Battle of Baltimore

Battle of Baltimore is the first offseason competition of the season, and it is extremely important because it sets the pace for the rest of the competitions and it gives rookies a taste of competition (and how the team handles competition). Getting ready for Battle of Baltimore consists of two main things: packing, and non-packing preparation.


Packing is relatively simple, provided the team maintains basic closet organization and has a couple team members dedicated enough to put in a couple extra hours. The packing list used for BoB 2017 can be found here. Of course, there are some things that are specific to that year, such as the extra ropes and the climb tensioner. However, things like the bumpers, epoxy, and duct tape should be at every offseason competition. There is no one packing list that will remain constant from year to year- use your best judgement and ask a mentor, alumni, or older student if you are not sure. Another helpful packing tip is to make your own specific packing list in the drive, and put a name of someone who could be responsible next to every item on the list. With this, again, the importance of asking for help if you need is cannot be overstated; an electrical person with limited mechanical, software, and ops knowledge is very unlikely to be successful in packing alone, and the same can be said for a strictly mechanical student. Allow trusted, initiative-taking members of each subteam help to bear the load of packing.


Just as important as the packing preparation is the non-packing preparation. To have a successful BoB, there are a few things that need to be taken care of beforehand.

  • Test all autos
    • This is especially important before BoB, because the auto codes have likely gone all summer untested. Depending on how the robot had been stored and how much it has been used over the summer, there is also a significant chance that something has happened that might hinder the success of auto. Running all potential auto codes before competition is extremely important.
  • Check tire pressure
    • Obviously, if there are no pneumatic wheels on the robot, this is unnecessary. But if the robot had pneumatic wheels and has been sitting around all summer, it is likely that they are now at an undesirable pressure.
  • Figure out pit location
    • For some competitions, this is available, for some it is not. But it is worth checking the competition website to see if you can get a head start on knowing your pit location.
  • Check for rule changes
    • Especially for offseason events, it is not rare for there to be minor rule changes to make the game safer or easier to set up. Again, all rule changes are often listed on the competition website, and they are definitely worth investigating before the competition.
  • Determine drivers
    • This may seen intuitive, but not having a set drive schedule and trying to come up with one on the fly can be very stressful. A couple things to keep in mind:
      • This is a great time to test out new drivers. The teams at BoB are generally not as strong as the ones faced in a district competition, and since the stakes are lower, letting a couple rookies drive can be extremely beneficial.
      • That being said, this will be the first competition many rookies attend, and they may be discouraged if we don't perform well. One possibility is to let the main driver drive the first match, get a couple rookies to drive the middle matches, and then let the lead driver step back in to ensure the team advances to eliminations.
  • Organize transportation for all the equipment to the venue
    • In the past, this has required a trailer, especially for on-season events. Recently, we have foregone bringing the pit hardware, which allows the equipment to be packed into one or two cars. Either method is fine, as long as there is a plan in place so there is no question about who is bringing what.
Last modified 4 years ago Last modified on Oct 6, 2017, 10:04:28 AM