FTC League Play with 3 advancing teams

Last updated: 2016.10.01

In another article I gave an analysis regarding League Tournaments having four advancing teams; this article looks at events having only three advancing teams,  It ends up looking very different to me.

An event with only three advancing teams can arise with from small events such as a 12-team league advancing its “top 25%”, or even the “top 30%” of a 10-team league.  In each of these cases the league is slated to receive only three advancement slots.  However, the “25%” and “30%” advancement figures mask what truly happens in a League Tournament where only three teams end up advancing.

The 3-team advancement outcome

As in my other article, this analysis is based on the official FTC advancement criteria as given in Section 4.8.2 of Game Manual Part I. It all ends up being fairly straightforward:

* The Inspire Award Winner, Inspire Award 2nd place, and Winning Alliance Captain all advance.

* The Winning Alliance 1st team selected advances only if the Winning Alliance Captain also receives Inspire 1st or Inspire 2nd. It happens, but it’s by no means certain.

* The Inspire 3rd team advances only if both of the Winning Alliance teams received Inspire 1st and Inspire 2nd. Count your lucky stars if this ends up being you.

* None of the other awards advance.

Yes, a 3-advancing team event means that a team can be on the Winning Alliance — even undefeated through all matches — and still not advance.

Impact on Alliance Selection

An event where only three teams advance can have a very definite impact on Alliance Selection.

If your team is in line to be an Alliance Captain (i.e., it is one of the top four ranked teams), and a higher-ranked team asks you to join their alliance, you may very well want to consider declining the invitation so you can become the captain of your own alliance.

If you accept the other team’s invitation and they don’t win Inspire 1st or Inspire 2nd, then you don’t advance even if your alliance ends up winning the tournament.

If you think by declining and forming your own alliance you may beat whatever alliances they and other higher-ranked teams come up with (remember, they all get to pick before you do), then being (Winning) Alliance Captain means you get to advance.

And if you’re not in line to be an Alliance Captain when Alliance Selection rolls around, then your only path to advancement is to win the Inspire Award or Inspire 2nd place yourself, or lobby to end up on the Winning Alliance with an Alliance Captain that does win one of those awards.

The bottom line

Advancement opportunities are extremely limited in an event advancing only three teams.  At first glance advancing 3 teams from a 10-team event may seem better “percentage-wise” (30%), but a 20-team event advancing 5 teams (25%) or even just 4 teams (20%) has many many more opportunities for advancement.

2016-2017 League Play FAQ

Author: Patrick R. Michaud, pmichaud@pobox.com
Last updated: 2016.10.13

Overview of this document

This page attempts to document what is known (and not known) about League Play in the North Texas FTC Region for the 2016-2017 season.  This page is not an official document; the statements below are simply citations and analysis I’ve obtained from various sources.

Draft league assignments went out to many coaches on September 30.  Coaches in each draft league are to coordinate with each other and Dr. Tiernan at UT-Arlington to determine locations and dates for holding at least three league meets and a League Tournament.

I’m currently aware of five leagues being worked on in North Texas:  Amethyst, Emerald, Garnet, Sapphire, and Topaz.  If you know of other draft leagues, please let me know so I can add them to my list.

The main source of information regarding league play comes from the 2016-2017 FTC League Meet Guide (LMG), available from http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/volunteer-resources .

On October 12th we held a League Play Webinar and the slides from that webinar are available.

Patrick Michaud (Pm) is the primary maintainer for this page.  If you have further questions, suggestions, additions, corrections, or alterations for this page, please send them to pmichaud@pobox.com or post them to the NorthTexasFTC Google Group. (more…)

FIRST in Texas grants – Oct 15 deadline

From the October 2015 issue of the FIRST in Texas Newsletter:

Just Two Weeks to Apply

The final deadline is almost here! Submit your completed applications by October 15 at 5pm CST.

What is a completed application? Make sure you:

  • Submit our Team Grant Application
  • Upload Photo Release forms for each team member
  • Upload an Eligibility Form for Texas high school teams

Mark your calendars and ask your questions now! For other details on the grant process, like a timeline on notifications and awards, visit our Grant Calendar.

New sensors from Modern Robotics

In the past week Modern Robotics has announced two new sensors to its lineup, a color sensor and an integrating gyro.

The color sensor claims to support a passive mode, which allows it to detect color from an external light source (such as the LEDs of the Res-Q game beacons).  It also supports an active mode, where the sensor has its own light emitter to detect the color of a reflected target (similar to how the LEGO Mindstorms and HiTechnic color sensors work).  The color sensor is available now, but as of Sep 21, 2015 the FTC Robot Controller App doesn’t have libraries to support the sensor.


The gyro sensor is a 3-axis gyro that does onboard integration of the z-axis, thus it can be used to calculate heading with greater accuracy than if the calculation is performed on an Android or PC host.  The gyro is slated to be available for sale by mid October 2015.


FTC League Play FAQ (2015-2016 season)

Last updated: 2015.10.28

Overview of this document

This page attempts to document what is known (and not known) about League Play and Qualifying Tournaments in the North Texas FTC Region for the 2015-2016 season.  This page is not an official document; the statements below are simply opinions and citations from various sources, and they do not represent official rulings from the regional organizers.  Where possible, we will attempt to link to or cite official sources for each of the answers below.

Patrick Michaud (Pm) is the primary maintainer for this page.  If you have further questions, suggestions, additions, corrections, or alterations for this page, please send them to pmichaud@pobox.com or post them to the NorthTexasFTC Google Group. (more…)

FIRST Tech Challenge 2015-2016 season plan

(reprinted with permission)

From: Dr. Carter Tiernan
Subject: FIRST Tech Challenge 2015-2016 season plan
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 17:00:23 CDT

Dear coaches,

I hope your school year is starting off very well.  This message will give you an overview of the plan for the FIRST Tech Challenge season in North Texas including the structure, a few dates, and some future year plans as well.

As most of you know, US FIRST is moving the FTC competition structure from the previous format of qualifier competitions only to a format of league play.  We had hoped to start large-scale implementation of leagues this season.  However, there is a state-level effort in Texas that is expected to have a big impact on teams and participation in FTC starting this year and this effort has changed our planning regarding league implementation.

Therefore, for the 2015-2016 FTC season we in North Texas we will be using a blended format of both qualifiers and leagues.  As the default, we will be continuing to implement FTC with first level qualifier tournaments that will have space for all teams to compete in.  The Southwest Regional Championship at UT Arlington is scheduled for February 20, 2016.  The qualifier tournaments are expected to be held in December and January.  Dates and details will be given as they become available.  Teams that compete in qualifiers will advance from a qualifier tournament to the Southwest Regional Championship.


Apply for a FIRST in Texas grant by Sep 15

firstintexasAre you looking for funding for your team?  If you have a FIRST team in Texas, you should definitely apply for a grant from FIRST in Texas.

FIRST in Texas is a foundation that channels grant funding from organizations to FIRST teams in Texas.  The grants can often be in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  The application process is quite simple — it’s an online form.  Teams in all FIRST programs (FRC, FTC, FLL, and JrFLL) should apply.

Apply by September 15 to be included in the first round of evaluations.

FIRST Tech Challenge

On this page we keep links and references to various North Texas FIRST Tech Challenge competition resources, to make them easy for us and others to locate quickly later.  Where possible we try to link directly to official pages and notifications; but we’re definitely not the official source for any of this.  If in doubt — double check the official sources!

Feel free to suggest additional links or resources that should appear here, or to let us know of errors or things that shouldn’t be here.

Join the NorthTexasFTC Google Group to receive announcements of upcoming events and to network with other coaches and teams!

The FTC hardware, tools, and tips page contains suggestions for things to have beyond the basic FTC robotics kits.

Waitlists for remaining qualifier events are available.

Upcoming FTC Events

Previous FTC Events – Skystone Season

Sep 11, 2019 (5:00p-8:00p): STEMPump Java+FTC bootcamp
Dec 4, 2019 (5:00p-8:00p): STEMPump FTC+ Java Bootcamp, Flower Mound
May 26 - Jun 30: STEMpump Online

Previous FTC Events – Rover Ruckus Season

Aug 18, 2018 (9:00a-4:00p): FTC Clinic: Introduction to Fusion 360, Plano
Sep 3, 2018 (9:00a-4:00p): 2018 FLYSET FTC Workshop, Plano
Sep 28, 2018 (11:00a): FTC Qualifier pre-registration opens
Mar 2, 2019 (9:00a-3:00p): The Mound Showdown, Flower Mound

Previous FTC Events – Relic Recovery Season

Aug 26, 2017 (9:00a-5:00p): 2017 FLYSET FTC Workshop
Oct 21, 2017 (10:00a-2:00p): FTC Clinic – Logistics (UME Prep), Dallas
May 12, 2018 (8:00a-5:00p): 2018 TAPPS Robotics State Championship, Waco
May 20, 2018 (2:30p-4:30p): FLYSET 4th Annual Youth Robotics Fair, Plano

Event results (via the Orange Alliance):

Previous FTC Events – Velocity Vortex Season

Aug 27, 2016 (8:00a-4:00p): PTC+FIRST Workshop for FTC Teams, Plano
Nov 19, 2016 (8:00a-5:00p): FTC Scrimmage at Hedrick Middle School
Feb 25, 2017 (8:00a-5:00p): North Texas FTC Regional Championship, Allen
May 13, 2017 (10:00a-4:00p): DPRG 22nd Roborama Competition, Carrollton

Previous FTC Events – Res-Q Season

Sep 12, 2015 (11:00a): FTC 2015 Game Reveal (online)
Sep 19, 2015 (9:00a-12:00p): FTC 2015 Season Kickoff, Dallas
Oct 10, 2015 (10:00a-2:00p): CTC Robotics Kickoff (CANCELLED), Killeen
Dec 5, 2015 (10:00a-2:00p): FTC Scrimmage, CTC
Dec 11, 2015 (6:00p-9:00p): FTC scrimmage at Greenhill School, Addison
Jan 16, 2016 (7:30a-6:00p): FTC Regional Qualifier, Wylie East HS, Wylie

Previous FTC Events – Cascade Effect Season