Team 4914 at the Durham College Regional Event

March 7, 2017    

Written by: HENRY ZHANG

The Durham College regional competition was an intense and emotion filled competition for Team 4914. It was the first competition this season for our robot and we were still uncertain of it’s performance. That uncertainty faded away and was replaced by confidence. Our robot produced many points, often the most productive team in its alliance. However the qualification matches were up and down, and as a result of unlucky circumstances surrounding scheduling, Team 4914 ended with a relatively poor record and the ranking of 28th place. When it was time for Alliance selection, our team members were anxious, and many were unsure if the team would be picked at all. The selections went slowly, teams were picked one by one, 15 selections went by and 4914 was not picked yet, everybody in the Building who was not yet on an alliance was quiet and tension filled the atmosphere.

“Team 2609 and Team 4525 would like to invite Team 4914”

Our team erupted in joy, we had just been picked been picked by the 1st seeded alliance. But the cheering soon stopped and the team went back to work. The playoffs were no cakewalk, even for the first seeded alliance. The first round matchup against the 8th seeded alliance proved that even though we were the higher seed, we were not invincible, the 8th seeded team gave a good fight, defeating our alliance in match 2 with the score of 256-258, fortunately for us, we were able to advance to the semi finals, winning the other 2 games and advancing 2-1. In the semi-finals, our alliance faced various mechanical issues, and we had lost the first game by a 3 point margin, losing 257-260. The second game was just as intense and close as the first but in the end, one of the robots in our alliance had difficulty scaling the rope, getting stuck just a few centimeters away from the top. Unfortunately we were eliminated 0-2 in the series by the 4th seeded team. It was however, a fun and successful event for team 4914, and now the team is preparing for the North Bay Regional.

It was the first regional event for many of the team’s new members, including the Grade 9 students William Shi and Leon Zhu.

Henry Zhang: What was your role on the team during this event?

William Shi: My role at the Durham event was to help in the pits, so I helped to fix and tune the robot, based on Simon and Hari’s requests.

Leon Zhu: On the team, my role was to help our scouting leader and make sure everyone is scouting in the stands, I tried to make sure everyone was productive. In the pits, we looked at other teams and wrote down their pit designs and dollies. When it was time for a match, the scouting team gave the necessary data to the drive team and helped make important strategy decisions. When the playoffs came, we worked to analyze teams even more, since the pool was much smaller. When others needed clarification on scouting, I helped them Because the action was so fast, I pointed out ways to get data quicker. At the end of the day, we were all very tired but it was worth it for the experience and fun.

HZ: What did you think about your first regional event?

WS: I think it was a fun and engaging experience, and it also taught me about many things, like organization, strategy, and how we can improve our bot.

LZ: Regarding my first regional event, it was very similar to the off season events, with the exception that I am scouting. In the past events, I had other roles (drive team, volunteer, etc). I enjoyed my first time scouting to a degree. Sometimes, it was frustrating because I had to do 2 teams at once because the people around me (especially media/build members who didn’t have a role) refused to do scouting. I could not force people to scout, so our team just worked harder. It really built teamwork and gave us an insight on other teams off the bleachers, admittedly the event was lackluster. Getting lunch was very difficult and cold. Overall, Durham College was an interesting way to start off the competition season. I am looking forward to North Bay.