Would there be any reason, on your own volition, to intentionally fail to get an RP (or even throw a match)?

All you need to do to get to pick your first alliance partner from a clear field is to have a strategy of getting the first seed? :sunglasses: I wonder why only one team per event uses this strategy? :thinking:

Seriously, if you throw the match on your own drive for strategic purposes that benefit your own team, it’s not against the rules. Doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself on some DNP lists for it.

Any game will create some incentive for some team to throw a match. Perhaps a team wants to fall farther in the serpentine draft by looking less reliable than they are. Perhaps they don’t want to give a loss to someone they want captaining an alliance with them. Maybe the RP they would earn would cause an alliance partner to seed higher than a team they would rather be picked by.

Intentionally sabotaging an alliance’s chances of winning is unethical. Everyone needs to work together to achieve the objectives of the alliance, which is usually to maximize seeding points in qualification matches. As quals go on and only a couple of teams are left in the hunt for the top seed, some alliance members may not care so much about the match results. But as long as somebody does, every team owes it to their alliance to try as hard as they can. Anything less is shortchanging your partners.


Not exactly what OP was about, but 2 RP > 1 RP. If you’re in a very close matchup and can score significantly faster on the cargo ship than on the rocket ship, by all means give up the rocket ship, and win the match instead. No need to get greedy and try and get the rocket RP along with the win.

The goal should always to do the best for this particular match. If you can get 3 RP for your current alliance, instead of just 2 you should do so. Sandbagging is evil and non GP. So is trying to fix the ranking for your benefit.

However, life is not so black and white. If getting said points or RP carries an significant risk of damaging your ROBOT, and you are likely factoring that into the decision making. In Elims we are all about “drive it like you stole it” as its win or be eliminated. The problem is that nursing a sick ROBOT through quals may look like sandbagging to an outside observer.

Let’s tone things down a notch please

I don’t see anything worth toning down in that specific quoted portion of his statement. The Chief Delphi community and FIRST community as a whole should make it loud and clear that sandbagging is not acceptable behavior.

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I entirely agree with keeping CD civil and not using any profanity, attacking or tearing down anybody. However, I will happily go on the record in stating both I personally and our team are firmly in the sandbagging is evil, inappropriate and non GP camp. While it is not exactly spelled out in C3 & C4, it is against the intent and we are not going to play that way. If you would prefer, replace “evil” with “cheating your alliance, dishonorable, unsportmanlike”.

A team sandbags to alter their ranking, manipulate the rankings of teams they are playing with, or to deceive others to their true potential. To be clear this is completely different than an alliance collectively deciding to “coast” after it is obvious they are going to win a match.

When in a picking position we choose not to work with teams we believe behave in such a manner. Without getting all preachy, we view FRC as being about much more than just winning, and require our students to make decisions accordingly. I believe that the vast majority of teams do the same.


“Unsportsmanlike” is how I would describe this behavior. I agree we should strongly discourage anyone from doing this.

However, my personal definition of “evil” is a solid 2 or 3 levels above “unsportsmanlike”, which makes it a little jarring for me to hear it used in this context. I just feel like it’s not particularly more beneficial to use “evil” over “unsportsmanlike” and it also unnecessarily dilutes the word.

Also keep in mind that it is often difficult to tell who is intentionally sandbagging and who just had a bad match or two. The teams who are best at sandbagging are also probably the ones who aren’t on other teams’ DNP lists.


Do we really need to? Is there anything controversial about that statement?

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I’m curious if many of the newer folks here (OP?) reviewed any of the past discussions of this topic lately? “Search” is your friend.

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
After a certain point dropping more bombs only makes the rubble bounce.

If anyone new to this multi-year debate is interested, there are well organized, passionate arguments in those previous discussions. They will make good(ish) reading.

Spoiler alert: No one point of view carried the day here on CD, and FIRST HQ’s opinion is codified in the rules.


PS: The rules are the rules. Opinions about ethics, spirit, scum, evil, GP, dishonor, whatever, are opinions; and can become insults if they are wielded like facts, instead of as opinions.

I recommend devising and carrying out legal (obey the rules) strategies that maximize your chances to obtain your desired long- and short-term outcomes.