FRC has four different types of events; District, Regional, District Championship, World Championship.  These events are similar in many ways in how they are set up, but there are some differences that teams should be aware of.  All of the event types have some number of practice matches, qualification matches and elimination matches.

Practice Matches

Practice matches are exactly what they sound like and are not considered competition game play. Teams get between 1 and 3 practice match slots reserved for them at each event.  The main goal of a practice match is to ensure your robot connects to the field.  Other goals of practice matches are to ensure the robot functions as intended, that the drivers get used to the field and to try some of the match strategies out on a real field.  Another goal for many team is to identify alignment solutions for their robots from the various driver station locations.  An alignment solution may be as simple as looking at the robot or as complex as using features of the robot combined with features of the field to visually confirm alignment.

If your robot is inspected and your team is up for the challenge you can usually get additional practice matches.  The event will usually have a que for team who want to fill in slots that go unfilled in any individual match. We highly recommend you take advantage of this as it gives your drivers additional driver practice.

 

Qualification Matches

Teams will get between 6 and 10 qualification matches at each event they attend.  Qualification matches are 3 on 3 matches that are considered competition game play and are used to calculate your team’s event ranking.  Teams are broken up into red and blue alliances, and in most years the alliances are competing to win the qualification match.  Check out the Event Ranking section for more info on how teams are ranked.

Alliances are selected randomly, this forces teams to create unique alliance strategies for each qualification event.  The alliance strategy for each match should allow for teams to accomplish one or more of their desired goals.  Teams goals could include scoring a certain number of points, winning a match or demonstrating a capability.  Alliance strategies may also include preventing teams on the opposing alliance from meeting their goals.  Alliance drive teams from each of the 3 teams should meet to discuss and then agree on a match strategy.  Using drawings or strategy boards is highly recommended.  In some cases the red and blue alliances will need to work together to achieve one or more of the team’s match goals.

  • In 2012 if one robot from each alliance balanced on the center bridge together all 6 teams would earn cooperation points.
  • In 2015 if robots from each alliance worked together to build a stack of 4 yellow totes on the center step all 6 teams would receive an additional 40 points

In cases when you need to work with an opposing alliance you will need to expand your strategy discussion to include 1 or more teams from the opposing alliance.  Be cautious about agreeing to cooperation tasks unless you are highly confident that the team or teams you will need to work with on the opposing alliance can do what they say they can do.  In many instances earning the cooperation points consumes a significant amount of match time and if they go unearned could lead to a significant loss of points needed for a event ranking.

When working a match strategy be sure to include scouting data on all 5 other teams in the match.  Understanding what each team can or can not do, how reliably they can do things and how many penalties they have earned will go a long way to creating realistic match strategies.  Alliances need realistic match strategies to ensure that individual team’s will meet their goals.  Alliances who agree to unrealistic match strategies put their event ranking at risk and have their failures documented in other team’s scouting data.

 

Event Ranking

Each qualification match a team competes in provides data into the event rankings. Each year’s game comes along with different ranking systems and plays a big role in what game strategies team’s pick.  At an event, teams need to understand how the ranking work so they can increase their odds of picking or being picked.  Here are some of the way teams have been officially ranked at events;

  • Team match points – 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
    • Team with highest match points gets 3 qualification points
    • Team with second highest match points gets 1 qualification points
    • Team with lowest match points gets 0 qualification points
    • Team were ranked by:
      • Largest total match points
      • If tied than highest last match points
      • If still tied than coin toss
  • 3 times winning alliance match points / losing alliance match points – 1999
    • Winning alliance teams gets 3 x their match points as qualification points
    • Losing alliance teams get their match score as qualification points
    • Team were ranked by:
      • Largest total match points
      • If tied than best win / loss record
      • If still tied than highest match points
      • If still tied than coin toss
  • 3 times losing alliance match points  / losing alliance match points – 2000, 2002
    • Winning alliance teams gets 3 x the opposing alliance’s match points as qualification points
    • Losing alliance teams get their match points as qualification points
    • Ties were broken by:
      • Largest total match points
      • If tied than best win / loss record
      • If still tied than highest match points
      • If still tied than coin toss
  • Alliance match points – 2001
    • Alliance gets match points as qualification points
      • Only one alliance played on the field at a time
    • Ties were broken by:
      • Largest total match points
      • If tied than highest match points
      • If still tied than coin toss
  • 2 times losing alliance match points + winning alliance match points  / losing alliance match points –2003
    • Winning alliance teams get2 2 x the opposing alliance’s match points and their match points as qualification points
    • Losing alliance teams get their match points as qualification points
    • Ties were ranked by:
      • Largest total match points
      • If tied than best win / loss record
      • If still tied than highest match points
      • If still tied than coin toss
  • Alliance match points and ranking points – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    • Alliance with highest match points gets 2 qualification points
    • Alliance with lowest match points gets 0 qualification points
    • Tied alliances each get 1 qualification points
    • All four teams get ranking points equal to the losing alliance’s match points
      • in 2005 through 2009 it was the lowest un-penalized score
      • in 2005 through 2009 and 2011 if their was a match point tie each alliance would receive their own match score as ranking points
    • Teams could also earn cooperation points
      • In 2011 teams could earn 1 cooperation for borrowing mini bots from other teams
      • In 2012 teams could earn 10 cooperation points for balancing on a center bridge
    • Ties were ranked by:
      • 2004- through 2009 and 2011
        • Largest total qualification points
        • If tied than largest total ranking points
        • If still tied than highest match points
        • If still tied than coin toss
      • 2012 and 2013
        • Largest total qualification points
        • If tied than largest total hybrid or auton points
        • If still tied than largest number of bridge or climb points
        • If still tied than largest total teleop and foul points
        • If still tied than coin toss
      • 2014
        • Largest total qualification points
        • If tied than largest number of assist points
        • If still tied than largest total auton points
        • If still tied than largest number of truss and catch points
        • If still tied than largest total teleop and foul points
        • If still tied than coin toss
  • Match points and coopertition points – 2010

    • Alliance with highest match points gets match points of winning alliance plus 5 points as qualification points plus twice the un-penalized score of the losing alliance as cooperition points and qualification points
    • Alliance with lowest match points gets match points of winning alliance as qualification points
    • Tied alliances each gets the match points of their alliance as qualification points plus twice their match points as cooperition points and qualification points
    • Ties were ranked by:
      • Largest qaulification points
      • If tied than largest total coopertition points
      • If still tied than total points earned by elevation / suspending
      • If still tied than coin toss
  • Match points averages and coopertition – 2015

    • Alliance match points gets as qualification points
    • Teams could also earn cooperation points
      • In 2015 teams could earn 40 coopertition points if both alliances worked together to create a stack of 4 yellow toes on a step
    • Ties were ranked by:
      • Highest qualification avergae
        • qualification points divided by number of matches played
      • If tied than largest total coopertition points
      • If still tied than largest total auton points
      • If still tied than largest number of container points
      • If still tied than largest number of tote points
      • If still tied than largest number of litter points
      • If still tied than coin toss

 

Alliance Selection

After teams have completed all of their qualification matches and the final event ranking has been calculated, the top 8 teams will pick their alliances.  The top 8 teams are known as alliance captains and they will get to choose the two other teams that they will play with for the rest of the tournament. Remember, in the qualification matches alliances were randomly generated, in eliminations the alliances are drafted to create the strongest alliance possible.

FRC has used a traditional draft in the past, but for most recent years they have used a serpentine draft.

  • Traditional draft – team one through eight picks, then team one starts the second round and teams two through eight picks again
  • Serpentine draft – team one through eight picks, then team eight starts the second round and teams seven through one picks again

Be very prepared during alliance selection, this is probably the most critical decision a team can make to increase their odds of winning an event.

 

Elimination Matches

Elimination matches are some of the exciting matches of any event.  At most district or regional events this will mean 8 alliances with 3 teams a piece will compete in double elimination tournament play to be the winning alliance.  At world championship alliances have 4 teams, 3 active and 1 backup.  Eliminations matches need to be well rehearsed and alliances need to consistently improve as they move up to win.

 

District Events

District events are the smallest of the FRC events with between 30-40 teams in attendance.  District events are also shortest of the FRC events events with only two days reserved for practice and competition.  District events are also the only event type that does not allow teams to earn a place at World Championships, instead you earn District points.  Teams with the highest number of District points are invited to attend the District Championship Event.  Here is how teams can earn points;

  • For each qualification match they participate in up to 22 points per event
  • For being an alliance captian
  • For being selected in eliminations
  • For each elimination match
    • the amount for each match depends on how far you go in the tournament
  • For awards
    • 10 pts – chairman’s award winner
    • 8 pts – engineering inspiration award winner
    • 8 pts – rookie all star award winner
    • 5 pts – robot based award (Delphi, Xerox, GM, Rockwell, Motorola) winner
    • 5 pts – rookie inspiration award winner
    • 5 pts – semifinalist
    • 5 pts – woodie flower award winner
    • 5 pts – highest rookie seed award winner
    • 5 pts – high score
    • 5 pts – judges award winner
    • 5 pts – dean’s list award winner
    • 5 pts – quarter finalist
    • 5 pts – other award winners
  • For team age
    • Rookie team gets 10 points
    • 2nd year team gets 5 points

One thing to be aware of is that teams attend at least two District events and add up their point totals.  If a team attend a third District event the points earned at that event do not get added to your district point total.  Here are some additional notes about District events;

  • Team’s attending 2 day district events are allowed to access their robot between 2 and 6 hours in their shop in the week leading up tot he event.  Check out the admin manual for more details

 

Regional events

Regional events are medium size FRC events with between 40 and 70 teams in attendance. Regional events are 3 day events with day 1 of the event reserved for inspections and practice.  Winning certain awards at Regional events will allow a team to earn a place at World Championships.  Here are the awards that can earn a team a place at World Championships;

  • Chairman’s award winner
  • Engineering inspiration award winner
    • This will event get your registration to world’s paid for
  • Winning event
  • Rookie all star award winner
  • Finalists
    • If one or more wild card slots are available (see the admin manual for more details on wild cards)

Here are the awards that can earn an individual a place at World Championships;

  • Woodie flower award winner
  • Dean’s list award winner

One thing to be aware of is that teams from across the world can attend a Regional event, so competition can vary.  A team can attend as many Regional events as they can afford and can earn a place at World Championships at each they attend.  However, a team can only earn one place at World Championships and thus would create a wild card slot if they earned a place at World Championships at a second regional event.  Here are some additional notes about Regional events;

  • The Regional event model is slowly being replaced by the district model in most parts of the United States.  Check out the admin manual for more details

 

District Championship Events

District Championship events are medium size FRC events with between 40 and 70 teams in attendance. District Championship events are 3 day events with day 1 of the event reserved for inspections and practice.  Winning certain awards at District Championship events will allow a team to earn a place at World Championships.  Here are the awards that can earn a team a place at World Championships;

  • Chairman’s award winner
  • Engineering inspiration award winner
    • This will event get your registration to world’s paid for
  • Winning event
  • Rookie all star award winner
  • Finalists
  • Wildcards based on district points + additional points earned at the District Championship

Here are the awards that can earn an individual a place at World Championships;

  • Woodie flower award winner
  • Dean’s list award winner

One thing to be aware of is that the number of slots available for teams to earn a place at World Championship varies based on the number of teams in the district.  District Championships are attended by the top teams in a district so the level of competition is very high.  Here are some additional notes about District Championship events;

  • Teams that earn a place at District Championships will need to spend an additional $5,000 for District Championship registration.
  • Teams will earn a place at District Championships based on how high they are ranked within the district.
    • 1st Order Sort: Total Playoff Round Performance Points
    • 2nd Order Sort: Best Playoff Round Finish at a single event
    • 3rd Order Sort: Total Alliance Selection Results Points
    • 4th Order Sort: Highest Qualification Round Seed or Draft Order Acceptance (i.e. Highest Alliance Selection points at a single event)
    • 5th Order Sort: Total Qualification Round Performance Points
    • 6th Order Sort: Highest Individual Match Score
    • 7th Order Sort: Second Highest Individual Match Score
    • 8th Order Sort: Third Highest Individual Match Score
    • 9th Order Sort: Random Selection
  • Check out the admin manual for more details

 

World Championship Events

The World Championship event are large size FRC events with between 400 and 600 teams in attendance. The World Championships event is a 4 day event with day 1 of the event reserved for inspections and practice. The event is broken down into 8 Divisions events that are comparable to a Regional event.  A major difference between a Division event and a Regional event is that some awards are not awarded at the Division level.  An additional difference is that the winning alliances in the 8 Division events then move into the World Championship Finals and compete to be the winning alliance of that year’s World Championship event.

The 8 Divisions at the World Championship event are;

  • Newton
  • Galileo
  • Archimedes
  • Curie
  • Tesla
  • Hopper
  • Carver
  • Carson

The World Championship Finals are played on a special field named Einstein and are watched by nearly 30,000 people at the venue and another 100,000 people worldwide.  This video can give you a sense of what the World Championship Event is like.

One thing to be aware of is that reserving hotel lodging at the World Championship event is hard to do, we recommend booking as early as possible if you are planning on attending.  Another cool aspect of the World Championships event is that winning team and individual awards here puts you in the FIRST hall of fame, which is a very prestigious club to be in.  Here are some additional notes about the World Championship event;

  • Teams that earn a place at World Championships will need to spend an additional $5,000 for World Championship registration.
    • Unless you have won an Engineering Inspiration award at a Regional or District Championship event.
  • Teams will need to build a crate to ship the robot
  • Check out the admin manual for more details
  • From 2017 forward there will be two national level competitions that will end the season. http://firstcommunity.usfirst.org/aboutus/2017-first-championship-announcement

 

List of FRC Districts

There are currently 8 districts across the US as of the 2016 season.  Districts are set up when the number of team’s in a geographic region start to exceed the capacity of the local regional event.  Districts are relatively new to FRC and came about as a result of rising costs and increased number of teams.  Teams who are part of a district get two events for $5,000 and can purchase the opportunity to attend additional district events for $2,000 a piece.

 

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