Was British Columbia the Best Region at Worlds?

For the past few years I’ve been inviting teams to come play at BCIT, and presenting some statistics to support why it is, statistically, a more difficult tournament than Worlds. With the change to state/provincial qualifying, the BCIT “A” Division is no longer the BC Championship, but the Pacific Northwest Championship. In any case, I’d like to present some statistics on how BC teams fared at worlds, and extend the invitation to any teams looking for top level competition in the run up to next year’s world championship to come try the field in “A” division at the Pacific Northwest Championships at BCIT.

So… BC sent 10 teams to worlds.

1136A “Flying Circuits” from Courtenay: 9-1 in qualifying, #1 in division, division champs, third overall (in the past three years BC teams have received a first place, second place, and two third place finishes)
9594M “BISCUIT Robotics” from Collingwood: 9-1 in qualifying #3 in division, division quarterfinalists, AMAZE award winner
2Z “Robosavages” from Gladstone: 9-1 in qualifying #5 in division, division quarterfinalists
2D “Robosavages” from Gladstone: 7-2-1 in qualifying, #6 in division, division semi-finalists, AMAZE award winner
2K “Robosavages” from Gladstone: 6-3-1 in qualifying, #21 in division, division finalists
2A “Robosavages” from Gladstone: 4-5-1 in qualifying, #55 in division, AMAZE award winner
7842D “Navigators” from North Island Distance Education: 8-2 in qualifying, #5 in division, division semi-finalists
7793R “Hamber Bots” from Vancouver: 5-4-1 in qualifying, #34 in division, division semi-finalists
6264 “Shawkbots Alpha” from Shawnigan Lake: 5-5 in qualifying, #38 in division, THINK award winner
4549C “Envertronics” from Surrey: 5-4-1 in qualifying #30 in division

So to sum it up, the ten teams from BC went 67-28-5 in qualifying.
Did any other region’s teams have a better win ratio?
50% of BC teams finished in the top 8 in their division
70% of BC teams played in divisional playoffs including
1 division champion
1 division finalist
3 division semi-finalists
2 division quarter-finalists
40% of BC teams received a judged award including three of the five AMAZE awards handed out at the tournament

So you can imagine how tough the competition was at the BC championships! Unfortunately I can’t invite teams from outside BC to take part in the provincial championships, but I can invite you to plan to attend the Pacific Northwest Championships next year. I don’t have the date for 2015 fixed just yet… it is usually early March. It’s great preparation for worlds… and I’ve got the stats to back it up!


New Zealand

Having competed in BCIT A twice, I’ve got to agree with dtengineering that competition is pretty stiff up here in the northwest :smiley:

If I remember correctly, during the finals matches this season, by the time autonomous ended, most if not all of the game objects were in the middle/goal zone. Imagine having the game just about won by the end of autonomous :open_mouth:

And yes, as the original post says, competition is tough, but the teams are pretty nice and willing to give tips and share advice. Definitely a great way to prepare for worlds, and I encourage everyone to see it for themselves!

No doubt. The kiwis rock.

But do the math and the six New Zealand teams went 34-25-1 in qualifying. That’s a .576 win record as opposed to .705 for BC teams.

Even if you leave out 2915C’s qualifying record, which, at 1-9, seems to be a bit unrepresentative of their true ability, and you have a record of 33-16-1 between the remaining five teams. That’s .660 so it’s an excellent win record, and there are clearly some outstanding teams, but as an overall state/province/regional representation, it is still less than .705.

Don’t get me wrong… I think if New Zealand was a little bit closer and had some cheaper air fares that they could get even more great teams to Anaheim. It’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison due to the travel challenges they face. And I think it is pretty cool to have a win percentage on the same level, or slightly better, than New Zealand.

For judged awards… I believe two of the six NZ teams received awards. That’s 33%. Excellent… but not 40%.

I’ll even go so far as to suggest that New Zealand is probably the favorite VEX region for many people… but if you’re going to argue that the region, as a whole, was the best at VRC Worlds this year, I’ll encourage you to back it up with some stats.


And, just for the record, I used to keep track of the stats for BC and Washington teams because we all competed together all season long. Until this year it was more like BC/Washington and even Oregon worked together as one big district. When I kept those numbers, the BC/Washington teams at worlds would usually average a win ratio in the .600 and up range. The performance of the BC teams this year is a bit of a statistical outlier… not so much in that it is good, but just how good…

The growth in team numbers has made it a bit difficult to do the stats for Washington, too, but one of the reasons the PNW area is so strong is because we’ve worked together for so long. I really liked it when EVERY tournament was an international one!


Number of High School World Championship Tournament Champion Titles:

6 New Zealand
4 California
4 China
3 Massachusetts
2 Ontario
1 British Columbia
1 Washington

And just while we are here
6 HS world champion titles from bots n stuff and that only took 2 years

What does bots n stuff have to do with who wins worlds? Nothing.

And how did the rest of the teams from these regions fare?

This isn’t about the best team. It is about the best, overall, regional performance. A place where you can compete where you know EVERYONE will be good, not just a few outlier teams.

In other words, are these championship teams having an impact on the region, and lifting the overall level of competition, or are they just keeping their excellence to themselves?



Bots ‘n’ Stuff actually helps the teams who are members of it a lot - it’s almost like an idea accelerator - having teams from all over the world (especially strong teams like OYES, UVM, 21, 2941, 2915, etc) allows all members to put their good (and bad) ideas out there, to be analyzed by all the members. For example, the double-chain drivetrain that inspired Lucas (OYES), and used by 2059A, 21 (2014 World Champs), UVM, and a ton of other BNS teams came from 254A in the beginning of the season. A concept for large ball rollers was created within 2 weeks after Worlds 2013, and Team UVM came up with the large ball rollers everyone’s seen just 1 or 2 weeks after that. Without a doubt, they inspired several teams in BNS as well as the world to make their large ball rollers. Strategies within the group were solidified from a very early stage -in November, and allowed most of the teams in the group to focus on driving practice that reflected those strategies.

Alliance selection and scouting becomes easier, as we all pool information we have on all the teams we know, and we all know each other well enough that we can even fix each others’ robots if the need arises. 2059A commonly comes over to 254’s pit to practice or fix each others’ robots.

So where does this get us? For us, it got us (254A/D) from a pretty beat-up team when we joined BNS (2013) to division finalists this year, and I can certainly say that a lot of the help came from BNS. 3560Z (Abhinav) took concepts from Ruiqi (2059A), and ended up world champions. Team 21 actually named the rubber band “pie” rollers ruiqrollers in honor of Ruiqi, who came up with the modified version of Owen (UVM’s) rollers. 2915C was also in BNS, and decided to make a defensive robot - Jack and Lucas were both pushing 2915C as an amazing 2nd pick, allowing them to dominate with 3560Z and 21. On top of that, 2587Z took pretty much all of Aaron’s robot (they even said that themselves), and added some wings that contributed to an amazing robot. 2941A was mentored by Lucas, and members of 2941A are also in BNS. 134A and 5327A are both BNS members, and specifically 134A has been extremely active on BNS, giving out many ideas and testing new things for the all of us. 4252A (Gabe and Shane) took an early idea for a catapult that BNS had - the reverse front catapult, and actually put it in action, leading to an amazing robot. 2059A’s activebrake code was used on practically every 6 motor drive team in BNS, and led to a lot of success.

AND it keeps going - let’s just start listing all the awards won by active BNS teams :

3560Z - 2014 World Champions
2915C - 2014 World Champions
21 - 2014 World Champions
2941A - 2014 World Finalists
2587Z - 2014 World Finalists
134A - 2014 Arts Division Winners
5327A - 2014 Arts Division Winners
40A - 2014 Division Finalist
254D - 2014 Division Finalist, Website Award
2941D - 2014 Division Finalist
2880A - 2014 Division Finalist
OYES - 2014 VexU Robot Skills, Programming Skills, and Excellence World Champions
2059A - 2014 Create Award
2941A - 2013 World Finalists
2915A - 2013 World Champions
1615A - 2013 World Finalists
2941D - 2013 World Champions
2587Z - 2013 World Finalists
2625 - 2013 World Champions
21 - 2014 California State Champions
21 - 2013 California State Champions
254D - 2013 California State Champions

…and many more…
Ask any of us, and we will definitely say that BNS has helped us get better at robotics. So when you say BNS has no impact on who does well at competitions, you are sorely mistaken - I, for one, can say that BNS has had one of the biggest, if not the biggest, impacts on our team’s performance.

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I know this is a bit off the current best teams in world topic but…
Uk and European teams have grown significantly in strength over the last couple of years. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in the next couple of years (ok maybe a a bit soon,) Europe becomes a fairly dominant region especially since a European champhionship is being talked about. It was only two years ago we sent pushbots to worlds and this year we had our first team reach knock outs (congratulations to XLR8)

Food for thought!

Wisconsin sent 8 high school teams and went 45-33-2 in qualifying which was .577 win record. 2 of the best Wisconsin teams stayed home for AP test prep. One(1200) was the US Open & State champion and the other(1200C) had won the most tournaments in the state during the year. The two 1200 teams that went were 10-0 and 8-2. I don’t think any Wisconsin team won an award besides divisional finalist.

I also am pretty sure that 1200F’s captain was on BnS at some point.

And he still is :smiley:

Woo, go BC. But even though I’m from there, I don’t really think it’s worth anything to try saying we’re a better region. Are we good? Do good teams come out of BC? I don’t think that’s in doubt. Are we the best? That’s not something I feel is a good idea to argue about. Never mind what determines who is “best”.

I personally beleive that Texas is an equally I not more difficult region. Going to worlds I expected it to be much harder than it was, because I’m so accustom the difficulty level of the many Texas tournaments. I kkow we sent 12 teams a follows:
26 -rank 2, division simifinalists
136m - rank 31, division champions
400x -rank 4,division semi finalists
2158m -rank 3, division finalists
4000 -rank 25,division quarter finalists
4000x -rank 2 division quarter finalists
4252a -rank 4, division quarter finalists
9090a -rank 24, division semi finalists
9090c -DQ’ed, but likely to do very well had they not
2880a - rank 27, division finalists
2587k -rank 64
2587z -rank 16, worlds finalists

Now I know not all of those team dominated, but there were many that did very well, with only one team (excluding 9090c) not making it past qualifying. These teams also had a combined record of : 9-1-0. 6-4-0. 8-2-0. 5-3-2. 6-4-0. 9-0-1. 3-7-0. 9-1-0. 7-3-0. 8-2-0 76-30-3.

I really do not think that win% is the best way to judge quality of a team, because of how much luck can go into the qualification matches, and even division selection.

But if that is how you want to do it… . If we are not discussing only the teams that win at the World Championship, then why should we only look at the teams that GO to the World Championship?

Even still, if we do, North Carolina took the #1 spot.


Wow! 76-30-3. Impressive. That’s .717! And based on 12 teams competing. Those are good stats.

So we’ve got the Texas teams at .717, BC teams at .705… anyone else above .700? Above .600?

On a related note, there was a comment about qualifying rounds not being a great indicator due to random alliance pairings. It really depends on sample size. The larger the sample the more representative the sample is. So while six qualifying rounds for one team at a local tournament can be impacted by random alliance pairings, 100 matches (or 120 in the case of Texas) is much less likely to be affected by schedules. It’s not the only criteria to consider… you’ll notice I also calculated the percentage of teams receiving awards, the percentage of teams advancing to eliminations, and the presence of region teams in the final rounds. But the beauty of the win ratio is that calculated across a region, it includes all teams and has enough data points to be less subject to random influence than some of these other measures.

And there was also a comment about seeking out the regions with the best performing teams not being a particularly useful exercise. From an individual team point of view, perhaps not. But from the view of someone who coordinates VEX workshops, tournaments and other events across a region it is a very useful indicator. Not the primary indicator from my point of view… that should be based on internal feedback on teams having a positive educational experience… but a useful piece of information that says that the positive educational experience that teams are having is being mirrored in above-average performance at a world championship level.

It would be interesting, for instance, to identify four or five regions with consistently highly performing teams and try to identify any regional characteristics that separate those regions from regions with teams who are struggling. It can reinforce positive practices and suggest new ideas to help improve weaker regions.

And if I can use these stats to promote the Pacific Northwest “A” Division Championship as a great way to prepare for Worlds, and get a few more awesome teams to come play here next March… then that’s a big win for all the teams at the tournament.


P.S. I derive the win ratio by the following formula (cumulative region wins / (cumulative region wins + cumulative region losses)) In the case of a highly successful defensive robot that ranks low in the standings, but excels in judged awards or elimination rounds, it may be useful to consider them as an outlier, leaving their qualifying record out of the regional calculation and adding a note explaining why.

There were 21 Texas teams in the high school division. How did the others do?

Yes, please include *all *the teams from your region in the analysis. I had no idea there were that many teams from Texas… although it kind of makes sense, now that I think about it… but if I were to just pick the top half of BC teams at the tournament they’d have a combined record of 42-7-1. A nice stat, but hardly a complete representation of the BC teams at worlds.

I’d also like to comment on the earlier mention of “Botsnstuff”. Although its not really a region, it does seem to be a good idea. There are certainly some excellent teams involved in the site who are willing to share some good ideas.

And – despite the rather flame-baiting title of the thread – I’m really after finding out what regions are doing that gives them an edge at the world championship. I’ve got a few insights on what we’re doing right in this part of the world, but I’ll post them later in a separate thread.

Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it… I’d like to encourage more great teams to come to the Pacific Northwest Championship next year. You’ll find most of the best teams from BC, Washington, Oregon and Alberta there.