Alliances - unofficial answer

  • > Alliances 03-16-2016, 06:23 PM
    After a great first season with VEX IQ we made it to the UK Nationals. It became apparent that the alliance pairing is a make or break and seems to carry the heaviest weighting. Our teams were not going to win but in driver skills were just outside top 10 and in programming were in the top 5. Overall they were ranked #26.
    Four games in alliances were added with the lowest scoring round discarded. in two of those the the alliance teams failed to start due to a fault. In others we were paired with low ranked teams.
    I may have misunderstood but this seems to place a big weighting on what is essentially a random pairing. 1 round of scores for driver skills and 1 for programming versus 3 rounds of added scores for alliances.
    Is this typical of every Vex IQ competition challenge?
    Do refs not have discretion to allow a restart in the case of a non-starter?
    This seems to be an unfair weighting of scores, would you agree?
I’m glad you enjoyed your first season in VEX IQ, it has been a belter! I’d like to give you an unofficial (i.e. not VEX or RECF) answer to your question on Alliances.

One score in every 4 Teamwork Challenge qualification matches being discard is part of the rules and is something that is automatically applied by the Tournament Manager software. This function helps to even things out a bit over the course of a tournament.
In your case, you scored 48, 52, 48, 28, 29, 33 and 21. The 21 was discarded giving you a total of 238 in qualification. This is a good example of how it helps to even things out because your 3 highest scores were with teams ranked in the top 20 and the four lowest were with teams ranked in the bottom 20. However, one of these was discarded so your qualification matches were actually played 50/50 with top and bottom ranked teams.

In our experience, the Alliance pairing system in the VIQC seems to work very well on the whole and it takes a lot of the stress out of the Alliance selection process used in VRC which can be very tough on younger students. This is something that I have seen come up on the forum a couple of times from a few teams around the world but I do not believe this is something that we will see change.

Regarding restarting of matches, at UK Nationals, 2 matches started every 2 minutes. Unfortunately, with a schedule that tight, matches do need to start on time and teams are very good at adapting to this. Part of the challenge of the competition is arriving at the field on time and ready to go.

I hope you really enjoyed the competition despite these difficulties and we hope to see you competing again next year!