Competition thoughts

My team competed yesterday in a PA High School Tournament and encountered 2 things that we felt that we would point out Our team, 1274B, was the 2nd seed alliance going into the quarterfinals:

  1. As we were getting ready for our match, we found out that one of our drive motors had completely cracked where the screw goes into it and detached from our robot in pieces (yes, this is a v5 motor). We had to use up all of our time in preparation scurrying around to attach another motor to our drive. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and we ran our match with only 3 wheels on the drive working. We are pretty disappointed by the build quality for this is the second v5 motor that has broken for our team alone.

  2. We found that a couple matches, even our quarterfinals, was reffed incorrectly. I have gone to 2 competitions this season, and I have noticed that when a cap is knocked out of the field by another robot, it will be put back to the color of the alliance that knocked it out. I feel that this is a very important problem to address because we lost our quarterfinal match 14-16 because of this. If this did not occur, my team would have either tied our match or won because this happened multiple times. I talked to the head referee about this and he said there is nothing he can do, which I see as a problem. And this also brings me to my last point:

  3. In our quarterfinal match, we faced a robot that was solely designed to flip caps and knock caps off the post and out of the field. We have a cap bot and we placed 3 caps on the post for our alliance, which were ultimately knocked out of the field in one-fifth of the time it took to put them up there. In the rules, it states that robots cannot purposefully knock caps out of the field, and if they do so multiple times or if its match affecting, in which it was, then the offending alliance is subject to disqualification.

Anyways, these are my thoughts on competition play. I’m not trying to complain or whine about the results, in fact, I’m happy for the opposing alliance. I just want to voice my concern to other people to spark a conversation or comment on this issue. Feel free to suggest anything and/or give your thoughts. :slight_smile:

Haven’t had many problems with any of our V5 motors yet, but we have noticed that some ports on our brain do not work. It was a slight problem but since the brain has a total of 22 smart ports, we could work around it.

As for cap descoring, I can see both sides of the argument. I agree that a robot can take much less time to descore a cap than it takes to place one. That is most probably why they do so. It almost seems unfair. However, it is legal and therefore teams are allowed to do it. But, as for the rule, I think it should be enforced that when a cap is knocked out it should be placed on the opposing alliances color. The points matter, especially in this game where most good matches are neck and neck. Most of our elimination matches were pretty close (1-2 points) when we won. Additionally, I think robots should be disqualified or given warnings when knocking a cap out of the field. But, most judges neglect it.

We do have a ball shooting bot and have a descoring mechanism. Something I suggest to counter it is to place the caps on the high posts where most descorers cant reach(but there are only 2 high posts). Our thinking behind it was exactly the same as most teams with a descorer, it is fast at taking away points that took a long time to score. But once again, I think that teams should always try to knock the cap into the field, and if not should be given a warning or DQ.

*I do think a lot of the problems arise from the judging of the competitions. That may be because they don’t keep track of a team that breaks the rule each match or because they just could care less and don’t have a great understanding of the rules.

its really hard to get consistent ref ruling this year, since this game is one of the more complex games. what one ref may call a DQ another wouldn’t even say anything. while this has always been an issue, it seems more prominent this year.

This goes to show that EPs need to make sure they do a good job training their refs. I get that they’re busy, and refs are usually just volunteers, but still…

I completely agree. I felt that some of the refs at our event knew what they were doing and some were kinda clueless. I just don’t understand what I should do as a competitor to avoid incorrect reffing. The head ref is not allowed to make those kind of decisions wether the volunteer ref was right or wrong in the moment. Idk, I think they should require a read through the rule book or a crash course for each for their refs.

The only problem I have with the opponent robot is that it INTENTIONALLY knocked caps out of the field. By the design of their robot, it was impossible for them to knock the caps off the post and into the field. With this, the ref should have noticed that the offending robot violated this rule in the intention of knocking caps out of the field, ultimately ending in a DQ. Idk just my thoughts

I think that one of the best things you can do as a competitor is to respectfully request to review the rule with the referee. Show them the specific rule, and explain why you believe the rule applies to this situation. This can definitely work out in some cases when the specific rule is referenced

I mean SG8 says intentional, strategic and repeated removing of caps from posts out of the field is illegal, so that should have been called.

That same rule says the cap needs to be reintroduced opposite the color alliance that knocked it out.

Those are easy calls that your referees missed.

Yes, I completely agree. This is the main reason I brought this up to everyone just so you are aware. Hopefully this won’t happen more in the future:)

In my opinion, if a referee put the caps on the field with the violating team’s color facing up, and it was likely match-affecting but no one could be sure, the match should be replayed with the referee knowing to place the caps the right way, if replaying the match is at all possible (and especially if it’s an elimination match).

If not, the referees should at least make sure they do it the right way for the rest of the event (especially if they are allowing robots to knock caps out of the field regularly).

One of the best things you can do is to bring up all of the issues that you see affecting your bot at the driver meeting. Get the head ref to answer a question like: “If a cap-descoring robot frequently descores the caps off the field, what is the consequence?” You know the answer to this question, but you are seeking to get the ref to state the rule and the other drivers to hear the rule. In rare cases you might also discover a ref that is unclear on a rule that affects your team. At that point you can respectfully, calmly, before any matches are played, present the rule or Q&A statement relevant to the situation.

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As an EP, bringing it up to the ref, with the rule helps. I won’t go back and do the match over (The referee ruling is final, and I wasn’t there to watch), but we will have the ref follow the rules. Sorry it wasn’t a good day.

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It would be very helpful if you could post some pictures of the broken part for us to do some analysis and understand how to prevent such failures in the future.

Did damage started with stripped metal inserts as described in the linked thread or the plastic started shattering first?

In general, while 393 motors had their metal inserts very well fused with motors plastic bottom for good spreading of the load, design of the V5 motors concentrates most of the load onto the small plastic area at the bottom.

Since using something like superglue or JB Weld to fuse inserts to the plastic stands is not legal, the best thing you can do is, probably, avoid over-tightening the screws, reinforce the bottom of the plastic stands with zip-tie loops, and get better insert replacements that would match the height of the aluminum c-channels and provide stronger supports with thicker walls:

if the v5 screw hole still screws in, youll be fine, you dont need to trash the entire motor. ideally, you dont want this, but it wont incapacitate your robot. if you have the option, i would replace it, but its not urgent

interesting…in quarter finals one of the teams at our local tourney got dq’d on “aggression” …