Why do we need so much time during tournaments

Why do we need to take so much time in tournaments when it can be shorter?, i get why its long but sourly they can shorten it 🤦🏽

Tournaments are as long as they are for several reasons. Here are a few: each team needs to drive in 5-8 teamwork matches; teams need time to run their 6 skills matches; judges need time to interview each team, then deliberate about which teams will receive judged awards. I haven’t found a way to compress the schedule much and still include all of these things.

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The event can be shortened by having more fields set up, more referees and score people. All of those are limited by space and having a volunteer pool.

In theory, you could run a 64 team event in 90 minutes.

Start with 21 Inspection Stations. Should take about 15 mins to process 3 teams at each inspection place (one will need to do 4).

Then teams move to one of 32 fields / tables for their first match. 3-2-1 go with a shotgun start (all teams play at the same time). Play the match, score the match and then a mad scramble to get to the next table. 6 matches should take about an hour. Then sort the teams by rank, assign them to one of the 32 tables for their final teamwork run. 3-2-1 Go, finals teamwork round is done.

Enter the scores, figure out who won. Give out awards, thanks to the volunteers and the event is over.

Just kidding with all of this, but it’s a good example where theory meets practice. We run events with 4 fields and 24 teams and can play a full event on a Friday evening. The starts are one at a time, but as soon as one match ends the next one starts.

(Edited because the first post was just a word salad)

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There are a few things that you, as a competitor, can consistently do to help tournaments run more quickly. These apply to both IQ and VRC events, and I see them cause slowdowns at every event.

  1. Know, understand, and follow the rules of the current game.
  2. Queue on time.
  3. Be ready to drive when you get to the field (robot set up quickly, correct controller in hand, safety glasses worn correctly at events that require them, etc.).
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tournaments are long for numerous reasons including: getting a lot of teams seeded and judged.

In my opinion it is really fun to have a long competitions to hangout with other teams.

Also its nice to have your motors cool down for a while before your next match (especially with this years game). It usually takes 10 - 15 minutes for all of our motors to cool down after an intense match against similarly skilled bots (rather than just taking all the goals and waiting for a minute to score them when playing against pushbots)

The IQ Experiment
I did a cool experiment this season with an accelerated IQ event. It was a 24 team IQ league over four nights for two hours each night. 24 teams with five rounds is 60 matches and easy to do with two fields in 2 hours. The last night was difficult because we had judging.

For the final night I set up four tables and had (seasoned) judges be the “inspectors”. Teams would bring their robot and notebook to the table and the judges would do their interview. The judges had to limit the interview to 10 minutes but that allowed me to dispatch another team every 2-3 minutes. I had all interviews done in an hour. Keep in mind that some teams show up as much as an hour early so with a 6pm start time, early teams started inspection at 5:15 and I had the interviews done by 6:30 pm.

Qualification rounds started and judges went off to further review the notebooks and deliberate. Judges could also venture out and do second interviews. Four rounds in 70 minutes, Teamwork challenge, and the awards were presented at 8pm. It helped that the teams had three prior nights of practice so they were pretty efficient at approaching the field to compete.

Saturday Tournaments
During an actual Saturday VRC tournaments, organizations in our area frequently have breaks in the qualification schedule (blocks) so that teams have time to run skills and meet with judges. If we are running a dual (HS / MS) event we will alternate age group schedules to make the best use of time.

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That is a very interesting out of the box solution. So each “inspector/judge” team did 6 robots in an hour which isn’t bad for the inspection process anyway.

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