Was play this year too aggresive?

Okay… there has been a ton of debate.
I want to get a better feel for public opinion.

How does everyone feel about this year’s play, and the way things were called?

I think that agressive play makes the game more exciting. Look at our matches where people tried to prevent us from catching the balls. It made it much more fun than just camping out and doing nothing.

Though I would like the refs to be more consistant, it is almost impossiable because everybody is differant and each situation is differant.

I perfer agressive play in the games. Look at the second match of the finals. That was amazing when 71 fell right before hooking onto the bar, all those things make me excided about the competition, and latter makes me think “Why did they do that, was there a design flaw, or was it chance?”

You don’t know how much I agree with you there… This game had a lot of excitement… Although I have to admit… 2 years ago… Zone Zeal… Now there was an exciting game… But I loved the different options this years game had to offer… There were so many different way to end it… I would like to see a game next year that was this exciting… A lot of defense and being agressive to a certain degree…

Zone zeal was an awesome game as well. However I still like this years the best for the same reason that you said. Since there were more variables you had the choice of engaging other robots and playing defence, or trying to accomplish tasks. Or you coudl do both at the same time!

I just posted in another thread about next years game… I don’t know… Maybe we will see something with balls, boxes, and tubes… Who knows… The more options : the more different robots look : the more students think : more stratedgy involve… all those things…

I think the poll also needs an entry for “Damaging, Disabling, or ‘Internal Interference’ aggression”, vs JUST raw aggression. Can you add that?

I have NO problem with mixing it up at a VERY high level, nor even the toppling of a badly balanced robot while trying to displace it from a scoring position.

But as I’ve spoken elsewhere, I fervently wish a cap on aggression aimed at the PERSONAL SPACE of other robots, like jamming mechanism behaviors, excessive forces applied to other bot’s PAYLOAD WIDGETS (vs just the drivetrain), insertions of objects into other machines INTERNAL spaces to interfere with an INTERNAL operation, and acts like pulling out detachable bar hooks from their holders so they can’t be used later.

  • Keith

I totally agree here. Keeping a low cg is part of the design challenge. Now, the only way I differ from your view here is that every robot anywhere on the field at any time has potential to score points (at least later in the match) so an opponent making full use of their “gravity advantage” at any time I believe is fully justified. I do not believe in mechanisms or structures designed for the sole purpose of flipping, but when two unlike CG machines are in contact, one of them is bound to fall over.

As for the game’s aggressiveness, I didn’t see a poll option for “not quite enough aggressiveness” Honestly, I saw so many fragile robots this year that as driver I chose not to engage simpy because I didn’t want parts flying into the audience :D. But seriously though, I could have broken many of the robots I played against but didn’t because I liked the skill and precision features of this game more.

Even though this was a really interesting game with lots of cool mechanisms and objectives, what I like better is robust robots. People seriously need to learn the concept of Industrial design. In 2003, it was a fast paced smash 'em bash 'em game and I loved it. While this year’s game brought about more manipulative machines, 2003 brought more robust machines. 2002 was good but 2003 was better since the field was different levels and different surfaces and the alley and bar. For 2002, I didn’t think just different zones was exciting enough.

Anyway, even though I saw a lot of flimsy robots, 2004 was my most favorite game yet. There was the opportunity for “rough play” it’s just that no one chose to take it.

I’m not sure where we disagree here… What are you referring to?

I for instance fully believe a robot on the bar SQUATTING on any opponent dumb enough to try to acquire from underneath it is a perfectly legitimate defense of the bar. :smiley: That wouldn’t violate my concept of “personal space intrusion”. I’m more concerned with spearing and the like.

  • Keith

But isn’t there a point where there becomes too much defense for the game? I guess on our team we came to the conclusion that it would be best to maximize points and build a robust machine–beating up on other robots wasn’t really a priority. We did count out an external ball storage system because we were afraid of it getting smashed up (and also for other reasons like driving difficulty) but when teams are scoring like 15 to 10 points I don’t think that’s cool.

I guess part of my view comes from the fact that it is such a rush to totally stuff a goal to the brim and then cap it and get 160 points from a goal…and the fact that defense doesn’t score any points.

The way we generally approached it was to do what we did…small balls and cap…and then play defense afterwards, keeping them from decapping us or maybe trying to de-hang people.

I’m not sure what to think. I don’t think it’s right to call other robots “flimsy” or compare robots to any given standard. Each team has and will design robots to play the game as they see it necessary. Some teams may choose a complex, multi-function design that may appear “flimsy,” while others mount a drive train on a block of steel and call it a tank.

The point is, everyone will always play the game as they designed their bot to perform. Just because aggretion is a part of one team’s gameplan does not mean it’s required for all teams to play that way. I agree a certain level of robustness is required to compete in FIRST these days, but I don’t want to see the competition become another battlebots or robot wars. I’d rather see bots perform complex tasks and play a game rather than simply bash into each other, especially given that 6 weeks of my blood, sweat, and tears are in that bot. I don’t want to see my hard work bashed up and destroyed at the hands of a more aggresive bot. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be at fault for mounting my electronics in a vulnerable position, but given the nature and intention of FIRST as an organization, I’d rather assume an event to be friendly competition rather than battle to the death.

From what I saw, this years game was far less agressive than last years. I remember many time robots would just slam into each other trying to keep boxes into the scoring zone, and knocking down the stacks with great speed. This year there was none of that, not stacks to knock down, no boxes to slam into. I though the game was awesome, and i can’t wait to see how FIRST can make a better one next year.

You need to be very careful about the distinction between “how the refs call” and “what the rules are”. There is certainly significant room for interpretation in the rules this year, but a referee CANNOT make up his/her own rules, and penalize a team if there is not a rule to back it up. For those who disapproved of the aggressive play this year please make sure you read the rules VERY CAREFULLY before you judge how the matches were called by the refferees.

Additionally, regarding the issue of appropriate or in-appropriate aggressive play in general, several analogies have been made recently in the various threads on this subject. Here’s another … in football, consider a running back heading for the goal line to score a touchdown. The defense is allowed to do almost anything to stop him, with only a few very specific exceptions. One of those is touching/grabbing/pulling on the facemask. This rule uses no judgment of intent, but clearly spells out two different levels of penalty based on the actual occurrence of the violation. If a player gets a leg broken, a concussion, or even worse, there is no penalty called just because the player is “damaged”. The penalties are called for rules VIOLATIONS. I am very much in favor of standardized permanent year-to-year rules that would be written this way for our competitions. However a set of rules like this would have to be somewhat experience based, and grow to accommodate specific situations as they arise.

The leaders of FIRST feel, and I agree, that our game needs to be attractive to spectators. The aggressive play on the field gives us that, and without compromising our foundation of Gracious Professionalism, which I feel is brilliantly demonstrated by almost all teams as soon as the match is over, when you are congratulating your opponent and offering to help repair a damaged robot, or other assistance as needed.

If we were to eliminate aggressive play then I am afraid we would remove most of the excitement of these games for the spectators as well as the participants. We could just all go do FLL, or a game more like 2001’s (4 vs. 0), but it is my understanding that most teams didn’t like that game - which is why we went back to a 2 on 2 competition format.

Well that’s my $.02 (or more like $1.02 – sorry).
Thanks to all the wonderful individuals who help make FIRST what it is. This was a GREAT year – now on to some great post-season tournaments! (see you at IRI July 9-10)

edited to correct prior year’s game reference

In my opinion there was some aggressive play and I can recall quite a few moments when I wished the refs would have stepped up and made the calls but all-in-all I think this years game was excellent.

There is another reason I believe that there are some complaints about the agressive play. When in the brainstorming and design phase, I believe that teams decided that thier robot would not need to be as strong as last year. This statement was said in our design phase many times. We decided that game play count easily get agressive or rough, and that we should assume that in the heat of the game, people will do anything allowed be the rules to win a match. As Stu Bloom stated, there is a difference between what you want to call, and what the Referees can actually call.

ALWAYS, build a robot that can put up with 2-5 weekends of bashing and slamming, if it cannot, if will fail. Be conscious of this during design. It would be terrible break in the finals of the Championship at Atlanta next year, just because of unpredicted collisions.

LOL i love it… :smiley:

I like how aggressive and defensive get lumped together…just because you are aggressive doesn’t mean you are defensive…and vice versa.
I can sit in your way and be defensive without hitting you…was wildstang from 2003 aggressive? I don’t think so…but they were a very defensive minded robot.

what 716 (i think that is the #) did to beatty in archimedes was extremely aggressive, but they lacked the power to be effective enough

I guess my whole point is…in this poll it kind lumps the two ideas together, but I disagree with that strongly…there is a difference between aggressive and defensive behavior…

Think back to the year of Co-Opertition in 2001. Four teams all working together. Great in concept but not the most exciting thing to watch. I’d rather watch graciously aggresive interaction among robots than a purely offensive team of four robots.

I thought the interaction was vigorous and justifiable. I’m sure there were acts of agression that were unwarranted and went unpunished but that’s just the nature of the beast. Pit four robots in head-to-head competition and you’re going to have some serious hits.

I thought this year’s game was one of the best I’ve seen since joining our team 5 years ago. I agree that Zone Zeal was also very exciting but didn’t have the multitude of variables that FIRST Frenzy did.

Just my 2 deflated cents.


I don’t think this year’s game was too aggresive. I think it was a nice balance of offence and defence especially in the finals of the competitions. The matches had a lot of offence for the first 3/4ths of the match and then when teams were going to hang and cap, thats when the defence kicked in and the team with the lesser advantage would do whatever they could to try and pull it off. I didn’t see too many times when I felt the refs did a bad job of calling calls. There was one call in a blue moon that I wished they would have said something, but that happens in all sports and we just move on. There isn’t a whole lot that can be done about a bad call. Comparing this game with last years game, last year’s game definatly lacked as far as offence goes. It was 90% defense. The good mix of offense and defense is what made this game what it is.

What I rememeber mostly form this year’s competition was this:
That being said, that was part of the competition and our troubles were due to a flaw in our design therefore we had no one to be upset with but ourselves. If you don’t like physical play build a stronger robot.

tell me what you think about this match… after the match the driver of the team had came to us about the match and asked if he could help or his team could do anything.


i had no problem after the match but during the match i had a problem… it’s all ok to me now and all but i just want to no others opinions…