Washington VRC Championship Event

We held the first-ever Washington VRC event today at Redmond High School. Here’s the results:

Excellence - 721
Winners - 418, 419, 1116d
Finalists - 721, 575, 890
Programming Skills Champion - 417
Robot Skills Champion - 418 (tied with 723 at 50 points, but 418 won the tie-breaker. 1899 had 48.)
Amaze Award - 418
Judge’s Award - 880
Build Award - 723
Support Award - 575

It was a very long day, but we survived. We hope the 26 teams had as much fun as we did.

I’ve attached the qualifying and elimination results, and the final qualifying standings. There will be pictures, but not soon. It turns out that tournament directors don’t have a lot of time to take pictures.

Several impressions from this event, which was the fourth held in British Columbia and Washington this year:

  • The robots are transformed from the December tournament. Faster, better drivers, much more sophisticated cube handling. Constant competition and building really improves the robots.

  • Parity is improving. The *lowest *RP earned by a robot was 112 points in six matches. There weren’t many complete blow-outs. The high score in a qualifying match was 60 points.

  • The robot builders are getting better. From talking to other coaches, these “winning” robots were either completely or substantially new in the last 30 days: 418, 419, 721, and 1899 (OK, 1899 didn’t “win” but they did come within 2 points of winning the Robot Skills competition).

  • 721 and 575 fulfilled their destiny of being paired-up some day teaming up with a vastly improved 890 in the #2 alliance, but the results were inconclusive when 575’s robot simply didn’t turn on for Final 3. 575 worked all day, but in that one match, it simply didn’t turn on. (Not that they would necessarily have won anyway, 418, 419, and 1116d were driving out of their minds. I’m sure 418/419/1116d would rather have crushed the Gladstone/Exothermic alliance at full strength, but they didn’t seem ashamed of winning either!)

  • We tried a different kind of schedule. Instead of:

Short Lunch

with a side field for Robot Skills and Programming Skills, and judging during the qualifying rounds, we tried this:

Long lunch (1-1/2 hours) including judging, Robot Skills and Programming Skills during lunch

Here’s what we learned during the “long mixed lunch” scheme:

  • Spectators got to watch the Side Challenges on the main field instead of them being in another room.

  • We still gave every volunteer (including the judges) a 30-minute lunch during the Long Lunch.

  • The judges spent an hour of the Long Lunch doing judging. This allowed them to see 12 teams when there was no pressure to get on or off the field for Qualifying.

  • The judges were able to spend the whole afternoon Qualifying and Elimination period watching robot competition, doing interviews, and doing whatever else it is that judges do during their deliberations.

  • During the Long Lunch, teams could watch other robots running the side competitions, and several who hadn’t planned to ended up doing one or both. It made the side events more a key part of the event.

  • It gives teams time to go out to lunch if they want to, rather than eating pizza in the pits. (Of course, we served lunch, so most people ate in the building anyway.) (And it was pizza…)

I thought it went pretty well, but I’m going to ask the teams what they thought.
Final Elimination Match Results.pdf (10.9 KB)
Final Qualification Match Results.pdf (19.7 KB)
Final Qualification Rankings.pdf (9.54 KB)

Individual teams may also want to comment but, on behalf of the Canadians contingent as a whole, let me say…

This was a great event. Spacious, pleasant and well laid out venue. Smoothly an effectively run. Fairly adjudicated. A high level of competition. And flexible scheduling! (We, the northern contingent, particularly appreciated your gracious adjustments to accommodate our ‘border crossing induced’ late arrival).

A minor bit of statistical support for your observation of robot design and game play improvement. Average and median RP (six game q-round) at the Vancouver event in December were both 96. Average RP yesterday in Redmond was 133 (median: 129), a scoring improvement of 38% (34%) over the course of the four event season.

The inclusion of both the Driver and Programming challenge also added to the event.

Please pass on big Canadian thank-you (much like an American thank-you but subject to exchange rates and federal sales tax) to the many volunteers who participated in making the event such a success and who so enthusiastically made us all feel welcome.

An excellent finale to the VEX competition season in the Pacific Northwest!


Sounds like a good time… sorry I couldn’t be there for it. (My sorrows, however, were tempered by the fresh powder that fell this weekend…)

I am particularly delighted to note the depth of the field in the robotics competitions here in the Pacific Northwest. It is only going to get deeper next year as students return with another year of experience and learning and new teams bring new energy and ideas in to the competition.

Hopefully some of the teams from the final match will have a chance to play together again in Dallas?


The average & median RP of 96 – I’m assuming cumulative over 6 rounds, which would mean the lower-scoring alliances were scoring an average of 16 points/match.

Your 133 RP – was this also over 6 qualifying rounds? If not, what was the average/median QP per match?

Sounds like a great event – congrats to all!

Yes, it was also over 6 qualifiers.

–And a quick question about the robot skills - you did say that the winner was determined by whoever did better on their second attempt (I’m assuming that meant the second-best attempt, as outlined in the rules), and you mentioned that 418 scored 49 then 50. Did 723 have a second attempt? If so, what was their (his) score?

Team 723 Sumo Panda received 42 points on their first attempt in the driving skills competition.

I’ve put a lot of the matches up on Youtube. I’m missing Finals 2, and a scattering of others, but I’ve put up all I have. Some have blurry periods – this is because the auto focus on the video camera didn’t seem to like either the lighting or the people sitting in front of the camera. The volunteer who shot the video is an Exothermics parent, so there is a bias towards ERC robots. Sorry about that!

Try this link: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=redmond+vrc+robot&aq=f

Nicely done with the videos.

Sounds like a rockin time
The events in CA have been all over the place.
Bellarmine’s event was outstanding; well organized, and some amazing robots to compete with. SIAtech’s was good, although had a limited pool of talent.
Cal High’s was surprisingly unprofessional and very disorganized. >.<

I have some links to still photos of the event. These are from Mr. Hicks, our volunteer photographer:

…and these are from Mr. Balakrishnan, one of our parents. About half our team comes from Redmond High School, which is where “Redmond High School Robotics” comes from.