Qualifying for events

There’s always the teams who bring you down. We’ve all experienced this, where a poorly designed/built/performing robot is in your alliance and you lose because the alliance against you had 2 decent robots. It hurts the most when you’ve got a winning or well performing robot and you end up with such teams.

Why not prevent this? Hear me out:

If we place qualifying sessions for each event so that only decently performing robots can continue, then we can have a competition without such robots. So, by using robot skills as a qualifier hours before an event begins, we can allow either a certain amount of teams in, which are selected based on their rankings (allowing the top x to continue to the tournament) or teams that have a score within x% of the top qualifying score before the actual tournament starts. To create an incentive to qualify well, you would make it so that the higher place you qualify, the later your first match of the day is.

This way, you’re not stuck in an alliance with a poorly performing robot, but instead a robot that is points driven. In addition, due to the nature of Toss Up, by simply being able to cross over the bump and push balls around, you can qualify for the tournament, so even if you are a defensive robot, you demonstrate the ability to be able to benefit the team in terms of points.

Do you think that teams should have to qualify for the qualification rounds at qualification tournaments for the state world qualifier? I can see your point, but it would be hard to carry out as the time taken to make sure every robot has a few skills runs before the tournament would be better spent having more qualification matches so that the 2 on 1 situations. Anyways, the qualification matches are just to give you a chance to prove what your robot can do before you get to chose your allies (or be chosen) so there are plenty of qualification levels already.

Or you can deal with the loss, get on a good alliance in the elimination rounds, and do well eliminations, and win lots of matches. This happens to all teams that go to worlds. This is the point of state championships, qualify, do well, go to worlds.

EDIT: Overclocked beat me to it by 30 seconds.

I don’t think teams should have to qualify for qualification rounds but the OP has a point. Depending on a higher ranked team to pick you is never a reliable course of action, and often teams end up with less-capable partners in the Eliminations that way (even at Worlds).

What I think is unfair is when teams who are already qualified for a State or World tournament try to carry less capable teams who cannot qualify on their own merits. This causes teams who worked hard to get to States or Worlds to end up paired with poorly performing allies in State and World qualification matches, which can end a team’s chances at winning the tournament.

At the last tournament my team was at we had 4 of our 8 matches with nonworking robots. We went 2-2 in those matches and ended up finishing 5-3 at 13th place. We were chosen by the third seed alliance captain. This is the nature of vex tournaments. There will always be some teams that should not have gotten into a tournament they should not have qualified for.
The teams that don’t score as much in a robot skills match would still tend to be on the lower end of the rankings.

The way you get chosen is if you do well in those elimination matches. You can’t do well with poor teammates.

I definitely agree with the issues raised in this thread, I just don’t think that OP’s solution is very practical for small events.
I would certainly agree that the qualification system has troubles, but I think the solution is to improve the qualification criteria for the state/regional events, not add additional levels of qualification. For example, my friend’s team (246) has been extremely consistent and ended up either captain or top pick of the fifth alliance for the last four competitions. Because they would have had to make it past the top alliance to make it to finals and qualify, they sat unqualified as my team (246A) was qualified as the last pick of the winning alliance twice. 246 eventually qualified from their skills scores, but it seemed wrong that we would repeatedly qualify over them despite obviously being a less successful robot.

Regarding the effect of a bad schedule, I think that would be better solved by changing the ranking system so that rank has less to do with a team’s schedule. I made my statistics site so that alliance captains can see the real quality of a team unaffected by the schedule but the captains and how many of them pick is still affected by the ranking system. Bad allies (particularly ones that don’t show up) can be frustrating, but what nobody has mentioned is that on average it is twice as likely that your opponent won’t show up than that your ally won’t show up. On average, it actually helps good teams to have bad teams there so long as they don’t take qualification spots for the next level of event. I am working on analyzing how effective various ranking systems would be, but until vex decides to make a change the best we can do as teams is try to pick teams with good team not teams with good schedules.

Even though the current system has favored my team recently, I don’t think it is necessary for the last pick of a winning / finalist alliance to qualify for events above other teams. Sadly, the rankings are rarely indicative of a team’s performance so they should certainly not be used instead, but it seems fair to me to qualify the top robots of the finalist alliance above the last pick of the winning alliance.

This is why I like events with alliances of 2. No thirds you are required to play, so bad robots aren’t playing in the finals. No one gets “carried” on a winning alliance as a third.

Wait… I thought the lists were made at random…

Yes… it is easily possible to get randomly selected into a bad schedule.

What about wall bots?

They can push balls around on the field, can’t they? That can be up to 48 points.

Yes, the schedule is random, and that is part of the issue. The rankings are not supposed to be random, but they are randomized a great deal by the schedules, and the qualification rankings often reflect the ease of a team’s schedule rather than the actual performance of their robot.

No… No it’s not. Take Daniel’s robot. He has a theoretical match cap score of 24. That’s all 10 BB in the end zone, and the 4 large balls in the middle. Realistically, he can’t get the 3 off the back wall, probably 1 of the ones under the hanging bar, and maneuvering an 8 foot line is very, very difficult. He’s going to be getting 10-12 points at max. And that’s assuming he doesn’t accidentally violate the herding rule, which I imagine would be fairly easy.

Robot skills is almost as bad. I don’t see a normal wallbot (meaning no offensive capabilities) getting over 25 points. If they could knock the 4 large balls off the barrier, they could get to maybe 40-45. But that would likely require the addition of a part specifically for Skills, which takes time away from other more important parts of the build like programming, and improving what they actually would use in a match.

We were talking about how much a wall bot could score in skills.
4 big ball off rail
20 points
8 buckies off rail and starting tiles into goal zone
36 points and 4 big balls over bump
40 points

He’s not getting the four off the barrier. I see maybe 20-25 points happening. And that’s if he doesn’t get knocked for herding, which seems like it would be really easy.

This is a bad idea. I’m not going to get into why, as other people have already covered that. It’s not something that will ever be implemented in VEX. You want to seed well? Get lucky, and be good enough to win matches without a partner. You want to be good support? Show first seed and get picked.

If you bring something to the table, you will always get picked. My team was the first in our region to consistently high hang and thus were always picked by midway through the third round, even in a tournament where we finished 50th in qualifications.

Match inconsistencies can always be remedied with selling yourself to picking teams and high driver skills scores. I think that any team complaining about not being picked because of a poor match schedule isn’t that good in the first place.

I agree. We were second last in our competition due to technical difficulties. However, we pulled through at the end, got a good skills score and sold ourselves to the third alliance which qualified us anyways.

I guess no one ever gets a “good” schedule, eh? I mean, when you lose, it’s clearly because you were given a randomly selected “bad” schedule of weak partners and strong opponents, but when you are winning… well, that’s just because you are awesome. :smiley:

If you go to enough events then your luck with being allied with non-working robots and being allied against non-working robots… your luck with being allied with great robots and against great robots… will balance out.

But I think teams sometimes make too much of a “strong” or “weak” schedule, particularly in events that have six or seven rounds. So I don’t accept that a qualifying skills round is even needed… let alone that it makes sense for VRC.

But I do accept… in fact I strongly and enthusiastically support… the notion that it does little good to match mutli-year veterans with $2000 robots against grade 8 rookies with a kitbot. Thats why B.C. introduced the A Division for the BCIT tournament several years ago. Teams that have won during the season go into A division, teams that have yet to experience winning go into B division… but that is based on a year’s worth of events for sorting out the teams.

There is a way to accomplish this in a single day tournament, however. It is called a “Swiss” system tournament and was developed for chess so that winners in the first round would play against each other, while losers in the first round would play against each other, etc. The catch to this is that you would have to create a new draw after each round.

Personally, however, after over a decade of going to robot competitions with the current format, I might not argue that it is the best format… merely that it is the best possible format under the circumstances.


I see the point to the original idea here, but at the same time I agree that being with weak teams is part of the game. Learning to go scout them out ahead of time, speaking to them and devising a stratagie that allows them to help you out is also part of the game. If your robot cant score… then have him push bucky balls to you and block a goal for example. Its all part of the VEX experience, but not allowing someone to compete on the basis that they havent built a good enough robot, or havent learned enough to build a great skills robot, is unfair. How would these teams learn and get better without competing in tournments? They wouldnt be able to learn from the great alliance partners they have, and VEX would start to lose lots of teams who felt left out and unwanted.