Saturday, December 3, 2016, was quite a terrific day for our E-Bots VEX teams. At the VEX Regional Competition, both teams A and B qualified to attend their respective Provincial Tournaments! The kids worked very hard for their successes, so we want to send out our heartfelt congratulations to all team members!
Making the advancement to Provincials even more poignant is that Saturday’s competitions represented the very first Regional Tournaments that the teams attended, so having them qualify on their first attempt was extra special. For VEX, It takes the pressure off when competing at other regional events during the next several months., they now know that they will be able to compete at Provincials on February 25, 2017, in St. Catharines, in an attempt to secure a spot at the World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky on April 19-22. Several factors made this Provincial qualification extra special.
When the season began, we weren’t sure whether Team 5225B would build a robot because its members were comprised of first-year VEX participants. Instead, they were expected to learn from, and support Team 5225A. Not only did 5225B build their ‘bot, it was very competitive, finishing with a strong record of 4-2 on the day. This led to them being picked as the third alliance partner with the second ranked team. With Team 5225B’s support, its alliance won both the Semi and Quarter Final Rounds to advance to the Final Round of competition. Its competition turned out to be against the first ranked alliance. Interestingly, when a team is selected third as Team 5225B was, they typically play one, and at most two matches out of a best of three tournament. However, 5225B was selected by its alliance leader to play all three matches in the Final Round, but in the end came up short, losing the best of three series 2-1. It was a bittersweet loss because, during the very last match, Team 5225B’s controller lost connectivity with the robot. When this happens, the robot cannot move. This was not the team’s fault and was therefore a bitter way to lose after such a hard fought day. In fact, this loss of connectivity happened to several other teams throughout the day, including to its sister Team 5225A. Nonetheless, all teams that advanced to the Finals in this Regional event automatically qualified for Provincials, so 5225B was assured its place.
Our more experienced Team 5225A took a different path to earn its spot at Provincials. It had a very competitive day, finishing with a 5-1 record. The only loss it suffered occurred during its last match in the preliminary rounds when its controller also inexplicably failed to communicate with its robot. Despite this loss by 5225A, the Team still finished in 4th place out of the 46 teams that participated, and managed to advance through the Quarter’s to the Semi Finals where it was ultimately eliminated by the first ranked alliance – the same alliance that went on to win the tournament. Team
5225A’s spirits were understandably a bit dampened, especially since, if it won the Semi Finals it would have advanced to the Finals where it would have competed against its sister team, 5225B, and by doing so both teams would have qualified for Provincials by virtue of both advancing to, and competing in the Finals.
After the matches were completed, 5225A’s spirits were given quite a nice boost when it was awarded the highest honour any team can receive, The Excellence Award! This Judges Award is given to the overall strongest team in the competition. In order to be considered, teams need to demonstrate
sound engineering and design principles in robot construction, strong autonomous skills and excell-
ent documentation supporting the efforts that went into designing, building, troubleshooting and preparing the robot for competition. Team members are also expected to demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship to all referees, judges, competing team members, coaches, parents and generally to all those in attendance at the tournament. This is something we at E-Bots have tried to instil in all our teams. be it VEX and/or FLL programs.
Congratulations again to all VEX parents for your continued support and the teams for your outstanding performances!