New FRC Standard District Points Ranking System: 2014

Blog Date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 14:50

As some of you are aware, we have had a team working on developing a standard points ranking system for use in all four of the Districts we will have in 2014.  Members of the team in addition to me included:

    • Jessica Boucher – New England District Representative, FRC Chief Volunteer Coordinator, Team 237 “Black Magic” Student Alumna
    • Patrick Felty – Regional Director for Central and South Texas (Alamo Region)
    • Chris Fultz – Woodie Flowers Award Winner,  Team 234 “Cyber Blue” Mentor
    • Jon Jack – Chairman’s Award winning Team 1538 “The Holy Cows” Mentor, Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Winner
    • Ed Petrillo – Mid-Atlantic Robotics District Representative, Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Winner, Team 293 “S.P.I.K.E.” Mentor
    • Kevin Ross – Pacific Northwest District Representative, Founder of Washington FIRST Robotics, Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Winner, Team 4089 “Stealth Robotics” Mentor
    • Jim Zondag – Michigan District Representative, Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Winner, Team 33 “Killer Bees” Mentor

I want to thank this team for the many hours of work they’ve put in over the last few months to develop this new system.  Our discussions weren’t always easy; but they were always honest, and every team member came to the table with the intention to work together to develop the best possible system for FRC.  It was a wonderful experience – individuals with sometimes strongly differing views listening carefully to each other and eventually coming to consensus – a great example of Gracious Professionalism in action.

While this system will be used by all Districts in 2014, it is not set in stone.  Our intention is to periodically review the system, making improvements for later years as we see the need.  It’s our additional intent that every year, all Districts will use the standard points ranking system that is in place for that year.  This will help facilitate the potential introduction of inter-District play, which we intend to develop for the 2015 season.

You may find the details of the system, along with some explanation of the various components, here.

I recognize this system may generate some feedback.  Please put your comments below, or if you prefer, you may email them to frcteams@usfirst.org .  If we get a sufficient number of common questions or comments, We’ll address them at a later time.

I’ll blog again soon.

Frank

Comments

Just wanted to confirm that the phrase "they will still be eligible for awards at those later events, and any benefits that go along with winning those awards" under the section entitled "Third District Event Participation" means that a team winning the Chairman's Award at their 3rd district event would still get a bye to attend and compete at the District Championship Event.

Correct, earning the Chairman's Award at a 3rd event still earns the bye.

When are the team age points applied? Is it per event, or just a standing extra 5 or 10 points?

Just a standing 5 or 10 points for the season, not per event.

Just wanted to share my thoughts on this. http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1299521&postcount=31

Otherwise, no other complaints. Good work, all!

I am glad to see that a uniform system is in place. However For many reasons it is not fair for district teams to be able to earn points at a regional. The time they spend at a regional is additional out of bag time and practice that other teams in the district do not have. If they have the resources to go to a regional that is great, but nothing they do there should have any influence positive or negative on any other team in their district. If they get their ticket to CMP at a regional, they should not be able to take another slot from their district. just my opinion

District teams don't earn ranking points at Regionals.

Will FMS calculate these rankings automatically? Or at least provide all the information necessary to calculate them?

Up until now, FMS has not done this. I believe every district has a process in place though to calculate and post the results to their websites.

After first reading, the system looks pretty good. I got all the way to ties where my presumption is that the items mentioned there are based on the same first two district events attended by the team, even though it is not specifically stated in the section.

Also, if there was some sort of scoring or spreadsheet calculator that was used for the evaluation of the system, we should make it available for review.

I am excited this unified model allows future interdistrict play!
My related questions (for this year):
1. How many World CMP slots is each District going to get?
2. How do Legacy/HoF teams play into the number of slots? What if a Legacy/HoF wins an outside regional slot?
3. What auto-qualifies a team for World CMP from DCMP? Chairmans is noted in the document, but does that mean 0-EI and 0-RAS auto-qualify (even though at regionals EI & RAS have auto-qualified teams in past years).
4. How many of each award do District Championships get to give out (CA, EI, RAS, WF, DL come to mind).

Will district areas be granted World Championship spots proportional to the number of teams in the district vs the number of teams overall, or will the number of spots remain the same as last year? Teams in heavily populated districts appear to be at a disadvantage for World Championship qualification, especially given the ruling regarding district teams winning at regionals.

We'll have an update on this shortly.

The flaw with the system that has been in place, and now has been carried over to this new proposal, is the failure to consider the size of the competing schools. Here is how it works now. Teams with big pockets build a complete field and second identical robot and tag this as a "prototype". These teams then ignore the tools down period and practice up to the first event using the "prototype". Having this advantage at the early events yields the points to get into the District Championship and tips the scale in the final tally to get to the World Championship.

One very important question that is glaringly NOT answered ... What is the cut-off points necessary to qualify for the district CMP and then for the FIRST CMP? Its nice to now know how the ranking will be calculated, but is useless without knowing the target.

The cutoff to the District Championship and the FIRST Championship is dynamically determined by the number of slots available and the spread of points earned by teams in the system. It's not set in advance.

So, teams in the District won't know (for sure) who's going to the District Championship until the end of the last District event. In the case of New England, the last District event ends on April 4, and the Championship in Boston starts on April 10. Correct?
Will FIRST (or NE FIRST) provide a web page, updated weekly, showing the current status of each district? (That would be 161 teams in the NE District, according to http://www.nefirst.org/status/)!

Correct, teams won't know for sure who is going to the District Championship until the end of the last district event. Currently, the Districts are responsible for maintaining and publishing team rankings. You will be able to find the New England District rankings on nefirst.org. You should contact your District leadership for detailed questions on this.

In the unlikely case that all the teams in the last district event have already competed in two tournaments, the teams will know for sure beforehand. Baseball rankings regularly include "games behind" status numbers. It seems that might be possible to do for these rankings even if it is more complicated. Modern youth seems to thrive on complication so the "M" part of STEM may well be served in this. :)

I can't help but feel that the current format of having a single elim, bracket style tournament for the elimination matches does not play well with the point system. Outside of alliance selections, the current tournament structure is fair only because the team that wins the tournament is getting the "prize". Whoever lost to the winning alliance in quarterfinals may have climbed higher in the tournament had they taken a different route. With the regional system, that fact doesn't have a negative impact because they would not have won anyway, but now they are missing out on potential points.

Confusing and frustrating.

Allowing teams to attend unlimited number of district events put teams who only attend two at a competitive disadvantage. A team at their third or forth distric event has the practice and competition time to dominate their later events, preventing teams who have less experience (or resources) to collect points towards the district championship qualification (i.e. this past week at Northeastern University).

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