By no means was I intending to put Mentor on the spot. I only meant to question the highly competitive nature between the high ranking teams.[noy_tou] wrote: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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