Off-season competitions prepares high school teams, improves performance
On the weekend of Oct. 23, Davis Senior High School (DSHS) hosted the Capital City Classic (CCC) robotics competition. CCC is a three-day tournament for high school robotics teams in the off-season of the competitive FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).
High school teams compete internationally each year at the FRC Championships. The competition combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology, challenging each team’s robots to battle in a game designed by FRC.
Under strict rules, limited resources and time constraints, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.
Off-season tournaments like CCC are generally held by high schools and other teams, rather than by FRC. The off-season tournament allows the participants to be competitive without the pressure of the FRC competition.
At the beginning of January each year, FRC releases a video informing teams which game is going to be played by the robots. This is decided by an FRC committee and the games are based on solving real-life problems. This year, the game was called Recycle Rush. The objective of the game is to have the robots, controlled by drivers, stack the maximum number of boxes in a period of two and a half minutes.
“Being an off-season competition, we could change the rules to improve the game [to make it] more interesting for other teams,” said Sophia Stockburger, captain of the DSHS Citrus Circuits robotics team.
Ben Aldrich, a member of Vanden High School’s RoboVikes team, who competed in CCC, appreciated the less competitive environment.
“This was my fourth time in a competition and it has been more enjoyable than the others,” Aldrich said.
According to Steve Harvey, the team advisor of Citrus Circuits, making the rules of the game flexible allowed competing teams to participate in workshops together.
“We’ve put [workshops] in areas such as Team Management, Control Systems, Fabrication and Prototyping, Mechanical Design and Strategy,” Harvey said. “These workshops and presentations are led by students and mentors from Citrus Circuits, as well as a couple of guest mentors from other teams.”
The workshops and the CCC competition are designed to help students learn and prepare for the more competitive matches like those held by FRC.
Written By: RAHIL SHETH