Why are there 4 teams per alliance

Hello can someone please explain why there are 4 teams in the alliances at Championships? I know about back up bots at regionals I want to explain to my team the difference at championships.

At champs, it’s “pick your own” backup.

Many regionals don’t have enough teams to make that viable.


They do it this way so alliances have the option of swapping for a “backup” bot, but there’s not the confusion of having to figure out who’s the backup on Einstein.


Thank you

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Yeah it was really dumb with a luck of the draw division finalist I think?

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As other events grow, I’d honestly prefer see the 4 robot alliance be a standard solution across the board. The awkward bit there would potentially be worlds invites but that’s something that can be fixed.

Consider the relative logistics at a regional vs champs.

Having a list of backups would almost require them to move their pits anyway. Otherwise, they’d never really be able to be called in to help. At a minimum, the top two backups would have to be ready. The distance between pits and field is just so much further at champs.

To some extent, champs is about the show. Keeping a team in a limbo state versus allowing them to experience the event isn’t really great. There’s a similar argument at regionals but with the shorter distances, it’s easier to experience the event while also in that limbo state.

FMS has its issues. Technically, Einstein is a different event (as are each of the divisions). If you required a backup on Einstein, there wouldn’t be any robots that exist for this. The solution would have to be forcing the backup into the field of teams on Einstein even if they were never added to the alliance. The feels here would be awkward. “We’re an Einstein team! But, we didn’t have an Einstein alliance.” It’d also be a nightmare to get a team from not Einstein to Einstein at last minute meaning they’d already be pulled down anyway. If this is happening, the alliance might as well start at four teams.

I’d wager there will come a day when regionals also have four team alliances just to simplify things (eliminates the entire need for backups and rules around backups, has only one set of alliance rules across the season, etc). But for now, it’s solving a number of issues at the larger event.

Mostly because it is a clean way to determine who a backup robot will be. In retrospect all the systems before the 4 team alliance were ridiculous.

On the Importance of the Backup Teams - #11 by Joe_Ross

FiM manages it. The backup bot list from each field follows the alliance to 'FiM-Stein".

I’d like it even for districts, with smaller team counts. It sure would save some wear and tear on the referee who is tasked with getting the backup list. But there’s the danger that in small events, someone might have to leave early or doesn’t have a working robot, so there aren’t enough robots left to form 4-team alliances.

I’d rather not have it with small team counts. In a 25 team event, you currently get 8 alliances where 24 teams all play at least 2 matches. In 4 team alliances, you’d only get 6 alliances who are playing and 6 more teams that don’t get to play or play less.

Then there could be a distinction in the manual for ≥32- and <32-team events. The former could use 4-team alliances, the latter could use the current backup rules.

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I would bump that number higher.

It is a near-certainty, particularly with a smaller event, that at least two robots will be non-functional enough that they’ll decline and go home. (Or otherwise be unavailable.)

I’d call it 35 teams as the cutoff.

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As someone who has sat waiting behind the curtain as the 1 backup bot on the field at champs and is never called I can verify it’s not a lot of fun.


I don’t see it as a backup bot (though many do), I see it as another option to play in a match if we need to.


Yes. I’ve volunteered at a 31 robot event where I had trouble confirming two backup robots. Fortunately we didn’t need more.

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