Last week was our first competition, the Lone Star Central Regional, in Houston, Texas.
We drove down on Wednesday to set up our pit. Our pit is a 10’x10’x10′ space that each team is assigned. Here, we can fix and modify our robot as well as display our team spirit and talk to judges. Each pit is unique and can be decorated any way the team desires. We built our pit by ourselves in less than two hours. As you can see from the photo below, our pit was constructed out of wood 2x4s with a large canvas tarp draped around the outside. We had plenty of room in our pit for our tools and displayed some photos on the side walls. The small table in the front was our marketing station, where we handed out our brochures, business cards, and “swag” pins.
After getting some sleep, we got to work on Thursday. The first thing we did was get our robot inspected. We were the first team out of 40 to get it done! Later in the day, the practice field opened up, so we spent a majority of the day practicing. This was the first time we were able to practice on the actual field, and it was the first time in a month we were able to use our robot. On our first practice game the robot fell off the rope, so we had some major repairs to do. Fortunately, we were able to fix it! We ended the day with a team meeting.
On Friday, we started competing. The drive team spent most of the day moving the robot back and forth from the pit to the field. We played 8 qualification matches and flawlessly climbed the rope every single game except one, because we brought the wrong rope. We were also able to grab multiple gears every game! The marketing team spent the day talking to judges and other teams. We learned a ton from the other teams at the competition! Many teams came over to our pit to talk about strategy and scouting, while we asked them questions about their team.
Saturday was when it got exciting. We spent the morning playing a few more qualification matches. A few hours after was alliance picking. The top 8 teams get to choose 2 other teams to compete with them in the elimination games. Fortunately, we were picked by Blarglefish and VorTX, two awesome and experienced teams! We won both quarter final games, putting us into the semi finals. We were shocked! The semi finals were tough however. We lost the first game, and we had to call a time-out to fix our robot in between game one and game two. We were literally fixing the robot while moving it over to the field! We all thought it was over, but we were able to barely get the victory on game two! After fixing our robot a little more, game three was an extremely close game, but our rope broke at the last second, causing us to fall off the rope. None of us were very disappointed, only shocked that we made it that far!
Just when we thought the competition couldn’t get any better, the awards ceremony started. We thought there would be no way we would win any award, but sure enough, we were the winners of the Rookie All-Star award! We had only dreamed of winning this award, we couldn’t believe it! It was such a great way to end the competition.
No matter who you are, no matter how long you have been following our team, we want to thank you. Without you, we would have never been able to build a robot and compete in this competition. Participating in FRC is a huge opportunity that not many kids get. We are honored to be a part of FRC and to have your support.