Intentionally being a scrap

Has anyone intentionally decided to be a scrap? Like you know your robot is pretty good, and one of the top teams knows your robot is pretty good and would like to have you as a scrap (3rd alliance partner), so you intentionally keep yourself low in the qualification rankings so no one else is likely to try and pick you?

I moved this from the Official VRC 2015-2016 Q&A to the General Forum so the community may answer.

I was extremely close last competition but it just feels too weird to follow through with even though it gives your alliance a massive advantage of 2 first pick worthy robots…

We almost did that at State last year. We had arranged an alliance with 9898 and 3309, but 3309 and we were both highly ranked. One team would need to start doing terribly. We agreed that whichever team lost the match we played each other in would start losing all of their matches. What ended up happening, though, was the only possible scenario that neither team wanted: we tied. That broke our plan, and our alliance fell apart.
No, I’ve never actually done that.

Purposely tanking is a dangerous strategy. If another alliance tries to pick you, there is only one possibility to play - accept the invite.

Good scouting can thwart the best efforts of purposeful tankers.

I have seen this at a few tournaments. It is a strategy that can work, but honestly I advise my teams to kick butt and take names then sort it out in the end.

I remember hearing that 2915C did this in previous years as a wall bot or hanging robot.

that is a high risk plan. If a team says “we promise to pick you third if you intentionally do bad” they could back out of that deal and leave you high and dry. then no one will pick you because it looks like your team is really bad.

Teams in our state have been doing this so much that event partners have actually started saying that they will DQ teams for doing it.

This strategy isn’t against the rules, and you cannot actually prove that any team is losing on purpose even if they are scoring for the other alliance, or just sitting in their starting tile, etc.

You cannot be DQ’d or punished for this yet, as per VEX rules. This isn’t a very professional, or fair strategy, but yet, it is valid. VEX won’t ever make it punishable until an alliance uses that strategy to destroy at championships.

Yes, we know this. They were just saying that to scare teams into not doing it.

My two cents…
It’s a good strategy. The risks may be too high, however, since anyone can pick you, or exactly the opposite: no one may pick you.
The biggest problem with the strategy is that most people will consider it unsportsmanlike. Although the rules don’t directly condemn the strategy, some interpretations of the “ethos of competition” rule may prohibit it.

This discussion will probably eventually lead to how the alliance selection rules cause this type of strategy to take place. However, the current system is not broken in that it allows rookies to actually get somewhere. It makes the competition more fun for everyone: the players and the audience.

Most teams don’t throw matches since it’s fun to win (even though it is only in the short term in some cases).

Fun Story:
We were planning to alliance with a team. In one qualifying match, we were against them, and they were undefeated while we were sitting at like 2 losses. We thought of losing against them for like .5 seconds, but decided we needed a win to boost morale. We smashed them. It was great :slight_smile: We didn’t get picked by them, and lost against them in the finals, though… Oh well.

I would love a change in the system I’m not for 2 team alliances but I don’t like how the current system encourages mediocre play. One solution could be for each alliance to pick twice in a row. Basically the #1 team could pick #2 and #3. Even though the lower seeded alliances 1-3 would be considerably better than 6-8 atleast the system wouldn’t be helping under performing teams and even with the current format alliances 6-8 typically don’t make it past their quarterfinal anyway.

Last year we were unintentional “scrap”. At the start of the tournament we couldn’t get our vexnet working and it really stressed us out. Luckily we were helped by GHS 9382C with it and updated our keys. We finished 16th in qualifying and were picked by the #2 seed with 9382C being #1. We went on to beat them. Goes to show good sportsmanship can bite sometimes but was still a close and friendly competition.

I find this strategy particularly loathsome. You are deliberately hurting every one of your alliance partners during qualifications who are out there trying to do their best.

You should at least be honest with them… go up to the field, look your alliance partner in the eye and admit you are too afraid to try to win on your merits and so you are willing to take them down for your own gain. Maybe ask if they have a puppy you can kick while you are at it.

umm is vex a dark sport now?

It was sarcastic emphasis for how I detest the strategy

I agree with Chris. I understand there are strategies to move your group/organization ahead but where I have a problem is if a team is throwing a match then they are hurting another team. We have all had days when we were poorly paired but teams are really upsetting the design of the competition when they drag, what could have been a strong team, down for their personal gain.

We had basically the same thing happen with thunder robotics… We were planning on trying to be their second pick (we hadn’t talked to thunder robotics yet though) using losing our last match but they were in our last match but they ended up being our teammates, so winning the match would make us alliance captain of the 7th alliance and losing the last match would make thunder robotics not high enough… we ended up winning 148 to 144 ish and thunder robotics won the tournament (I think) and we had a fun time being 6th alliance.

we are treating this strategy as near perfect from a purely strategical standpoint… But guilty feelings in a driver, lower morale, risk of not being picked, and maybe karma :wink: so this strategy is not any better then trying to win or any worse, it is like comparing apples to oranges, they are completely different with different pros and cons from a purely strategical standpoint with no emotions… when you add emotions is when the strategy truly falls apart I think… Although in a select few situations it can be better to use the scrapping strategy…