One more reason to love BO3 (and other things that could make VRC less stressful)

The original post was more about conflict in general than just BO3. I thought that the title had changed, since I hadn’t seen the original title before, so I changed it to better reflect the OP.


and I disagreed with that specific example as I was there, and it was one of my teams they beat. 8025C deserved to move up to Worlds and did really well in Spirit division.


Taran, I believe that you had good intentions trying to match the title to the subject of BO1, but when highly emotional topics like BO1 vs BO3 are involved - individual words matter.

I believe, that having word “conflict” in the title of the thread subconsciously encourages people to be more aggressive, while having words like “love” or “less stressful” does the opposite and helps to direct discussion into the more positive territory.


Sure but I believe the point was they didn’t feel good about it and though they’d probably lose against their opposition in a BO3 context. That’s what the post was about.

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While that may have been true, the title change did not really make sense. The original title is much more descriptive of the topic of the thread than “Conflict on the VEX Forum.” When I opened this thread I thought it was a completely different thread.


Andddd… now I’m paranoid of what could happen once more and more people reach TL3. That being said, I’m probably going to disable that ability


It worked out. It’s a learning process…

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Title edit feature is already gone, just as I was starting to enjoy it responsibly.

Look what you have done, @TaranMayer, now I am stuck with a ridiculously long thread title, that I was planning to shorten in the future. :cry:

@Fmaj7add9 was right about TL3 perks after all: :smile:


Just saying one solution to getting title editing privilege back is to @DRow every time there is a change needed… like a missing comma, or wrong capitalization. Pretty sure he won’t want to be a headline editor for the rest of his GDC career :slight_smile:
(now. I am sure that I will never get any more nice things :cry:)


Maybe we can get back to somewhat of the topic?
@TriDragon lets break your response down a little bit.

Absolutely they did something wrong.

They own the game, they own the IP and the right to change it, they have said in black and white that the GDC reserves the right to make changes. It is in the rules, and just because you disagree doesn’t mean they did something wrong, they warn us every season something could change.

The management of expectations from RECF/VEX is sometimes very poor. I am sick and tired of hearing how they need to get everything done quickly at Worlds. They push the whole event through like cattle. I would rather see them have less matches and take a deep breath than listen to everyone clap themselves on the back for “being ahead of schedule”

Their is an EP thread where this has been discussed and it is not the case of pushing teams around like cattle. We have a schedule, venue has clean up schedules teams have flights, parents have dinner reservations, a large number of factors play into people making worlds successful and one of those things is keeping a schedule.

Dan Mantz is certainly someone that is listening and wants the right things done so I am hoping that he is working on a compromise.

This is very true, Dan is an amazing CEO and great at what he is doing. He also will not compromise if it is only 1%


7682 as a victim of both Bo1 and the removal of worlds qualifications via global skills ranking.

No one is a BO1 it is life, they could have had the same-thing happen on a tiebreaker round, are they a victim of BO3 then?


It’s not optional nor can it be debated.

Yeah that is how rules work, they can be debated, does not mean anything will come from it.

Surveying teams afterwards and avoiding all the gnarly questions will only produce the output you’re looking for. How about surveying teams before worlds asking them about their preferences around timing?

So when RECF is working with vendors, venues, transportation and hundred other items, you want them to survey teams, which are not determined until potentially late March, to give feedback on changing worlds for that current year? That makes no sense to me personally, if you could explain that more and in a way RECF could implement they could add it to the registration survey. Also the end of the season/ worlds survey gives us important feedback which they can use to help the next season, this does not always give them the results they want, but if they do get results they where expecting it does confirm that they are doing the right thing.

Also from being a competitor if I was not able to make it to Elims and now going forward not getting 10 matches would definitely be a let down. Teams are paying large amounts of money to get the 10 match minimum. Do we want to take that away from them?


I think with the amount that Bo3 and Bo1 has been discussed there is no new information that will change the GDC’s decision. Whether they eventually change it or just keep it he same, further repetitive back and forth conversation won’t make a difference.


Yes definitely do not take away 11 or 10 matches, its the WORLD championship, and it’ll be very disappointing to teams who only play 5 of 6 matches and don’t make elims


@IsANerd I could not agree more.

@Wack Unless I am mistaken I feel like almost every team wants 10 matches. I know it would have made me super upset to get to worlds, then get less matches then a normal local event.
This of course does not include the discussion of using it for justifying BO1 vs BO3. …


The difference in this case is that with BO3 the chances of a better alliance losing is lower. With BO3 an alliance needs to lose either 2 times in a row or 2 times in 3 matches versus simply losing one match. Teams compete all day and chances are that something will wrong at one point or another. With BO1 one thing goes wrong and the alliance is done, however with BO3 they get a chance to recover and if they are better then they will win the next two matches.

Obviously the more matches that are played the more probability there is that the winners are the better alliance. The problem is that managing time is important. I’m sure planning events, figuring everything out and all that stuff is hard and competitions can only run so many matches in a day. For a long time BO3 seems to have been optimal for amount of matches in terms of time and chance that the best alliance wins. However, with the switch to BO1, it is evident that something is taking longer. There some solutions but most of them don’t address the main issue.

A Better Way

We should focus on running events more efficiently. It is not a few extra matches matches in BO3 format that cause most competitions to run late. It is slow inspections, not starting qualifications on time, teams late to the field, slow feild resetting, etc. that cause delays during competitions.

Many people talk about this in terms of best for the event partners versus best for teams. It doesn’t have to be this way, there could be a solution where both sides benefit. For example, events would only run BO3 if they are on schedule to have enough time.

This would motivate team to be more involved in setting up before the competition, help resetting fields after matches and keeping everything running smoothly. This way everyone can benefit and teams can get involved with process of running competitions, while enjoying BO3.

You will be surprised how much peer pressure could help to get everyone to queing tables on time, resetting fields quickly, and not arguing with head ref for a long period of time.


Ok, I will bite, as this is something all EPs want, to run events efficiently, but not at the expense of quality for all teams. Our constraints are well known - time and volunteers. Also, I am not going to debate the Bo3 vs current format. Bo3 had its place with 3 team alliances where you had to deal with the abilities of the second pick and likely needed for major events with multiple divisions. Codec hits on a lot of important topics that are not foreign to EPs.

Here is list of observations:

Mileage may vary on this one. The time it takes to inspect a robot has many contributing factors:

  1. Experience of the inspectors - we try to spread it our based on expertise - sizing least experience needed, VEX parts a lot of experience need, field switch testing needs moderate amount of experience, VEXos firmware/Cortex software issues a lot of experience, and robot picture taking very little.
  2. Experience of the team - novice teams need a lot of hand holding and experience teams need a lot of scrutiny on little details, such as tape interaction with game objects.
  3. Scheduling - teams literally still building their robots at the event because that big idea they heard about they wanted to implement the night before.

Things EPs could do to incentivize teams to inspect early - no access to practice field or skills run. Things teams can do, show up early with an inspection ready robot and get in line right away.

This should be very rare late season for EPs that run more than two events a season. Apart from electronics failure or lack of access to facilities the night before (we had lost of power the two day prior to our regional last year, work literally did as much as possible in the dark while school was also in session), all systems should be go on match day.

Too bad, match starts without you. You have to be queued and checked in up at least two matches before. The upcoming matches are displayed in the pit and our queuers make announcements for missing teams.

Although this does sound good, having inconsistent formats from event to event would cause someone to complain about why this event is not running it the same way as the other. I am advocate of running events as described by the Game Manual, Qualifying Criteria, Judge Guide, and associated updates. Large events, meaning 64+ teams will be running multiple divisions, so their finals format may be different. But typical 24-48 qualifiers should be same format.

I think you mean the promise of efficient events will motivate more teams to help? I am dubious, that just that will help. Setup is problematic because it occurs the day before the event and some teams are still focused on working on their robots. I do think better volunteer management/communication would do more. Each event has its own way of managing their volunteers. We are fortunate that we do have a good pool of volunteers who will help events, but there are limits. How many weekends do you want them to sacrifice during the season 4,6,8,10,12,…24? This is probably the biggest challenge all EPs face, some fare better than others.

I would refrain from peer pressure as a tool. Head Referee interactions are limited to clarifying a rule or ruling, not a debate. As an EP that is when I come in and show the team out of the competition area to prepare for their next match.

Now I do want to say that sometimes getting to efficient hurts teams as well. I once ran a 48 team event, they all got 8 qualifying matches, 3 minute match cycle, and we had three competition fields. If you do the math, 12 teams are at the fields, 12 are lined up, so 24 teams are in competition area and 24 in the pits. This scenario makes it hard for teams to interact with one another for scouting and for judges to interview them. You also want wiggle room to fix things should towers go dark. It is a trade-off.

So far we have been fortunate to never have to cut qualifying matches because of big schedule delays. I know EPs loath when that happens.


Can we agree that if a bo3 bracket could magically take the same amount of time as a bo1 bracket, then bo3 would be unequivocally better?

If so, I have a few suggestions to save some time without demanding any more from out amazing event partners and volunteers. There are structural changes that could be made to game design, inspection, qualification rounds, and even the driver’s meeting. But I want to make sure we all agree that bo3 is a better system if we assume it takes the same amount of time, before I write another book to justify bo3 :slight_smile:


As a competitor who fully supports bo3 in every way, I would prefer a bo1 elimination than this. Your suggestion introduces so much inconsistently between events and leaves so much to chance, which is the biggest (only?) complaint against bo1 in the first place. As much as I hate bo1, having the structure dependent on how “on time” an event is makes the game more unfair across different events/regions, even if it becomes more likely for a single event to be fair.

More importantly, this would cause a massive amount of undue stress to those running the event. The whole reason bo1 exists is to make EPs, volunteers, etc. happy in the absence of 3 team alliances while still letting many teams into elims. Your “peer pressure” argument works both ways, and many competitors will be more aggressive towards those running the event if it is behind. These people are already sacrificing so much time for us, and with so many factors at play that are out of anyone’s control, it would generally be extremely unfair for them to be blamed for an undesirable tournament structure.

I’m sure I could have phrased this better, but I think you get the gist of what I’m saying. Basically your suggestion would remove many of bo1’s benefits for EPs and volunteers while making events, at best, inconsistently better for competitors. I would wager that most would prefer a consistently less fair bracket than one whos structure is more or less left up to chance. At least now we know what we’re getting into beforehand.


If you have a good system in mind for scheduling, please do suggest it to GCD/RECF - you can use past tournament schedules and compare to your new system. Right now the RECF has a match time calculator on RobotEvents for EPs to plan out their day. You can make one using a spreadsheet to compare and contrast the two different system and see how it scales based on # of teams. I think that sort of simulation/modeling would carry lots of weight.

Again, end of the day, it is a GDC/RECF decision.


I think that BO3 is better no matter what. But if you are able to find a way to get BO3 tournaments to take the same time as BO1 tournaments, then no rational or sane person will ever object. BO3 is undeniably better than BO1 in terms of making sure the best team wins. If you can pull this off, you have my team’s complete support. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you.


Without going on a huge rant, a plethora of decisions and lack of decisions by both the GDC and the RECF have persuaded me of the following. If I could email the GDC tomorrow, provide the status quo and my proposal side by side, convincingly show that my proposal would take less time, enable a bo3 bracket to be run at all events, and provide survey evidence that a majority of both competitors and event partners support it, I have absolutely no confidence that they would use my system over the status quo, or even consider it. Instead, I’d imagine they would ignore my email, respond with something incoherent, or invent data that supports the status quo. This is pure speculation and it may be incorrect, but this is my sincere belief based on how I’ve seen the GDC handle various issues since Karthik left.

As such, I’m posting here. It seems like EPs are listened to at least marginally more than competitors, and getting popular support for a better idea can only be good. But I’m not willing to contact the GDC.