Hatboro-Horsham District Competition

Written by Patrick M. and Vivian H.

For our first competition of the year, Team 341, Miss Daisy came out of the gate swinging at the Hatboro-Horsham District competition! We were incredibly successful, becoming Finalists of the event, but we didn’t get to that point right away, it took hard work. So let’s see how we got there.

Friday 3/1/24, Load In, Day 0

Our competition weekend started on Friday, the ever-hectic and exciting Day 0. Daisies were buzzing like bees completing our tasks to prepare ourselves for the weekend. First, we had to set up our pit, our home base for robots and students alike. We continued with our efforts, scoping out the best stands for scouting and measuring the field to ensure that it was within tolerance. Afterwards, we played our first practice matches of the season, gaining valuable experience for both the drive team and the programming team who adjusted offsets to best suit the actual playing field. Our practice matches also showcased an early win for programming, a 5-piece autonomous mode that hit the first try! As we got home late, we were tired, but hungry for victory.

Saturday 3/2/24, Qualification Matches, Day 1

Saturday saw our first real matches of the season, qualification matches. Qualification matches determine your rank, and are very important to win to ensure that you rank well. Our first match was a bit of a blunder, resulting in a loss. We scored 0 ranking points, putting us dead last. We were incredibly dissatisfied, we knew our robot had potential, and we were frustrated that our on-field performance didn’t reflect that. Our hunger was not satiated and we were ready for the rest of our matches. Our next match was a stepping stone, ending in a tie, but scoring two ranking points. After that match we hit our stride, not losing a single other match. By the end of the day, we had climbed into 6th from last place.

Sunday 3/3/24, Last Qualification Matches, Alliance Selection, Playoffs

Coming into Sunday, we wanted to continue our energy from Saturday and power through the rest of our qualification matches. We started strong for the rest of our qualification matches, winning the first half of qualification matches that day. However, we ran into a couple of mechanical issues throughout the day, notably with our intake. Unfortunately, our intake’s chain kept slipping off our over-the-bumper intake, causing difficulties with vectoring the game pieces. Coupled with difficult competition, we faced two close losses. Luckily, we ended on a high note by winning our last qualification match and solidified our place in third. Our pit crew worked hard after each match to resolve mechanical issues, setting us up for elimination matches after alliance selection. 

After analyzing scouting data and analyzing viable strategies, we ended up selecting teams 1168 and 6226 to form the second alliance. We made it to the final rounds, where we faced off against the first alliance: 5895, 2539, and 9027. In a tough two matches, we ended the event as Finalists. We were additionally honored to receive the Excellence in Engineering Award, which celebrates a team that demonstrates a professional approach to the design process. This award was a testament to the industriousness of our team during build season, a showcase of the hard work we’ve done from the inception of our ideas all the way to the final touches on our competition robot.

We were also honored to cheer on student Jake T. for becoming a Dean’s List Semi-finalist, which celebrates the dedication and leadership he’s shown through our team through embodying FIRST’s values. He advances to the District Championship level, where he will compete against other semi-finalists for further recognition.

Our strong performance at the Hatboro-Horsham District Competition was an exciting start to our competition season. From Hatboro, we’ve identified areas of improvement and are striving to revise some designs to improve our performance at our next district competition. 

Stay tune-d for our upcoming competition on 3/16 and 3/17 at the Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy!


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