Worst Scoring System in Years

Every year we think that the FIRST came up with the worst possible scoring system and every year they beat the previous year. Here are the ranks from the Philadelphia regional according to the average match scares. Notice the wide discrepancy between the ranks by scores and ranks by QPs in some of the lower scoring teams. I attached the excel datasheet if anybody wants to check my math.



EDIT - I think that the game on other hand was one of the best, especially the partnership of the human and the robot, and the beacons.

EDIT - As you notice the results of the ranking by different methods were most similar at the extremes, while the middle ranks fluctuated wildly.

EDIT - Please do not take the title of the thread as an insult to FIRST. This was just an attention grabber. I honestly believe that every year FIRST tries its best to make sure we have a great game.

RawScores.xls (38 KB)

RawScores.xls (38 KB)

This game is not defined by points, it is defined by wins.

Your argument is irrelevant.


It is going to be something to say but i love this years scoring system. It simple and lets the stragties stay simlar in the finals. Not saying it the best first can do but it is a huge step foward.


i’d argue the opposite… i feel that this is one of the best scoring systems FIRST has come up with. its easy for any parent or viewer to follow, and i also feel that wins is what determines a dominant robot, not QP’s.

I think that the rank should reflect the overall performance of the team. I do not think that using the definition of the game as the proof that the rank adequately reflects the performance is a good argument.

Consider the following scenario. Team A and Team B both had high scores but team A won by a few points. Team C and Team D both had low scores and team C won by a few points. According to FIRST, Team C should be ranked above team B. I do not consider that fair. The system used by FIRST would have worked had every team played every other team. Unfortunately that is not possible.


P.S. Note that I’m not crying here about the fact that the scoring system was unfair to my team. In fact, we ranked 15 places higher by using FIRST’s system than by using the match scores.


So you are saying that we should favor the attractiveness to spectators over fairness?


I still maintain that a win is a win. It doesnt matter how it happened, or how many points were scored. Generally, barring machines breaking, the better alliance/robot will win.

In previous years, a team could win every single match, but not score a ton of points, but some not so good robots would get paired with real good teams, and then theyd get a ton of points, when they didnt really deserve them, or just score lots of points but not win. Guess who ended up on top? Team #2. Now THAT is unfair.

It all boils down to one thing. It doesnt matter how many points you score, it only matters if you win.


either you don’t understand FIRST’s ranking system, or I’m mis-understanding your post. I’ll assume its the second…

In my mind, if Team B lost consistantly and Team C won consistantly, if only by a few points (therefore creating the above scenerio) then team C definatly deserves to be ranked higher. If this competition were based soley on points, and not wins and losses, i think it would be considerably less exciting, with teams foccussing on the points, as in previous years (i.e. collusion 03, chokehold 02, etc…), instead of the overall game.

well, i guess what i’m trying to say is that this system is both fair and spectator friendly. if you win, then your ranked higher, and if you lose, your ranking drops. its as simple as that.

in no way am i saying that this system is perfect, just that its one of the better FIRST systems. i’m sure that we will be able to find flaws in whatever scoring systems FIRST comes up with in the future, and the “perfect” system will be hard to develope.

overall, i feel that this is a very good scoring system, and it is both fair and spectator friendly.

For reasons stated by others above, I too think that this is the best scoring system in years.

As far as fairness is concerned, the scoring system is fair because every team had the opportunity design their robot and strategy around it. I could only really view it as unfair if they changed it mid way through the build season in a way that would make some designs and strategies much better than others.


I think that the alliance partner is an uncontrolled variable present in both scoring systems; therefore that argument cannot be used. To me scoring points represents performance, while winning represents chance. Hence, I think our argument boils down to what matters, winning or building a robot that can successfully complete the task.


first of all, since points scored is the sum of the points scored by the alliance, it is just as dependent on the ally as winning (notice how the alliance with higher points wins?). secondly, since they rank by wins, then a highly ranked team is probably a very effective one. unlike past years, this system doesn’t punish a defensive strategy.

I second this; you should not be putting down FIRST but yet embracing it to your advantage. Teams that win all of their matches deserver to be ranked the highest

To All:

I totally agree that winning matters. What bothers me is the fact that there are only 8 games that are played. Excluding the variable presented by the alliance partner and assuming that the team scores do not fluctuate much (the data supports that), if the ranking was done by scores than no matter how the teams were paired, the better performing teams would consistently be an top whereas by using the win/lose system the ranks would fluctuate far more. If you look at the table that I compiled, you would notice that the difference in ranks by different methods is huge. One of the statistical methods (which is what we should use in our argument if we were to consider ourselves scientists, as in fir_S_t) that is used to evaluate the validity of the test is the correlation of scores between that test and other tests. In that aspect, the current scoring system would not be considered valid.


I think that anyone who participated in FIRST for four years can be considered a first-a-holic. I totally love the competition and in no way did I mean to put it down.


So… you can’t make everybody happy ALL the time…

FIRST has received feedback over the years, from many sources (including this forum) that teams are sick of “being undefeated, but still seeded low”. This is a viable solution to that problem.

I like the way this system has been integrated. I think it presents an interesting dynamic to the “game”.

I’m a HUGE fan of the new system, and think it is one of the best we’ve seen.
Thank you FIRST!

JVN gives his seal of approval


*Seal may not be valid in all 50 states…

ok, how about this scenerio:

team A has an offensive robot.
team B has a defensive robot.

through out the qualifying matches, team A does poorly, losing every match, but comes out with a avg. score of 25. team B on the other hand, wins every match with a score of 5 pts by, though some ingenous strategy, completly denying its opponents the ability to score.

point based ranking would put team A in the lead.
win based ranking would put team B in the lead.

personally, i think that team B performed better, but the definition of ‘performance’ changes from person to person.

No matter what people wont be happy. We should just go with it for know and talk about it in the FIRST forums they have around the counrty. I personaly belive this is the best scoring system in my 4 years of FIRST.

I agree with Reger that previous scoring systems put defensive teams at a disadvantage, which I agree is totally unfair.

However, I think that some sort of a combination of systems would be far mare accurate at assessing the team’s overall performance. For example a team that wins gets the opponent’s score (to prevent bullying) plus X amount of points for winning. This way the defensive team would still be able to attain good ranks while a team that ends up competing against tough opponents would not end last.


Again, I dont see your argument. How do you define better performing? a team like 365/71 in 2002 would dominate the competition. Guess what, they scored darn near zero points because their strategy was only really good in the eliminations.

I know this isnt 2002, but there are robots that do one thing really well, like blocking the bar, or harrassing other robots, and keeping them from effectively completing their objectives. Neither of these types will score a lot of points, but they can be very good robots, that effectively achieve the game’s challenges, and WIN. This is a competition, points dont matter, theyre only the means to a win.

So, in the NFL, the top team is the team with the best win/loss record. Let’s say that they score on average, 21 points per game, but they go 16-0. Now let’s say the last place team is 8-8, but has scored a total of 600 points, because they blew out inferior opponents multiple times, but lost 8 times. What you’re saying is that even though they lost half their games, they got lots of points, so they should be #1 above an undefeated team, even though they didnt win!

Eugene-what you just described is this year’s system… Adding a constant number of points onto the winning team’s score does nothing but uniformly raise all winning scores, making them look higher than they effectively are.