FRC and Competition
Everyone has different reasons for joining Valkyrie and leaving MVRT. Lots of emotions, some kind, some less so, get caught up in it; and in the end, for good reason. FRC has a powerful influence on people’s lives, whether it be inspiration, enrichment, or just plain fun. And what else more perfectly represents FRC than the competitions it runs? No team intends on running without competition, in the long run; sure, some might postpone a year to get some cool system out, but in the end, everyone wants to get their robot on the field and see it run. Without competition, there’s no hard deadline, no real need, no consequences, and in the end, somehow less of a success. We started Valkyrie with full intention to compete, as well as we can and as soon as possible.
Fortunately, it seems that our opportunity to do so will come much sooner than we had expected when starting up. In the ‘FRC competitive season’, there are more or less two groups of events: in-season and post-season competitions. In-season consists of all the official regionals and district competitions as well as the official championships, along with some home-run practice sessions and whatnot. Post, or off-season, competitions are essentially home run gatherings led either by (generally high-performing) teams, such as 254 (Chezy Champs) and 1678 (Capital City Classic), or larger organizations, like the Western Regional Robotics Forum (CalGames). These tend to run from mid-summer to early winter; IRI just finished up, with Calgames, CCC, and Chezy Champs all taking place after school starts. A lot of these things are somewhat invite-only, but local teams do tend to have advantage; and, as tends to be true, the better the competition, the harder it is to get in. Last year, MVRT attended CalGames after getting our application accepted; it was a lot of fun to see the teams fun, often with cool improvements and alterations to their robot. At least in my opinion, 971 had the most memorable setup: they copied the design of champs-winning Team 118, leading to such quips as ‘And here comes Team 971, the Robonauts!’. All around, off-season events tend to be a fun way of meeting up with people in the FIRST community, see how competition might line up for next year, and get in gear for the coming season.
Capital City Classic
Lucky for us, it looks like we might actually get a chance to join in on a well-run event this year– as the title may suggest, the Capital City Classic, run by Team 1678: Citrus Circuits! We’re still working through logistics and application– specifically, we really need to get some mentors together– but as far as we can tell, Mike Corsetto and their team captain seem pretty fine with us attending. The event will have workshops, food trucks, some speeches, and– obviously– the competition itself. What makes this event special for us isn’t any of that, however. You may be asking: “But Mr. Chairman, we don’t have a robot! How can we possible attend a regional?” Well, it turns out the folks at 1678 have already thought this all through and have specifically begun to set up accomodations for pre-rookie teams like us! If all goes well, we’ll have a chance to borrow someone’s second or third bot and get to run it on our field with whatever drive team we produce.
Just to note, we still can’t be completely certain that we’ll be able to attend; if we can’t get a mentor to come with us, we can’t attend. Still, we have our hopes, and we’ll update you all as we get more information. It’s about a two hour drive from here, so anyone who’s coming would stay in a hotel for the weekend, meaning that there will be costs. Currently, we’re looking at a cost of around 150-200$, depending on how we manage to get transportation to work.