Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The New Q and A's Just Keep Coming!

Hi again,

Just reminding new teams about the new Q and A's from Scott Evans at FIRST. With respect to #19 - if you are a rookie team, you may not truly appreciate the missions and table challenge this year. We felt that with 18 or so missions to accomplish last year, it was really overwhelming for new teams.

We think there are still plenty of tricky missions for Smart Move but many fewer than last year. We know teams that were a little discouraged by the sheer number of missions for Climate Connections. We think Mr. Evans has found a good balance between keeping it challenging this year without putting so much pressure on rookie teams.
The Inventioneers

The latest Q and A's from

15 - SEPARATED QUICKLY: Please be sure that anything you add to mission models can be removed in about 15 seconds when the ref gives the okay after the match.

16 - ROBOT CAN'T TOUCH MAT: For end-of-match options where the robot's drive wheels are touching yellow or red bridge decking, the robot must not be touching the mat.

17 - STRAY OBJECT EXCEPTIONS - 2: Since sensor walls could score while "upright" as well as "not upright," they could never be removed as stray objects under the original Rule 25. Yet teams are still writing in, wishing to have them removed. So this exception is being given: If a sensor wall has been moved, you may declare it stray, but once any wall is removed from the field, the referee will record the end-of-match condition of all walls to be "only one wall upright," no matter what the actual condition of the walls is. This reduces the max possible overall score you can get for walls to 10 points, so be sure the trade-off is worth it. This wording replaces previous wording from QA7.

18 - OBJECTS AT REST: Objects about to become "stray" (removable) are not actually stray until they come to rest. For example, the truck may NOT be interrupted by hand while it's moving.

19 - TIE-BREAKING: While this year's game is a tough challenge for most teams, some top teams are finding it somewhat easier than usual. I'm projecting multiple teams at some events, who will score 400 in all of their three matches. So the usual tie-breaking system, where we compare 2nd and finally 3rd highest scores would be insufficient. This is an alert to you "perfect" 400 teams, that some tournaments may give out multiple Performance Awards, some may decide to separate you by how FAST you get to 400, and some may hold head-to-head elimination matches. Other fair options are possible. The exact method for tie-breaking will be decided at the event, by the people running it.

20 - NO DUAL LOCK ON ROBOT: Where the Missions tell you "any constraint system is okay," for your crash-test figure aboard your robot, that doesn't mean you can ignore the Parts rule (Rule #2). "Everything you compete with must be made of LEGO elements..." (Dual Lock is not allowed)..