VEX Robotics Blog

Bellarmine VEX Tournament 2016

By John Vu

This past weekend Bellarmine hosted its Annual Bellarmine VEX Tournament with a total of 69 teams from all over the Bay Area competing. Six teams from Team 254 competed against an assortment of designs and robots to make it past the qualification matches.

Team 254E enthusiastically discussing their strategy and reviewing the results from their last match.

By the end of qualifiers, three teams from Team 254 were moved into eliminations. During alliance selection, Team 254C joined Teams 5369 and 5327B to form an alliance. Team 254A, 254F, and 254C all competed in the quarterfinals, but only Team 254C broke into the semi-finals. Unfortunately, 254C’s alliance was eliminated in the semi-finals

Brandon of Team 254H makes adjustment on the robot after a match.

With three teams making it passed qualifiers, the tournament was a strong test, pushing teams and robots to their limits. The tournament’s intensity gave insight on the necessary improvements and adjustments that teams will need to make on their robots and strategy for the next tournament. Now, teams will continue working and improving their robots from the new insights from this tournament for their next upcoming tournament.

Students on Team 254H driving their robot during a match.

Congratulations to tournament winners 86868, 5776T, and 563.

2016 VEX World Championship

This past week, VEX Team 254C travelled to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the 2016 VEX Worlds Championship. 254C competed in the Arts division at worlds. In total, there were four other high school divisions, each consisting of 100 teams from around the world.

254C discussing strategy with their alliance partners

By the end of the 250 qualification matches, 254C had won 6 of it's 10 qualification matches, and was ranked 26th by alliance selection. Unfortunately, this was not enough to convince other teams to invite them to an alliance, and so their Nothing But Net season ended there.

254C's drive team watches their robot perform during the autonomous period

However, students have already begun to think about the new 2016-2017 VEX Robotics Competition, Starstruck, which will require a drastically different design from Nothing but Net.

2016 Duel In Diablo VEX Tournament

This past Saturday, VEX teams 254E and 254F travelled to Concord, to compete in the Duel in Diablo Nothing but Net VEX Tournament. At the tournament, they competed against 27 other teams from around the area.

Team 254E works on their robot between matches.

Both teams performed very well throughout the qualification matches. 254E, with just a single loss, finished the qualification matches ranked 3rd overall. 254F also performed fairly well, ranking 11th by the end of the qualification matches.

254F uses their match loads during a match.

During alliance selection, 254E invited 254F to join the third seed alliance. Due to the size of the tournament, each alliance only contained two teams. Unfortunately, this turned into a problem when the robots from 254E and 254F had issues, and there were no other robots to rely on. This led to the alliance being eliminated during quarterfinals.

254E & 254F strategize before their first quarterfinals match.

Despite not doing as well as they had hoped during eliminations, 254F was awarded the sportsmanship award.

2015 Tracy Triangle VEX Tournament

Yesterday, VEX teams 254B, 254D, 254E, 254F, 254G, & 254H attended the Tracy Triangle VEX Tournament. With over 80 teams, this was the largest VEX tournament our teams attended this season.

Team 254E lines up their robot.

Throughout the tournament, all 254 teams performed very well. By the end of the qualification matches, 254B had gone undefeated and ranked 3rd out of all teams. During alliance selection 254B invited 254F & 4768C to join their alliance. Additionally, 254H joined an alliance with 4768B and 4768. 254E also joined an alliance with 5772 and 5327C.

254F discussing strategy with 254G.

Unfortunately, teams 254B, 254F, & 254H were eliminated during quarterfinals. 254E made it through several challenging elimination matches, but ultimately lost in their 3rd final match by a small margin.

Students pose for a team picture.

At the end of the tournament, 254H was awarded the Create Award for their robot design. Congratulations to the tournament champions 5776T, 8000B, & 8000D.

2015 Willow Glen VEX Tournament

Yesterday, Team 254 for had the opportunity to compete in the Willow Glen Plaza VRC Tournament. VEX Teams 254A, 254B, 254C, 254D, 254E, & 254H had the opportunity to compete against 18 other VEX teams from around the area.

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Overall, all 254 VEX teams performed very well. By the end of the qualification matches, 254C was ranked 1st, and 254B was ranked 2nd. 254E and 254A also performed very well, ranking 6th and 9th, respectively. All 254 teams made it into the elimination matches, with the first seed alliance consisting of 254C, 254B, and 254F. Unfortunately 254D’s alliance was eliminated during the quarterfinals, and 254C, 254B, & 254F lost to 254A’s alliance during semifinals.

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During the finals matches, teams 563F, 254A, & 256B went head to head with 563, 254E, & 6734B. After four exciting matches, 563F, 254A, & 256B won, due to a last minute strategy change that led to the 254E accidentally entering their opponent’s loading zone, which led to a disqualification.

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Additionally, 254C also won the Excellence Award, and ranked first in robot skills at the tournament.

2015 Central Valley Nothing But Net Tournament

Last Saturday (12/5/2015) VEX teams 254C, 254B, and 254F competed in the 5th Annual Central Valley VEX Robotics Challenge. For all teams that competed, this was their 3rd tournament of the season, so it was a great opportunity to implement changes based on their previous tournaments.

Team 254B preparing for an elimination match.

Overall, all teams performed very well at the tournament. Throughout the day, all 254 teams were ranked highly, and were strong competitors. 254B ended the qualification matches ranked 7th, and was invited to join the 3rd seed alliance with teams 973A & 4033B. Team 254C went into alliance selection as the undefeated first seed robot, and picked teams 3396 & 973G to join their alliance. While team 254B unfortunately lost during the semifinals, team 254C was able to win all of their matches throughout eliminations, and ultimately won the tournament.

Team 254C poses with their robot, trophy, and alliance partners.

Despite not making it into the elimination matches, team 254F impressed the judges with their robot and strategy, and was awarded the Judges Award.

Team 254F & their alliance partners discussing strategy before their match.

This tournament was a rather successful one for Team 254, and everyone involved learned a lot. Teams will now return to working on their robots and strategies for the upcoming Willow Glen tournament.

2015 DVHS VEX Tournament

This past weekend (10/18), VEX Teams 254A, 254B, 254C, 254F, & 254E all competed at the DVHS VEX Tournament. Being the first tournament of the season, it was a great opportunity for our VEX teams to determine how their robots functioned during competition, and to test their strategies.

Team 254A making last minute changes to their code.

With their single flywheel design, and a strong lift, team 254C was eventually invited to join the sixth seed alliance, with teams 824C and 5327B. After several close matches during quarter-finals, narrowly won and moved on the semi-finals, where they were unfortunately defeated by teams 8000A, 8000D, and 5776Y. Congratulations to tournament winners, 5776T, 5369, & 5776.

Team 254C lifting their alliance partner.

Overall, our teams all had a lot of fun at the tournament, and learned a lot from other teams. Several of our teams now have plans to work to improve their robots for the upcoming Bellarmine VEX Tournament.

2015 VEX World Championships and “Nothing But Net”

This past week, Team 254A and 254D traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete at the 2015 VEX World Championships. 254A competed in the Science Division, while 254D competed in the Technology Division. Our teams faced off against top teams from places like New Zealand, Texas, China, England, Mexico, and Bahrain. 254A experienced numerous setbacks at the tournament on their scissorlift, such as spilling ketchup onto their Cortex and numerous stripped gears and bent axles. 254A worked around the clock to repair the robot, but unfortunately were unable to fix the robot in time for eliminations. 254D did reasonably well, placing 30th in their division, but also unfortunately did not reach eliminations. On a happier note, the new VEX game "Nothing But Net" has gotten our team members talking about potential designs to shoot balls into a net, such as flywheels and catapults. Unlike previous years, for the majority of the match bots cannot lift above 18 inches, eliminating the lifts that have been dominant in earlier games.

Louisville was also quite a surprise for our teams. The food in Louisville was a lot better than Anaheim, where the majority of previous World Championships have been held. Our team especially enjoyed the Moelicious BBQ food truck and the hot and fresh minidonuts served at the event. Cracker Barrel was also well-liked by students. We also went go-karting in Indianapolis and relaxed at Dockweiler Beach in LA.

Tracy NorCal VEX Skyrise Tournament

On Saturday, 1/31, 254A, 254B, 254C, 254E, 254F, and 254G competed at Merrill F. West High School at the Tracy NorCal VEX Skyrise Tournament. 5 of our 6 VEX teams at Tracy reached the elimination rounds, a strong showing from the Cheesy Poofs! 254B and 254F joined 824B during the elimination rounds, and reached the semifinals. Team 254C joined 9378A and 9378B, and reached the quarterfinals. Team 254E joined 5776 and 8000D, reaching the quarterfinals.

Team 254F competing in the quarterfinals

254A, using an eight-bar side-roller robot design, reached the finals alongside 5369 (the Duckies) and 5327C (Gael Force) as part of the first-seed alliance. Unfortunately, after a long deliberation by the referees, they lost to the second seeded alliance in two matches. Congratulations to 1935A(HEART Academy San Jose), 7579B(Next Generation Science & Technology Group), and 8000B(Head-Royce School)! In addition, Team 254C won the Sportsmanship Award!

254A joining the first seed alliance

Team 254C proudly showing their Sportsmanship Award

Our teams learned a lot at Tracy about potential designs and had a lot of fun, and are looking to make improvements to their robots for the NorCal State Championship, coming up at the beginning of March!

Team 254A undergoes inspection

A long road trip

Team 254B and 254E in a friendly match

Bellarmine VEX Tournament

The 7th Annual Bellarmine VEX Tournament, hosted by Team 254, will be held November 21-22, 2014 project management web app. The event is free for spectators. The best time to watch is from the alliance selection process (3pm Saturday), through the finals, which will finish by 6:30pm.

Information

Changes from Last Year

  • There are more teams competing, so if you can, please get inspected on Friday evening (6 – 8pm). We’ll officially open the pits at 7am and start inspections at 7:15am on Saturday.
  • We will have a photo booth setup with a backdrop for professional looking photos of your robot and/or team. This will be located next to the skills challenge field on the 2nd floor of the Sobrato building.
  • We will have a competition Instagram: Use #BELLVEX in Instagram during the tournament and see your picture appear on displays in the Pits and in Sobrato.

Schedule

Friday, November 21, 2014
6 pm – 8 pm Check-In and Inspection (in Liccardo)
7 pm – 9 pm Practice time for teams
Saturday, November 22, 2014
7:00 am Pit Area and Registration Opens (in Liccardo)
8:00 am Check-in Deadline for teams (at Pit Admin in Liccardo)
7:15 am – 8:30 am Inspection (in Liccardo)
7:30 am – 8:30 am Practice Rounds (in Sobrato Theater)
8:30 am – 8:45 am Driver’s Meeting (in Sobrato Theater)
8:30 am – 9:30 am Sign up for judging interview (at Pit Admin table)
8:45 am Welcome (in Sobrato Theater)
9:00 am – 12:30pm Qualifying Rounds (in Sobrato Theater)
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch Break (We will have Pizza Order Forms)
1:00 pm – 2:35 pm Qualifying Rounds Continue (in Sobrato Theater)
2:45 pm Alliance Selection Process (in Sobrato Theater)
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm Elimination Rounds (in Sobrato Theater)
~5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Finals, Awards, Closing Ceremony (in Sobrato Theater)

Tournament Location & Parking

Bellarmine College Preparatory 960 W. Hedding St. San Jose, CA 95126

Google Maps

Campus Map

For the competition, the pits are in Liccardo cafeteria and the competition fields in Sobrato theater. These are #6 and #7 on the campus map at: //www.bcp.org/about-us/our-campus/index.aspx.

Street parking is very limited due to permit parking restrictions. There is additional parking by Emory and Stockton streets. Check in with the Pit Admin when you arrive, who will provide you with a map of the tournament facilities.

Northern California VRC Championship Qualifications

We are qualifying 8 teams for the Northern California VRC State Championship:

  • 3 Team Winning Alliance
  • 3 Team Finalists
  • 1 Design Award winner
  • 1 Excellence Award winner

Awards Given

  • Excellence Award
  • Design Award
  • Judges Award
  • Sportsmanship Award

Concessions

We will offer pizza for preorder. Info will be sent in a different email. We will have a few pasta dinners available for Friday night and will be offering snacks and drinks on Saturday.

Information For Competitors

  • If you cannot arrive before close of check-in at 8am, please call or text (preferred): 408-377-5330 or email: blindemann@bcp.org.
  • If you want to be considered for the Excellence or Design awards, you will need to sign up for an interview by 9:30am. Go to the Pit Admin to schedule (or change your appointment time if needed). The interview rooms are on the second floor of the Sobrato Theater building near the swimming pool.
  • The skills challenge field is also on the 2nd floor of the Sobrato theater building. Teams are not limited to the number of attempts, however, any team with fewer than 3 attempts can move ahead of other teams waiting in line.
  • Bring your signed VEX competition waiver, available at: //www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2013/06/vrc-participant-release-form.pdf.
  • Check the match schedule when it is published and make sure you are ready for each match. We try hard to keep matches running on time.
  • Be sure your robot is ready for inspection. Double check the requirements here: //www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2013/06/inspection-checklist-vrc.pdf.
  • Have fully charged batteries for each match.
  • Be sure the drivers and coach have safety glasses when they arrive at the field to compete.
  • Bring a power strip. We should have an outlet within 6′ of your table for you to plug into.
  • WiFi will be available in the pits
  • A Help Desk will be available with a limited supply of parts should anything break or you are unable to pass inspection

Information For Novices

It is highly recommended for you to arrive Friday to go through the inspection and try a couple practice matches. Friday will be much more relaxed and our inspectors will be able to help you through the inspection process. Also, our field managers will be able to guide you through the competition process. Be sure to bring fully charged batteries, chargers, spare parts and tools in case anything breaks. Ensure your VEXnet keys are working well.

Vex logo

DVHS VEX Tournament 2014

Competing and Improving

The Dougherty Valley High School (DVHS) in San Ramon hosted this tournament. The team was pleased to see upon arriving that competition boards were placed in the pit area, and that the location of the pit allowed for very quick switching between matches. Unfortunately none of our sub teams managed to qualify for States, but this competition allowed our robots to be tested for the first time and we used this feedback to repair and upgrade our bots. For example Team 254F lost two matches in qualifications and two in eliminations. The members of Team 254F are now working on improving their intake and looking forward to the next VEX tournament.

DVHSTournament2014-1Team 254G with glorious sub leader Vidur communicating with his sub team

One VEXing Tournament

Thankfully there were no MAJOR technical issues (robots catching fire, exploding, becoming sentient) and all of our teams learned a lot in the competitive process. The tournament was a success! We would like to recognize teams 21D for their excellent design for the high rises, and also 6089, 5776C, 5327A, and many other teams in attendance for challenging us and helping our sub teams to improve their bots. Lastly, many thanks to DVHS for their tasty and very reasonably priced snacks; oh and also for hosting this fun and competitive tournament. And to the VEX teams at the competition, all of us are looking forward to seeing many of you at the Bellarmine VEX tournament this November!

DVHSTourament2014-2Team 254D Driver about to shake hands with some fellow VEX enthusiasts

DVHSTournament2014-3Team 254B watching their bot intently as Tom takes a sly selfie

Stay Cheesy

International Vex Summer Games

On July 11th and 12th, members of VEX Team 254D traveled to Hawaii for the new Hawaii International Games tournament. The tournament featured two competitions, one for the old game, Toss Up and one for the new game, Skyrise. The Cheesy Poofs were fortunately able to secure spots in both competitions, entering the robots Scorpion and Qilin. Although the Cheesy Poofs did not fare so well during the qualifications due to various issues in both divisions, top teams recognized the strength of the Poofs. In the Toss Up competition, 254D was selected by the 2nd seeded alliance while in the Skyrise competition, partnering with 359A, the Hawaiian Kids, and 1973A, the Trojanbots. The alliance lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual tournament victor. In the Skyrise Division, 254D was selected by the 5th overall seed, joining 368A, Team Kika Mana, and 1841A, Buff n' Blue 1, again losing during the quarterfinals. Despite the team’s failure to proceed through the quarterfinals, the Cheesy Poofs gained valuable experience and knowledge in designs and strategies for the new Skyrise game that will carry over to the new season.

Late Night Repairs on Scorpion

After-Tournament Fun at Hanauma Bay

NASA Robotics Alliance Celebration

On Tuesday, June 10th, Teams 254s, 971 and 1868 met with NASA Ames' Director Dr. Simon P. Worden, to celebrate the accomplishments of the teams and thank Dr. Worden for the center's generous sponsorship over the years.

The 3 teams were recognized for their success in the FRC, VEX, and Botball competitions this past year and all the students were given certificates. The teams thanked NASA, their mentors, and their parents for all the support they've received throughout the lifespan of the team.

Members of the audience also got to re-watch some of the exciting Einstein finals matches and relive Team 254's World Championship win.

A dessert reception hosted by Team 1868 and socializing took place after the event.

Head Mentor Travis Covington thanked NASA for their support.

Team President Andrew Torrance described how life changing being a member of Team 254 is.

The team took a photo with Ames' Director: Dr. Simon P. Worden

VEX World Championship

Overview

This past week, 15 members of Bellarmine's VEX Robotics Team 254 competed at the VEX World Championship. Team 254D (led by Elias Wu '14, Tyler Cuff '14, Jeffrey Kaufman ‘15, and Tarun Midde '15) ranked 7th in it's division, and Team 254G (led by Eric Wang '17 and Goutham Gnanasekaran '14) ranked 22nd in it's division after the qualification matches. Both made it to the Elimination matches as part of the 6th alliance (out of 8 alliances) in their respective divisions. Although the odds were against them, both made it to the finals of their respective divisions. Because of the structure of the competition, both always faced alliances that were ranked higher, and yet managed to make it to the finals. Both even won one of the three finals matches. Team 254D won the overall Website award, and Team 254G won the Teamwork award in their division.

Qualification Matches

After intense qualification matches in the Technology Division, 254G ended with a 6-4-0 record and a 22nd rank. 254G started out strong with three consecutive wins against opposing alliances on Thursday. However, matches after that were much more difficult. 254G would then go on to lose two matches in a row Friday morning, but was able to maintain a winning record through Saturday to finish with a 22 rank in the division. 254G also won the Teamwork Award in the Technology Division, which was a pleasant surprise for the team after their tough matches.

Team 254D also had a series of challenging qualification matches in the Science Division. They began on Thursday with several difficult matches caused by tough opponents and unlucky alliances. Nevertheless, 254D rebounded in the qualification matches on Friday and Saturday to end up with a 7-2-1 record, ranked 7th in the division.

Elimination Matches

In the Technology Division, 254G allied with sixth seed 7232C and ninth seed 2213D for the eliminations matches. Despite being one of the lower ranked alliances, they made it all the way to the finals in their division. All of our rounds in division eliminations were difficult, with every one of them going to a third tiebreaker match. The first round ended in a tiebreaker match against an alliance led by third seed 1893B. 254G’s alliance won by just 2 points in that match with a final score of 42-44. Next, they faced the alliance led by 1575D which also ended in a tiebreaker match. However, this one was way more intense. After what seemed like a crushing loss for our alliance, the score was revealed to show that the opposing alliance had suffered a disqualification. The final score of the match was 9-0, with 7232C, 2213D, and 254G advancing to the finals. Our alliance lost the first match by a score of 45-34 to 169E’s alliance, but we were able to rebound and win the next match by a score of 52-32. Finally, 254G and 2213D competed in the last match of the final round. Our opponents won autonomous and were able to defend the goal zone successfully. The final score of the match was 43-30, in favor of 169E’s alliance. 169E, 1460J, and 136M advanced to the Round Robin. Overall, this was a very successful year for 254G and we hope to experience similar success in the future.

During alliance selection, 254D was bumped up to the 6th seed. They declined an alliance with the 3rd seed team, 5139A, instead choosing to captain their own alliance with teams 2941D and 2880A. They went on to face the 3rd seed alliance in the quarterfinals. After losing by a huge margin of 82-4 in the first match as a result of tipping during the autonomous, 254D and its partners went on to beat the 3rd seed alliance, made up of 5139A, 800B, and 4194F, in two consecutive matches. In the semifinals, 254D competed against the 2nd seed alliance, captained by Team 26, along with 231A and 9090A. They defeated the opponents in the first two matches through a combination of a successful autonomous, strong defense, and by changing game strategy with their partners each match. Then, as the 6th seed alliance, 254D went up against their biggest challenge in facing the 1st seed alliance in the division finals. Team 1136A led the opposing alliance with teams 1961C and 6135B. Unfortunately, after playing in every single one of the previous elimination matches, 254D’s robot suffered motor and cortex difficulties in the finals. They lost the first match, won the second, and ultimately lost a tense final match. While this was a disappointing loss for 254D, they nevertheless performed extremely well against highly difficult odds, and they are proud of their accomplishments.

After Competition After a great season, the members of Team 254 enjoyed the traditional evening of fun at Dave & Buster’s. In surprising turn of luck, they collectively managed to score a series of jackpots, pooling their winnings to buy a cheap remote-controlled helicopter (unfortunately, D&B lacked quality yo-yos). After returning to the hotel, Team 254 had fun playing with their new toy. Overall, this year’s VEX World Championship was a memorable experience for Team 254.

The Tarun Yo-yo fund

254A receives Excellence at Bakersfield VEX Tournament

On Saturday, December 14th, VEX Teams 254A and 254F competed at the Frontier Titan Robotics Tournament in Bakersfield, California.

Our teams had some tough matches in the qualifying rounds, and even had to go against each other. Despite that, 254A went undefeated and seeded 3rd, while 254F seeded 13th.

254F was picked by the 2nd seeded team, 563, Titan Robotics. This alliance later picked Team 1437X, Patriot Robotics.

254A picked 1437Z and then 1437Y, Patriot Robotics.

After easily getting through the quarterfinals, 254A had to face 254F in the semifinals. 254A ended up narrowly advancing to face the number 1 seeded alliance featuring teams 21D, 21, and 1837A. In the finals, robot problems plagued 254A’s alliance in the first round. Then, in the second round a field disconnect occurred that resulted in 254A, 1437Y, and 21 being disconnected and only 21D left to play the match by themselves.

During the awards ceremony, Team 254A was given the Excellence Award for their outstanding performance in Qualification Rounds, Robot Skills, Programming Skills, and presenting their Design Process. This means that either 254A or 254B (who received Excellence at the Bellarmine VEX Tournament) are eligible to receive the Excellence award at the State Championships in March.

Modesto VEX Tournament

On Dec 7th, five of Bellarmine’s VEX robotics teams competed at the Central Valley VEX Robotics Tournament.  Although our teams had a few tough matches, often competing against each other, four of the five teams made it to eliminations.  254G placed third in the ranking, and 254D placed 15th.  254G joined 21D and 254E to form the 2nd alliance and 254D joined 2367 and 2367B to form the 7th alliance.  Both faced each other in the quarterfinals, and 254G and 254E advanced to the semifinals.

In the Semifinals, 254G and 254E faced 8000A, 8000B, and 8000C.  They managed to win the first game 37-36.  Because of some connection issues they were defeated in the second match, and were unfortunately eliminated in the third match.

In the skills challenges, 254E scored 15 points in Programming skills and 57 points in Robot Skills.  254C got 10 points in Programming Skills 254D scored 56 points in Robot Skills.  Modesto3-1

Bellarmine VEX Tournament

whole team

On November 22nd and 23rd, all seven of Bellarmine’s teams competed at the Bellarmine Bay Area VEX Robotics tournament. Our teams played well during qualification and four of our teams made it to eliminations. 254A, as part of the 8th ranked alliance, faced the 1st ranked alliance in the quarterfinals and unfortunately lost. However, 254F, 254G, and 254E, as the 4th ranked alliance, decisively beat the 5th alliance in the quarterfinals and simultaneously scored 76 points, the most points in any of the matches of the event. The all-254 alliance then faced the top-seeded alliance in the semifinals, and lost the first match by only 3 points.

In the second and third matches of the semifinals, however, the all-Bellarmine alliance staged a comeback to win the next two matches against the 1st-ranked alliance, securing the semifinals and a place in the final round of eliminations. The all-254 alliance subsequently plowed through the finals, winning both matches against the 2nd-ranked alliance by margins of about 40 points each. This decisive tournament win added 254E and 254G to the list of Bellarmine teams headed to the California State Championships.

Additionally, our Bellarmine teams accounted for the top three Programming Skills scores and three of the top four Robot Skills scores. Notably, Team 254A placed first in both Skills Challenges. More importantly, 254B won the Excellence Award, the highest award given in VEX competition. The award recognizes teams for their overall excellence in their engineering process and robot design, for their performance in Skills Challenges and matches, and for outreach, teamwork, and sportsmanship. With this significant achievement 254B will also head to the California State Championship. In short, after just two tournaments, five Team 254 teams have qualified for the State Championship, of which two (A and F) have qualified through multiple tournament successes.

254B is led by Eric Van Lare and Jeffrey Kaufmann

254E is led by Louis Lin and Dorian Chan

254F is led by Nick Verducci and Nathan Rooke

254G is led by Eric Wang and Goutham Gnanasekeran

Congratulations to our teams, and we wish them luck at the State Championship in March!

VEX Tournament Map

The maps below show the tournament facilities located on the campus of Bellarmine College Preparatory. The red boxes denote campus parking, and the red lines show the best way to the parking spots. Green boxes identify the pits and blue lines show the best walkways to the pits. This PDF is a much larger version of the image below.
Map of tournament buildings

Team 254F and 254A win VEX Tournament

On Saturday, October 19th, all 7 of Team 254’s VEX Teams competed at the Dougherty Valley High School Robotics Tournament in San Ramon. Subteams A through G competed well during qualification matches. One of the most memorable highlights was that in the first match of the tournament when four 254 teams ended up in the same match! Teams F and G beat Teams D and B in match that was both extremely unlikely and unfortunate to watch as it put 2 of our teams behind right from the beginning.   Because the tournament was running late, they had to cut number of qualification matches from a scheduled 7 down to only 4.  However, most of our teams still did well. Team F went undefeated and was ranked second. Teams D, A, and B finished in 19th, 20th, and 21st place, respectively.

During alliance selection Team 254F picked the Team 21, the Spur Flies and later Team 254A. Team 254G was picked by fourth ranked 8000A and later allied with Team 6088. Team 254D and 254E were picked by Team 1868X, the Space Cookies. Finally, Team 254B was chosen by Team 21C and allied with 9378A.

In the elimination matches, Team G’s alliance defeated Team B in the quarterfinals, and the alliance of Team D and E was eliminated by the number 1 ranked alliance, 9378R, 8000B, and 8000C.  In the semifinals, Team F eliminated Team G.  Team 254F and 254A went on to the finals to play against the number one ranked alliance. After 2 stressful and intense matches, Team F and Team A managed to capitalize on robot failures of the opposing alliance and secure a victory! By being the champions of the tournament, Teams F and A are now qualified for the California State Championship in March.

VEX Championship

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This past weekend, five of our VEX teams attended the VEX World Championships in Anaheim, California.

Our five teams were distributed among five separate divisions and played ten matches each. Qualification matches began on Thursday afternoon, continuing through all of Friday and concluding on Saturday morning. Our teams met varied levels of success during qualification matches; the level of competition at Worlds was incredibly high. When matches concluded on Saturday, team 254D ranked highest, seeding 16th with 7 wins, 2 losses, and one tie. They were also the only team to be selected for eliminations, which happened in the afternoon. In divisional quarterfinals, 254D, with the drive team of Eli Wu, Andrew Torrance and Goutham Gnanasekaran, faced off against top-ranked Fuxing High School and former world champions, Green Egg Robotics. They managed to win an incredible upset in the first quarterfinals match, but lost the second match and in a stroke of bad luck lost the tiebreaker match when one of their alliance robots fell over early in the match. Despite this setback, we are all proud of having made it so far at World Championships.

Team 254 also excelled off the competition field. We were recognized during the tournament for the website award, which we tied with Team 1114 for 1st place in the world. In addition, our mentor Pat Fairbank, who has worked tirelessly over the year to ensure the success of our VEX program, was recognized for his efforts by winning the Mentor of the Year award, becoming one of only 2 mentors from around the world to win the award this year.

Next years’ VEX game, named Toss Up, was also revealed at World Championships on Friday evening. Many of our team members have already gotten to work planning for this new game and thinking about possible designs for next season. The 2012-2013 VEX season has officially ended, but our team members are already eagerly looking forward to making the 2013-2014 season a great one for Team 254.