What is something you wish you knew before your first tournament?

Even if it can’t go wrong, it will still somehow find a way to go wrong


Cue my nut list
Literally a list of anything loose inside the robot
I get concerned when something not on the list falls out or when more than the list comes out


we had a cascade lift for TT, one competition it got stuck and we couldn’t fix it at the competition. we took it apart looking for what was wrong, and still don’t know what the problem was to this day, still the worst thing that has happened at a competition.

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That the robot can do every it’s not supposed to.


That people actually build pushbots, and that you will often be paired with said pushbots.


Wheels need two points of contact.
Followed soon by: “So does everything else.”


Jedi robes or pirate costumes make any team instantly cool.

Thing 75
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That there was a robot size requirement. :sweat_smile:


Not all tournament food is good food.

Also @moderators can you close this topic?

My sibling in Christ, YOU revived it


That your robots would fall apart if you used a keps nut to keep everything together

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I knew this before my first competition but not enough teams do and the thing more people need to know is that the notebook is actually important and can win you some very good awards

I wish I knew all the purple disks at our tournament today were broken.

Terribly sorry to bring this up, I am not christain.

(Also to add on to the conversation here, I wish I had known that the practice field and the skills field were separate things)


I wish I had known that open cans of soda should be kept away from the robot.



All the small imperfections and janky parts of your robot that you think won’t matter will matter. In TT scoring with our tray without knocking the cubes over required us to be super precise; at our first tournament stacking more than 4 cubes was virtually impossible. In TiP our states bot was barely in size at inspection; after skills and 4 matches it was no longer in size despite us making no changes.


build the auton before the competition, not during :pensive:


There is an important concept my father taught me called a “failsafe.” It’s the idea of preparing so that if something goes wrong, it is impossible for it to screw you up, because you had something in place that prevented it from affecting you. If you “fail,” you’re “safe.”
It pretty much means preparation, and going the extra bit to make sure everything is right. For example, let’s say you have an extremely important school project that is due the next day. Instead of setting it on your desk, put it in or on your backpack. And then put your backpack in your car or on the doorknob you have to walk by to leave for school. Whatever happens, if you forget anything, your prior preparation makes sure that it is impossible to forget.
And you can apply it in many other situations, but that’s just a relatable example for a lot of people.