IQ States

Has anyone had this happen to them?
My team prepared extremely hard for states. They practiced for 2 hours day a 3-4 days a week! They would consistently get 80 points solo and had a 50-70point autonomous. (that tall green would sometime fall off)
We arrived at the state competition and got our schedule. On our first match the team we were paired with refused to practice or even plan with them. Once the match started they drove straight forward and grabbed the green cube and pretty much threw it over the wall. It wasn’t malicious they just were that bad. They then got their robot stuck in the two cubes on the side next to the low green.
My team got both greens up and their two reds across and scored, they other team did eventually get their blues across as well. But scores in the 80s don’t get you qualified for worlds. This trend continued all day.
I’ve pulled my teams schedule here were their partner’s final rankings (60 teams at event) for all eight of their matches: 47th, 25th, 58th, 48th, 51st, 59th, 54th, 14th. On the match with the 25th ranked team that team threw the tall green out on it’s attempted placement. Obviously they were good and did well the rest of the day and that score was a throw away for them.

We had a team that the kid on the other team was crying and saying he didn’t want to be there. In the match the kid just drove the robot back and forth and didn’t score a single point, he did block my team. Again not malicious but the results were devastating to my kids.

Is this a common occurrence at a state level? How can I prepare my kids for next year to deal with this?

Edit: I know some people will say a great team should be able to carry a weaker team and still do well. However, with cubes if that team throws any cube out of play that run is over. Only 9 points separated 1st and 10th place. That’s less than one cube. Once the other team punts it your chance is nil.

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It’s disappointing when that happens. Our States included a team with only one driver. So only gets to drive for 35 seconds. That student was my teams first partner. Of course not everyone got partnered with them that day. My team had 2 other teams they practiced with and got 105 or more in multiple practices before the match. Then got 80 or less when it counted.

It happens. It’s disappointing. As coach though I’m happier that In their Girl Powered Online challenge one girl wrote that she uses the Engineering Method I teach in her life outside robotics to solve problems, one wrote how math has now become real to her because of the applications in robotics and one wrote this has been her favorite season. Whether or not they go to Worlds isn’t going to matter in a couple years. The experiences and skills they gain will.

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We had a similar experience at States this year. My team is normally #1 or 2 in qualification matches all season. At States, we had some unlucky pairings. It was bad luck of the draw, I guess. My team could do their part but some of the other teams knocked off the green cube. We ended up in 7th, which was the worst they’ve done in years. Luckily in the finals we got paired with another good robot who also had a rough day. Our alliance ended up winning 1st in team work champions and we are headed back to Worlds for the 4th year in a row. It almost didn’t happen though. What’s weird is that in the two neighboring states, the 7th and 8th place alliance also won 1st in the finals.

We understand how you feel about the situation. I could tell as soon as I looked at the match sheet at State that they were going to have a rough day. We had some unlucky pairings. . It happens to all of us, at some point. You just have to teach them how to persevere and have a good attitude. I told my team to cheer on their alliance partners and to be positive. My team never gave up and somehow got 1st place teamwork champions.


[quote=“sparklinteach, post:3, topic:76727”][/quote]
Yeah, I was really proud of my team. They never once got mad and resorted to any negative stuff. They obviously were sad but they cheered on their classmate’s team who made it as well. This was their first year at states and they too never finished low all season. They were first in the region 11th in the state in skills before entering.

I think that perhaps they should have a before lunch Random Queue and then after 4 matches and lunch generate an afternoon Queue based on morning ranking and not random. This should insure that everyone has a more equal schedule and thus equal opportunity.


@dalgrim what’s your team number? (just curious, if you don’t mind)

Tough question: in the afternoon, should your schedule balance your morning schedule? So, if you had a good morning, do you have a bad afternoon?

Or, should your afternoon schedule be a mix of good and bad teams?

Or, do you sandbag in the morning, and have a good afternoon schedule?

I’m not trying to tear down your idea. I’m trying to figure out how to implement it.

  • I’m not sure 100% how to implement it, but I’d suggest something along the line of: if after 4 matches your partner teams ranking was low you’d get a higher weight for the higher ranked teams in the afternoon.

  • Sandbagging would never be an issue as it would be half your day. If you “sandbagged” you’d drop yourself out of contention because it’d be more matches than would be dropped (1 of 4, 2 of 8) If you dropped 4 on purpose that would be two bad scores you have in your permanent average.

Obviously the same argument could be made for why this wouldn’t work. In this case it wouldn’t be a true fix-all but if you’re a good team that got paired with the 58th, 59th, and 54th teams already this would at least ensure you’d get top 20 teams in the second half. This would let a good team get great scores while the actual bad teams will continue to get back scores even with good teams. For the good team it’s simply going to be their dropped afternoon score.

I’m also not suggesting that team #1 gets teams 57, 58, 59, and 60 in the afternoon. That wouldn’t be fair but also weight the top (1/3rd) teams to get at least one bottom (1/3rd) team match in the afternoon.

What’s your team number

oops missed that, 52200C.
Since the last qualifier the robot was modified to allow for multi cube transport (red and blue x2 at a time) After that they were consistently getting 80 in skills drive alone and 50 or 70 in programming depending on that high green staying on. (2/3 of the time it would stay on). At states we didn’t even get a chance to run skills autonomous. Filtering robotevents on Michigan shows us at 25th in the state without the added points. Adding the points would have us at around 13th in state.

The Event from Vex via is: Quarkmine VEX IQ Michigan Elementary State Championship.

I compiled the State Skills ranking out our paired teams:
37th, 5th, 110th, 101st, 30th, 75th, 66th, 39th
The 5th place state skills team is one that tossed a green out of the board in our teamwork with them so we got an 81 instead the the 101 we could have gotten had they not messed up.

I’m not trying to say my team is perfect. They are a beginner team, but they clearly got unlucky in their pairings and it cost them a chance at the finals. Would they win and go on to worlds? probably not, but I’d rather they lose while giving it their all on a fair playing field.

A little data that may make you feel better. Or worse. It doesn’t change anything.

Looking at just your event, your alliances averaged ~70 points per match. That is 60th of all teams at that event. The best alliance average was 88 points.

At every event, someone has the worse pairings, and someone has the best

Your partners scored 2.1 points above their average with you. Not great, but above zero. To me, this means your team was even or slightly better than your alliances, but not a lot.

No teams had their best run with you.

Only one team dropped their run with you.


I do understand however that data is missing some key elements. On 4 of our 8 matches the partner team dropped a green cube in such a way it was irretrievable! This means that while that match lost 20 points we still managed to be above their average by 2 points. Also while we were not anyone’s top score we were 2nd best twice and one of those was only 1 point off their top score. The team that dropped our run: their robot failed halfway though the drive.

If you look at our state skills score we get 70 alone. the fact that our alliances are averaging 70 means they added little to what we could accomplish solo and in many cases detracted.

The main intent of my post was: How to prevent this from happening in the future.

This happened to my team too. And it was especially odd because in Hawaii the teams that go to the state championship are always ultra competitive and try their hardest no matter what. So usually having a bad match here or there was normal for us. But looking at other teams their parings were so much better than my team’s as well as other teams that are at our level of competitiveness. I noticed this when I was talking to another coach as well and their teams.
Out of 40 teams at the tournament I have 3 teams there and the other coach has 3 teams as well there. There’s a 15% chance that one of my teams will drive with these 3 other teams and they had 8 matches as well to do it. So I wondered what happened and if my teams just got the bad end of the pairings. They started out really well but after lunch their pairings were really hard. The last 3 especially were killer.

I didn’t mean to tear down your team in any way. They made it to the State Championship! Congrads for that.

I like to look at how teams did with the alliances they had. As I said, you were +2.1, meaning your alliances scored 2.1 points above their average in their match with you. Compared to +23.3 for the #1 team at the event, and -20.6 for the worst team.

Ranking all the teams based on how they did with the alliances they had (in this case, it helps to have bad pairings), your alliance score of +2.1 ranked 24th of the 60 teams.

Sounds good. What is your suggestion? How exactly would it work?


What methods are you using to analyze this data? Seems either really involved for a forum response or you have a nice spreadsheet to share. Either way, nice work.

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The inherent challenge is in the challenge itself. Want to see the best robot? That’s robot skills. That’s the best bot. Three shots to get your best score. It’s fair.

What is robot skills for spectators? Boring.

I would love a better way to do it, and keep things exciting and fun for everyone. The fact that teams know that the best robot might not win because of parings and mistakes makes it more worth coming and competing for all of the other teams. I love it when the 5th place alliance takes the finals. If truly anyone could win then it’s anyone’s game and everyone has a better incentive to come and play.

So the randomness isn’t really a bug, it’s a feature. My kids worked their butts off and won skills at the state tournament here in Florida. They built a 11" square bot to make programming easier. The double qualifiers all go to skills.

So, if you are sick of the inherent problems with teamwork, you do have another option. But when teamwork does work out for your kids, that’s about as good as it gets.

I have a lot of spreadsheets. It’s all data that’s been collected from the web.

We had the closest state competition yet… I feel that we didn’t get enough rounds (only 6) to really allow the top teams to rise to the top… feel that with 2 drop rounds it would even out “getting the bad draw” scenario. On the other hand we have so many teams in our state that I hope next year we consider only qualifying the Tournament Champions and Robot Skills Champion from each event. No judged awards advancing to states. Out of the over 150 robots that competed at the state level, I saw about 30 bots that were not “state championship quality” and if my teams were paired with those teams they always said they qualified through a judged award at a local event. We went to many events this year where the home teams ended up winning most of the judged awards as judges are told to “spread the wealth” when awarding the judged awards… spreading the wealth just brings down the overall level of bots at the championship… Let the judged awards be what they are… feel good awards… and keep those in the program for those EP’s that want to pass out bunches of awards and let the champions qualify for the championships

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I have always stressed Skills. This year, I have a team that’s been to 4 events, won skills 4 times. They were in the top alliance twice, but have not yet won teamwork. I have no idea where they’ll finish this weekend at State, but I expect they’ll have a good enough skills score to get to Worlds.

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@Jamessalvant Which state?

Alabama… largest IQ growth 2 years in a row.

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