Video of FIRST Official Field Wishlist

If you could ask FIRST to take video of something on the official field what would it be? Here is my list:

  1. More shots from the human player station that actually hit the goal!
  2. “Line drive” shots from the launch pad or further, into the upper hub.
  3. Multiple shots all at the same time from different angles on the field (similar to this clip but zoomed out we have no reference for where these shots are coming from). Both into the upper and lower hub.
  4. Any way someone can get a ball to bounce out of either of the goals. So far we have 0 footage of a ball bouncing out of the upper hub and only 1 shot hitting the chain and bouncing out of the lower hub.

The goal here is to get an idea of how shots will actually play on the real field. Building an official Hub/Field is out of reach for the VAST majority of teams. Even the AM unofficial version have sold out quickly and likely won’t be delivered for a while. This will help level the playing field and reduce “surprise” differences between the at home and official field elements.

I have no control over what FIRST does or if this goes anywhere. My hope is that if more people feel the same way I do and make that known we might get some additional footage to learn from.

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First stopped allowing teams onto the field pre-covid as well, which is objectively one of the most boneheaded moves in recent memory. The justification being preventing an unfair advantage for local teams…something I’d gladly let them continue to have. Those team-filmed field tour videos always pointed out all the weird edges, or poorly designed game piece loading stations.

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I agree I miss the clips of people just interacting with stuff to show it is is made and moves.

If FIRST was worried about the “unfair advantage” it gives local teams, a statement I think is false, well I have 3 solutions (all ignoring Covid for obvious reasons):

  1. Let us vote on if we think this is an advantage or we are ok with it for tangential benefits. Lead mentor contact 1 gets to vote at the start of each season, after they pay, if they would like to have the local kick off teams enter the field. Nonlocals far out number locals and it is 1 team 1 vote. This prevents large teams from having more power than small teams. If the majority of teams want them to be able to interact with the field then let them.

  2. This can be combined with 1 or separate. Limit kick off attendance to only New England teams, and limit them to once per X years. New England being a district limits this “advantage” to a specific area and a relatively self contained advancement structure. Districts by design can not lead to qualification at a single event so after a kickoff teams first event their “advantage” is gone since more teams have interacted with the field. I know District teams can compete at regionals, NE teams are currently registered for my teams week 1 event, but limiting to NE does allow for less “advantage” since a high resource team can’t fly from across the country to attend kick off.

  3. Make this “advantage” a competition. Teams apply in preseason with an action plan and video submission for the right to be the “official” field enter-er. Basically lay out who they are, how many people they will send, the types of equipment they will have, and then provide a video of them showing the type of stuff they will do using the previous years field (slide game pieces on the floor/scoring area, shake the feeder station, show how rigid or flexible something is, etc.). To limit the same team constantly doing it you can once again put the “can only do it once every X number of years” rule I had in point 2. You can either make this have a stipend (FIRST gives the team $X to help get to New Hampshire) or make it at cost to the teams. Teams will have a few hours after kickoff to get footage, and must present it publicly by X date. Once again same voting system as I outlined in point 1 except it is now 1 team who gets this “advantage” and they are documenting as much as possible for everyone else to see.

Just a few easy ways to deal with the apparent “advantage”.

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I agree with both of these points that this may be a valid solution if FIRST deems interaction videos too much work.

We really need something though! This under-informed guess what it will be like at competition is needless given how easy it is to take video. I am not asking for something with pristine production value we just need something.

Let me see a closeup of the lower ball return.

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I agree that this year’s field operation videos were lacking, and the (totally justified) filming without spectators prevented additional interesting angles from being circulated.

If FIRST wants to maintain order at Kickoff, surely there are some Dean’s List winners that are in their first couple years of college somewhere in New England that could stand in and provide that team perspective. Keep the field up a little longer on Saturday after the reveal, vlog the heck out of it, release those videos in the early part of Week 1, and you didn’t even have to put anyone new under NDA.

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