Some information for our American cousins; Techno Games is a TV program
filmed by a company called Mentorn for the BBC. Their programs run for a
week or two and have lots of different competitions. Most of these consist
of radio controlled vehicles doing vaguely interesting or violent things.
Micromouse is just one tiny event as far as they are concerned.
The rule change this time was to do with seeding. The plan was to have 4
heats and select 4 finalists from the heats. As nobody knew how
comparatively fast the mice were, it was decided that the four FASTEST mice
from the heats would compete in the final. After the heats were run, they
changed their minds and decided that the 4 heat winners would go forward to
the final. As some of the heats were ultra competitive and others less so,
one of the "finalists" was unable to complete the course without assistance
and there were mice that should have come 2nd or 3rd that were eliminated.
I assume that the rule change was to ensure that more telegenic mice
appeared in the final. The heats were not broadcast, presumably as this
error would have been obvious.
I have done Techno Games every year since it started. Even in the first
year these kinds of problems occurred. It was quite disconcerting having
one entrant being filmed performing while, simultaneously, the medal
ceremony for that event was being filmed. It is quite obvious that the
normal rules of a sporting event are suspended for filming Techno Games,
however it is presented on the TV.
Rant over for now!