White Mountain Qualifying Tournament

Our thanks to the Jaegers Robotics #8995 for hosting a successful qualifier tournament and to all the other robotics teams for participating. With 12 teams, it was nice and cozy even though, the temperature outside was below freezing. During the winter break, we rebuilt the arm and part of the drive train. This is the first time that we tested the new features under competition conditions. List of all participating teams:

  • #5661:  Wolves Robotics (2011)
  • #8081: Knights of the Lab Table (2013)
  • #9761: The PrestidigiTaters (2015, Utah)
  • #10246: Midnight Cicadas (2015)
  • #11365: Ticket to Paradise (2016)
  • #11598: SFdA Saints (2016)
  • #11701: Elksplosion (2016)
  • #12241: Paragon Panthers (was team # 6471: 2012)
  • #12892: Juggerbots (2017)
  • #13099: San Carlos BRAVES (2017)
  • #13309: ITSA botCatz (2017)
  • #13517: CPR (2017)

While I recognized some of the teams like the Wolves, the Knights of the Lab Table, the Juggerbots, the Midnight Cicadas from previous events another team The PrestidigiTaters I have not seen before. They drove from Utah to participate in this qualifier.
We arrived on Friday to set up the team pit, check the robot and fine-tune autonomous mode. For that evening, the Jaegers also planned a social night with pizza, games, and dancing.

We – the Paragon Panthers team – understand how hard it is to go to a tournament with a partially working robot and a slim chance of winning. We experienced this in previous years and probably will again. I strongly encourage teams to participate so that they learn, improve, get help, and leave the tournament with an improved robot. Kudos to the team who showed up with a non-working robot and with help from the Jeagers got it working and competed in the tournament – an infinite improvement.

The next morning the competition opened at 8 am. The remaining three teams arrived, robots got inspected, and the judging session started. Due to the changes in our robot, my expectations were not too high. Each team played five qualification games with randomly selected alliance partners.

For the first game, our alliance partner was still working on their robot and missed the game entirely. At the end of the game, there are 20 points for being on the balance board. No robot – no 20 points – bummer. To my surprise, we won the first game 121:88 points – saved by autonomous with 85 points. The Knights of the Lab Table broke their robotics controller at the beginning of the tournament. Luckily for them, we have a spare which we lent them for the tournament and for the next week – they were so happy. After all 15 qualification games were played, we were – once again, and undoubtedly with some luck – the only undefeated team in the tournament. In the alliance selection, we partnered with the PrestidigiTaters (#2 in the qualification games) due to supplementary features. Both semifinals games were a save win with 170+  to ~90 points. The other semifinal games ended 200+ and I was expecting being defeated in the finals again as it happens so often in previous events.

In the finales, we faced off against the Knights of the Lab Table – with our controller – and the Midnight Cicadas. To my great surprise, we win the 1st final game with a close 169 : 146 (excluding penalties). Whoa, we had a chance.

We were only one win away from winning this competition – so close.

With the help of our alliance partner we went to win both final games 179:146 and 213:180 and went home with the Winning Alliance Captain trophy.

GO Panthers #12241


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