Week 0 Etiquette

As week 0 competitions approach for teams all over the world, I think it makes sense to start a conversation about how to handle week 0 matches.

I believe the following post rings true for week 0 matches.

Teams are even less ready at week 0 than they are at the practice matches of their first event. Fortunately defensive specialists are likely to be more rare this season than last year… but if you designed your robot to play defense, or want to practice defense during your week 0 event, talk to your opponents and make sure they’re ok with it.


This should be pinned to the top for this whole week leading up to 0


This year especially. While very few teams in the past have even had the opportunity to participate in a week 0 event (you have to build a second bot, or be in districts AND a week 1 event, not to mention be near or host the event) this year you just need to be near or host. It opens the opportunity to many who may have never even thought about going to a week 0 before and have no idea what to expect, or how it might be different from a normal event.

Etiquette #2 (expectations) Don’t expect things to progress quickly or smoothly. Depending on the event, the people running it might be at their official training and may take extra time to discuss things, teams will have trouble connecting to the field, drivers may not understand where they’re supposed to be, or robots might fall apart on the field and the match has to be stopped to clean up. Please, be patient.


I agree with point 2, but don’t understand the first one you got.

We never could build a second bot, and we typically went to week 0 int he past. Why do you think teams need a second? Accidental damage at the event?

Perhaps the definition of “week 0” is misunderstood? I think it’s actually “week -1”, or the weekend before bag day (was).


This has always been referred to as “Week 0”, even though there was a week between it and “Week 1”. In fact, in 2016 the Palmetto Regional had to be the weekend after bag day, aka a week before “Week 1” events normally happen. FIRST officially called that “Week 0.5”.

So, no second robot required for Week 0 events. We have quite a few of them here in MN each year, and we try to go through as many inspections as possible, so teams can find out their problems and fix them before bagging the robot. Just as important now, only teams have more time for fixes without the bag. The downside, however, is fewer teams attending Week 0 events - They’ve pretty much filled up in the past, but now there’s room at most of them for additional teams. I think that means more teams aren’t ready yet, which could be a big problem when events are only a couple of weeks away…


I should go as far to say that this should be a norm for all competitions, but will concede to at least weeks 0-2 competitions.

Edit: I’m referring to practice matches.

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Hard disagree. On official matches, defense is an expected and normal part of gameplay. Week Zero events are not official matches, and are largely for the teams there to work out kinks and get practice before the real thing. The difference in intent is what makes defense at week zeros more questionable.


Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I believe @AJohnson342 was referring to practice matches at all competitions, not normal qualification (or elimination/playoff) matches


Since the OP quoted a post about etiquette during PRACTICE Matches, I thought that it was obvious that my comments were also about PRACTICE Matches.

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In the past (they still do but I’m referring to the past here), Kettering would host a week 0 event for week 1 teams the weekend after bag day with a full field setup, which is what i believe some people are referring to with 2nd robots or being a week 1 team

To a reasonably astute observer?


To a reasonably astute mind reader.



It’s probably worth pointing out that week 0 events typically do not have referees. Any defense being played is not receiving any feedback on whether the defense is actually legal.


It is my personal belief that during practice matches that all aspects of an official match should be explored (offensively & defensively). However, there are teams that are still working out the bugs of simply driving their robot.
That is when it would be gracious for a team to ask the opposing alliance if they are willing to work though some defensive play.
Smashing into a robot during a practice that is barely moving and has questionable code isn’t helpful at all.
I am not saying that defensive plays should be practiced. It is not only helpful for those who are playing defensively, but it helps the opposing team learn how avoid/circumvent defensive plays.
During an official match, I would expect all aspects of play being performed.

Sorry, this became more than my intended line or two.


Nah, we agree about PRACTICE Matches. It wasn’t clear to me that that’s what was being referred to.


My view is… go play the game. Expect others to go play the game as well. I think it’s a little self-serving and elitist to require a team that built a defensive robot to have to get permission from the other teams before playing the game the way they want to play and getting the practice they need to have in order to be successful. If you don’t want a team playing defense against you, then it should be your responsibility to ask them not to, not the other way around.

I welcome anyone that wants to play defense against my team during week-0 or practice matches. We could use the practice, and having experience getting around defense in order to do what we need to do is going to be more valuable than pretending we’ll have a wide open field to play on the whole time.


I think its a little self serving and elitist to play defense during a practice match with out asking.

The reason?

By playing defense in a practice match without asking you are saying that YOUR PRACTICE is more important than MY PRACTICE. You’re saying that you and your team are more important than my team. You’re saying that all the hard work my team put in isn’t as important as all the hard work your team put in. You’re basically giving a giant middle finger to the other teams by not respecting their right to make sure their robot is working as designed.


Nobody is saying you can’t play defense. Just ask the other team. If I’m bringing a work in progress bot to the field, I would appreciate other bots not ramming into it. I don’t think it’s elitist at all to ask to practice in peace.


In the past we have REALLY appreciated teams asking about playing defense ahead of time in week 0/practice matches. Sometimes we are in a great spot to benefit from the practice, other times we need the time to ensure things are working well and are calibrated on the field. Teams are courteous and ask ahead of time (although they are not required to) get a nice big gold start next to their name in my book.