dave’s, Woodie’s, and my inboxes, please remember that you have quoted my words, “Life is not fair,” to the rookies many times to explain why they will not do as well in the competition. Well, I say to you, Life is not fair.

Consequence #4:" … (EDITORIAL NOTE … I have a few more consequences but do not want to bore you with the details … you probably get the gist by now)

Yes, it’s crazy but it might work to dramatically increase the number of students exposed to engineering. To avoid a record-length post, I’ll post the pros and cons that I’ve thought of in another post.

You will not be the first one to call me crazy,

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  • More students are exposed to engineering
  • More teams in FIRST … closer to “filling the stadium”
  • Another chance to solve the vision challenge
  • More time for teams to mentor during the build season
  • Rookie teams have a head start on paying for next year’s registration fee
  • Game Designers get a year off … kinda
  • Field elements are already built
  • FIRST has time to concentrate on other things like VIMS & kit parts
  • It lets us play the best game (x 10) in FIRST’s history
  • FIRST makes lots of money to do other things


  • Regionals will be packed with teams and excitement
  • We have to play a similar game
  • We have to do our homework
  • FIRST has to have 300+ kits in inventory

What pros & cons can you think of?,

i am utterly confused…


I am sending the paddy wagon … make that 3 paddy wagons to your house right now.

And I thought you were crazy before that post.


Woah, that’s so crazy it just might work!


Don’t listen to Paul. He knows that they are going to do Triple Replay because Woodie told him at the opening ceremonies on Friday. He is just trying to divert attention by calling me crazy.

Paul, CONGRATULATIONS on the WF Award … it was sooooooo well deserved.

;sdjfao;iu;lk34890723523= NO, NO, NO 02o3ioh;asdfn.,weop9p78 DON’T DRAG ME AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD - I’M ON CD skl;daypoiyhqq;webncvxkjhaq DON’T TAKE ME AWAY 290837h;sda9p8oyhllusdyjklhqlwery

I’m sorry, I have to go now. It seems that 217 nicely cushioned wagons are outside of my home “waiting to take me away.” It must have been that Reader’s Digest contest that I entered. Wonder what other prizes I won.

Okay, I’m coming … just let me hit SUBMIT REPLY please,

No consequence here. That’s what we did THIS year :smiley: Of course we spent a lot of time prototyping and designing before then. Actually our drop down “ramps” were the hardest part. Getting them down was easy it was getting them back up that gave us fits.

Doing it over again should prove to be much less of a challenge. Maybe we’ll have to design a new gearbox or something to make it interesting. Paul did such a good job with the kit box tranny we didn’t bother.


I hope with all of my being that Dave doesn’t see this thread. :ahh:

Wouldn’t this defeat the purpose of Dean’s homework, though? We’ve all heard the “can’t lead a horse to water” proverb, and it seems like this is what would result. I can see teams going out and doing whatever it takes to get to their robot and kit as quickly as possible.

The eight robots on the field would just be chaos; something tells me that would make the game almost impossible to strategize for or to play. We had enough issues with three, after all.

I DO love the autonomous idea, though. Considering how impossibly difficult to work with the CMU Cams were - and I know this firsthand - having a much bigger reward for the few teams that could accomplish the feat is more than fair. Of course, having another year of time to learn how to use the cam and to work on autonomous ideas would change that dramatically, but who knows how it would work out?

I think you’re crazy too, but that’s not always a bad thing…

Con: There will be much less inspiration.

Students will have ready access to the solutions to the problem - all they need to do is look at 67, 233, 111, 71, 217/229, 997 and they will know what some great solutions are. Their brains won’t hurt cause they didn’t need to use them. There will be no transition from “this is impossible!” in week1 to “I know five ways to do this and four of them are easy” in week6. They will miss out on the magic of creating something from nothing.

You could keep the same acronym, but to me, For Information and Replication of Science and Technology just doesn’t cut it.

I hope they keep you locked up Lucien :slight_smile: Maybe just a couple minutes a day to allow you to throw in a new YMTC now and then…

I was lucky to meet a couple of your teammates in Atlanta, but was not lucky enough to meet you - I hope to some day.


o… dont you worry… next years game will be with cubes… … circle (balls) last year… triangles (tetras) this year… square (cubes) next year

look at their logo guys!

they did bins 3 years ago… remember.

Tweak the game just enough to make it different yet the same. Time to work with the camera to maybe figure out how to use it.
As a now 7th year rookie team I like the rookie extra time - I know we can sure use it.
Change a player surface or the location of the endzone - aka the bin game.

I’ve known Lucien was crazy for years - but who isn’t who mentors a FIRST team.

Lucien congrats on your honarble mention — you guys derserve it immensely.

I think it would be a great idea, if someone would show me where teams can tap more money out of to start other teams and still keep theres running. A lot of areas rural and city alike have been taped by so many FIRST teams or even just one team that getting additional funding could be a nightmare. I do the the replay a little bit to it would add a whole new element to making a competitive robot.

I think this would be a great game idea for an off season competition with the pink tetra and the 25 second auto mode though.

Really, though, don’t we already have something like this? Every year we see imitations of the most successful drivetrains, and every year we see the teams that created those successes pushing the envelope even further. Look at AndyMark and the kitbot. Are the teams that didn’t have to come up with their own solution as to how to drive around any less inspired? We can’t have it both ways - either better robots lead to better inspiration, or they don’t.

Anyway, I think that the idea that the game is the same isn’t really central to the whole concept. (The person who’s concept it is might disagree.) Imagine being a rookie team next year, and showing up on day 1 with a working drivetrain and arm. You can see up close how someone else screwed up, and how to fix it. A rookie team starts with a year of hardware under their belt, and the help of a more experienced team to move them along. Allowing them to use whatever parts of their mentor team’s robot they want to salvage gives them the chance to be competitive, or at least the chance to see what doesn’t work. I think it’s great.

Another possibility: limiting the build restrictions to teams who won a regional or a robot award last year. Discuss. :slight_smile:

Teams shouldn’t be required to create new teams (or do other GP things). They should (and most do) do it out of the love for FIRST and engineering in general.

Oh, jeez, I’ve been sucked into the Wild Idea Zone…

They’re cubes, see, but they are made of PVC pipe, 24 inches on a side. Scoring is done by swimming – oops, that’s the 2007 game – driving up and down ramps to place colored cubes into a horizontal 5x5 grid. You can push the cubes through the grid in either direction, and there is no penalty for pushing another alliances cubes out of the grid.

A tetra in the lowest row of the grid is worth one point, second row is worth 2, etc. The top row, which you will readily see is over eight feet in the air, is worth five points. Bonuses are scored for four or five in a row, vertically, diagonally or horizontally.

I haven’t worked out autonomous goals because of this pounding pain in my temples. I’ll leave it to the more feverish high schoolers among you.

Which areas are we talking about, exactly?

Michigan and California may be overly saturated, but what about the middle of the United States? Nebraska? What about states like Oregon, that have a handful of teams when compared to other areas?

FIRST can still grow in the U.S. I don’t know if it’ll be a good thing or not, but it can regardless.

I like the idea of triple play again, but i dont think some of those rule changes are the best ideas. Why would rookie teams have the advantage? Some rookie teams do outstanding already, they dont need the advantage in build time. When my team was a rookie team, we placed 7th in the Silicon Valley regional, and were not the highest placed rookie team.
Our team already has trouble completing our robot in the allotted build time, as I’m sure other teams do as well. Decreasing this time would just cause more teams to drop out.

I believe that allowing less build time, but still releasing the game 6 weeks before ship date might be a novel idea. I think that many teams would benefit from a restricted schedule for a week or two after the game comes out. This would give teams time to strategize and design, which some teams probably don’t spend enough time on. I like Lucien’s idea, but I also see where Ken Patton is coming from. I think that allowing teams to build a robot after seeing what has worked this past year won’t decrease inspiration though. I believe that teams would strive for perfection on a design and strategy after seeing what has worked. This may give an advantage to teams that had great robots this past year, but I think the great minds at FIRST could find some way to limit duplicate robots (like a mixup of the motors again or a size and weight limit change :rolleyes:).

There are several great ideas in this thread, but I doubt that we will see FIRST replay a game for a second year.

A HUGE problem: how do you enforce the rule that vets can’t build before Jan 30? Before, all that limited the teams was not knowing the game, which happens to be a giant limitation, but now, who says teams can’t start perfecting their robot starting now if they knew that next year would have the same game. It makes no sense and it will never work.

With all due respect, Lucien, this is a terrible idea. Forcing a team to start others will result in a lot of poorly managed teams that probably won’t survive for more than a year or two.

Money is a giant issue for many teams, for example, our team just now has enough of a financial foothold to start thinking about starting new teams. You just can’t start helping others before helping yourself.

Besides, what makes you feel better, creating a team out of sheer love for FIRST or just to be able to start teh build season on time?

my 2 cents.