2013 HPG Debrief
  • link to initial google doc
  • set to view only 1/15/13
  • add further information directly onto the wiki page

HPG 2013 Debrief
Overall HPG
Check in process
Game Design
Game Play
Team Debrief
Proposals for next year’s planning following animation and lunch:

Overall HPG

  • Understand rules better
  • Yes -- for rookies if they’re working with HELPFUL veterans

  • HPG -- what that means to sign up -- how to play if more people on a team
  • less down time for volunteers and participants
  • possibly team building activities to help with down time - building or puzzles or something to complete as a large group
  • more signage in the front lobby - map of space (bathrooms), meeting spaces & times, what to expect from the day


**Volunteers need to know they can help anywhere they notice something not being done

  • Add field re-set
  • Other volunteers and teams -- challenges
  • Not taking initiative
  • Being bored
  • Hard to get people to talk
  • Hard to get people to meld
  • Were they intimidated?
  • Hard to get cross team communication
  • Left without telling anybody
  • Nothing for them to do
  • Bigger name tags?
  • Give people permission to help where needed

What Rick did with safety team: (some advantage being an adult instead of a peer):
  • Looked for the volunteers
  • Learned their names right away
  • Knew what was important for the job before meeting the volunteers
  • Talked about what was important -- normed them as a group
  • Talk through expectations, how it might go, when they would all re-evaluate and change if necessary (so volunteers knew they would have some input)
  • At some point all of them did something good and it was reinforced, praised, commented on

Check in process
  • list of team numbers and names to check off quicker than writing them in
  • input data directly into spreadsheet useful for creating alliances quickly
  • volunteer positions filled in well
  • mentors picked up for mentor team well
  • designated meeting spots for the various groups of volunteers and teams posted on the whiteboards - helpful for teams and volunteers at check-in table

  • not all teams understood they were to check in at team and hpg
  • perhaps we can combine it with team check in and then send people over for questions?
  • white boards with critical times listed right away
  • instructions for teams on collaboration and hpg strategizing - perhaps need something printed?
  • need to make it easier for other teams to help or don’t ask for help at this station
  • make sure all working the check-in area knows what is going on - the flow of the day, etc to be able to answer the questions and answer
  • extra veteran students on hand to walk the rookies and/or hpg rookies through the process (should be available at team check-in - ambassadors to rookies)

Game Design
Job description:
With other people, take the animation, field layout and rules and create a human player game with game elements, safety, rules and scoring in mind

Assistants’ job description
Need to know FRC, like strategy and games, understand the value of walking through a simulation to learn the game, work collaboratively with high intensity.

  • printed copies of the game rules right away was very helpful. Angie designated a laptop and printer in the lobby and gave instruction on how to print once the code was known.
  • Megan (awesome job!)typing up the rules the designers were coming up with and being able to print them right away.
  • Rules written out on whiteboard
  • Had a new mentor join the merry band of designers - great to have new blood!
  • location was great
    • access to scorers
    • access to consultation with safety
    • access to the field for questions
    • accessible by others with questions, comments, or concerns
    • visible so no ‘secrecy’

Liked having the extra adults and the students involved
  • The area we met in was great -- lots of visibility and accessible to everything going on
  • Getting the paper copies of the rules at the beginning was GREAT!

  • highlighters for the key rules
  • How to share the information with large group of people without appropriate visual aid?


  • great whistles provided by Yeti
  • designated safety team to work with Lee and Tom with designated mentor to help students
  • State Planning Committee gave great support and thought for safety.

  • Do we need a way for the students to trade out so they are not stuck all day?


  • Taping off large area to designate queuing space - gaffers tape is fantastic!
  • blue and red tape to mark off correct zones very useful
  • pinnies well organized
  • head queuer plus 4 to queue
  • queue set up 2 total

  • number each ‘team’ clearly - the tape on pinnies ineffective - not all worn the same way, don’t fit, etc
  • if using chairs again - number the chairs
  • add chairs in queueing area for teams in queue
    • clears the line of sight
    • clearly defines if appropriate number of teams are ready and waiting
    • clearly signifies the purpose of the queueing area
  • explain how and why of queueing
    • only number of people in queueing (just like drive team)
    • strategize before queueing with your team, use the time to strategize with alliance partners
    • schedule means nothing if not queueing up correctly
    • chaos reigns without proper queueing

Job description: Warning and noting down fouls as well as field reset, Head ref will probably be running around getting all the refs info together

Assistants’ job description: focus on one or two “robots” and look for fouls then help with field reset
  • head ref in on the game design from the start and then training others - brilliant
  • great whistles provided by Yeti?
  • There weren’t many fouls or safety violations

  • 6 zebra shirts - mentor ref should be designated as well (only had 5 - were they large enough?)
  • We never got to hear the cool whistles.
  • The assistants were bored and did not do anything about it.
  • I think that there should be expectations that if your job is moving slowly you can help with other jobs as long as it does not interfere with your original duties
  • There should be an expectation that if you leave you should alert the person “in charge” or a person near you who will tell the person in charge


  • early setup good for getting a handle on this
  • open field allowed good line of site for scorers - no spectators in their way

  • need score counting volunteers listed - kept having to replace them
  • white boards (& markers & erasers) were not ready for the score counters - had to search them out
  • Put a table over the cord at the beginning
  • Have someone standing in the projector beam
  • scoring team wasn’t really utilized to its fullest
    • final scores, what made up the scores
    • how did the scores reflect the strategies used during each game
    • announcers could share this data ongoing
    • overall data should be brought up during large debrief
    • data shared with others (if notes taken on strategies) on wiki, etc

Game Play
  • rolling chairs great for robots
    • differences in rolling ability similar to robots
    • allowed 2 people to be the robot
    • made it clear who the robots were
  • processional walk worked for the most part - perhaps more demonstration or practice for some?
  • Discussion on the tarp was good though a little tough for some of the adults to sit on the cement floor

  • schedule mentors vs mentors early on in match play
    • students learn a great deal from seeing the mentors strategy
    • mentors are not afraid to ‘go for the gold’
    • fun and gets students fired up
  • Hard to know what to do with other teams
  • Can the crowd see?
  • Team facilitator -- for each team?
  • Set expectation about what they should be doing?
  • Create a brochure about the HPG -- what it is, expectations, what it means to be a collaborative team, rules, etc. --
    • Rookies -- autonomous, terminology, etc.
    • Schedule -- so RQB could come watch and listen to the debrief
  • Big sign for information
  • Announce question table for Megan
  • How to download and what the rules / encryption code is...
  • Check in table -- hand outs
  • Break up for each alliance -- 36 -- each team gets a set of rules, they have a team building activity or rules analysis activity,
    • How do you play the game?
    • How would you build it?
  • Mentors -- need to have a game up front...
  • At the Kick Off -- an overview of the day up front
  • Debrief earlier -- even if not full
  • First round all alliances and then an open game matches -- fill with whoever wants to -- stress collaborative part of it
  • Music
  • Having a runner for the announcers to get people ready
  • Extra scoring people to collect information to give to the computing people
  • What match was playing and queuing -- hard to figure out
    • A person to track that for queuer and for other teams coming up -- maybe a big white board -- who is on, who is queuing...?
    • cards saying ‘beginning Match x’ and ‘queueing match x’
  • Trying to get the other teams talking to us and involved - maybe next year we should have a large team building challenge with all the HPG teams before the HPG
  • Wasn’t much to do before the HPG with our teams

Team Debrief

  • Isaac running around with the mic worked as a bit of an icebreaker.
  • Sitting together on the floor instead of bleachers felt friendlier than bleachers would have.
  • Microphone much better than bullhorn.

  • Have each alliance come up with something positive they learned or a strategy to employ.
  • Perhaps have alliances introduce each other. (Depends on timing.)
  • Stress the fact that sharing strategies and ideas will strengthen the entire FRC program in our state and beyond.
  • Mentors need to encourage their students to speak up.
  • The cement floor (even with tarp) was a bit hard and cold.
  • Teams did not mix as well for the debrief this year. Didn’t feel the cross-team bonding like we had in 2012.


  • How do we get more filled out?
  • Do we need to let teams know we really need them and they are available?
  • Printed 150 copies and about 50 were completed. (75/150 in 2012)


  • Access to printer useful - did it get used at check-in table? if not, move to arena floor for game design.
  • Went through a lot of red and blue gaffers tape to mark the floors - could have used more
  • pool noodles ever so useful
  • overpacking does pay off sometimes :)
  • large number of whiteboards - some huge - available from Planning Committee - awesome addition!
  • tables and chairs ready on the floor
  • extension cords - most were used that were brought

  • Consider tables for each ‘team’ or alliance.
    • Do teams need chairs too?
    • seems like a lot of furniture moving
  • need whiteboard markers and erasers provided by a budget other than PyroTech


Expected: 300 students actual: 250 students

Actual: 250 students + 34 mentors - so cool!

Proposals for next year’s planning following animation and lunch:

  • team building with alliances
    • goals:
      • promote the cross-team collaboration and foster communication
      • set the stage for the hpg - not quite so much waiting about for the design team
  • run 1 full round with each alliance playing one match
    • stress not leaving before the first full round complete
    • teams miss something important by not participating in the debrief
  • debrief as a large group - perhaps have students sit with their alliances?
  • run additional games with remaining teams
    • queue up as individual teams and fill the field for each match (sort of like the practice matches early in the season or queueing for an amusement park ride)
  • More information sent out ahead with further explanation of what human player game is, the goals, and the reality of how many people get to be on the field.
  • Put all the teams in their table groups and then have a mediator/gracious professionalism watcher to prevent non-gp behavior