What do you guys think a scouting form needs to have?

Team started working on a form, wondering what is needed on the scouting form?


I think you need the following to start: Pit scouting. Functionality of each robot. How many balls do they start with. What can they do in auton. How much do they weigh? Can they climb? Can the read colors and spin the wheel? What you really are looking for in scouting, is your alliance partners strength and weaknesses, but most importantly what attributes of their robot can best be matched with alliance partners to win the match. Can they play defense? How do the drive?

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I think most of that can be obtained through normal scouting, and unless you don’t plan on doing normal scouting, asking anything that can be easily answered through match scouting is a waste of your and the teams you’re scouting’s time. (Weight of the robot is a good idea though. It’ll help with planning balancing routines if they can climb).


Think of all of the things robots can do in a match and collect those. I know this sounds simple, but the list might be longer than expected. Of course, consider all of the possible scoring conditions. During a match, though, robots could play defense, they could get disabled, etc. If a team does anything which may be relevant to how they will play in a future match, it’s worth noting if you can accommodate it on your form.

To some extent, it’s a matter of team preference - generally speaking, you only want to scout as much data as you’re actually going to use, but that varies from team to team.

For match scouting, at least, I would (at an absolute bare minimum) scout the number of power cells, control panel manipulation, and climbing.


Keep in mind what you are looking for is actual in game performance. A “scouting form” is actually a terrible idea. What the team does in game is a good idea.

Your scouts are not census takers…they should be using their own notes on robot performance from the stands, select the key metrics for your scouting group and assign each one robot per game, make them responsible and important, they are tracking what needs tracked no more no less.
I often create a short hand line that tells the story of that robot in game. Using game clock moments.

For PIT visits the Drive lead and The strategy lead will have a code book , the secret symbols are for strategic notes from the in stand scouting. they are so teams if they look have no idea what that book says about them . It tells the story from the stands.

Teams will lie, best to use you own eyes and only track what you need to form an event winning alliance and along the way collect ranking points. You need info to beat your foes especially in eliminations.


Or to be kind and gentle…

Teams are optimistic.


One factor that is often over looked is how well the drive team works with their alliance. If in qualification matches you are with a team that does not work well with you it should be something to keep in mind when making eliminations decisions.

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Can I ask why? We straight up tell other teams what our scouting says about them straight up so they can understand where we’re coming from when we pitch a match strategy, and it usually is pretty good at getting teams onboard with our ideal strategy. If its a purely data driven report, what are they gonna do? Be upset at you for taking data? You’re honestly not gaining a competitive advantage from other teams knowing what your scouts think about them.


Maybe the two of us have a different definition of the word “form” but I’m not sure why you think that a scouting form is a categorically “terrible idea.” A form can (and should!) collect quantitative and qualitative notes on a team. Without any numbers, you’re basing your “data” on perceptions and opinions of the scouts. Perhaps one scout is focused too much on game pieces that they neglect to take any notes on a team’s ability to play defense or to climb. Having a form allows for the scouts to see all of the potential things that are noteworthy, and take notes accordingly.

In my opinion, scouting should be a guided note taking process. The leader of the scouts/strategy should define some criteria and allow the scouts to take notes within that. Not sure why a “scouting form” is “terrible” in this context. And, how it is even different from collecting “what the team does.”

I read the part below the quoted portion and am confused what it means - not leaving it out intentionally to obscure your meaning, just don’t get it.

I agree with @Anthony_Galea on this. If you’re trying to establish a match strategy, you can and should be able to tell the team “hey, we noticed you have trouble when you’re shooting for the outer goal, why not stick to the inner? (or play defense or whatever).”

Data is not proprietary so when teams don’t like to share it, I don’t get it. Obviously the hard work of the team members to collect it should not simply be given away to other teams if they are too lazy to collect their own, but if there’s a valid reason to share it (such as if they are your alliance partner or they do not have the resources to scout on their own and asked nicely), why hide it?

If your scouts are taking notes which are mean (not just honest), there’s a major issue. There is a massive difference between “ineffective shooter, looks like it might fall off of the robot if driving too fast” and “awful at scoring, everything is sketchy DNP DNP DNP.”

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@jaredhk @Anthony_Galea The reason for secret coding is is avoid hard feelings. Also, to identify if what they are optimistically saying in the pits matches our observations.

Of course for game planning , some of our scouting is shared to help formulate an overall alliance strategy. The notes are completely deciphered on our pick list of 28 deep. This is often sought after by high ranked teams , or used by us as a high ranked team…either way win/win.

What do your notes say that you’re worried about the team getting hard feelings? If the team is getting hard feelings, don’t you think that speaks more to your notes than that team?

it avoids this entirely , non-factor. We don’t take “mean” notes its all team performance that we see.

If you don’t take mean notes, teams won’t have hard feelings.


They don’t in fact they think its cool we track

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In addition, I’ve found it’s more likely you’ll have hard feelings if you just show up and tell teams what to do without a productive conversation around the data, especially if you’re showing a lack of confidence in a team’s abilities. I know we’ve had some sour tastes left in our mouth in the past because a team came up to us and said “you’re playing defense” without showing us data saying why, when our data had shown that it made 0 sense for us to be playing defense.


@boltman can you please explain why you write in symbols, then, if teams don’t have hard feelings reading your notes. I’m so lost on this thread.

I did already.

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I’m going to be honest here, no high ranked teams are going to be looking to steal your data. If they’re good enough to be high ranked, they’ll either have their own scouting team set up for their own data, or they’ll honestly scramble at the last minute and most likely use OPR or standings rankings. Nobody is going to think: “Hey let’s steal team ####'s data!”


Alright, time to leave the thread. If someone says that they do not understand something you said, and your response is that you already explained it (without even quoting the part where you apparently did already answer), you’re clearly not interested in having a productive conversation.