Wow… The more I think about this idea, the more I like it. A 30 min break would allow people to make fairly intricate repairs on their robot if need be, eat lunch in a flexible manner, do some pit-to-pit scouting/robot “selling,” etc.
So long as it doesn’t cause fewer matches in a tournament, I’d be all for 60min play/30 min break schedules.
You say that, but it’s not as fun as you would think. We had a competition like that today, with matches then a break and more matches. Our robot was working correctly, we had our alliance partners picked from 5 minutes of walking in the door, and it basically led to a lot of sitting around. If the competition had run straight through, we could have been done by 1 or 2 pm. Instead, we had 3 hours of down-time and finished at 4:30.
This could be great early in the season. But it’s February. I’ve been to 4 or 5 competitions already. I know who I want on my alliance. At this point, I know what the ranking should be based on the teams at the competition. My robot is done breaking, the code is nearly perfect, and there’s nothing else to do. Having a ton of downtime just lets me charge and replace batteries. Which is fine, I guess. It’s just less than ideal.
So my vote would be run it straight through and get people home. No sense in keeping teams there that could be finished early.
Oh… I was under the impression that both tournaments would take the same amount of time, but the 30min break came from compressing match times (e.g. less than 6 minutes per match). That way, the tournament would end at 1 or 2pm either way…
If it elongated the day, then of course I would rather have constant matches.
This might be a good format for an early season tournament where many teams need time to make changes on their robots, but for a later season tournament or a big/world qualifying tournament I would prefer more matches for more accurate rankings.
The tournament we and Ephemeral Being played at on Saturday was only 11 teams. As such, most teams played every third match. Most teams had at least two back to back matches. The breaks worked out okay but I would have preferred a bigger tournament or slower turn time. They had an 18 team tournament but split it into two because the host bailed, so we didn’t really have any choices for alliances lol, ephemeral was obviously our first choice. We are hosting a 55 team tournament this weekend and we intend to run 4 fields with something like 5 minute turn times for two separate divisions.
Breaks here in MI really depend on tournament size and weather. The tournaments in November and December (decent weather) had 30-60 minute lunch breaks for teams to sell and do repairs and the likes. February tournaments, with the terrible conditions we’ve had, didn’t stop for breaks, and some picked teams still had to leave before the quarterfinals to get home safely. But when weather and safety aren’t concerns, I’d prefer the breaks and the longer competition. If all you want to do in a vex tournament is go home at the end, why are you in VRC?
No one has a problem with an hour lunch break. But 4 hours of matches in 8 hours is not an effective use of my time. I don’t need time on a practice field. I have one of those at home. I even have 2 other robots to drive against. I need match experience, because people react differently in match scenarios than they do in practice and I need to get our drivers ready for State/Worlds. If we’re going to spend 8 hours at a competition, let’s at least spend it doing qualification matches. That’s all I’m saying.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of teams that do not. NZ partially gets around this problem by having informal scrimmages occasionally where we don’t enforce robots turning up to play each match they are scheduled for. This means that they can continue to build their robots or practice while other teams take their place in a match. It reduces the amount of organisation the event staff have to put into each and every scrimmage while increasing the number of scrimmages.