I wonder if we could improve the scoring protocol.
I have personally seen (and heard 3rd party reports) of improperly scored matches. These were no edge cases, errors were as clear as wrong count of the balls in the scoring zone.
Now I understand that referees are volunteers, we’re all human and everything, but I think a little change to the match protocol would cover most of the error, hopefully without opening a debating can of worms:
After each match, the referee would tell the drivers the score and the drivers would acknowledge it. For BankShot, it doesn’t even need to be the final math (that’s checked by technology anyway), the statement of facts (“14 cutouts, 3 balls in goal and 7 balls in the scoring zone with one robot parked on the ramp”) would allow for quick verification. The students are usually pretty good with tracking their score, but they are rarely assertive enough to contest wrong ruling on the stage, unless there is a protocol for that.
Or perhaps a clear communication of the score while the students are still on the stage could be enough to let them object in case of errors, but not even that is the norm…
For all of the events that Cornerstone Robotics runs (including the Indiana State Championship) the referees will call out the number of balls in each scoring area, cutouts emptied, and number of robots parked. The scorekeeper fills out the score sheet with these numbers and then a student from each team and the referee initial the score sheet. Data entry mistakes are going to happen, so we always have the initialed score sheets to reference.
There is now an android app that can be used by referees or scorekeepers to enter scores at the field. We started testing this at our last competition and will continue testing it at the Indiana State Championship this weekend. We will still be using paper score sheets as well, though, so that the students can verify the scoring.
Experience has been good in most part. In Bankshot, there were situations this year where ball count was also entered as total score. As for math, the referees are not required to tally. They need to write down the facts and then the person entering tally’s (at least at smaller events). At some smaller events some may use tablets and tally instantly. That does not have the paper-written step which is also bad. At bigger events it is like the statement of fact you point out. Both the drivers and referee do agree on the score. Last year at the State, there was an instance where the referee scored wrong and gave the drivers a hard time about contesting the score displayed. How much contesting depends on stubbornness of the referee. A formal request to judge to tally score as written on card showed correction. The Worlds has a good process.
The tally is not what is entered into Tournament Manager. The numbers entered into TM are the number of robots parked on the ramp, cutouts emptied, balls in scoring zone, and balls in goal. TM then does the calculation of the final score. The likelihood of mistakes is one reason our refs don’t announce the final score.
Thank you. Good to know. Then in our situation (5 balls in goal = 15) TM displayed incorrectly (note: I avoid saying anything about TM as it might cause issues). Scorecard was correct in noting 5 in goal (but it was no big deal, leave it at that). Some referees verbally say score but our drivers verify the ball counts and parking as written on score card. Agree with you on not announcing final score though. We can also calculate pretty easily with the mobile app.
What they do over in PR, the judges have a piece of paper that asks (1) Balls in Goal (2) Balls in Scoring Zone, (3) Cutoffs (4) Bots on Ramp very similar on how it has to be entered in TM. After the match ends, the judge counts the score with the kids and write it on the form. The kids sign it to acknowledge the score and then it is entered into the TM.
Once the TM was displaying the incorrect score. The kids reported it, they looked for the score card the kids had signed, they verify it against the TM and they entered the wrong amount of balls on the TM. The event manager took the score card back to the judge, he confirmed that the score card was correct and then they corrected the score on the TM.
We are going to mobile scoring this year. Show both teams the tablet before entering the score, you could even have the last student hit the save button (while watching!). It would be nice if DWAB would add a button for each team to touch that would “initial” the score sheet, given that the ONLY time the kids can challenge the score is at the table. Also, it is automatically entered into TM so there are no transcription errors.
The only problem would be if TM crashes there would be no paper backup. The refs could save screenshots and TM does to regular backups.
Also, TM is free to use! I would recommend downloading it and doing a scrimmage with your teams.
TM has multiple features designed in to ensure that score data isn’t lost. When designing TM Mobile the fact that paper scoresheets were being replaced was considered and that included concern regarding having a backup copy. Two things specifically to be aware of:
TM Mobile saves a log of all submitted scores on the device which is decoupled from TM itself. You can view this through the "Activity Log" option. This feature was specifically added to address the concern of not having a paper backup (so no need to capture screenshots of the referee tablets).
All scores that are successfully submitted from TM Mobile as well as any scores saved in the TM computer interface are also saved. The "View Score History" button at the bottom of the TM scoring interface allows you to recall any Referee Submitted or Scorekeeper Saved score for any match.
That’s awesome, I didn’t know that the tablets kept a backup. In the case of a crash, will it automatically pull the information again once the device is connected or will it have to be put in manually? Is there a comprehensive mobile guide? These features weren’t listed in the manual last time I checked.