One thing that I’ve been thinking about recently is how most teams are experiencing a massive rebuild year. Our team had 9 returning members, and 29 new members. At the start of the season we made a big push to recruit more members, and it worked. We have been busy running training to get our new members up to speed. We aren’t a 100% ready for build season. We will be learning a few things during build season. I imagine a lot of teams are finding themselves in a similar spot.
I’m a bit worried about the early events I foresee some teams struggling with inspections and bumper build quality. Its easy to lose these skills over an almost two year gap(for some teams).
Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard about FIRST only hosting one championship this year. This change lowers the number of teams that can attend to Worlds. Changing from two ~400 team events to a single ~450 team event is a drastic reduction in teams attending.
In addition to the number of invites changing the criteria to earn a championship invite has been changed. Only the alliance captain and first pick of the winning alliance are auto invited. Second pick team of the winning alliance is placed in the priority wait list for Worlds. Rookie All Star award is also placed on the priority wait list. You can find all of the changes here. District advancement remains unchanged besides the number of teams advancing.
Path to Championships for Texas
We are assuming that we need to be in the top 25 in the Texas District to be invited to Worlds. If we look at district point rankings from 2019 the cut off number is 151 points.
Things that got you district points in 2020:
- Seed number, based on a formula, simplified to 20 max and trending down
- Pick number, based on 17 minus your pick number. So say you were picked by captain 6 first round, there were 5 robots picked before you so you are 6th pick. 17 – 6 = 11.
- 5 district points per playoff match won
- 5 points for judged awards
- 3x multiplier for points earned at district championship
One path to worlds would be winning an event 70 points, doing okay at an event ~40 points(placing within top 8 or being picked soon, eliminated in quarter finals). Then doing okay at district championship earning 90 points(second pick by 6-8 and out in quarter finals again). That gives you a total of 200 points which (in 2019) would place you around rank 14-15. Assuming the things that get you district points doesn’t change too much.
The 3x multiplier for district championship provides a powerful way to earn more district points. Once your team has qualified for district championship you could shift your focus away from your remaining events and onto performing well at district championship. For example if you win your first event you could focus on bigger improvements targeted for district championship and bring the same robot that you took to the first event.
Now there’s a balance to be had here, you always should be testing and iterating your changes, so its natural that your robot would get better as you work towards district championship. Don’t make big changes untested and expect it to go well!
We are competing in week 5 at Amarillo and district championship is week 6. There’s a whole 4 days between Amarillo end and District Championship start date(One of those days will be spent driving 7 hours back to Austin). If we qualify for district championship its unlikely that we will have time to make any drastic changes to our robot.
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