How to Master bo1


#1

I agree completely.

My team used a checklist last year, and whenever we ran into a problem that could have been prevented (whether mechanical or interaction-based), we added it to the checklist.

By the middle of the season, our students were remembering everything even without a paper copy of the list (partly because our robot had been mostly unchanged since mid-December, so there were no new features to debug).


#2

I agree completely.

My team used a checklist last year, and whenever we ran into a problem that could have been prevented (whether mechanical or interaction-based), we added it to the checklist.

By the middle of the season, our students were remembering everything even without a paper copy of the list (partly because our robot had been mostly unchanged since mid-December, so there were no new features to debug).


#3

Additional Points from this thread:

@briancole


#4

Yeah it’s not going to change so we might as well prepare for it


#5

Checklists: Good enough for NASA, good enough for you!


#6

Quote By Sun Tzu:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”


#7

More comments from the other thread:

Responses to @briancole (first comment - full systems check):

@meng’s response to @Colossus’s reply to @Aponthis, and responses to @meng:


#8

Our team has 2 checklists— one to run in the pits between every match, and a note-card checklist that the drive team coach uses when placing the robot on the field. For Starstruck, we had pneumatics and the coach had to balance the preload on top of the robot just so, and having a set, written order of operations was invaluable.

Reducing the likelihood of unforced errors via checklists is a very easy way to improve your match W-L record.


#9

Another thing is to directly practice with your partner. In iq we used to get together with our partner about 15 minutes before queuing and run full on matches with them. Of course this isnt fully possible in vrc due to field size but I still think it could be beneficial to run team moves with your partner during lunch or with spare game objects


#10

Don’t trust a table to hold your robot at a competition. Don’t leave your robot unattended when its connected to the joysticks and you are not using the joysticks (especially if it’s on a table).


#11

As an EP - how do we support teams? is the question - seems to me having as many practice fields available to work out with alliance partners is a priority…

Would it be helpful for our venue to have two dedicated practice fields in the pit area - one for debugging team robot - first come first server. Second one dedicated to alliance partners to work together? Say have it prioritized by alliances coming together to the field and queueing in order of soonest match?

thoughts?


#12

That would be awesome!

It would also be super helpful for events not to start taking apart the practice fields until the R16 matches have finished. At most events I’ve been at, the practice fields go down as soon as quals end. This makes it tricky to practice strategies with your elimination alliance.

Thanks!


#13

@lascsap
Yes, great idea! Might have a problem getting that many fields, however. At our state competition there were 2 high school dedicated qual fields and 2 middle school dedicated qual fields. There were two more fields open for practice before qualification matches started. Once qual matches, started these practice fields were shutdown and each one was used for MS and HS skills separately. Only during lunch were all the fields open for practice, but that would not be ideal for practicing with your alliance partners bc most of your matches have already occurred and some people like to eat in peace (lol). I think every large organization brought at least one field to our state competition, so asking for two more complete fields may require some people to bring their own private fields. If you can get ahold of the 2 extra fields for a competition, I think it would be awesome to use it as you mentioned.


#14

We have five fields available to us and a sixth at the high school. We have two gyms, one we use for competitions and the other as the pit area. At larger events we run four fields in the large gym - 3 competition and 1 skill. We flip the skills for eliminations so quarter finals - all the alliances are set up. The pit has a practice field (sounds like having two is good). Having the fields allow short match cycles and typically 24 teams are in the main competition area either ready to go or queued. The remaining teams are in the pit. The results are good flow and not over/under crowded space.
Tear downs are relatively easy - two u-boat package trucks (the type you see in grocery stores that fit in tight aisles) - each has the capacity of holding four field perimeters in 12’ sections.
So fields is not the issue as much the setup will take a little more time - poles and nets.

The advantage you have with having teams bringing fields and game sets is they do the set up and tear down of their gear :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback - we will probably try the setup this season.


#15

What sort of capacity do you have at these events? I ask cause in my experience, you largely get diminishing returns from having more than 2 competition fields for most qualifying events with less than like 70 teams.


#16

45-48 - three fields worked well, we aim for 10 qualifying matches per team. Games with weird field resets (NbN!) benefits from it.


#17

Ah. Tournaments around here usually only have 6-8 per team. We’re trying to get 9 at our tournaments this year, but it’s hard to balance with allocating enough time for eliminations, which of course, I have no idea how long that should take
I hope something like that gets mentioned at the EP Summit.

We don’t have our field yet, so I don’t know how bad it is to reset, but I can’t imagine it taking longer than about two minutes. At least it’s not NbN! That was the first year we ran an event, and that was a bit of a mess. :wink:


#18

there are a couple of reasons to push the number of qualification matches - we want teams to feel they have been exposed to a wide variety of partners and other teams in general, and we want to prepare teams for regional/worlds in terms of endurance. The downside I believe is reducing time to repair (generally it is ok) and it is rough on our volunteers who have to be alert throughout the day. We don’t stop matches for lunch, instead we recruit extra volunteers to swap in as needed and allow them time to eat something. Please be kind to volunteers!


#19

One of the downsides of the RECF eliminating invitations from Skills is that it spells the end of a little-known program that really helped us get a bunch of volunteers at our events: the VEXU teams who volunteered at VRC events got to submit skills runs for the global standing while there. It was a win-win, and really inspired some of my team. Our February event this year was largely run by the wonderful people at Clemson’s VEXU team (now BCUZ)


#20

Actually, it appears that the skills rankings are still a factor for filling VEXU Worlds spots as in the past.
VEXU Qualifying Criteria

As to your concern, which I do understand, it is encouraged for VRC MS&HS partners to welcome VEXU teams to their events to establish skills ranking.