Cal Games Recap

Today was our first day of CalGames, a competition hosting FRC teams from all across California. All of our months of preparation came down to these two days of competition. For me and many others, it was our first time going to an FRC competition. We left CHS a bit after noon and reached Evergreen Valley High School shortly after. At first glance, I was amazed by the game field and the number of people there. As the driver, I went and started scouting our alliances and enemies for our first match. After meeting up, we decided on an ideal strategy to win for our first match. Scouting was interesting and very different from the old, FTC scouting. While scouting, I not only learned about the team’s robot, but also about the team. Although our first match didn’t go as expected, we ended up winning. After our match, we had a meeting to discuss what went well during our match and what we needed to improve for our next match. After this, the drive team and I scouted our allies for the last match of the day. During our second match, our robot ran flawlessly, delivering three gears and climbing, allowing us to win. Day One ended, and we were in the 8th seed as one of the 8 undefeated teams of the day.

We left for Day Two in the early morning at six. Today was the main day for the competition; we had four more qualification matches, and hopefully, playoff matches to come with it. I went and scouted our enemies and allies for the next quals games. Our robot worked great as we ended the qualification matches in first seed and undefeated. Shortly afterwards, there were alliance selections. As we were the first seed alliance captain, we had a lot of work to do. This is when I realized why scouting was so important for our team: we had around 7 minutes to create a list of teams who could be in our alliance. We chose Space Cookies as our first pick and met with them to discuss other potential teams for our third pick. This moment was really crazy as us five helplessly searched for the perfect alliance partner from those who have not been already selected. We ended up picking Homestead Robotics and went to lunch to discuss our plans for playoffs. I met with the other drivers, and we each picked our route to run gears. We sweeped quarterfinals and began preparing for semifinals. Sadly, we lost both games of semis as our robot experienced some problems. We ended up in the top four for CalGames and stuck around for awards. Overall, it was a great experience for my first time going to and driving in an FRC competition as I learned many interesting facts about teams from California and made new friends. CalGames was really fun and has greatly increased my passion for robotics.

Written by: Pranay Rajpaul (FRC Driver)

Photo Courtesy of Audrey Hou

Cupertino Robotics Student