Mississippi Oxford Qualifier

Day 01/11/14 8:00am - 5:00pm



Today we had our second MS qualifying tournament. We were the first team in for judging and apparently became the 'guinea pig' of sorts; all the judges sat in for our interview and we got to explain FIRST, FTC, and the game to them, as well as telling them about our robot, programming and community outreach. It was rather odd having nearly a dozen judges, but we got asked a lot of questions, which is always very nice. Our mentor and previous teammate, Jacob, joined us before the qualification matches.
The qualifying matches were... interesting. We had some odd and sudden drive train manifest itself in the second and scrambled to get it together (including the replacement of an encoder), while having three back-to-back matches. It was very exciting, and we ended up losing on match, though during the break we were able to get our drivetrain back into good condition and won the remaining matches. We still aren't entirely sure why the trouble occurred, but we think it was probable that it was caused by the robot sliding back and forth on the drive train during transport. In the future we plan to transport the robot harnessed down or on her back, and also stock motors with fully functioning encoders.
Despite our technical issues, we were ranked first seed and chose team 7802 'Challenge Accepted' as our alliance partner for the elimination rounds. They were a great team; very fun to work with. We won the first two matches in the semifinals and went onto the finals, where we also emerged victorious after two matches. At the end of the day, we received the inspire award and winning alliance award, and Challenge Accepted won second place Inspire, earning them a spot in the State competition. I did trip going up the stands after we received the inspire award, and my duct tape bracers need repairs (I also have a nice set of small battle wounds), but beyond that the awards ceremony went ideally. We all went out to eat together as a team afterwards; a fitting end to a lovely day. -Niah

The Oxford qualifier was a lot of fun, despite the fact that Lulu's drive train was not in good condition. Judging was interesting, because we had all the judges in our judging session to see how teams were supposed to present (we were also in classroom '42' for our judging, something I took as a good sign), judging went well and the judges asked lots of good questions for us to answer. During the matches Lulu was determined to undermine every effort to drive in a straight line, so that was not so good. We were able to check the motors in between matches though and found that one was leaking oil, that one was replaced, but Lulu still wouldn't drive correctly, for 5 matches Lulu didn't work quite right. We still managed to be first seed though and chose Challenge Accepted as our alliance partner, they were a great team to work with! We won Inspire and Winning Alliance award. We look forward to seeing team 7802 Challenge Accepted at the Stat championship, as well as the other teams that made it.~ Tekoah

The Oxford Qualifier was one of the most action-packed and intense tournaments that we've been to. During the morning, I tried to assist some teams with programming (note the word 'tried') and then sat in the stands to watch the drive team and LuLu. LuLu had quite a fit. We concluded that she was going through her teenage rebellion phase, and didn't want to work that day. First, the drive train didn't run, so we found out that the motors on her left side were damaged. We were able to take of the one that was leaking oil, but didn't get a chance to fix the second. The next match didn't go any better, so we rushed down to change the next motor. We transferred the motor encoder also, so we expected a nice run the next round. Nope! LuLu's encoder didn't work. We finally got it replaced, and ran her in the next match, only to find that we didn't fully tighten down our motor mount so our motor turned and the sprocket began to rub on the metal plate. Once we fixed that problem, LuLu finally ran well. After 5 matches with a damaged robot, we still somehow managed to come out as first seed! Alliance selection happened, and then came the finals and semifinals. Once the awards were over, we cleaned up and went to a wonderful dinner at Ajax Diner in the square. -Matthew

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Waiting in the hall outside of our judging room. -Matthew

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Judging room 42 with the PTC creo drawing of Lulu!~Tekoah

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I went around and attempted to help teams with programming. -Matthew

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Talking to a coach of another team about our design process. We had a lot of questions and as usual, our fliers (containing contact info) were quite useful. ~Niah

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I assisted The Technmancers Alpha team with their IR follow autonomous program. -Matthew

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Getting the brick powered up and ready to go for the next match. ~Niah
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Waiting for our match to begin. ~Tekoah

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Alliance selections; we're not often the first seed. In fact, I can think of perhaps one other time where this has occurred. -Niah

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for the finals we chose challenge accepted for our alliance partner - Wesley