On February 25th and 26th, our team competed in the Provincial Championship of the season. The winners of this competition would advance to the World Championship in Houston. It was our team's major goal for the season to compete at Worlds.
On the first day of the competition, the 25th, no official robot matches were run. Rather, the first day was mostly for teams to present themselves to the judges, where they will be evaluated and assigned awards, which would be revealed at the end of the competition. At the beginning of the day, our team completed our robot inspections, which would ensure our robot was safe to operate in-game. Almost immediately after, our team was scheduled for our judging session of the day.
Our judging session went very well. The team had practiced their prepared presentation beforehand, and had reviewed potential questions the judges might ask. This was definitely our team's best judging session as of yet. After the judging session, our team fine-tuned the code of our robot, especially our autonomous program, which needed to be precise. We did this while also participating in "practice matches" with other teams.
The second day of the competition was much more intense than the first. This was the day where teams would be doing all of their qualification matches, and for some, the finals of the robot game. Our robot was very effective, and we won all of our qualification matches. It helped that our team was consistently paired up with other teams who we worked very well with. By the end of the qualification matches, our team was placed second on the scoreboard out of twenty-four teams. This placement allowed us to be placed in the semi-finals of the day. If we won both our semi-finals matches, we would move on to finals. If we won that, we would be the winning alliance captain, effectively granting us a place in Houston for the World Championship.
At the beginning of this portion of the competition, the top four teams would choose two alliance partners to alternate with in the semi-finals, and potentially, the finals. We chose team 19995, Eclipse, and team 22111, Matheson Mecha Mustangs to be part of our alliance. We managed to win our semi-finals, having won two games and lost one, bumping us up to the finals. We decided to allow our two alliance partners to play for us in the finals, as their game strategy was more suited to our opponent in the finals than ours was. Our alliance partners won one of the matches for us, but lost the other, calling for a third match to decide the victor. In the end, our alliance lost by a mere three points, with a final score of 171 points to 174.
Although we lost the finals, our team still got very far. After the finals was the award ceremony, where our team received the Motivate award for our efforts in outreach events, and an award for being one of the alliance captains in the finals. However, there was one particular award that the team was aiming for. Winning the Inspire award, which is given to a team which best embodies the values of FIRST and FIRST promotion, would also grant us a spot at Worlds. We ended up being the second choice for the Inspire award, the first being team 3491, FIX IT. Although our team didn't win the Inspire award, one of our team members won the Dean's List award, allowing them to go to the World Championship.
That is not all however, as after the competition was over, our team was approached by team 3491 FIX IT, the winner of the Inspire award. FIX IT had been to Worlds multiple times already, and graciously offered to forfeit their spot, allowing us to go to to Houston. The spot would go to us, since we were the second pick for Inspire award, and the second place for the winning alliance captain. This is wonderful news, and we accepted the offer.
Over the next two months, our team will be preparing for the World Championship, which will involve much fundraising. We look forward to going to Houston, and seeing what the next two months will hold.