How do invitationals work at your school?

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dxu46
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How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby dxu46 » May 17th, 2018, 7:13 pm

I want to know how invitationals are planned at other schools. For example, do you stay overnight or arrive day-of? What about the entire cost? Transportation? Do you bring your best people, and risk giving other teams information? It always seemed pretty straightforward, but now that I look into it, I realize that it's pretty complicated. Thanks!

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby Name » May 17th, 2018, 7:31 pm

From my experience this year
We usually arrive Friday leave Sunday morning (unless very close in which we leave early Saturday)
Cost usually 180/20-40 if it's a one day trip give or take a bit
Coach bus/school bus for one day trips
We pretty much always stack everyone available and (I think) have the best builds available
3 total teams, 2 teams at most competitions and a third team for regionals/possible invite
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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby Schrodingerscat » May 17th, 2018, 7:57 pm

Within an hour or so we would normally meet at the school then load up and carpool. It depended on the tournament whether we would return afterwards to unpack or deal with it in the morning. When we went to Wichita (~3 hours) for an invite (the same as state), we would take a bus the afternoon before and stay at a hotel for one night, then drive home directly from the invite (we valued being rested for the invite, although I think some teams did drive through the morning). We also did one long distance invite trip a year to either Chicago or Dallas (~8 hours), where we would stay two nights in hotels and get home Sunday evening.

The local invites were included in our general activities budget (there might have been a money collection for lunch), but there was a separate fee for the overnight invites. I can't remember, but I think it was at most a couple hundred for Wichita, and might have been as much as $500 for Chicago and Dallas.

The other thing of useful note from our travel logistics was how we handled food on the road: the coach would have the bus stop at some shopping center along the route with multiple fast food options, distribute a little cash to everyone (essentially held as part of the fee) and told us when we had to get back to the bus. I only recall one problem with someone not getting back in time in 4 years. Might not work as well with middle schoolers though. Dinner we would usually do at a (casual) sit down restaurant on a single check.

Finally, we brought all our builds as we had them (*cough me and maglev senior year*) and our stacked varsity team to invites (plus JV). Giving away info by that never concerned us.

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby dxu46 » May 17th, 2018, 8:14 pm

Y'all say that it doesn't give away information, but doesn't it give the opposing teams your strengths and weaknesses? For example if my team was really strong in this event, then another team would know to work harder in that event to try to beat us. Also, for builds, other teams can copy off your design if you bring a really good device.

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby Name » May 17th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Y'all say that it doesn't give away information, but doesn't it give the opposing teams your strengths and weaknesses? For example if my team was really strong in this event, then another team would know to work harder in that event to try to beat us. Also, for builds, other teams can copy off your design if you bring a really good device.
It's not easy to replicate a build purely based on looking on the build. Also time spent on one area is less time spent on another area that you could end up beating them in instead
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Favorite Past Events: Microbe, Invasive, Matsci, Fermi
Events!: Astro, Code, Fossils
Div C medals: 29

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby dxu46 » May 17th, 2018, 8:20 pm

Y'all say that it doesn't give away information, but doesn't it give the opposing teams your strengths and weaknesses? For example if my team was really strong in this event, then another team would know to work harder in that event to try to beat us. Also, for builds, other teams can copy off your design if you bring a really good device.
It's not easy to replicate a build purely based on looking on the build. Also time spent on one area is less time spent on another area that you could end up beating them in instead
For example, at regionals, our team saw that Wydown used the paper roller coaster design linked on the Wiki, and they ended up winning. They looked it up and remodeled it, with a multitude of beneficial modifications. And one day, when I saw it, I honestly thought it was nationals ready (although it got 21st at state - tiered ;( ). Also the whole team could just overall increase their total work time, or the coach could figure out a way to spread things out and/or force kids to study.

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby Schrodingerscat » May 17th, 2018, 8:26 pm

Y'all say that it doesn't give away information, but doesn't it give the opposing teams your strengths and weaknesses? For example if my team was really strong in this event, then another team would know to work harder in that event to try to beat us. Also, for builds, other teams can copy off your design if you bring a really good device.
A. You also learn how your team compares to the rivals in the same way.

B. If they go and you don't, they have one more tournament's worth of tournament experience in the event than you do.

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby knightmoves » May 17th, 2018, 8:47 pm

There are people that worry about giving away trade secrets by bringing your best builds. There's something in that - you can learn quite a bit about how someone's getting a good score by watching their device compete. But really, it just gets you in the right ballpark.

The paper roller coaster is a good example. Building one is an easy way to get a reasonable score, and it will beat most teams that haven't figured out that gaps are where all the points are, or haven't figured out how to make jumps work at all. But I haven't seen a paper coaster break 300, and that's not going to compete with the teams that have it figured out.

On the other hand, if you look at the paper roller coaster, learn some things about how jumps work, and then build a better coaster, isn't that what the game is about?

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby yxu08 » May 18th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Also, for builds, other teams can copy off your design if you bring a really good device.
As if Ladue didn't copy our gaps for roller coaster :roll:

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Re: How do invitationals work at your school?

Postby dxu46 » May 18th, 2018, 3:20 pm

Also, for builds, other teams can copy off your design if you bring a really good device.
As if Ladue didn't copy our gaps for roller coaster :roll:
Did I say that we didnt?
:P


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