Update #20

So, Who’s seen Rule Update #20?
The GDC met in an emergency teleconference meeting last night. They would like to remind teams of the original intent of Breakaway. Breakaway is a game designed with the idea of high mobility and interaction. For this reason, blocking the tunnel is now considered a form of pinning, as it restricts some teams to only one zone. A team may not block a tunnel for more than five seconds during regular gameplay. This rule does not apply during the finale.
And remember, teams, this update was published April 1, April Fools Day.
[the MC announced this during opening ceremonies at the Michigan State Championship today. It was an April Fools joke, obviously in direct response to 469’s robot, possibly the best in the world.]

So… The fact that it is April 1st and the fact that you have no link attached to this post… Makes me think this isn’t true. :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: Sorry to burst your fun. A quick check, no team update today. I get the feeling that they didn’t do one today for this very reason.

Oh wow I forgot to say what actually happened at the end. Yes it was an April Fools joke. The MC at the Michigan State Championship announced it this afternoon during opening ceremonies.

That is awesome! :smiley: My math teacher assigned a whole bunch of homework today and said it was due by the end of the hour. About 10 minutes later he goes “Oh, have I said April Fools yet? It’s all due on Monday” Here we thought he was going to lighten our work load… :yikes:

Ummm… don’t know about you, but in Canada Monday is a holiday.

So’s Friday, for that matter.

Maybe you’re still “being had”?


I was sent a text today saying “Blocking a tunnel is now illegal! No 469!” I actually believed it for a few seconds :stuck_out_tongue: (then a little bell went off in my mind of “wait, I’d have hundreds of astonished tweets in my inbox about this…no way.” The fact that it’s April Fools day didn’t even register in my mind o.O)

We tricked our mechanical leader and two of our mentors by telling them that we blew out our cRIO this morning. They were very mad when they arrived this afternoon.

When I heard this, I was spazzing out right next to the field. Had half the stadium laughing at me…

Next time, I’ll make sure to remember it was April Fools Day ;).


Maybe so… But I do know that I have school tomorrow… If only I had a calender…

See, we have no school tomarrow. Or Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or Thursday. Or Friday.
Spring Break.

I was talking to a team that walked out of opening ceremonies after that announcement was made and was now much less nervous about their match against 469…I had to tell them it was an April Fool’s joke…

Maybe this is just a grumpy old person speaking but I felt that even joking about this was inappropriate. 469 is putting up with a lot of flak this year. They have been called unfair, cheaters, and un-gp. They have endured constant discussion of how FIRST should make their 6 weeks of hard work illegal. They have been pretty good sports about it. You know what, they’ve been better than I would be. And better than most people I see on here would probably handle it.

It needs to stop.

469 took a risk. Just like in business, you can’t profit unless you risk something. 469 is being rewarded for taking a tremendous risk.

In short, I am NOT amused by this joke at all. I think it is in bad taste and just generally disrespectful to a team that has wowed me ever since my first year in FRC.

Maybe it is just me, but I find this very humorous. Yes, 469 made an AMAZING robot this year; I personally applaud them! I love the fact that they took the risk to make such an amazing robot. I know that if I was them, I would at the same way they have. Heck, I would just sit back and let people yell about me. What do I care? It’s not like what they think really matters all that much.

Why can we not joke about that which is serious? I do, it always helps to lighten the mood. :smiley:

Simple, because EVERY year whatever teams that do well are belittled and insulted because they are successful. Personally I don’t want my students getting the impression that being great means you will be picked on and insulted. Every year, lately it has been bashing 217 or 1114 or 67 or [team du jour] All these teams did was do well. Should we really be insulting them for it? I don’t CARE how they react, I think by insulting them and hoping FIRST makes rules against them you are celebrating mediocrity and that is WRONG.

I know this was a joke, I know that FIRST hasn’t bowed to public pressure. I am more concerned by the thought that we as a community have put these robots and this stupid little competition so high that we have forgotten what FIRST is about. It isn’t about winning and losing, it is about showing students that STEM can be fun. Or, to say it as someone I know says about American FRC, “It is to make America play 20 years of catch up with the rest of the world” We do that by out of the box thinking, 469 EXEMPLIFIED that this year. Instead of being praised they are being called cheaters. That disgusts me.

When I heard about this, I also felt it was a little bit in bad taste and a bit disrespectful to 469. As Andrew said, they’ve had to endure a lot of unwarranted criticism this season, they could have done without this “joke.” Also, I’m pretty sure Andrew and I are thinking of the same person from 469 when we say that people on the team were insulted by this.

I too realize it was a joke, but 469 has been through enough this season. Cut them some slack.


Edit: I commend 469 for being rock solid throughout this season by not caving into criticism. You guys rock.

The aspect of the joke that nobody has seemed to notice is that it pokes fun at the GDC and the uncertainty surrounding their decision making/ideas for Breakaway. They already made a radical change to the rules regarding seeding, so the plausibility of them making another big “update” to the rules with something like this adds to the humor. (And I feel remarkably stodgy analyzing a joke like this. . .)

Andrew, nobody but you can make you feel insulted. The same goes for every single other person and team. This is an excellent opportunity for you to teach your students about having thick skin and not taking things personally. It’s not just FIRST where successful teams take flack; look at how people hate Duke basketball or the New York Yankees. Instead of getting upset over some harmless humor, use this as a learning opportunity.

When someone cheers because your robot design you spent 6 weeks building and 5 weeks tweaking has been made illegal let me know how you feel. Because that was what was done today.

I think that crowd reaction to the joke is more indicative of the incorrect attitude that Andrew is pointing out, more so than the spirit of the joke itself. While I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t think that the MC/whoever hatched the April Fool’s joke would put it out there publicly with the intent of inciting a mass negative reaction against 469 by people drinking that Haterade. As WWE commentator JBL used to say, borrowing football imagery, “If you don’t want T.O. to dance in the end zone, don’t let him score.” I don’t think that a mass cheer in response to that April Fool was an appropriate reaction at all. I would expect that reaction from, say, the aunts and uncles of team members in the bleachers who have a lack of understanding of the process and spirit of building a robot and competing, and who think it must be wrong that little Johnny’s robot is getting owned out there.

For most of the last 9 seasons, do my kids look at the consistently rock-solid teams who have more professional engineer mentors than we have total people involved with our team with more than a hint of jealousy? Hell yeah they do. But I try to turn that into motivation for them, rather than permitting 9 years of bitterness to turn into learned helplessness and settling for, if not celebrating, mediocrity.

As far as what Jack said about having a thick skin, I do think that teams who have had rule changes, real non-fooling ones, added in subsequent years pretty apparently in reaction to some ingenious, highly advantageous thing they did, could and should wear it like a badge of honor. The same could be said for those few excellent teams who build a robot that plays the game so commandingly that they inspire haters. But, as you mentioned the Yankees, not everyone, especially high school kids, can be Jeter-like in their ability to withstand if not relish being hated by the opposing fans.

You know how I’d feel about those people cheering? “What a bunch of jerks.” You how I’d react if someone rigged a bucket of water to dump on me as an April Fools prank? “What a jerk.” In either case, the best idea is to shrug it off. Having thick skin does not mean being insulted by one thing but not another. A big part of life is learning to roll with the punches (i.e. all of them), not roll with the little ones and get hurt by the big ones. Sure, the cheering when your robot has been declared illegal can be quite hurtful, but how you react to it is up to you. What an opportunity for maturity growth and building character!

Those individuals who cheered at 469’s apparent misfortune were clearly acting in a distasteful fashion far removed from any semblance of gracious professionalism. But that does not mean we cannot make these kind of jokes. We cannot pussyfoot around around potentially sensitive topics or jokes because a few bad apples might sour the fun. FIRST is about changing the culture, for crying out loud! We can never completely eliminate those who belittle us and drag us down, but we can build ourselves up to deal with them.

pschre is absolutely right when he brought up that high schoolers are not exactly quite prepared to deal with derision and hate. But then again, we’re in a competition where we have high schoolers, not professional engineers, build and program robots! We’re asking a lot out of the students technically, and they grow and learn because of it. Simultaneously when we’re asking students to live up to the standards of gracious professionalism, is it too much to ask them to grow and develop in other ways?

tl;dr version: Why silence the rude ones and naysayers when you could have the students learn to deal with them?

This little april fools joke goes against every thing FIRST is about, gracious professionalism. Not only was the MC un-gp but everyone in the stands who cheered only because they knew that 469 was now illegal.