Your WORST event ever

So recently we placed extremely low in an event, even though we worked really hard on it, as in hours and hours every day.

Everything about the robot was working fine, no gears skipped, none of the motor wires were stripped, in terms of actual robot, we were actually not bad compared to everyone else, and it was probably one of the better robots we have built. We just had a combination of bad luck, unpreparedness, not enough driver practice & autonomous time, and loose wires. But eh, things like that happen.

This got me wondering, what is your WORST event, and what happened?

My worst event ever was during the toss up season which was my first season. It was our first tournament and it was the Torrance tournament, it had nothing to do with robot problems (come to think of it we have never had robot or driver problems), the problem was with the tournament itself. We were in the finals and we had just finished running auton, we had won the bonus and they were about to start driver control but they ran auton again causing our robots to tip over but only our alliance not our opponents. But instead of resetting and restarting the match the refs were going to keep playing the match but we informed them that because of a computer failure they have to reset the match but they felt other wise because of a previous problem. The problem was that in one of the previous finals match one of our opponents had connection issues the entire match but did not notify the ref until after the match. After losing the match our opponents wanted the refs to reset and restart the match because of the connection issue that they failed to notify the refs of during the match. The refs decided to let us talk about it and come up with a solution and an answer (which was a horrible idea) it ended up turning into an argument which lead to a somewhat agreement that the match would not be restarted because of the fact that they failed to notify the ref right when the connection issue came up and waited to see what the mach result would be. When the double auton came up the refs did not listen to what we had to say and literally said “too bad” and because of the fact that we choose not to reset the match for our opponent they would not reset the match for us. In the end we ended up losing the tournament, the refs and the opposing teams from that tournament were very rude. Long story short we choose to no longer compete in that tournament.

At the Western Washington State Tournament this year, our alliance was placed next to the auto loader at the start of the match. We were placed next to the post. Our opponents were really good and had been kicking butt all day long. Our alliance’s robot lost its connection and couldn’t move, and our robot mainly did Skyrise. So we had pretty much nothing to do. Since their robot hadn’t left the tile, they power recycled their robot, and with about 30 seconds left they moved out of the way, and we managed to score 3 skyrise and a cube but it wasn’t enough. We lost by a huge margin. The entire day we got placed with no shows or our opponents were the best in the tournament. Alliance selection went okay for us, but we still got beat out by the teams that eventually won the event. Every other tournament that year we were extremely consistent and had been in the semifinals every tournament, and every time we had a high rank. This event was a bomb for us as it was for many.

This wasn’t my worst event ever, just most disappointing. I participated in the GA vex state competition earlier this month. My first match, my partner was a no show, although just minutes prior I had seen them at their table. I ended up winning anyway, but that wasn’t the biggest issue. I had a SECOND no show 2 matches later, and unfortunately lost that one. Again, I had just seen the team less than five minutes ago. And lastly, I was on the verge of finishing 5-1 overall. All I had to do was win my last match and I would’ve been in the clear. I had seen my partner performing well all day, so I thought it would be a pretty good match. To start, the opponents got autonomous, so we had some points to make up on. Half way into the match, we were still behind at least 15 points, and my alliance partner WAS SCORING FOR THE OTHER TEAM. He was purposely throwing the match so he could rank lower in alliance selection to get selection by one of the higher ranked teams he had already made a deal with. He had also thrown other matches throughout the day. And above all else, he won the sportsmanship award. Overall just very upsetting.

We went through a very similar experience at that tournament. Several of our alliance partners lied about their abilities to do skyrises, and we lost the majority of our matches because of it. We were also alliances with that same team that was throwing matches. It was very disappointing not making finals despite having one of the best cube scoring robots there :frowning:

Man. I get you. Totally.

Our team’s state championship was a complete disaster. We were a pretty decent team in the season, I mean, making semifinals every time and never dropped out of top 15 even robot broke the night before.

But state championship was a combination of all small things that could possibly go wrong. Driver lacked experience with new robot, lost 2 matches because of field control issue, 1 match because pneumatics leaked, 2 matches just because of lack of practice. We ranked 55, and we noticed a bunch of teams we knew were great standing with us, including our old alliance partners. Funny part is that nothing broke on the robot, and everybody at GA state championship liked our robot.

We worked out stable 6 pts and 8 pts auton the very next day after that tournament, and now with decent practice, our cube class robot can score approximately 40+ in a match and robot skills is hitting 40. But oh well. Things never unfold the way you expect.

One thing we learned is that a great robot cannot win nothing. Coaching, practice, experience, awareness and more in general decide who wins and who loses. In GA state championship, the team that hit 8 pts auton every single match won champion; the team that almost hit every time lost.

as a captain, my worst tournament happened was my first one. we ranked 25th and then got to quarterfinals, where we got beat by a huge margin in the first match. then we were going to play in the second match, but our alliance captain said we were bullying them by not letting them play the second match with our other partner. in our other tourneys, we got around 10th-15th. i will say that at two of those tournaments, we had a sister/brother team that ranked really low. at states, they somehow got to the dead bottom after quals :slight_smile:

Hands down, it had to be my junior year, 1st competition in sack attack

The night before I got the lift system working leaving me with 1 hour of sleep. But the tests caused the lift system to bend.

We were a team of 2 juniors and maybe 5 or so freshmen. We went for inspection and the lift system was bent out of place. We did everything we could think of to get the robot back into dimension, but when we had 10 minutes to go before inspection ended, I lost my temper and sat on the sidelines. The team was forced to remove the lift system and we made it to eliminations off of pure defensive strategy and autonomous.

My temper scarred the freshmen. They didn’t quit robotics, but they never put the same passion in vex as they did with FTC, FRC, battlebots, or even robofest. Of all my regrets, this is probably my biggest one, for this lack of freshmen led to the collapse of the vex team this year.

Worst event: when the magic smoke left the cortex 10 minutes before the 1st match. No showed for over a third of the matches.

We have had some apocalyptically horrible tournaments in our 5 seasons of competing. It’s impossible to decide which was the worst, so I’ll give some summaries:

-Our first tournament ever in Round Up, we had a 1-stage elevator made of thin chain. It snapped every match and got picked as a 3rd by the 8th seed because they liked my MSU t-shirt. We lost.
-Our second year, Gateway, at one tournament we tipped over the center goal trying to descore the top object, as it was only fastened with one bolt.
-At States in Sack Attack we had ESD issues (this used to be caused by IMEs before a firmware patch came out for it), causing our robot to “bug out” and continue doing whatever it was doing when the bug-out happened, uncontrollably and infinitely, until it was turned off (even field control couldn’t stop it). After spending entire matches driving into walls or spinning in circles, we finally figured out that we had to unplug the IME’s, and had to drive our ally’s robot (their drivers were no-shows) to win our last match. We ranked 42nd.
-2013 Worlds my dad and I (with the robot) had 5 flight cancellations at Chicago Airport (NEVER FLY THERE), delaying us by 21 hours and forcing our team to run the first day’s matches with a clawbot borrowed from Karthik.
-Last year at one tournament our robot went up in smoke during a match. A motor controller shorted.
-This year we went to a tournament with a wallbot made of spare parts, just to try it. We went 0-6-0 in qualification and ranked 34th, but got picked as a 1st pick by the 4th seed.

Our team is pretty much a living demonstration of Murphy’s law.

Which airport did you fly into in Chicago? Midway (the small one almost all southwest), or Ohare (the big international airport)?

It was O’Hare. They also lost 7580A’s robot for about a day in luggage transfer last year. Seriously, how do you lose a big neon green crate? Good thing we went a few days early last year, just in case…

O’hare is know for this kind of screw ups, good thing I only leave there so less chance of loosing it.

Our worst event ever?.. Easily the Northern California State Championships. There were two practice fields, one with NO SKYRISES BASES so no one could practice building the skyrise or test their skyrise autons there, and it was missing some posts. On the 2nd field, there were probably 10 cubes of each color, not the normal 22. There were no cords or power strips so many teams in the center of the room had an enormous lack of power, so charging batteries and laptops became a hassle. The queuing system in the pits wasn’t systematic at all as all they did was call the microphone that was only connected to one speaker, and could barely be heard. The skills fields were poorly managed. There were two fields with one manager who didn’t count the scores properly. Not only that, she didn’t even get out of her chair to enable/disable the run on the comp switch; so my drive team, who wasn’t even ready at the time, easily lost 10 seconds of our run, and after the run, she began screaming at us to leave the area. After failing PS, failing RS(cause we got a 50 second run instead of a 60 second run), and being screamed at for no reason whatsoever, we quit skills. My friends’ team was waiting in line while another team was running their skills. That team got to go at least 4-5 times before my friends’ team even got a chance to run once, while they were clearly in the specified “line”. Not to mention they were the only other ones there. Now matches… Oh qual matches, how stressful you are. Everything looked fine until the middle of the tournament. Around match number 20, both fields began suffering from disconnection problems. It was blatantly obvious that the problem was with the fields, not the vexnets or the programs, yet the RECF officials kept insisting that it was a fault in our code, not their system. But please tell me, if every team is disconnecting (and when I say every, i literally mean EVERY team) at the exact same time, how is it the fault in the programs? And if it were, then why were we not dropping connection on the practice or skills fields? Not only that, but they had 2 HS matches and 1 MS match all running at the same time, but only allotted for a 2 minute gap between matches on the schedule. The head ref. also continuously sized each and every robot before each match, which made the schedule go way off track. On top of that, the rankings and match scores were rarely displayed, so calculating SP and seeing what seed we were was virtually impossible. There were no live updates either. Never had I imagined I would go to such a terrible tournament, especially it being the State Championship.

Been there, done that.

Worlds 2011 (Orlando), flew red eye from Los Angeles via Philadelphia with 20 students, both robots lost by airline.

This was our biggest worry the past two years. The students would literally find a window in the airport that they could see the plane from and watch the little luggage truck (whatever it’s called) pull up to the plane and they would watch the whole time to make sure the robot crate was put on the plane.

We of course got a bit lucky that we actually were able to find a line of sight to even see the luggage being put on the plane.

More on topic…our worst event ever.

At this year’s MN state competition our alliance was easily the favorite to win. So here we are in the finals. Match 1…easy win. Match 2, opposing alliance was having issues getting connection before match. They used their timeout…still couldn’t connect. So we called OUR timeout for them. They got the problem figured out. During all that time, because the timeouts got the students out of their “rhythm” they forgot to check our potentiometer for autonomous selection. Robot ran the wrong autonomous…turned out to be the deciding factor. Now it was tied up 1-1. During the tie breaker match, our alliance partners robot COMPLETELY crapped out. Didn’t end up scoring at all. We ALMOST single handedly won…we were something like 8 points short.


1.) Could have won if we didn’t call timeout for them…they would have had one functioning robot and we would have easily won 2nd match…but wouldn’t have felt real good

2.) Could have won if our auto selector wasn’t set wrong during match 2.

3.) Could have won if our alliance partners robot didn’t crap out in match 3. (we don’t blame them for this…it happens…it just sucks)

Keep in mind this was the state championship…ugh. Luckily, our robot skills qualified us for Worlds so we still get to head to Louisville.

I think I’ve got everyone beat for the worst competition. At the beginning of the day before inspection started, quite a few teams saw that the field was set up incorrectly. The posts on the field were put in the wrong positions and they had the screws in the autoloader in a way that you couldn’t remove the skyrise sections. We did what we thought was appropriate and tried to talk with the head ref about this situation to get the fields set up properly. We brought the field manual as well as the ruling about the screws in the autoloader, but they refused to listen to us and said it was how the event coordinator told them to set it up. We then proceeded to try and talk to the event coordinator, but the refs didn’t allow us to talk to them. The fields weren’t fixed for about 15 mins after about 5 or so teams had come up and tried to talk to the refs. Matches started an hour behind schedule because inspection took too long. They had a problems with one fields, but instead of stopping the whole competition or running all matches on one field, they continued only one fields matches, skewing match schedules. This would have been fine, but the people calling teams to the field never got the message that the schedule was skewed so much and were calling people 10 mins before their match even got queued. This also got to be a problem when teams were being called for their match, and being threatened for a DQ, when they were playing a match on the other field and had to jump to the other field right after their match. When we got to our first match in elimination, the other team called one of the teams in our alliance for size. They were actually out of size and got replaced by our other alliance. They sized us as well as our alliance just to make sure we were in size. We won the first match by a large margin. Before our second match we were all sized again. The team that was previously out of size was given the okay, but we were told we were out of size. This would have been fine, but when we took our robot off the field, without changing a thing, sized it with a tool they allowed us to use, and we were in size with about 1/2 an inch in every direction. When we tried to have our other alliance to get put on the field, they said they wouldn’t allow it because they said that you can’t replace a robot taken out for size, even though they had just allowed us to do so. They had the match run as a 1v2, and we won as well. On the bracket they showed that we had continued to semifinals, but after the next round of matches, they removed us from this position and said we had lost both matches. We were angered and went up to the event coordinator to ask why this was, but they refused to talk to us. We never found out why this happened until about another 30 mins when they announced that we had been disqualified for both matches. The situation probably could have have better, but the fact that they left us in the dark for so long made it the worst event ever.

I haven’t been active on the forums for some time now, but I have to say that what you just described fits verbatim what happened at a tournament I went to this season. There was even a power outage (in just that building) at the tournament I’m referring to last year. Was wondering if you’d like to disclose which state your tournament was from?

It was for us too. We placed 19th for qualifications and got knocked out in the quarterfinals. It was our worst tournament of the year which was weird because we got 2 champions and 1 semifinalist and had never placed lower than 8th for qualifications.

I’d just like to say even though we did really badly, the judges, volunteers, and organizers here at BC are great. They were patient, understanding, fair, and just nice people in general. In fact, I don’t remember a single competitions that had problems other than being slightly off schedule. Us having a bad day was mostly just us and bad luck.