FRC World Championship
From April 18 to 23, my robotics team travelled to Houston, Texas to attend the FIRST® World Championship. By qualifying traditionally through district points and our automatic qualification through our Hall of Fame status, we were thrilled to see how we would perform against other world class teams.
With this trip being the culmination of all our work for the past 4 months, everyone was eager to both show off our robot and have fun together. I was even more excited to attend than last year because a lot more of my friends would be coming as well. Last year, I was one of four freshmen to attend worlds. This year, there were fifteen sophomores, including a lot of my close friends. Because of the schedule, we were able to have a lot of fun together; we even went to the Houston Zoo and Space Center as a team.
In the qualification round, we were ranked 28th out of 75 teams in our division with a record of seven wins and six losses. Overall, I think we performed well and got noticed by many of the top teams in our division. In fact the number one seed and future world champions, MadTown Robotics (FRC 1323), said they would have picked us if we had been available in the second round of alliance selection. We ended up being the first pick of Alliance 8. While we might have hoped to be picked by a higher seed, being a first pick was still an honor we did not expect.
In the elimination round, we ended with a record of 1 win and 2 losses, making it to the semifinals. In our first match, we tragically had our first tip over of the entire season, incapacitating us in the first 30 seconds of the match. After that rough start, we eliminated the 5th alliance, captained by COMETS (FRC 3357) who were spotlighted by Behind the Bumpers, in a close match that came down to endgame balancing on the charge station. In our final match of Worlds, we lost against Alliance 3 in a extremely high scoring match of 218-196, with 218 being the highest score in the entire tournament. While we fought hard, scoring the highest we had all season, it was not enough. Ultimately, I was still very satisfied with our performance, advancing a stage further than we had last year. Considering we were a first pick; we would be considered in the top 96 of the 600 teams attending the FIRST® World Championship and of the 10,000 teams in the entire program. In addition, an official participant voted ranking ranked us 67 in the world.
Along with an extremely successful season, my friends and I had a lot of fun. Whether going out to get food, exploring the Houston Space Center, or hanging out in each other’s rooms, it was a great time. I also took advantage of a lot of opportunities I regretted skipping last year: I visited the Innovation Fair for free merch and potential internships, talked to a lot of FTC and FLL teams, was more adventurous outside of the convention center, attended an open house by the Robonauts (FRC 118, a world class team with 49blue banners and 11 Finals appearances), and watched a presentation about game strategy and scouting by Karthik Kanagasabapathy (a prominent figure in the FIRST community). Looking back, I got a lot more of what Worlds had to offer by coming out of my shell this year.