More thoughts on the Red Hawk Ringmaster tournament

By Bethany | Our 12/9 tournament went very well. We passed inspection immediately and went to skills. Unfortunately, on our first skills run, things went badly. Luckily, the score was dropped because the field was built incorrectly. We decided to then run our program (on a different field). The robot was moving along the field, bumped the wall, and missed the button. Dillon picked up the robot, set it in the starting square, and hit go again. There were a few issues with getting the refferees up to speed, which meant that the timer was stopped when the robot was touched. Once again, we got our run back. We  then drove skills again on one of the teamwork fields. Our robot started randomly moving when the controller wasn’t being moved, and it was determined that this was because of phones with bluetooth on interfering with our smart radios. That meant, yet again, our match was dropped. The referees also looked for other teams affected by this and dropped their scores too. Eventually, we ended up with a skills score of 92 and a programming score of 27, which was just  barely enough to earn us the Skills Champion award.

We also won the Excellence Award. We hope that it is because we did great, but it may have just been that we were the only Middle School team with a STEM project…

We were really excited for teamwork, but it didn’t go well at first. Our robot works really well with robots that grab rings off of the wall, but a couple of low scores dragged our average down. Once we got going, we earned a score of 148 points, which brought us up to second place. In the finals, we drove with the Yellow Spudnicks, who we drove with in a scrimmage. In the finals, we scored 132, which was enough for us and the Spudnicks to win the Teamwork Champion awards.

We didn’t just learn about strategy. Other teams, whether they knew it or not, taught us about perseverance. Many of the teams at the tournament only had a few weeks to assemble their robots and learn to drive, but their determination kept them at the top of the leaderboard. Other teams faced numerous difficulties but never argued or got upset.

Finally, we learned about troubleshooting. All throughout the day, things went wrong. Instead of telling us exactly what went wrong and why, our coach asked us what we thought had happened and how we thought we could fix the problem. Was it the driver? The robot? Was the field built wrong? We were tasked with figuring this out, and it helped us grow.

Our teamwork scores ranged from 25 points to 148 points. Our skills scores ranged from 2 points to 92 points. Our program ranged from 0 points to 27 points.

Over the course of the day, we became the second teamwork seed. In the finals, we scored 132 points.

At the scrimmage, we predicted that our strategy of grabbing ground rings would work well with other teams’ strategy of going for wall rings. This proved to be true.

Awards we won: Teamwork, Skills, Excellence, STEM

First Ringmaster Tournament!

By Coach Michelle and the team | The team attended their first Ringmaster event–the Red Hawk VEX IQ Robot Challenge–on Saturday, December 9th. Here are several team members’ thoughts on the event and how it went. Enjoy!


“I think that the tournament was a big success. It was fun to cheer our team on with the tiger mascot. I think it is cool that we already qualified for state at our first tournament. Skills went really well, but we had trouble with the program. The robot kept bumping the wall. Our main strategy was to do the ground rings and score on the posts and let the other team do the bonus bin and wall rings. I think it was a really fun and successful tournament over all.”


“I think that the tournament went very well. We ended up not getting our best score for skills, but that was the only bad thing and it wasn’t that bad. Our program scored a 27 which was the reason we won skills. Our teamwork skills were amazing, averaging 90 points per game. Plus in Finals we won with a 132! I think this tournament has been the best overall for us ever.”


“I say the competition was fun. The team I voted for sportsmanship didn’t get it. I enjoyed scoring all the points we did.  Winning with the Spudniks was also fun.”


“I think the competition went well, it was really fun and the team worked well together good. I saw the two people who were driving calmly talking to each other about what to do. When the drivers came back from a match, the rest of the team would congradulate them. I think we could improve our sportsmanship by making sure to congradulate both teams in each match. I think we could improve our driving strategy by trying to make it so our robot doesn’t miss as many rings. Overall, I think we had a great competition and we did really well for our first competition.”


“We did skills and got 92. We did programming and got 27.

Stradagy: Our stradagy to grab rings of the floor was good because most other teams only grabbed rings of the wall, or aimed for the ramp so the combanation was good.

Things to improve: Our robot sometimes got jammed when we picked up a ring and it got stuck under the ramp and made it so we couldnt score rings.

Things we did well at: We did well in skills and won teamwork. We also were improving on Teamwork in the later rounds. I Believe we did very good in the Finals because both Teams (ours and the Yellow Spudniks) were good at cooperating.

Awards: Skills, Teamwork, Eccllence, STEM”