BattleBots High School Championship (partially found footage of robot combat tournament; 2009)
The BattleBots High School Championship was one of three BattleBots tournaments held in 2009. Occurring from 21st-26th April 2009, the Final saw Richardson High School's The Blender claim the title after beating The Gow School's Tin Shredder in the Final. While the Championship was fully filmed, it was never officially considered for airing on television.
Despite losing its Comedy Central contract in 2002, BattleBots continued onwards by sanctioning untelevised events throughout the 2000s, including the BattleBots NPC Charity Open 2004. However, well before its television return in 2015, there were plenty of attempts in regaining the sport a national television deal. For instance, 2009 saw three BattleBots-sanctioned Championships, encouraging a diverse range of competitors. Among these included the Pro Championship featuring 220lb machines entered by BattleBots veterans; the Collegiate Championship consisting of 120lb competitors from college teams; and the High School Championship, which as the name implies saw American and international high school teams enter 120lb combatants.
All three knockout tournaments were fully filmed, as the motive behind these competitions was to entice CBS College Sports into airing them on national television. Initially, the CBS deal would exclusively feature the Collegiate Championship, but the broadcast company backed out after few advertisers were willing to back the program. More negotiations with Fox Television Studios, which would have seen the Collegiate and Pro Championships be aired, also came to nothing, again presumably because of advertising concerns. Thus, none of the three Championships were aired; admittedly, however, there was never any indication that the High School Championship fights would have been broadcast even if a timeslot had been secured. A proposed 2010 BattleBots Championships, which would have featured a High School tournament, was later cancelled. The show would not return until 2015, courtesy of ABC.
Nevertheless, the BattleBots High School Championship transpired without issues. In total, 28 robots were entered for the middleweight competition, which was held from 21st-26th April 2009 at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. Like with the other Championships, robots competed in a double-elimination knockout tournament. If a robot won a battle, they would proceed onwards, but losing made them enter the Losers Bracket. If they lose again, the robot is fully eliminated from the tournament. Thus, the objective was to stay in the Winners Bracket for as long as possible, as this typically brought security from sudden elimination and often meant fighting fewer battles. Robots competed in a compact BattleBox, incorporating two Pulverizers that could be operated by both teams.
Both the Finalists, The Blender entered by Richardson High School, and Tin Shredder competing for The Gow School, had actually fought earlier in the tournament. The Blender was a full-body spinner who overcame Spawn of Gemini, SpiderPig, ODDQUADD, and BABS to reach Round 5. Meanwhile, Tin Shredder, a wedge bot armed with a spinning drum, defeated Rhoto, PanDEMONium, Teenager, and ODDBOTT 3.75. In Round 5, The Blender and Tin Shredder met, with the latter coming out on top. Thus, Tin Shredder was through to the Final, while The Blender fought and defeated BABS once more in the Losers Bracket Round 8 to qualify for the Final.
In the Final itself, Tin Shredder allowed The Blender to get up to speed, before proceeding to slam wedge-first into it a few times. Despite the constant recoil, The Blender withstood the shock, while partially buckling a corner of its foe's wedge. Another blow overturned Tin Shredder, but its invertibility enabled it to carry on. Eventually, however, the blows piled up, and Tin Shredder began moving intermittently across the BattleBox. It valiantly charged into The Blender a final time, which fully immobilised the machine. A victorious Blender then proceeded to rip off Tin Shredder's wedge before the latter was counted out, achieving vengeance and securing the title in the process.
While the BattleBots High School Championship was never televised, confirmation that the tournament was filmed came when the official BattleBots channel and Autodesk Inventor uploaded some bouts onto YouTube in late-2009 and 2010. Among these included both The Blender-Tin Shredder fights, which were uploaded in "Live LiveCut" formats. In total, nine battles are currently viewable online. However, a total of 54 matches transpired throughout the competition, not including the post-tournament exhibition battle between Copperhead 3.141592654 and Das Bot. Thus, a large portion of the tournament remains as lost media.
- 1995 Robot Wars UK Open (partially found rejected robot combat TV show pilot; 1995)
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- BattleBots (found Comedy Central robot combat game show; 2000-2002)
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- BattleBots (partially lost build of unreleased GameCube/PlayStation 2 game based on robot combat TV series; 2003)
- BattleBots Collegiate Championship (partially lost unaired spinoff of robot combat TV show; 2009)
- BattleBots Pro Championship (partially found footage of robot combat tournament; 2009)
- The Big Breakfast (lost appearance of Robot Wars team on Channel 4 breakfast show; 1998)
- Blue Peter (partially found segments of Robot Wars teams on children's television series; 1998)
- Mechanoids (partially found BBC robot combat game show; 2003)
- Plunderbirds: Talk Robots (partially found unfinished robot combat mockumentary film; 2019)
- Robot Wars (found cameos of robot combat-themed BBC 2 ident; 1999-2000)
- Robot Wars (lost footage and HSE documentation of behind-the-scenes accidents of BBC robot combat game show; 1998-1999)
- Robot Wars (lost near-death footage of Jeremy Clarkson from robot combat game show; 1998)
- Robot Wars (lost work on unfinished cartoon series based on robot combat game show; existence unconfirmed; 2002-2004)
- Robot Wars (partially found footage of robot combat show qualifying auditions and battles; 1998-2003)
- Robot Wars (partially found unaired or partially aired battles of BBC robot combat game show; 1998-2017)
- Robot Wars (partially found uncut battles from BBC robot combat game show; 1998-2017)
- Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1 (lost original BBC Choice version of robot combat battle; 2001)
- Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors: Season 1 (found TNN robot combat game show; 2001)
- Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors: Season 2 (partially found behind-the-scenes footage of TNN robot combat game show; 2002)
- Robot Wars Revealed (found BBC Choice spin-off of robot combat game show; 1998-2000)
- Robot Wars: Series 8 (lost unaired pilot of BBC robot combat game show; 2016)
- Robot Wars: Series 8 (partially found Science Channel reruns of robot combat game show; 2018)
- Robot Wars: The Kick-Off (lost BNN robot combat special; 2001)
- Robotica (found TLC robot combat game show; 2001-2003)
- Robots Revenge (partially found Discovery robot combat documentary series; 2001)
- See Hear (lost appearance of Robot Wars team on BBC magazine show; 1999)
- Why Hypno-Disc can't work in an office (found testing video of Robot Wars competitor; 2000, 2007)
- SB Nation detailing the history of BattleBots. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- Archived press release regarding the BattleBots NPC Charity Open. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- Archived Third Law Sports detailing the three 2009 tournaments, and the unsuccessful television negotiations. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- Deadline reporting on the return of BattleBots on television in 2015. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- Archived BattleBots statement on the CBS deal falling through. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- Archived BattleBots detailing the proposed 2010 Championships that were postponed and later cancelled. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- Archived Builders Database noting 28 machines were registered for the tournament. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- Archived Builders Database summarising entry details for the tournament. Retrieved 5th Apr '23
- CNET noting the 2009 Championships occurred within the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. Retrieved 5th Apr '23