TN crunchbot tourney livestream@Brentwood 9/26/2020

Livestream for ongoing tourney:

Figured I would put it here. :smile:


There’s no way that forcing competitors to only have a clawbot or crunchbot could possibly be legal…

I am now officially calling bs


Watch the stream man, it’s a place for new teams to learn strategy and driving without having to worry about building their own mechanisms. If you look for it it’s an official tourney on robotevents.


Are they given the bots or did they have to build them with their own materials

seems weird to host a comp only to force teams to use bad robots.


Yes it does. I really agree with that. Even if they are new teams. They need to build their own robots do be able to get better a building. Comps is where you can go against others at a competition which can help better your robot and team. Just using some Jank robot won’t help with that. Now I see what you guys are trying to accomplish but it just doesn’t work that way. I mean if you want to do this. Just make it a practice tournament and not official.

A lot of these kids are currently building their own robots, and I think this tourney is going to give them a better grasp of how to play change up; a better analysis of the strategy . They’re learning so much rn, I really think it’s a valuable experience. We’ve had two years worth of new teams from our program go to this tournament, and every time they’ve come back with so many ideas for they’re real robot. Just like at worlds, when everyone is using a similar design, the game becomes more about the strategy you use and less about how good you are at building. (which varies wildly with new teams) There are no judged awards as well. Since that wouldn’t really make sense.


That bypasses the point of the competition.

The compeittion is about designing, building, programming and driving your robots.

You are cutting out essentially 3/4 of that…

edit: i’m not counting following the instruction manual hole for hole as building

I couldn’t care less if it’s a scrim or whatever but if you’re making this a real qualifying competition, then it’s definitely not legal.

if this is a registered event that teams pay for that actually can qualify you for something, then yeah it’s probably not legal to force teams to use clawbots and crunchbots.

but if it’s just a scrim then that’s fine. just kind of strange. I would think new teams would learn even more by making their own robots for a scrim, but if it is just a scrim do whatever you want I guess.

if vex was purely about driver practice and programming skills, they would just give us instructions for everything. the main part of vex is the robot though, so it makes no sense to not let teams build their own.

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It’s still up in the air about whether or not it quals, but it’s less about giving new teams a realistic comp, and more about showing them how to play this game in an efficient manner. I see your point, In a real comp it would be outrageous to mandate a certain design. However, I believe that the fact that this tournament is meant to teach new teams about game strategy warrants the use of only crunchbots. It’s for the same reason that it chess everyone uses the same pieces.


A) Fun fact: it does not.
B) Why would you have a comp designed to only teach teams about game strategy? If they build their own robots then they get the incredible experience of learning about both robots AND game strategy!

ah yes, what an apt comparison…


this just in, it does not qualify.


definitely shouldn’t be a qualifying event. I can’t tell you how to host your scrims, but I will say that teams will probably learn more and have a lot more fun when they are allowed to build their own robots. Vrc is about making competitive robots, stripping the competition down to only driver practice and strategy is a bad idea imo, especially when the robots in question are very limited in what strategies and actions they can do. Just my 2 cents, take it or leave it.

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Just felt like It is worth clarifying that this competition is not run by Zeta’s organization


I’m not sure why everyone is beating on Zeta. He’s not hosting this tournament, nor does he belong to the organization hosting it.

And think of it this way, by removing design, other things (i.e. autonomous, strategy, the VEX design system) are highlighted. And to be fair, a crunchbot may not be a very good robot, but it’s much better than many first robots. A crunchbot can score and can play the game. I’ll go ahead and say my first robot could not. Teams that have a robot that does not play the game or cannot score will be limited in their ability to focus on things like strategy or skills routines or autonomous.


Will your event similar to this one qualify? Just curious


It will not qualify, similar to today’s event at Brentwood.


Goodness, there is so much conjecture on this thread. Let’s clear some of that up, shall we?

Ok, so the Crunchbot/Clawbot Tournament:
BA did not invent this event. It is based it on one from Kentucky, that would allow only a pre-designed robot, which was then called a Kentucky Starterbot. The University of Kentucky Engineering department created the build and instructions and would publish them for anyone who needed help getting to the next phase beyond a clawbot (Doug Klein even posted video build instructions for these).

This is the BA Clawbot/Starterbot tournament’s third year. Every year the event has been an REC approved event, our RSM knows about it, her boss knows about it, and Dan and Grant know about it. The Crunchbot is an REC and GDC developed robot. It’s not perfect, it’s not meant to be, just like the clawbot. There is even an IQ version. This is not new. This is perfectly legal. REC is totally fine with this event. I think there is even a similar one in Canada that has been running for 7 years.

Every year, this event has qualified two teams to the State Championship. Usually it is attended by about 24 teams; things are a little sparse in a pandemic, so we only had 10 today. This is almost always the first tournament in the state each season, it is always late September/ very early October.

This may end up being a qualifying event. Who knows. It is currently not awarded any State spots because NO EVENTS in Tennessee have been allocated spots; we are waiting to see how many events exist before we determine how to allocate spots. Even a 36 team event on Halloween doesn’t have State spots at this time. Remember all the townhall meetings about how we make this season work, and that the answer is flexibility? We do what each region needs in order to give kids the best season we can given the current situation.

Now that we’ve settled the legality of the event, let’s chat about why this event exists (its raison d’être):
Several years ago we noticed that a few things were happening for brand new teams. 1) They were starting with a Clawbot (good!), 2) They were showing up to the Halloween tournament as their very first experience and getting absolutely smashed by the experienced teams (some felt disheartened, others were inspired, it could go either way), 3) Brand new teams at a fast-paced highly-sought after event (it fills in under 2 hours each year) often get totally overwhelmed, miss matches, or misunderstand how things run, which can lead to a disappointing experience, 4) After building a Clawbot, they had no idea how to make the next leap to a more advanced robot (failure is a good learning tool, but can be a really long and painful process, and may never yield a better result).
We talked with some coaches from neighboring Kentucky about this at the EP Summit, and they had been hosting an event that seemed to help solve these problems - the Kentucky Starterbot events. It gives brand new teams a gentle introduction to tournament play, where the opponents are at the same-ish skill level and the purpose is to guide them through the day. We use pit runners to help them show up to their matches on time, talk them through inspection, explain what alliances are and why declining an alliance invitation when you are the 20th ranked team is a bad idea (that happened one year, it was crushing). We give extra grace on time, we explain things that experienced teams simply know, and we check in on teams throughout the day to make sure they are still ticking along smoothly. It means that for their first event they have FUN and have a positive experience. Building what once was developed by UK Engineering, and now by REC, as a stepping stone from the clawbot gives them the next set of skills they will need to imagine their own unique design.

Do the teams that win sometimes show up to the State Championship with a Clawbot/Starterbot? Yes, it happened once. But for the most part, teams get cracking right away on their next robot, and by Halloween are driving something that didn’t have instructions.

To answer some questions:
@Calvin_Thrasher the event listing provides a link to the build instructions for the Crunchbot, and teams are told in every communication that both the Clawbot and Crunchbot are legal for the event, and that no modifications that create a mechanical advantage can be made. Teams build their own robots. If a team shows up with a robot that is not spec, we let them know what needs to be adjusted and may even supply any parts we can to help them make the necessary changes.

@Xenon27 we don’t force anyone to do anything, no one is mandated to attend this event. If people didn’t want to attend they simply wouldn’t register. We get pretty great feedback on this event, it does what it is intended to do - help brand new teams learn how a basic tournament works, gain confidence, and get excited about the rest of the season.

Zeta you’ve made great points, I’m really looking forward to seeing you at Halloween, and X team did really well today


I mean if you’ve got teams paying to use a clawbot, then I guess it’s cool.

I would think events like this take state spots away from teams actually trying to be competitive, and it seems like it would just reduce vrc to a driver contest, but if recf thinks its good then I guess it’s ok.