Strength Points.

Hello all,

What are your thoughts and opinions on strength points in vex?
IMHO I think they do more harm than good by creating incentives to play the game backwards during the qualification matches.
I can tell how the intent of SP’s might be to make it so the teams with tougher schedules get more ranking points, however this is assuming teams will try to score as much as possible. The intent of the rule is good, however in practice it simply doesn’t really seem to work as teams will very often intentionally score against themselves to get a higher rank.

Again, what do you guys think? I noticed this year that Auton Points (AP’s) have become the first tiebreaker, yet teams still constantly go for SP’s.

I think teams still go for SP’s because AP’s will almost always tie because you can only get 0 or 4 per match. Personally AP’s are very welcome in my book. But SP’s are not the best.

I’m fine with SP’s. Its a legit strategy in all sports- why do football teams put in their secondary teams? to avoid running up the score.

Same thing in vex.
Also, It makes comebacks (especially this year) extremely possible.

I have no problem with SPs, although I do like the addition of the APs as a first tiebreaker. It is generally the teams likely to be at or near the top of the rankings that concern themselves with SPs as a way to help separate themselves from the other teams at the top of the rankings. This is really important in events with few qualifying rounds. Here in Wisconsin, we as Event Partners, try to have 7 or more qualifying rounds at our events as that will help provide adequate separation between teams. However, many places run events with only 5 qualifying rounds. The SPs are crucial there to separate the 4-6 undefeated teams.

Is it the perfect system? No. Is it a workable system? In my opinion, YES. I would certainly entertain suggestions for alternatives. But in the long run,any alternative would need to meet the following criteria: easy to implement, easy to understand and adequately provide a means to show that of two robots with the same number of win point and autonomous points, which one should be ranked higher. SPs do that somewhat. Yes, some teams have learned to play the SP game and some teams have been burnt trying to play the SP game when the match was too close.

Heh … I see what you did there.

SPs are just part of the game. They’re not doing what the GDC may have intended for SPs to do, but SPs are entirely within a team’s control. I don’t have anything against them.

I think its pointless, and gives teams a reason to make the game not as competitive. In most games, the goal is to win by as much as possible. I don’t understand why they would make a system that rewards you for not using your full capabilities. If you can 50-0 a match, why not?

The reason football teams put in their backups in a blowout is so their starters don’t get injured. Winning a game by less points in football has no impact whatsoever on the rankings. Personally I do not like SPs for Vex, but for this years game I can’t really think of a good alternative.

I agree with your statement in principle, “if you can win 50-0, why not?” However, one must take the following things into consideration. 1) Not everyone is going to face everyone else in qualifying in most events. 2) Not everyone is going to partner with everyone else in the events. 3) The rankings of the robots is important for the elimination round alliance selection. 4) Winning 50-0 may not be an indication of a particular robots ability, but might be based on the strength of their alliance partner and/or the weakness of the opposing alliance. Until someone comes up with a better system that is easy to implement, easy to understand and truly points out the true rankings of the robots, this is the system we have to live with.

As I said in a post above, SPs are not a perfect system. However, it has been around for a long time. It is a difficult system for highly competitive people to deal with. In my first couple of years, (many years ago) my teams were just focused on winning. It took a while for us to get a handle on the SP game. We were really caught off guard when teams began scoring for their opponent.