Potential Idea For Selecting Alliances

At the North Carolina states tournament the first seed went down the line and picked a bunch if teams who then declined because they weren’t the greatest. This really made a lot of teams mad including myself and a bunch of teams thought there should be an rule changed to fix this issue from ever occurring. I thought that maybe the top 8bteans cab decline multiple people as many times as they want it unlimited amount of times. This would help ensure that people who got a lucky schedule dont mess up everyone else who didnt get that good of a schedule but still did well. It would still reward all the good teams for their hard work and not reward teams whi didn’t do well. Let me know any thoughts you guys have on this.

Link to another thread that talks about what happened and video of the event.


The top 8 teams already can, since they are the ones picking others. The teams most heavily affected by the current rules are lower ranked teams being that are being picked.


I’d like to hear an alternative for selecting alliances. No feasible method of alliance selection is going to revoke the first seed from qualifications the right to play in eliminations. Your proposed solution would allow several teams to theoretically have stronger matches, but riddle me this: what if multiple teams within the top 8 were “carried”? For instance, at our last competition, the third seed could only intake 3 cubes, the fourth seed could do up to six but wasn’t driven by the best team, and the seventh place team was a clawbot. Let’s say 1 picks 2 (they didn’t at our comp, but I digress), so now the third and fourth place teams get a free ask for the fifith, sixth, and eighth place teams, and then take two of the better robots below the top eight. That would not only take more time and would lead to more rejections, but you don’t really fix the issue of the weaker teams upsetting the people who aren’t alliance captains.

This game is really weird, in that a very good bot can feasibly defeat two top-12 bots in a 2v1 with great utilization of towers (which I’ve seen happen twice in one competition), and that the scores of lower-scoring teams are very close to each other (like another 2v1 I saw with the 9th seed in eliminations soloing the 8th seed 8-7). Even a pushbot could theoretically score 9 points, and with scores of that one team discussed like 5-15 or 17-9, the possibility of an “upset” in qualifications is greater. I wish I had data to support this, but I think the abundance of “weaker” teams ranking higher in the qualification rounds is due to the design of the game, and that manifests itself in the alliance selection.


I believe they can only be picked once, meaning that they can only decline someone once.

If you decline, you may not get picked again. If you are an alliance captain you may pick any team that has not declined a selection.

We had a case where there were 4 sister teams in the top 8, they all wanted to play together. Team asked the four sisters in a row, they all declined. When it came time for the first sister to pick, they tried to pick the other sisters and were told by the EP, nope. Sisters ended up in 4 different alliances.

I love the current system. It’s simple, fair, it allows a team to make a strategic move if they want.


I agree with Foster here. The VRC alliance selection rules are simple and very clear, and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in a picking position. It’s up to you to develop a strategy within them.


Foster spitting facts. just because you dont like the rules doesnt mean they dont make sense


If you don’t want to be picked by a team just go talk to them? I find it hard to believe that you expect the 1st seed to take the initiative to talk to you, especially when YOU’RE the one who doesn’t want to be picked. I’ve encountered many situations where the 1st seed was not necessarily the best team. Just talk to them. The worst case scenario is they decide to take advantage of the system to give themselves a better chance of winning by making all the other alliances worse, which is entirely within their rights.


Isn’t the rejection a “penalty”?

They didn’t end up first seed “by chance”. They won all their matches and had higher tie breakers, all according to the same rules everyone else played by. How those wins happened (whether by DQ of the other teams, or better play, or anything else), doesn’t discount them as wins.

Perhaps the other “high scoring teams” should have helped orchestrate a selection process that included the first seed. Communication is a 2-way street. Other teams making their own arrangements failed to plan for a scenario where the first seed picked their preferred partner. None of this seems like it would be unexpected. Did teams 2-8 just expect team 1 to pick team 9 (or whatever) straight off? And if so, why wouldn’t team 1 strategically (or otherwise) try to upset that to maximize their own chances of winning?


I don’t think any example that includes a robot combusting into flames should be a reason to change rules


Look, it wasn’t my team they chose, but it was the others. I can’t change anything and obviously nothing is going to come out of it. We were doing pretty badly for our standards and they didn’t choose us but they asked the alliances that we were going to join. I’m just salty and I needed to vent. I understand that they had every right, but what happened happened and every team that they asked and rejected was pretty pissed.

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Just to ask a question, but why did the recf decide that teams who rejected cant be picked?
Is there a reason for penalizing teams who reject?


Great question!

It has it’s roots in the FRC competition. The intent is that the team in first place can pick the best team that they will think will help them. It stops any kind of “back room” deals from being brokered by teams that didn’t place as well. The “captains” earned that honor, they get the right to pick. In the past there were cases of where teams threw matches to drop below the 8 line, then figuring that a sister team higher up would pick them and create super alliances. This also stops that.

This isn’t prom, it’s robots.

I’ve seen the 9th place team go “Ok, so we think that one of the first 8 captains will pick someone in the top 8, that will slide us up, we can become a captain, we can build our own alliance and win.” Captain 1 asks, they decline. Other captains didn’t pick each other, and were forced to skip #9. At the end of selection, they ended up not being a captain, not being picked and not playing.


I agree with this, but now I really want to see that match!! Last time I saw a VRC robot fire was a long time ago. (Battery placement was poor, metal parts ended up cutting the wires in half, shorting the battery, massive current, smoke then small flames)


Agree- how did it catch fire??

I want to know what happened too

9791Toss Up season at Worlds … yup - one of my teams…

I am not exactly sure what happened in NC, but I do believe that the issue can be dealt with by having a proper number of qualification rounds. In Wisconsin, we run a 48 team state championship where we run 10 qualifying rounds. I haven’t come up with a good formula, but it seems that the number of qualifying rounds should never be lower than 6 for a minimum qualifying event, which means 16 teams and probably up to 24 teams. A 32 team event should shoot for 7, at least. Once you get beyond 32, I think 8 is good. If you are running a state/regional event (or a Signature event), I think 9-10 is a good number. With enough qualifying rounds, the chances of a not-so-strong robot getting to the #1 seed become extremely small. Now I understand that some EPs might have circumstances that make a larger number of qualifying rounds difficult. It does need to be understood the consequences however. For example, running a 60 team event with only 5 qualification rounds is just asking for 1) TOO many undefeated teams and 2) 1 or more highly ranked teams that are not as strong as many of the robots below them,


i disagree, messing up alliances is a part of makes alliance selection interesting. i mean its no secret that luck is involved in competitions but it adds the randomness that makes them interesting. being able to decline as many as people want will make it easy for the same 2 teams to alliance to just stomp the competition over and over and over again. the current decline rules make it so that you have to think on your feet—i.e having insight on the competition, be prepared and work on consistency—i.e. have a good autonomous and practice driving.

if the same teams kept winning, again and again, it’d be boring


I think the only way to improve alliance selection is make it so teams say if they can or can’t be picked before selection starts, it’ll have the same effect as the line of declines exept would streamline it and make it less awkward