<G4> Update and Teams with Adult Coaches

On page 1 of the game manual, page 3 of the document

I may be a bit biased, especially because I too dislike, and have multiple experiences with adults participate in hands on, high school/middle school competitions when alternatives can be made. I also know of numerous small teams in the past were able to bypass similar constraints and still continue to succeed.

I believe teams of less than 3 students are in the extreme minority. Balancing the consequences, I feel this is fair and beneficial.

Guys, stop discussing the rules. You are supposed to design around them, not modify them so that they best fit your needs. The GDC have put a lot of thought in the rules and made each one of them for a specific reason, and they’re probably not going to change them. I don’t see anyone discussing the rules on robots. One could easily say “why aren’t we allowed to use 12 motors, the 10 motor limit is preventing creativity and the creation of more complex systems” but you just have to accept the rules and plan accordingly.

While Karthik did explain the reasons for the ruling very clearly, I understand many teams’ frustration. Teams can design around motor limits, but they can’t be creative when it comes to “inventing members”. In many areas, finding members is difficult.

Yes but as Karthik pointed out it is still possible to load skyrises even if you’re a solo team, just more inconvenient. Similarly, a one person team cannot have two people driving, and I don’t see anybody asking to let adults drive robots. Sure, loading skyrises is not as important as driving a robot but it can still be done even if you’re alone, just not convenient but that’s what happens when you decide to have a small team (or if you can’t afford to bring the entire team to a competition which I guess is not fair but also is a disadvantage to a lot of other things like scouting, so it’s not just the skyrise section loading).

Besides, a team is by definition made of at least 2 people, but that’s another topic to debate.

Robot Rules and Rules such as the introduction of Skyrise Sections are very different. Robot rules such as the motor and pneumatics limits cause teams to have to innovate and make design trade-offs. If any team had 12 motors and theoretically infinite pneumatics then Skyrise would pose little challenge. I agree these should not really be up for debate most of the time.

In contrast, rules such as <G4> that although do a good job of promoting teamwork do not drastically change the way the game is played should be able to be freely discussed so that teams can express any concerns for rulings and the GDC can get feedback from the teams for current and future rulings.

In this specific case, my concern is not primarily that this rule will put my team and other small teams at a game-breaking disadvantage (Although it is a small setback, it can be dealt with), I believe that the promotion of teamwork (Although it is a respectable cause) is not a strong enough positive to force many great VRC teams to drastically change team structures that have proven successful in the past/increase the already large airfares and travel expenses to both international teams and teams not within a reasonable driving distance of major events.

Coaches and Mentors should almost always be taking a very hands-off approach and only be providing guidance and the knowledge their students need to succeed. That being said, putting a peg into a hole is not a challenging task that would benefit a student competitor at all. I respect the GDC’s wishes to have as many students participating as possible, however, putting any team who cannot provide that extra student at a disadvantage doesn’t seem like a valid trade-off. This should be an extremely strong suggestion, not a rule.

As an adult coach/mentor myself I’ve got this to add. Please oh please get rid of the raised fields. At several Sack Attack events I ended up with no choice but to help the drive team load sacks onto their robot because they simply couldn’t reach. Thankfully Skyrise won’t have this issue however if the GDC takes competitor height into consideration it would be appreciated thanks.

RE: Traveling international team issue which Oliver raised. Having been on the pointy end of having to fund such travel it’s one of several reasons why 7682 team(s) are small and will continue to be small. Oliver, you’re right on the money there (pun intended) :wink:

off topic:
I for one love the raised fields, it adds a new kind of gameplay and allows for others to view the field better. This is meerly my opinion and am not trying to argue.

On topic:

Thank you for the clearification on the matter, now we know the reason for the rule.

Team 400X, given your history I’m sure there are many who wouldn’t mind joining your team, especially since you were the US national champion for Toss Up. So good luck making that new friend :)!

Karthik has spoken do not challenge his word. But really, how long does it take to put a Skyrise Section into the autoloader? Under 3 seconds. So i would recommend you stop complaining about the rules and live with them!

Thank you for the kind words. :smiley:

I am not against making new friends, team members, etc., I am more concerned with losing my coach (my dad). We’ve had this same drive team format for three years and it has proven to be very successful. I don’t want to have to make a major change like that because it will take a very long time to get back to the level at which we were at.

If you’ve ever played a match with us, you know we are extremely strategic. This is because my drive team can literally discuss strategy 24/7 and does. I wouldn’t want to lose that.

I greatly respect Karthik and the GDC, but is the forum not a place where we can freely speak and discuss our opinions in a respectful manner?!

Feel free to speak your mind, but if you’re going to join the discussion, perhaps you could provide a different perspective or contribute an idea rather than just shooting down other people’s thoughts. If any of my posts came off as rude or inconsiderate I am sincerely sorry, but your post did seem a bit condescending. I would assume that the GDC would enjoy feedback from teams because knowing what teams like and dislike can help them to improve next years game just as the new parts suggestions can help give the Vex Research and Development team an idea of what new parts team would like to see.

Best of Luck.:slight_smile:

Actually it’s on topic 100%, if the game design and field height dictate team members must be a minimum height then what choice [within the rules of past seasons] did that present an adult coach/mentor?

So far as providing others a better view of the field this simply isn’t true. All FTC events including the World Championship have fields at floor level and having participated at both VEX and FTC events I can assure you it really makes no difference. One thing I’d point out however is VEX sometimes has alliances facing each other across the field whereas FTC is always on adjacent sides making it natural to arrange fields on corners rather than sides facing the audience. Skyrise is arranged like FTC this year so perhaps we’ll see fields rotated 45deg at events?

We discuss field height every year, this was my favorite question of all time for Karthik.

I don’t understand how it is now within the rules for an adult drive team member to totally micromanage the whole drive team (ie. tell the driver(s) exactly what to do without them needing any understanding of how to play the game) and yet it is considered out of the question that adult drive team members should be able to place a Skyrise section in a holder.

I thought that undertaking trivial tasks like loading robots, raising gates, etc. would be the desired action for an adult drive team member to be taking, as the outcome of these actions will always be the same regardless of who does it (assuming they are actually able to do it).

If an adult drive team member doing these things is now illegal, then why are adult drive team members legal at all? Shouldn’t students be making their own strategy decisions in a game as opposed to being coached by an adult?

This rule seems completely opposite to any kind of rule change that I would have expected.

Ok I see what I did. What I meant by off topic was that it wasn’t my main point for posting a reply, thats all :). Ill word my posts diffrently next time :).

I for one am a tall guy, maybe its just me that feels the raised fields help people view, but ill take your word for it because I’ve never been to FTC worlds. However if it ever came to a vote I would still vote for raised fields :smiley: .

My pleasure!

I didn’t realize your dad was the coach, I’ve only seen the match livestreams. I can see how it will be hard for you guys especially because it seems to be a family team. Making an outside member of the team would make them a third wheel kind of thing (asuming you all build/ practive at your house). So intoducing that last member just to load a skyrise section, would be a bit much just for the one job. Just keep in mind that Karthik is right, this is focused on the students :)!

Still, why not just have your alliance partner’s coach load it? This way the skyrise section is introduced and your adult/dad coach can coach. It will also allow him to keep coaching and not pause for a moment to load it. When you arent at a competition, theres no harm in having him load it, just for practice.

Some people are thinking, it only takes a few seconds to load it, but sometimes those last few seconds can decide the match! Just look at the final-3 for the US open, the score was 27-26 every second must have counted. This may be a new game, but at a highly competitive level, every second counts.

Now this is bound to come up later, skills. there wont be an alliance to load it for you then, so maybe just grab another person to load it? As long as you have a pre-planned route theres no harm in not having a coach durring driver skills.

I wish I had more to offer, but I feel just having your alliance’s coach load it is your best bet in order to have your dad coach without loading it yourself. Just make a plan, with that 24/7 colaberation going on, im sure you all will think of something!

Did you really just say this? This is an open forum where people are discussing their opinions on a rule. No one is saying we refuse to follow the rule or something even more drastic as your reply would indicate.

I have great respect for karthik but him mentioning his opinion in a discussion doesn’t end all discussion ever.

I agree the rule seems strange compared to just banning adults but that might just be so the younger teams can’t be intimidated. (One of my middle school teams couch’s favorite stories was telling kids about some little kid who got pressured into lending a senior in HS his joystick and not having it back for his match)

This is correct. My intent in posting in this thread was not to stop discussion in anyway, rather it was to clarify the GDC’s intent behind this rule and to add some background to the discussion going on here.

Has VEX or the GDC ever thought of adding a sub forum where we could ask questions such as this one where we don’t want a clarification on the rule, but an understanding of why the rile was in place or what the intent was. Examples could be why was repositioning removed this year after being discussed for many years.

Sorry if this derails this thread.

Kill the pig! Cut her throat! Spill her blood!

What does your anecdote have to do with disallowing adults from being on-field participants?

I was quite surprised when I first saw an adult at the field coaching, I didn’t even realize that it was allowed (this was three or four years ago). Since that time I’ve seen the complete spectrum of adult participation from good to bad.

During the gateway world championships I met a team from the UK (IIRC) that consisted of a student with his Dad. The Dad was obviously not completely comfortable being at the field and was feeling a little out of place, however, this was a student that wanted to be involved in robotics and was being supported by his family.

At the other extreme I’ve seen an adult coach shouting at the team driver for making a small mistake, he should have been banned from the competition venue IMHO.

Anecdote was pretty much to imply if I as a senior and yelled at 3 11 year olds I could scare them and having an adult to back them up can let them compete fairly. Doubt this was a consideration but it is a benefit of having adults still allowed.

I’m still sad about the only coach one team rule. :’( I understand it now( thanks karthik) but still sad.

I’m well aware of the additional cost of traveling overseas… it is one of the reasons that I only travel overseas every few years myself, and why I have yet to visit New Zealand (my hour in the Auckland airport on my way to Brisbane hardly counts). Taking in to account that the cost of hotels, meals and the tournament entry fee are roughly the same for all teams, the marginal cost of travel for an overseas student is in the order of $1,000 - $1,500. Not trivial, but not insurmountable in the context of the annual cost of operation of a VEX team.

Rather I’d like to use the cost of taking part in VEX as part of the reason that having more than one student on a team makes a lot of sense.

Consider that for a team that goes from one member to three members, the cost of the VEX equipment is now split three ways. The cost of all the tournament entry fees are now split three ways. The cost of local travel is split three ways. Assuming the students are all the same gender, the cost of hotel rooms is now split three ways.

Having multiple team members also helps mitigate the risk that a team will be unable to compete at a tournament due to flu, food poisoning, injury or a family emergency.

Having multiple team members just makes good financial sense regardless of where you compete. While it does increase the overall cost of operating a team, it also results in a drastic reduction in the per capita cost of team operations.

I don’t, however, want to appear unsympathetic to the cost of attending worlds. At least once I’ve had to sit down with one of my teams that has qualified and discuss whether or not it made financial sense to attend VEX worlds and we had to say “no”. It is certainly tougher for overseas teams to go, but saying “We can’t afford it.” is an experience shared by many.