Why no surrogate when team leaves?

In the last match of FIM Muskegon Event one of the teams quit early. It was known that the team left plenty early to ask for a surrogate to fill in. I was surprised that that didn’t happen. The other team didn’t even provide a human player so it was truly 2 vs 3 making a disappointing ending the qualifiers. Is that normal?

Them leaving, while sad, is not normal. It being 2v3 for a bot not being there is. You treat it like it is: They didnt come to the field, so the alliance is a bot down.

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Major key: it was a qualification match. There is no provision for backup teams or surrogates in qualification matches, but there is a provision for emergency replacement drivers. But even that would require the team’s robot to remain at the venue, which may not be an option for the team.


In the nine years I’ve done this I’ve never seen a team leave during qualification matches. We were pretty surprised as we only found out a few minutes before we queued that we’d be down a bot.

It was a disappointing end to what was a pretty good run for us. We had been hoping to build up as many points as possible and losing some help toward that definitely changed the confidence level.

Either way, we just played as normal. Unfortunately that included driving straight into the cargo ship the match before and not having time to recalibrate our cargo pickup. So we couldn’t do much for scoring and just drove around a lot.

We’re still super happy with our performance, but for MSC every point matters and we’d love to have those few we missed out on. I wish we would have known and could have offered help to make it more fun for them, but from what I heard an awful lot of pleading was done before they packed up and left.


I’ve heard of ONE. Extenuating circumstances in that case, I’ll not go into the reasons but very definitely a good reason to not be there.

If the team MIA’s before quals, they’re usually removed from the schedule. If it’s between quals and playoffs, it’s even easier: they don’t get picked, don’t pick, don’t backup. During quals, though? Ugh. That hurts.

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There is no provision for backup teams or surrogates in qualification matches

The game manual talks about surrogates in qualification matches so I guess that’s why I was curious. We played as normal - we were a bot down and it was a bummer. But we went into the queue knowing that we would be a bot down - I thought that that was weird.

Thank you for the responses. It was a good event for us. We are a rookie team and we have learned a LOT. This was our first event and I’m glad to hear that this is a rare occurrence because it was disappointing.

Oh, THAT surrogate.

Those are to make sure that all teams play an even number of matches. Look at your last event’s printed match schedule, somewhere around your third match, and if you come up with some asterisks or odd markings, you’ve found the surrogate teams. It’s always the 3rd match (to make sure there’s something to play for). The surrogate teams make sure that it’s a 3v3, and don’t get anything from the match (except maybe a card if they earn one)–but they also play one match more than everybody else except the other surrogates.


To add on to this, they’re only needed when the number of teams multiplied by the number of matches isn’t evenly divisible by 6. Because otherwise every match wouldn’t be full. So the surrogates are picked randomly, and it’s decided to be their third match. Which just doesn’t count for that teams for the rankings. This is also a reason districts went with 12 matches, as that will never have surrogates.


I remember making a comment to your driver that we were going to have so much space to get around! Wish we could have put up a few more points with you, but it was kind of nice not having to fight for driving lanes.

If you get just a few more points at Forest Hills than you did at Muskegon you’ll be in good shape for States. Hope to see you there!

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Being down an alliance member in quals is normal, just have to push through, we had one team not show up to our competition, and they still stayed on the schedule, also lots of rookies missed matches, as a result our team had 4 matches where we were missing at least one partner, and one of those with both partners missing, we ended up being ranked fourth at the end of quals, but this definitely made it more difficult, it’s just part of the game I guess, still unfortunate nonetheless.

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our team had 4 matches where we were missing at least one partner


Ya definitely higher than normal though, most seasons we usually have 2 matches with no shows per event, this was definitely higher, probably due to the fact its the most rookie/second year teams in our NC district history.

A team at Kettering #2 had to leave early on Friday, so the A\V team played for them

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At one point in playoffs we (4004) didn’t field a bot as we were having connection issues. We were up one match, and wanted to save our timeout until later. We were also confident that our alliance would have a better shot at winning the rubber match and so on if we went 2v3 in that match and showed up the rest of the matches. This strategy turned out well enough as we won the event, and only did so because we had the timeout later. As for in the finals, I’m not sure why there was no surrogate team, but my point is that there is often more than there may seem in decisions like that.

I don’t know who you are referring to as the “A\V” team. But yes, a team did have to leave early, because many of the team members were in the school play. They also had to leave early Saturday, so if they had been selected for playoffs they would have had to regretfully decline.

When non-team members drive a robot for “exceptional circumstances”, the FTA must contact FIRST HQ to get permission. There have been times when teams cannot drive for religious reasons, and HQ gives permission for others to drive.

Last year we had a team leave an event because they didn’t know there were matches printed on the bag page of the schedule.

Hm. If a team left for not a good reason (I can think of several good reasons however) they’d be on my ‘don’t pick’ list for a while. But ‘good reason’ is relative.

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As noted in previous notes, it just falls under the no show rules for the qualifications. I have never seen a team leave once in elims until their alliance gets eliminated (and don’t understand why they would, outside of an emergency for the team).

I see at least 1-2 teams/year leave part way into the first day of their first event, Mainly weeks 1-2 every year for the past 10 years. Almost every time it’s a Rookie team but thankfully ~60-70% of the time they come back.

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You’ll rarely see this happen. It happens when they need a team to step in to make the schedule work. From the moment the schedule is released, the surrogate will be on it. They don’t substitute for teams that aren’t there. It’s confusing if you’ve never seen it happen.

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