Get rid of SPs for Turning Point


I don’t really get the point of SPs for Turning Point. It encourages teams to score less because teams that do worse (score less) may do better. It made sense for games like in the zone, but in Turning Point, I feel that it encourages mediocrity.


I kind of understand the point of it. It’s to try to differentiate the close matches between the not-close ones. But, as you say, it is kind of broken for this game with the teams who really know what they’re doing and can watch their point count accordingly.


Most games are like that though aren’t they? Strong teams plaging weaker ones score for themselves and their opponents to make the game as close as possible whilst still winning and gaining as many SPs as possible.


its not necessarily encouraging teams to be mediocre, rather, encourages teams to be so good that they can be in control of both their, and their opponents pointage. however, I have seen situations where sp’s do have that effect.


To be honest, I find some matches to be quite boring because the stronger teams are forced to hold back on presumed practice for eliminations just so they get a higher ranking, which in turn would possible put the team at a higher risk if they overshoot the attempt for SP’s. And for that reason many teams just completely avoid SP’s and ensure that they win. I find “SP’s” to not just be horrible in determining the higher ranking, but it’s wrong. I think the teams with the higher margin should be GETTING higher SP’s, because a higher margin would mean HIGHER DIFFERENCE IN SCORES AND MORE STRENGTH THAN THE OPPONENTS. SP’s gives the least-deserving team the higher ranking, which doesn’t even make sense with the definition of “Strengh” Points.


There is clearly a misunderstanding of SP in this thread. For clarity, SP stands for Strength of Schedule Points. SP is not the score of your opponent alliance, it is not the difference it between the scores, it is the score of the losing alliance. (page 27 of the game manual.) A team that lost all their matches 39 to 0 would have 0 SP. The idea is that a 20 to 19 win is more impressive than a blowout, because it shows both alliances were competitive.

If there is a flaw in SP, for me it would be the humiliation of a stronger alliance scoring for their opponent in order to max SP. Thankfully there is less of that type of play, since AP is the first tie breaker.


How about get rid of SPs period? :slight_smile:

Connor touched on this, but really SPs are absurd in every game. The measure of how good your team is isn’t how easy your schedule is (a good team can still get an easy schedule), it’s how many points you yourself score. For example, at Worlds last year, 202Z was 9-1 with 70 APs in the science division, as was 5735K. The difference is 5735K didn’t even break 100 points in 5 of their 10 qual matches and lost in R16 to two relatively low ranked teams. By contrast, 202Z broke 100 in 9 of their 10 qual matches, made it easily to semifinals, gave the division champs a real run for their money, and won US Open / Nationals 2 weeks previous. But because 202Z had matches like qual 58, which they won 144-4, they ended up ranked below 5735K. If the tie breaker was the total points your team scores, not the total points the losing team scores, the team that scores more points, aka the better team, would be ranked higher.

And I’m sure some mentor is going to come in and spew the usual “vex isn’t about the best team winning and it’s about stem education and SPs are more educational because everyone gets closer to the same score and it teaches team work…” But SPs aren’t teamwork, they’re pity points. I’ve only had SPs scored against me a handful of times, and I have to say, it’s incredibly insulting. The message is something like “your team is so bad it’s more worth my time to score for you to increase my strength points than to score for myself to make sure I win the match.” And nobody wants that implicitly said to them, even if it may be true.

The final knock against SPs is they have on occasion motivated a team to score for the opposing team to such an extent that the better team loses the match. For example, 118’s one qual loss in Skyrise at Worlds was when they scored too many SPs. And the 118 members are certainly not dumb people. 118 went on to be drafted by the first seed, win their division, and end up World Finalists. (They also won states and nearly won their division the following year and they’re one of the top FRC teams in the world.) Any system that gives teams such a strong incentive to score against themselves that sometimes they make themselves inadvertently lose the match is flawed.


In my opinion, the biggest problem with SP’s this year (and in Starstruck) compared to other years is that in these games, scoring for yourself will almost always decrease your opponents’ scores (and thus your SP’s if you win). The only exceptions are toggling the middle flags (5 points at the most), parking (3-6 points), and high-scoring caps (up to 6 points, but it’s easy to descore them).

This also makes SP’s this year mostly about the margin of victory, rather than the absolute strength of your opponents.

If at least one side is able to turn the top flags, a match between the four world-champion teams could hand out the same SP’s as a match between four barely-competent teams (if both types of teams are at the same event).


I also agree with @Anomaly that SP’s are often not an accurate way to rank teams (even when AP’s come first).

Using your own alliance’s score wouldn’t work for this year’s game, either, for the same reasons as SP’s: The better your opponents are compared to you, the lower your own score will be, since every point they score will decrease your own score.



Unless they are only a good team that got favorable matches all day, and the best team got matched with all the other good teams all day. There are other ways SP might be calculated, but I do not think blow outs are a good metric because the randomness of the Qualifying Round.


If you think you have a better system - go for it :). That’s how VRC got started… and many other innovative ideas…


Why isn’t the tie breaker total points? I guess it’s not a real flaw in the design if you’re supposed to strategically not score a ton of points, and these things don’t always make sense, but I think scoring points should be good. And games like turning point in StarStruck when scoring takes away your opponent’s points things get kind of weird. it’s certainly more entertaining to watch the team trying to score points than trying to score points for their opponent.


I believe your own points are not included in the rankings intentionally in order to not incentivize blowing out your opponents. VRC is not a win-at-all-costs program despite what some of the regular posters on this topic would like.


Actually… why not just adopt the concept of “goal difference” ?

For the winning alliance, it will be = winning alliance score - losing alliance score
For the losing alliance, it will be = losing alliance score - winning alliance score
(and yes, it will be negative for the losing alliance)

I might be wrong, but I believe this SP was implemented as part of the gracious professionalism… win, but don’t thrash your opponents… etc…

edit: just noticed @Dave Flowerday just mentioned the same point before me :slight_smile:


If you score SPs, the point is you’re already winning. Nobody is trying to win at all costs, but winning in a match where every robot tries their hardest and competes honestly seems a lot better than winning by a small margin and then scoring pity points for your opponent. That’s not gracious professionalism, it’s just snobby.


So you’re probably the best person to ask… Is SP a good tiebreaker?

It’s certainly confusing to the audience when a team scores for the other team. Would (Opponent WP) - (Alliance WP) or something like that work better? Maybe use something like center parking as the last tiebreaker, something that teams will strive to do anyway without crushing souls?


I did not mention SPs at all so I’m not sure what you’re responding to. My response was to a question about “Why isn’t the tie breaker total points?”

Nope, I’m not a good person to ask. I don’t have a strong opinion. As many of you know, VRC is heavily inspired by FRC which used the same concept for a long time (RPs). FRC (even moreso than VRC in my opinion) stresses that “it’s not about the robot”. I believe that some aspects of SPs were designed with that in mind (to prevent running up the score, etc). That might include scoring for your opponent to maximize SPs, or that might be an unintended side effect. I’m not sure honestly. I think there’s some people that think ending matches with close scores makes the losing teams feel less bad (even if their opponent scored for them), but I can also appreciate that having your opponent score for you could be quite an insult.

I also believe that any possible alternatives need to be carefully investigated for the ability to be manipulated - at least some of the possible solutions offered up regularly create an incentive for collusion which is a non-starter.


I can’t really get excited about the use of SPs and don’t spend time overthinking it. SPs are a method used to assist in ranking teams - period. It does not eliminate the need for good scouting. The ranking (using SPs) give a rough estimate of how the teams stack up against each other. But there are always mitigating circumstances that make this less accurate. So, take it for what it is, send your scouts out and determine the ranking on your own. It’s silly to game the system and (potentially) have it backfire on you. Just play your game and everything else will fall into place. Me? I spend zero time fretting over SPs.


In my opinion, the main benefit to a higher rank is that you get more of a say in who your alliance partner is, because you have more teams to choose from in case you feel the need to decline a higher-ranked team who attempts to pick you.

Reasons for the above

If you are ranked low, and someone ranked higher attempts to choose you as their partner, you have two options: (A) accept their offer, even if their ranking was mainly sue to an easy schedule, or (B) decline their offer, and instead choose a team ranked below you, who may not perform much better than the first team.

The higher you are ranked, the more teams you get to choose from if you feel the need to decline a team who attempts to pick you.

The good teams will discover each other through scouting, but scouting won’t help you if there is a poorly-performing but high-ranked team trying to pick you, and you need a better partner in order to qualify for States/Worlds.

(Either way, though you should be trying to improve your win points and autonomous points, which are even more valuable than SP’s.)


There is a system called TRSP’s (Truly Representative Strength Points), which is basically this.

A group of people came up with is on the forum a few years ago, and it’s listed on VexDB event rankings.

I guess the main problem with TRSP’s is that they’re harder to predict and calculate.

Click here for my personal example, which wouldn't affect most people, showing how it's harder to calculate score changes with SP's

I often make spreadsheets analyzing what tournament results would be if a few matches went differently, and I can predict everything in a few minutes under the current system, but it would take a long time if TRSP’s were used.