The Bees get the lowdown on OCCRA

Notre Dame's robotics team, last year's champion, gets primer on Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association game details for 2018.

Notre Dame Prep's Killer Bees robotics team received important information yesterday from the Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association, which sponsors a fall competition for high schools in Oakland County.

According to Louise Palardy, who manages the Notre Dame robotics program, the Killer Bees attended OCCRA's Kick-Off and Game Reveal, which was held at Oakland Schools' main headquarters in Waterford. 

Last year, the Killer Bees won the county championship and were Foundation Award finalists, which is the highest award a team can get at being the best overall in all areas.

"This is the 19th year of the OCCRA program and the Killer Bees are founding members having participated every year," Palardy said. "In fact, Jim Zondag, longtime mentor of NDPMA's robotics team, started the organization to help promote robotics in Oakland County."

The teams of students now have six weeks to design, build and program a robot to play the new game, which this year is called "Over n' Out" Teams across the county will compete in four league events this fall and conclude with a county championship. Other county robotics teams participating include those from St. Mary's Prep, Waterford Mott, Walled Lake Schools, Roeper, Pontiac, Brother Rice/Marian and International Academy East high schools. 

"We have a strong group of students that went right to a design session after the game reveal," Palardy added. "They will be working on their robot in our new robotics center, part of the recently opened science, art and technology wing."

The 2018 Game (from OCCRA): OCCRA Over n’ Out – A Primer 

OCCRA Over n’ Out is played on a Field which is a twenty-four (24) foot x thirty (30) foot carpeted area, surrounded by a metal pipe Field Perimeter. Each Match consists of two (2) Alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – which are each composed of two (2) Drive Teams with one (1) Robot each. A Match lasts one-hundred and twenty (120) seconds, during which Drivers control the Robots. There is no autonomous period in OCCRA Over n’ Out.

There is a Low Goal and a High Goal on each end of the Field, and a Fence divides the Field down the middle. One Robot from each Alliance will play on each side of the Fence. There are forty-four (44) Balls that can be Scored in different ways:

– Floor Scored in the Alliance’s Out Area; worth one (1) Match Point per Ball

– Low Goal Scored when deposited into the Low Goal; worth two (2) Match Points per Ball

– High Goal Scored when deposited into the High Goal; worth three (3) Match Points per Ball

The Alliance that has more Match Points at the end of the Match is declared the winner, and receives a Win Bonus of ten (10) Match Points added to their Match score, or if both Alliance’s have the same amount of Match Points, a Tie Bonus of five (5) Match Points is added to both Alliance’s scores. All Match Points are scored once the Match ends and all objects have come to rest.

The OCCRA Over n’ Out season consists of four (4) single-day qualification events, with Teams playing randomized Qualification Matches. Your teammate in one Match may be your opponent in the next! First, second, and third place Teams in total Match Points at the end of each event will receive an award, and various judged awards are given out as well.

The season culminates in the county championship on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

Teams will be ranked based on the total amount of Match Points they scored over their twelve (12) highest Match scores, and based on their ranking will take turns picking an Alliance partner during Alliance Selection to play in a double elimination bracket with. At the end of the competition, the 2018 OCCRA Over n’ Out Champions will be crowned!

The season will end with the 2018 OCCRA banquet, where the champions will be recognized and the 2018 OCCRA Founders Award will be given to the Team who best exemplifies the mission of OCCRA.

Comments or questions?
Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.
About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at