GRITS Preview

Recognizing that the above is not really a question, we wanted to do a bit of a preview post for GRITS. 

What is GRITS?

Simply put, GRITS is the primary offseason event for the state of Georgia. 

 Photo from the very first GRITS.

Photo from the very first GRITS.

In 2009, the first GRITS event was held in the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robbins, GA, where teams traveled an average of two hours for a chance to compete in the previous year’s FRC game. 

This year, GRITS is scheduled for October 22nd at the Riverside Military Academy, where 25 teams will try, one last time, to breach defenses and capture towers to victory. However, even though everyone is there to compete, teams come to GRITS for a variety of reasons, including everything from recruitment to pure competition.

Competitive Preview

In the past, the competition at GRITS wasn’t very strong. Heck, we were lucky if enough teams signed up to run 4-alliance eliminations. However, this year, things are a bit different and GRITS is gearing up to be one of the most competitive events in our district. 

Of the 28 teams attending GRITS, 22 were at the state championship. This number includes 2 out of 3 state champions and 5 out of 6 teams that played in the final round. This fact alone is enough to convince us that GRITS is gearing up to be an amazingly competitive event, but let’s not forget two things; teams are making improvements to their machines and GA FIRST has made changes to the game. 

Game Changes

GA FIRST often makes changes at GRITS to make the game more interesting and fun for local teams. With that being said, the most notable differences are the changes in the climbing rules and the new defense. 

 The Log Roll

The Log Roll

The climbing rules at GRITS have gone through a little bit of a tweak. Long story short, if your robot can get off the ground, you’ll get points for climbing. No more worrying about getting up to the pesky line. This change not only makes climbing insanely easy, but it also ensures that most teams can complete the climb nearly instantaneously. We look forward to seeing if these lax rules manage to convince more teams to throw together a simple climbing mechanism. 

GA FIRST will also be introducing a new defense at GRITS. Dubbed the Log Roll, it features two angled, horizontal rollers that are sure to give even the most veteran teams a tough time. Because the Log Roll will replace the portcullis, it will help improve cross-field visibility, but the increase in difficulty of crossing could prove to much for a majority of the teams at GRITS. 

Team Changes

If the changes are GRITS weren’t enough to contend with, you have to consider that teams at GRITS will be adding their own improvements and additions to their machines. The following is just a sample of the changes that teams will be bringing. 

1746 will be featuring their shooting-optimized machine that they introduced at IRI. This tall behemoth can put up 7 goals without dropping a sweat. 

 1746 v1 (left) and 1746 v2 (right)

1746 v1 (left) and 1746 v2 (right)

4418 has figured out the secrets of vision had has put together a nifty auto-aim and auto-fire routine that works flawlessly from the outer works. 

4468 is working on adding a shooter to their beast. If they’re able to capture even a portion of their on-field success last year, their shooter could be something to contend with. 

1648 is taking a brave step and fielding a robot that is entirely built and will be entirely operated by its rookies.

When you take into account these changes along with changes from other teams, the already competitive robots running around the state (shout-out to 2415 and 1261), and a brave team from Florida (we see you 2556), GRITS is gearing to be a competitive showdown.