Wildcard Bonanza at Aerospace Valley Regional?

Week 5 of competitions is bringing us the Aerospace Valley Regional in California this Weekend!

I noticed when scoping out the competition that there’s huge potential for a lot of wild cards to be generated at Aerospace due to a few factors.

Looking at the top 7 teams on Statbotics by EPA, 5 out of 7 are already qualified for Houston:

  • 4414 is coming off back to back wins at Port H and Ventura

  • 9084 won the Rookie All-star Award also at Ventura. They are also the only Rookie team competing at Aerospace so no RAS award will be given.

  • 2659 clinched a win at Arizona East

  • 4415 won Orange County

  • 3476 captained the finalist alliance at Orange County securing them a Wild Card

All of this culminates in an extremely high possibility of the entire finalist alliance qualifying for World’s because of Wild Cards. I can’t wait for the spicy elims bracket :fire:

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This helps make the case that all events should advance the same fixed number of teams. It’s possible that six of these seven teams make up the entire winner and finalist alliance, which would burn slots.

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Yeah there was three unused wildcards and two were at one event last week! They’ll get used by the waitlist teams.

Seven Rivers is close to this too. Seven teams pre-qualified, including 4 of the top 6 on statbotics (111, 4607, 2338, 2481).

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Central IL had 4 district teams, 1 prior Chairman’s winner, and 1 prior winner in a field of 32, so going in almost 20% of the field was going to generate wild cards. Pretty crazy for a week 3 event.

Plus there were no rookies, so any RAS worlds qualification was automatically skipped over.

4419 is ranked 8th on statbotics and just qualifed at San Diego Regional. They were greyt!

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Wildcards are a patch, a salve. At some point it could be better to evolve into a system where all teams in a given area compete for and contribute to a fixed allotment for advancement in a universal progression across the season of events.

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So that’s 6 out of the top 8. That’s crazy.

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Maybe when I’m all grown up working for VirtuousNotEvil Inc. in California they’ll have districts. Or maybe they’ll have wilder cards. Who knows! :​D

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A page could be taken from the FIRST Tech Challenge Game Manual where they go through a whopping 52 qualifications to fill “wildcard” positions. Maybe something like this for a regional event?

*1. Rookie All-Star Award winner*
*2. Winning alliance backup robot (if participating)*
*3. Finalist alliance captain*
*4. Finalist alliance first pick*
*5. Finalist alliance second pick*
*6. Finalist alliance backup robot (if participating)*
7. Woodie Flowers Finalist Award winner
8. Excellence in Engineering Award winner
9. 3rd Place (Loser of M13) Alliance Captain
10. Industrial Design Award winner
11. 3rd Place first pick
12. Gracious Professionalism Award winner
13. 3rd Place second pick
14. Imagery Award winner
15. 3rd Place backup robot (if participating)
16. Rookie Inspiration Award winner
17. Highest Rookie Seed Award
18. Highest Seeded Dean's List Finalist Award winner
19. Remaining Dean's List Finalist Award winner
20. 4th Place (Loser of M12) Alliance Captain
21. Quality Award winner
22. 4th Place Alliance first pick
23. Autonomous Award winner
24. 4th Place Alliance second pick
25. Team Sustainability Award winner
26. 4th Place Alliance backup robot (if participating)
27. Innovation in Control Award
28. Creativity Award
29. Highest seeded Safety All-Star Winner
30. Remaining Safety All-Star Winner
31. Highest ranked alliance eliminated in Round 3 captain 
32. Team Spirit Award
33. Highest ranked Alliance eliminated in Round 3 first pick 
34. Judges Award
35. Highest ranked Alliance eliminated in Round 3 second pick 
36. Highest ranked Alliance eliminated in Round 3 backup robot (if participating)
37. Remaining Alliance eliminated in Round 3 captain
38. Remaining Alliance eliminated in Round 3 first pick
39. Remaining Alliance eliminated in Round 3 second pick
40. Remaining Alliance eliminated in Round 3 backup robot (if participating)
41. Highest ranked alliance eliminated in Round 2 captain 
42. Highest ranked alliance eliminated in Round 2 first pick
43. Highest ranked alliance eliminated in Round 2 second pick
44. Highest ranked alliance eliminated in Round 2 backup robot (if participating)
45. Remaining alliance eliminated in Round 2 captain 
46. Remaining alliance eliminated in Round 2 first pick
47. Remaining alliance eliminated in Round 2 second pick
48. Remaining alliance eliminated in Round 2 backup robot (if participating)
49. Highest seeded unused Backup team
50. 2nd Highest seeded unused Backup team
51. 3rd Highest seeded unused Backup team
52. 4th Highest seeded unused Backup team
53. 5th Highest seeded unused Backup team
54. 6th Highest seeded unused Backup team
55. 7th Highest seeded unused Backup team
56. 8th Highest seeded unused Backup team
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It will be hard to top the Wisconsin Regional for Wild Card chaos. Two wild cards were created since 1732 and 1714 won previous regionals. However…

  1. Rookie All-Star was not awarded as no rookie teams attended the regional.
  2. The Winning Alliance did not call a backup team
  3. 2202 won the FIRST Impact Award at the St. Louis Regional
  4. 1792 won the FIRST Impact Award at the Northern Lights Regional
  5. 2830 would have been awarded a Wild Card, except they won the Wisconsin Regional FIRST Impact Award.
  6. The Finalist Alliance did not call a backup team.

It took ~5 minutes after 2830’s video was played to determine both Wild Cards would be unused.

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Interestingly, 4th place alliance captain is both 20th and 22nd in line to receive a wild card.

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The error is corrected in the final game update after week 6, not because it was used, but because someone finally read the list and noticed. :slightly_smiling_face:

But seriously, I fixed it.

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And I thought the royal family was complicated…

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Would love to generate a wild card for other teams to go to Champs!

Well, this is a bit surprising.

Teams that qualified were:

Impact Award - 3749
Engineering Inspiration - 399
Winners - 4414, 7157, 7042

Of those teams only 4414 had previously qualified, generating a single wildcard for finalist captain 2073 (no rookie all star was awarded*).

This is pretty wild given the strong showing of teams, and the fact that it’s week five and by week two, some events were already sending the backup (4th robot) of the finalist alliance to champs.

It’s great news, regardless, because five more teams are headed to champs!

*It looks like the only rookie team, 9084, won Innovation in Control and won RAS at their previous event (where they earned a wildcard).

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And here I was hoping the double elimination bracket would lead to wildcards cascading down to 3rd and 4th place alliances.

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No see that makes sense. When switching to a system that clearly determines a 3rd and 4th place you would think it is a no brainer to continue the wildcards down that path. You would be wrong and that is why you don’t work for FIRST.

But seriously hopefully this gets implemented in future seasons and they didn’t want to implement it in the first year of double elims out of fear that we wouldn’t be keeping the system and then they would have to “take away” wild card qualifiers.

I am slightly worried since at Rocket City there are 14 of us who can make wild cards, which is nearly 29% of the teams. It is a decent chance that the finals matches will have at least 2 robots on each alliance who already are qualified for Champs.

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To be fair the 1st pick of the finalist team (4415) had already qualified from OCR, and the second pick (6657) had already qualified by winning CVR. So there we no more wild cards to give

Yeah, that’s a good point. Not that there weren’t more wildcards to give (which is also true), but that if more had been generated, they would’ve been burned because the next in line were previously qualified.

What a system.

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