This weekend marks the first ever FIRST in Texas - Greenville District Event hosted by Greenville ISD!
In honor of this inaugural event, today let’s talk about JVN’s Top 9 District Changes (if I was REALLY in charge).
I should note… I’m NOT (at all) in charge of the Greenville District. In fact, I have almost ZERO influence over the Greenville District. They (rightly) don’t trust me with anything related to this event.
Fine. Your loss.
Let’s see how things could have been!
#9) Inspector Lightning Round
While inspectors sometimes say “most teams LIKE that I spend so much time during the inspection process, it’s a great chance for them to learn” not all teams feel that way.
Maybe a team learned enough at their previous events, and they’d like to move onto the other educational aspects of the weekend.
At the JVN District, teams can opt-in to an “Inspector Lightning Round” during the first 30 minutes of the event. Feeling confident in your robot’s legality? Ready to go “out of the bag”? Sign up for the lightning round! Inspectors provide a Pass/Fail grade to a team in under 10 minutes, or your pizza is free!
#8) Full Size Auton Practice Field + Free-Range Robots
There will be a large section of open carpet with game objects and elements. This is the Free-Range Robot Field. Teams who only need to see “if the intake can actually pickup a ball” can go here, instead of taking up space on the…
A full size practice field dedicated for autonomous testing. First-come, first-served. Time periods will be limited based on demand. Each team will be awarded three “one more run” tokens, which they can use to “snooze” the practice field attendant. (You all know what I’m talking about… sometimes you REALLY just need ‘one more run’ at the end of your time, we get it.)
Teams with the VIP Package (more on this later) will receive a Fast Pass to help them skip the line. Details TBD.
#7) Technician Sound Effects
At the JVN District, every team will be allowed to submit up to nine (5-second) sound-effects into the field management system.
Every time a team is playing in a match, their technician will have the option to trigger ONE sound effect, ONE time.
The spirit award will be given based on sound effect usage, and crowd participation with the sound effect.
7A) Instead of typical introductions, one sound effect will also be played during match intros.
“On the red alliance… we’ve got: Team 148!” <Cue John Cena Sound Effect>
#6) Graciously Accept = Graceless Forfeit
As long time readers of the blog know… I’m not a poster-child for what you’d call proper English. I’ve been told that my relationship with the comma is, “offensive” and “unnecessary”.
Those who live in black-glass houses should not throw stones…
But still. There is something about the phrase “We Graciously Accept” which gives me a small aneurysm every time I hear it.
How about “We Humbly Accept”? How about… something funny!
New Rule… at the JVN District if you say “We Graciously Accept” you forfeit the event. After the crowd quiets down, the alliance captain will make a new choice.
You might say “But JVN… that’s a lot of pressure to put on one student! If they say the wrong thing, they forfeit the entire event?”
Note, the above line reflects an acceptable way of accepting an alliance invitation. “Yep.” or maybe “Yes, thank you!” (It’s not that hard. We’ll make sure every team knows the rule ahead of time).
Note 2, yes, 148 would have forfeited some events in recent years.
#6A) Yelling for “Safety” = DQ
Very related to #6… If you yell “Robot” in the pit, your team will be DQ’d in your next match. You may think this is overly harsh, but trust me - it’s significantly more lenient than my original punishment.
If you have issues with this, you probably shouldn’t compete at the JVN District. (Yes, I’m talking to you.)
#5) Rule Interpretations
All rule interpretation questions will be settled via ‘trial by combat’ in the form of Ultimate Extreme Robowrangler Dodgeball! Think the call went the wrong way? Send in Steve the Pirate!
#4) Speaker Volume at 14.8%
The DJ at the JVN District will stick the ‘FIRST approved’ playlist. (Sigh)
The DJ at the JVN District will make sure the music is capped at 14.8% volume (Yay!)
Don’t worry - you’ll still be able to “get down” when you want to, but I suspect it’ll be easier to bust your move when there isn’t blood streaming from your ears.
(This applies to the pit announcements also).
#3) Friday Matches in the #HouseOfBlack
All the matches on Friday afternoon will be Blackout Matches. All lights in the venue will be turned out. #AllBlackEverything doesn’t mean #AllBlackSomethings - you want to play in our house, you play by our rules. Design your robots accordingly.
#2) Your Table is Ready
There will be no robot queuing announcements. Each team will be issued one “Your Table is Ready” buzzer from the Greenville Applebees at the beginning of the event. When it’s time to queue-up, your buzzer will let you know.
At that point, if you miss a match I don’t think us shouting your team number over the speakers would have helped…
#1) Robowrangler VIP Package
At the JVN District Event, the Robowranglers will offer a VIP Package for the truly “Premium Experience”. Teams who wish to make a generous donation to the Hunt County Children’s Advocacy Center will receive the following:
-Black “novelty size” gloves for each team mentor.
-Safety Hydration Helmets for every team member.
-Access to the real FIRST Q&A system which only certain teams are allowed to see.
-Reserved Seating in the “scouting section” for up to 15 people.
-Special “Club Level” Robot Queuing space for their team and up to 2 guests, which includes: a larger staging area, televisions showing all webcasted FRC events, full size whiteboard, power outlets, leather massage chairs for coaches, and a coffee/snack bar.
-A “Robowrangler Size” Trashcan of Popcorn and 2 cases of water delivered to your pit each morning, along with 35 breakfast burritos and a pot of coffee.
-Comprehensive scouting data for each team at the event, provided in real-time.
-Access to a dedicated classroom for your team. Can be used for storage. Team meetings. Nap time. Outside food is allowed and encouraged.
-Our 2008 robot. (No, really).
-A version of the 148 avatar which incorporates your team logo.
-A double sized pit space: NOT a 10x20, but a “double-decker” pit, with a 2nd story.
-Access to The Mentor Lounge
-Ability to request one of the “retired-and-disgraced 148 coaches” to coach a match for your team.
-An extra drive-team badge for your shop-dog. (If you do not have a shop dog, one will be provided to you.)
Would your team go in on the Robowrangler VIP Package?
You may say: “But JVN, this isn’t fair… team’s shouldn’t be allowed to use money to get special treatment or gain an advantage in FIRST!”