Hampton robot battle team earns respect for placing sportsmanship first
Hampton High School's Botball team returned from the International Botball Tournament earlier this month with a fourth-place award and the respect of the botball community for its show of sportsmanship.
In a semifinal round of the robotics competition, Hampton High School's opponent, the Dead Robot Society from Virginia, was struggling with a technical issue with their robot. After the Dead Robot Society used its time-out card, the Hampton team agreed to let its challenger use Hampton's time out.
“(Teammate) Brandon (Duderstadt) suggested the idea, and I said ‘yes, let's do it,' and we did it before we could consult with anyone else,” said Charlie Bares, an 11th-grader on the team.
“None of us wanted them to lose because they couldn't get their robot to work. It didn't seem fair, we wanted an actual game.”
Because of the extended delay of the game, the battery on the Hampton team's robot died and the team lost the round to the Virginia team.
However, the sophomore botball team still had a strong competition and walked away with fourth place overall and a special Spirit of Botball award for their sportsmanship.
“I was glad to see their work ethic and morale overcame the competition,” said Vince Kuzniewski, the team's faculty advisor. “It wasn't about winning; it was about helping other people. It was good sportsmanship.”
Botball is a competitive robotics program in which teams create robots to complete specific tasks in a certain amount of time. This year, the international tournament was held in Norman, Okla., and attracted more than 50 teams from around world.
Hampton's team members Duderstadt, Bares, Ryan Hornung, Philip Margaria, and Ian and Ryan Waldschmidt spent between 300 to 600 hours each engineering and programming two different robots that could complete different tasks such as separating small balls by color and stacking pieces of PVC pipe.
As Bares' second experience at the International Botball Tournament, he said he was proud of the team's strong performance as “the random underdog team,” but even more proud that the team put aside winning to help another team.
“Giving our time out card and the emotion there was really cool,” Bares said. “We got a standing ovation. Even after the match, the amount of people who wanted to shake our hands or say ‘thanks' … I think 300 people came up to me.”
“Even if we had won the round, we would have lost the final round. It was better to know we did the right thing.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hampton students step up, provide artwork for educator’s new book
- New St. Alphonsus pastor has Hampton roots
- Ross police to hold personal-safety program March 14
- Photo Gallery: Chinese New Year at Ross Elementary
- Kiss a pig contest to benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania
- ‘Pippin’ presents challenge to Pine-Richland students
- Pine-Richland junior ties for Shakespeare contest top spot
- Richland man seeks nomination for magisterial district judge post
- Champion NA swimmer credits time spent at Olympic Training Center
- North Allegheny graduate receives prestigious scholarship