Why is "defense" allowed in FRC?


I’ve logged in many times to CD late in the day to find hot button issues causing quite a stir but this might be the first time I’ve seen a Defense controversy


It’s not stupid–it’s just about thinking about something differently. It illustrates the point to FredK–that “defense” may be something quite different than what one thinks of on first blush. This concept often holds for other matters that we may think we understand on initial impression, but then on further examination we find its quite different.


Bowling leagues, like golf pairs, and even track and swim teams, are basically assemblages of individual efforts, so it’s hard to consider them “team” sports. But as a counter example, cross country can include defensive moves. I’ve blocked out opponents so that my teammates can gain an advantage.


Really?!?! if there was no defense the top teams in the world would never be beaten


Yeah! Just look at how many wins they got!


Your students are “wrong” in the context of FRC. The challenge is for you to field the best robot your team is capable of. As it has pointed out many times, almost all the games are specifically designed to have a role for good defensive robots, as it is simpler to build a great defensive robot, than an offensive one. It also makes the games much much more interesting to play, and to watch, which is in complete alignment with First’s primary mission to promote STEM.

Having your program place a greater emphasis on aspects other than on field performance is perfectly reasonable. However, trying to frame a decision to not participate in what is effectively half the game as an ethics issue is just silly. Personally I think as a mentor you are doing them a disservice if you are not continuing to try and and show them why their viewpoint is wrong, in the context of FRC. It is a competition, there are winners and losers. There are very clearly defined constraints on how you can compete and how you can win.


well unfortunately, i can not gather enough information about his team to make such a claim this time around. But based on the question if i was to assume i would assume not many.


Why look at defense as a negative thing when you can look at it as an added design challenge? Incorporate methods of avoiding defense played against you into your robot design. Thats how most other teams look at it.


You may be doing your students a disservice by allowing them to believe in a utopia where engineering does not have to be defensive. I’ve worked in large corporate engineering environments for 35 years and a common theme on every project is that you have to plan to have other internal or external forces conspire against your development efforts (unions will go on strike, parts vendors will end-of-life your critical component, some other company will buy up every single resistor from every single vendor, your chief developer will have a serious motorcycle accident).
Your product also needs to defend against real-world antagonists (someone will find a way to penetrate the defenses in your product, the world will invent a new kind of idiot). Defensive engineering is an invaluable skill. Offensive engineering goes hand in hand with this as well. How can you design a good product if you’re not considering the many ways that the real world can make your product fail?


as far as i am aware there are rules against doing things like that (last year with the null zone). but even with that the robot should be designed to counter defense.


Actually, there are examples of defense in bowling tournaments. There is a professional bowler that would crinkle his plastic bottle when his opponent was on the approach.


The correct way to distract your bowling opponent is with an air horn.




College Hoops is only a fun game to watch because of the defense. Otherwise it would be just a shooting contest.

Its really not about taking someone down, its about two alliances full of kids battling wits, talents, and strategies to make them for their excel at their goal.

Without any defense, we would soon see completely automated robots that can ace all the tasks, just we often see in FTC. What would be the fun in watching that?



Why are people still quoting FredK and dragging this thread out? The horse is dead.


Without it FiM wouldn’t exist.


Gotta virtue signal somewhere


Kinda like Recycle Rush?




In 2014 we had pneumatics tanks ripped off and more - and more with no penalties allotted - we added 16 lbs of shielding over the course of the year that year.
At the end - I can say the two teams that were responsible, are among our two greatest friends - and that at the end of 2014 it was the greatest game we have seen (2013 may be the best over the full course of the year)
Defense keeps you honest - makes the challenge that much more interesting and rewarding - to hide behind a ref skirts for penalties is not the way to go. design for robustness - even still we as a team always have gone for an offense first strategy - but love that defense exists.

Old time hockey.