Ohio 2016

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windu34
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby windu34 » April 13th, 2016, 8:38 am

What would happen to Alaska or Hawai'i? Would they have to travel to some random out-of-the-way state?
I think that one of the factors that should be considered as well should be how well the teams regularly do at a national level. Certain states are going to have a much higher level of competition than other states, and if the teams they send on to Nationals regularly place within the top 10, I think that state should be awarded with an additional spot the following year. I think there should be a cap at 4 teams per state, and the teams sent from their state would have to continue to place within the top 10 in order to keep those extra team spots the following year. That way, it would allow states with a high level of competition and skill to send a few more teams. Of course, the state would have to continue to place within the top 10 to keep the extra spots the following year. So, if a state sent three teams and one did not place within the top 10 the state would lose that spot for the following year. Of course, this could also mean that two states could send 4 teams each and have all 4 teams continue to place in the top 10, but I think that would be very unlikely. And then, at the most, only up to three states at once could be sending an additional team to Nationals. So maybe make it the top 15? I don't know, this is just an idea I wanted to throw out there.
That's the exact same idea I had mentioned years ago. It seems the least disruptive and easiest to enforce as it would not require decisions to be made during the competition year based on the number of registered schools in each state. The issue becomes which states lose bids and how are they going to engage the interest of all their teams with one fewer or potentially no bid. Would it be merit based? If so, would Tennesse, who finished 56th and has 135 teams at state be in danger of losing their only bid? That could discourage a whole state's program. I've come to like the idea of Regionals -> Sectionals (1-4/state) -> state/multi-state (20-30) -> Nationals. Each Region and Section receives an automatic bid to the next level with additional bids dependent on the previous year's performance.

None of these options are perfect as if you want to reward top states like NY, OH, CA, IL, MI, PA, TX, some other states will lose out. And not rewarding them will inevitably lead to more highly-publicized situations like this.

Nationals first moved to 60 teams in '01,'02,'05,'06. '03-'04 had only 54 teams for some reason. Since there are 6 time slots, there's no reason they can't handle 11 teams per slot as opposed to 10 to increase the total number of teams to 66. For example, WI state (site of Nationals this year) had 5 slots of 12 teams each and I'm sure plenty of lower level competitions had more per time slot. The only difficulty with time would be the flying events but they could conceivably fix that by including the 7-8am impound slot since those events don't' require impound.
You forget to consider event such as electric vehicle and air trajectory in which the official time on the rules sates 8 minutes total per team, put in actuality, you have to add 2 mins for logistical reasons (moving around, scoring, etc). Based on that, you can only have 6 teams at the most compete in one time block. How would you expand that to 10 or 11?
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby GoldenKnight1 » April 13th, 2016, 10:46 am

[How would you expand that to 10 or 11?
Two identical tracks could be used.

Going back my feelings are that Centerville didn't do anything wrong. My heart goes out to Mentor (I know many people involved in their program) but Centerville just had a better day. Once the judgement and appeal set the penalty I think it is unfair to go back and think about how could you change the penalty to not let Centerville go.

Interestingly enough in PA we are seeing what I think I will call the "Ohio effect". Because of what happened in OH we were informed yesterday that at the upcoming PA state competition that:
Don’t get penalized! In the State interpretation of the general rules of fair play, any team found on the Juniata campus testing a built device before 9:00AM April 23rd will be assessed a 10% deduction/increase in their score for the event.
While I don't feel that Centerville did anything wrong I understand how some people could view it that way. If those people in charge had made an annoucement before that it was not allowed, as they did with other events, that is fine and I am sure the rule would have been followed.

But what is the point of rules like this for all building events? If it is trying to make things fair and even for teams I am fine with it; ban those individual events from practicing. Unfortunately I don't understand how a team, prior to a course being set up, gets any "unfair" advantage over a team by shooting air trajector or running their IAT clock or Robot Arm. One thing I have always loved about SO since I started in middle school (25 years ago) was being able to walk around in the morning and see all of the cool ideas that people have come up with to win. You always see exited/stressed kids testing/calibrating/fixing their devices before the first time block. This decision is going to force this to stop. Teams should be afraid to take their clock off the bus at 7AM prior to impound and just run a quick test to ensure it traveled okay. Hopefully a wire did not come lose on Robot Arm. Imagine if band got off a bus for a concert and were not allowed to tune before performing. That is what this rule is setting up.

And worse yet now your competitors walking around in the morning are going to look more like people just trying to catch you touching your device. If they can get a picture of you with your device you better watch out, a penalty is coming your way. Is that in the spirit of SO? I know they are your competitors but I have always looked on students from other schools with respect and now as a coach they are the people I hope to inspire to pursue STEM careers or at least have a great appreciation for those who do. This change just seems wrong to me.

Finally this particular penalty is also not fair as it is more harmful in some events compared to others. A 10% hit in score for a good team in Air Trajectory is crushing (score of 6000pts turned into 5400) but that same penalty in EV might be worth the risk if you had a fast vehicle and wanted to tune it to that exact flooring (25 points becoming 27.5). And why is Air Trajectory going to be hit more with a penalty for this then EV especailly considering how little Air Trajectory would gain if the course is not set up.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby topfinish » April 13th, 2016, 1:32 pm

Testing on an event floor before a competition is not fair unless all teams have equal time to practice. EV, scrambler, and other wheeled vehicle type events are greatly effected by the floor. It would be difficult if not impossible to allow all the teams a time slot to practice. It would take longer than the competition itself to allow all teams to practice. To make it fair to all teams the rules clearly states a competition penalty for practicing before these types of events.

I don't know why people think the event supervisor and/or state needed to send a reminder to all teams that states "dont break the rules". In other words the floor is closed for practice before the competition. The rule 4.f. was put into the rules to prevent practice. It does not matter if it is right or wrong idea. If it is a rule, then dont break it.

The scramber event supervisor for Ohio did send out a warning to not practice before the event. Again a reminder to not break the rules. It would still be a penalty to practice scrambler before an event if the reminder was not sent. It's in the rules (4.c).

Individual rules may not make sense at times. But they are there to make it fair to all teams.

Another thought for everyone who wants Centerville to be DQ-ed. Centerville gained a competitive advantage over the other teams in breaking rule 4.f. If we DQ Centerville for that, then every team that had a construction violation that gave the team a competitive advantage needs to be DQ too. The scrambler weight was over 2kg. The wind power device's radius was larger than the allowed radius. The electric vehicle's labeled battery pack was over 7.2 volts. And so on. The rules are setup to provide penalties for any team that gets a competitive advantage. With the logic the DQers are using a good number of teams would have been DQ-ed at the Ohio tournament. There are rules to make the competition fair and no reason to DQ a team in these cases.

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby dholdgreve » April 14th, 2016, 6:10 am

I really doubt that the DQ of Centerville was seriously considered by anyone other than the Mentor squad. What they did was not a violation of the National rules by letter or intent. The letter of the rules is that they are not to run on or adjacent to the track before the competition... period. The track had not been set up yet, so they had no idea where it would even be. They were not in the same room as the event, they were in a corridor 20 feet or more from the room. I'm sure Centerville realized that the corridor floor was similar to the venue floor and wanted to check the friction coefficient of this type floor. Would it make everyone feel better, if they had tested on the floor above ore below the one the venue was held on? If the building next door had been built in the same time period, and used the same material for their floors, would that have eased the furled brows? If Centerville school happened to have the same floor as the testing venue, would the nay-sayers then propose that it would be cheating for Centerville to test their E/V on their own floors, in their own school prior to the competition? This is getting way out of hand... Centerville did absolutely nothing wrong, and does not deserve this type of scutiny. (IMHO)
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby topfinish » April 14th, 2016, 8:18 am

What about the other 39 teams that did not practice right outside the event room. Centerville gained a competitive advantage over the other teams that followed the rules. Its not was much what Centerville did and more about what the other teams did not do. I would guess the ES and arbitration group were protecting the other teams that followed the rules by assigning the penalty. Centerville did not receive the full penalty must likely because of the rule issues Chalker talked about. This is no different than if Centerville came in with a 7.4V battery pack. It is a competitive advantage over the other teams knowing the floor. The floor Centerville practiced on was the same as the event room.

If this was in a gym where the track was on one side and a team practiced on the other side, then this would be a clear violation. What I'm sure caused the arbitration group issues was the wall between where they practiced and the event room. If the floor is the same, then the team gains a competitive advantage to practice on it. If a team can find another floor located in another building that is the same, then they should get credit for using their heads. I believe Centerville thought they were safe by practicing outside the room and did not mean to break the rules. Again why the arbitration group reduced penalty. But a penalty is required to protect the other teams that did not practice. The rules are created to make the competition fair to all teams.

Regardless of all stated, Centerville clearly won 2nd place at the Ohio tournament. Which they should be proud of that. This past Ohio tournament was the most competitive one I have seen. This was just a speed bump on the way to doing very well at Nationals. And I wish them good luck!!! It better be Solon and Centerville fighting for 1st place at Nationals!!

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby SuperKup » April 14th, 2016, 9:28 am

[How would you expand that to 10 or 11?
Two identical tracks could be used.

With the building precision that we are currently seeing, there is no such thing as "two identical tracks". Just like there is no such thing as "two identical wind power fan and test stand setups", etc. The events designers need to take things like this when coming up with the rules. There are too many times that the rules assume that the events will take place in a "perfect world".

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby dholdgreve » April 14th, 2016, 12:20 pm

What about the other 39 teams that did not practice right outside the event room. Centerville gained a competitive advantage over the other teams that followed the rules. Its not was much what Centerville did and more about what the other teams did not do. I would guess the ES and arbitration group were protecting the other teams that followed the rules by assigning the penalty. Centerville did not receive the full penalty must likely because of the rule issues Chalker talked about. This is no different than if Centerville came in with a 7.4V battery pack. It is a competitive advantage over the other teams knowing the floor. The floor Centerville practiced on was the same as the event room.

If this was in a gym where the track was on one side and a team practiced on the other side, then this would be a clear violation. What I'm sure caused the arbitration group issues was the wall between where they practiced and the event room. If the floor is the same, then the team gains a competitive advantage to practice on it. If a team can find another floor located in another building that is the same, then they should get credit for using their heads. I believe Centerville thought they were safe by practicing outside the room and did not mean to break the rules. Again why the arbitration group reduced penalty. But a penalty is required to protect the other teams that did not practice. The rules are created to make the competition fair to all teams.

Regardless of all stated, Centerville clearly won 2nd place at the Ohio tournament. Which they should be proud of that. This past Ohio tournament was the most competitive one I have seen. This was just a speed bump on the way to doing very well at Nationals. And I wish them good luck!!! It better be Solon and Centerville fighting for 1st place at Nationals!!
So that I understand... Your argument is that because 39 teams did not practice on a similar floor (not that they COULDN'T), but by your own words, they did not... as in chose not to... so this one team that showed some initiative should be DQed... Based on that way of thinking, next year you may argue that because 39 teams didn't study as hard in Anatomy as the Gold medalist, they too should be DQed...... There is over 700 feet of corridor in that building. At that time, there was no rule preventing any team from testing in it. Any team had the room, the space, and the ability... all they lacked was the initiative. My point earlier... If your school happened to have the exact same type of floor as that found in the Corridor and Event Room at State, and you had practiced on it, when you got to State and noticed the similarity, would turn yourself in as "cheater," and DQ yourself? If the answer to that is no, you have no argument.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby MrPillowcase » April 15th, 2016, 3:04 pm

What about the other 39 teams that did not practice right outside the event room. Centerville gained a competitive advantage over the other teams that followed the rules. Its not was much what Centerville did and more about what the other teams did not do. I would guess the ES and arbitration group were protecting the other teams that followed the rules by assigning the penalty. Centerville did not receive the full penalty must likely because of the rule issues Chalker talked about. This is no different than if Centerville came in with a 7.4V battery pack. It is a competitive advantage over the other teams knowing the floor. The floor Centerville practiced on was the same as the event room.

If this was in a gym where the track was on one side and a team practiced on the other side, then this would be a clear violation. What I'm sure caused the arbitration group issues was the wall between where they practiced and the event room. If the floor is the same, then the team gains a competitive advantage to practice on it. If a team can find another floor located in another building that is the same, then they should get credit for using their heads. I believe Centerville thought they were safe by practicing outside the room and did not mean to break the rules. Again why the arbitration group reduced penalty. But a penalty is required to protect the other teams that did not practice. The rules are created to make the competition fair to all teams.

Regardless of all stated, Centerville clearly won 2nd place at the Ohio tournament. Which they should be proud of that. This past Ohio tournament was the most competitive one I have seen. This was just a speed bump on the way to doing very well at Nationals. And I wish them good luck!!! It better be Solon and Centerville fighting for 1st place at Nationals!!
I wonder if it had been any other team, rather than Centerville or Solon, would Mentor have still taken pictures of them testing and tried to get them disqualified in the event?

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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby cemsc10 » April 15th, 2016, 4:12 pm

What about the other 39 teams that did not practice right outside the event room. Centerville gained a competitive advantage over the other teams that followed the rules. Its not was much what Centerville did and more about what the other teams did not do. I would guess the ES and arbitration group were protecting the other teams that followed the rules by assigning the penalty. Centerville did not receive the full penalty must likely because of the rule issues Chalker talked about. This is no different than if Centerville came in with a 7.4V battery pack. It is a competitive advantage over the other teams knowing the floor. The floor Centerville practiced on was the same as the event room.

If this was in a gym where the track was on one side and a team practiced on the other side, then this would be a clear violation. What I'm sure caused the arbitration group issues was the wall between where they practiced and the event room. If the floor is the same, then the team gains a competitive advantage to practice on it. If a team can find another floor located in another building that is the same, then they should get credit for using their heads. I believe Centerville thought they were safe by practicing outside the room and did not mean to break the rules. Again why the arbitration group reduced penalty. But a penalty is required to protect the other teams that did not practice. The rules are created to make the competition fair to all teams.

Regardless of all stated, Centerville clearly won 2nd place at the Ohio tournament. Which they should be proud of that. This past Ohio tournament was the most competitive one I have seen. This was just a speed bump on the way to doing very well at Nationals. And I wish them good luck!!! It better be Solon and Centerville fighting for 1st place at Nationals!!
I wonder if it had been any other team, rather than Centerville or Solon, would Mentor have still taken pictures of them testing and tried to get them disqualified in the event?
I feel like if it had been a team that usually does not place around the top ten or top five, they wouldn't have cared as much to since past years show the school as no threat. I believe since it is always very close between these schools, Mentor may have felt worried about how the rankings would turn out if nobody knew about what Centerville did.
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Re: Ohio 2016

Postby [noy_tou] » April 17th, 2016, 9:01 am

I'd like to clear up an issue with the photograph, if I may. When Mentor took the photograph (not a video recording as someone may have misunderstood), they were careful to make sure that the opponent's vehicle was not the target and the focus of the picture. The student holding the vehicle had her back to the camera and the vehicle was in front of her. I would like to point out that this is just from when I briefly saw the photograph, and if any of this isn't true after a thorough examination of the picture, then I apologize. Do I believe Mentor would have held this standard for any team? Yes. However, as someone who was not a part of the group of people who "discovered" Centerville, I am not in position to exclaim this for sure. Also, I mentioned it before, but I think the arbitrators are lucky that there was evidence of this happening. Say Centerville chose to lie about being there (and some people mentioned that they did try to cover it up when first questioned but I have no clue if that is actually true or not), it would be Mentor's word against Centerville's, with no way to determine who is right and who should be penalized.
The act of disqualifying Centerville was thrown around by numerous teams (and I talked to many coaches and overheard many students that day), so I can say that many other teams have had many opposing opinions about possible punishments (if any). It is not fair to say that the idea was only considered by Mentor, as that isn't true.
While I do recommend practicing as much as possible (especially after bus rides, etc), I advise that my teams are cautious about it. As noted, teams should not interpret the rules to give themselves an unfair advantage. By targeting the building that the event was being run in to test their vehicle (including the impact that the floor's friction has on their braking distance), there is an interpretation of a very gray rule. A contrasting example of this could be said about robot arm. They ran the event on a track surface in the field house this year, which is vastly different than the tile or concrete surfaces that most teams prepare on. If every team had gone to the field house on Friday to practice Robot Arm before the competition, the results likely would have been very different. However, the teams decided not to practice on that surface to preserve the integrity of the competition. I firmly advise teams to practice and prepare as much as possible for competitions, especially at higher levels. However, I think that students and their coaches should not try to aim for a loose area in the rulings to give themselves an advantage that they know other teams will not support.


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