It Wasn’t Against the Rules

Blog Date: 
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 08:38

First, I’d like to clear something up. Last week I blogged about an alliance calling a timeout to give their opposing alliance a chance to make repairs.

I’ve received a few emails since then indicating some folks think this was a violation of T19, which prohibits the transfer of timeouts between alliances.

This was not a violation of T19. The red alliance did not hand their timeout coupon to the blue alliance for them to use. The red alliance used their own timeout themselves. As there are no requirements in the rules stating an alliance must use their timeout coupon only to make repairs for themselves, no rules were broken. 

FMS Progress

While the FMS is performing better than it was in Week 1, we continue to work on improvements. Last Saturday, a software update was released that corrected an issue causing some ref screens to stop responding to input under certain circumstances. We are currently working on the occasional issues of auto goal timing being off and pedestal lighting delays. These issues have sometimes led to replays, which FIRST and event staff want to avoid as much as the teams do.

Mt Olive District Event Match Timing

This week I learned that most of the matches played at the Mt Olive District event in Week 1 were 20 seconds too short. Instead of being played with 10 seconds of Autonomous and 140 seconds of Teleop, they were played with 10 seconds of Autonomous and 120 seconds of Teleop.  While the default times in FMS were set correctly, if FMS was shut down, then restarted, it was possible for the system to reload the match times from last year. The default times last year were 15 seconds of Autonomous and 120 seconds of Teleop. We believe the error in the Autonomous period was caught at the time and corrected at the event, but Teleop was not, leading to a split of new Auto/old Teleop times being used. This issue was not the fault of field personnel – they did a great job catching the Auto timing issue, and the Teleop timing issue was much less obvious because of the way the screens are configured. If anyone at the event noticed the matches were shorter than they should have been when the event was going on, it was not brought to the attention of field personnel, or at least we have no reports of that.

As background, match times are not ‘locked’ to allow for troubleshooting. There may be cases in which the FTA wishes to run short Auto or Teleop periods to test the system.

This bug in the system has been fixed, and we’ve thankfully had no other reports of this issue, but this does not correct the fact that this happened, and teams were impacted, for which I apologize. As we have no way to know exactly how the event results may have changed with longer matches, all results will stand. Again, I’m sorry for this issue.



Hi Frank,
Would like to see a root cause of the timing issue other than just a default settings issue. Why was the match stopped midway? Why could it not be restarted like they intended? Is it related to FMS or the human error? Can this happen again?

Frank, It would make the entire FIRST community happier if you guys would open up FMS and release it to us. Aside from these bugs that seem to turn up there are discrepancies between running simulations on local workstations and what happens on the field. The white paper you released after last year was a great start but you should follow it up with additional information.

i belevie what happened at the event was an accident however i really wish that the timming issue would have been found earlier so that all of the teams would have a fair chance otherwise i think first is doing an amasing job i am really into roborics and i hope for the best for all the teams competting this year!!!!

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