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Unread 01-17-2004, 02:55 PM
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Music / Noise "Restrictions"

"No loud music, audio systems, whistles, banging sticks, blow horns, etc. They interfere with announcements. They prevent teams from hearing important announcements, can be annoying, and can cause hearing loss."
-10-AttheEvents.pdf-



Ok. First off... yes... i AM from MOE 365... the team in Lime-green and Black that assaults the eyes and ears... or atleast we used to.

That aside... i wanted to know how many other students/teams feel that this rule will change the face of FIRST... whether it be in a good way or in a bad.

--------------
My thoughts:

FIRST competitions have always been high-energy. Lots of cheering and lots of spirit. Most teams who have been around a while have come-up with various noisemakers to facilitate team spirit and increase the amount of energy in the arena. Whether they be painted Cow-bells like T-Rex, Spirit Sticks like Diablo, or a set of Moe Sticks.

This new ruleing bans pretty much all noise makers. Excluding your voice and your hands. Keep in mind... it is common to cheer durring matches, and the two award sessions... which can seem to run long sometimes... although they are a big part of every event. And I always think it proper to cheer or bang some sticks for EVERYONE who wins an award at an event.

Now I may be speaking for myself when i say that my hands go numb after a while... and I can loose my voice quite quickly. So i forsee the total amount of cheering at competitions decreasing... thus affecting the energy in the arena... making it more like a science fair once the "rock concert" or "NCAA finals" element of the event is gone.

I can see FIRST's point about announcements and "hearing-loss" however, teams should be aware of when they are due on the field... It could also be argued that Rock Concerts cause hearing loss... but it is something you deal with when going to see a band. It has always been the same with First till now. (I know for a fact the MOE always brings plenty of ear-plugs to our events... and we give them out for FREE to whomever wants some... as we KNOW that we can be loud.)

I also wish to mention the fact that most teams are usually about 15-20 students. Only three are competing, and maybe five are in the pit. What are the other students to do? Looking back to my experieces as a student member of MOE... I know i spent my whole first year working on PR, noisemakers, and mascots (as i was too afraid to do anything overly mechanical at that point.) My second year i was on pit crew and build quite a bit for the robot... along with helping build the mascot and making some sticks. What are the less mechanicaly enclined to do at competitons? (since they are always trying to only have "needed" students in the pits to reduce crowding)

Noisemakers have always been a big part of All FIRST competitions... they kind of MAKE the atmosphere so full of excitement and energy that is equated with FIRST... and I dont want to see them go. I wouldn't want to be stuck sitting in the stands with sore hands and no voice for three days.
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Unread 01-17-2004, 03:17 PM
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Unhappy Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

no noise makers hrm..... i guess teams will have to change the way they chear at a comp. i can't blame FIRST for making such a ruling but seeing how these regionals have become louder i guess it will quite things down now but also have teams come up with a more innovative way on cheering at a comp.


If its for the better i'm all for it if the teams don't like the rule this yr they could always talk to FIRST about it at the end of the season so that they may better 2005 . I'll miss MOE's clapping sticks. Loud as they may be but at least they were unique and you knew what team was cheerin hehe promise me you'll come up with something that will resember the MOEsticks.
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Unread 01-17-2004, 04:11 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

I think they've got this rule is pointed in the wrong direction. It's the volume of sound coming out of the stadium sound system that causes hearing loss and headaches, not the moe-sticks. Besides, Moe gives out earplugs!

JMHO.
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Unread 01-17-2004, 04:31 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

I think they made this ruling after several teams started putting in "sound systems" in thier "carts" so that they could drown out the stuff FIRST was playing, I saw at least 2-4 teams last year with it and unfortunately it was worse than listening to the FIRST music b/c it was so loud, I love noisemakers (although my teamleader didn't like the idea about giving out whistles at competitions) I'm pretty sure it was meant to get rid of these "carts" and other things of that nature so that it didn't become impossible to hear in the pits (as if FIRST's music wasn't enough you have all these others playing) other than that I agree with them when they said "it makes it hard to hear announcements" if your in the back of the pits and your being qued then sometimes it's hard to even hear the announcer. I'm not sure they exactly meant to get rid of the PR items like the Moesticks but I'm pretty sure if they did it was to make the show more "audience friendly".
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Unread 01-17-2004, 05:02 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

My personal feeling is that at every regional while explaining the game,
FIRST should have a "Silence Time" Notification.

Announcer: "When you hear THIS noise [points to DJ]
--- BLOOOOOOORRRRNNNKKKKKKK ---
Please refrain from using Banging Sticks, Musical Instruments, or any other noise-making devices."

A unique sound will do two things:
1) Allow everyone to know that an important announcement is coming.
2) Have those who need to listen able to listen.

Being that the audio in the pits is different from the audio for the field, the same sound, or a shorter sound could be performed to let people know that something is being announced, such as a list of teams being on deck. There were a few times when there was just general noise in the pits (Drills, people talking, robots running, etc.) that drowned out the sound of an annoucement. However, if I knew an announcement was coming I would have heard it. i.e. Waiting for team to be called for on-deck while making last minute repairs. (We ended up barely hearing the last call and made a bee-line for the staging area.. at Nationals. Quite the rush)


My feelings on the rule:
Pit and Arena:
No audio systems whereas the volume exceeds that of the FIRST equipment. (Random roaming judges etc could make this decision. The current rule says you can't even wear headphones to a CD Player [audio systems]).
This would include:
-Bullhorns
-Boom-box's on High Volume
-Cart's with speaker systems (Note: The few teams that I saw with these.. I did think they were a neat idea, but it was obnoxious when listening for an announcement and Techno or Rap starts to blare).

Pit Area:
No noise-making devices with no purpose other than noise. (This would allow drills and robots to be running, but not MOEsticks clapping or whistles blowing).
No team cheers/chants. (Such as the "Aaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!" x 100, or the like, but a (1, 2, 3, Yeah go team! in a huddle would be fine).
No musical instruments.


I like watching the different bands do the drum-off competition or things of that nature. I think it adds a very cool element to the competition.

This isn't just a robot competition, it's not robots driving robots. It's people driving robots, and teams of people who have put a lot into making the robots work. Cheering in the stands is a great way to ease the frustrations of the build season.

I just hope next years rules do not say:
<sarcasm>
All teams must bring enough duct tape to bind team members to seating, bind hands, and cover mouths. Bindings may only be removed during the lunch break, during awards ceremonies, or if on an approved Bathroom break. Complete silence will make everyone able to watch the competition and hear announcements.
</sarcasm>
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Last edited by Gadget470 : 01-17-2004 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Conflicting statements
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Unread 01-17-2004, 05:09 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

I'm pretty sure this rule is meant to make the Pits more friendly for teams. It's just over generalized cause it's easier to ban all loud stuff then to tell teams not to use them in the Pits and then try to enforce that.

Arguments about teams knowing when they're up aside, the are always a rather lot of announcements in the Pits. Requests for parts, random information for teams, lots of useful stuff that can be drowned out. Also, nothing it more annoying than having to shout at someone two feet away for a wrench when you're hurrying to fix your bot, all cause a team is coming back from a winning match with loudspeakers, clackers and a drum line all going at once.

The rule is mostly to make it easier for teams to work in the Pits, it's just spilling over into the stands.

Edit:
I also personally dislike bands in the stands. I play music for a local, smaller 'bot competition, and nothing is more annoying than a band coming in and playing over the music I'm playing. FIRST has DJs and sound systems for a reason. I know they're great for the spirit of that particular team, but they don't do much for other teams and really annoy the DJ.
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Unread 01-17-2004, 05:29 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

I can remember three years ago, when I first joined robotics, we were at our first regional, the first one I had ever been to. The team sitting in front of us decided to bring several band members along with them, and for the ENTIRE day of competition, they stood 2 rows in front of us banging mercilessly on these huge drums. After several hours of this, almost everyone in the area was getting annoyed. If you ask me, this didn't add anything to the spirit of the competition, it took away from it. Now, because of half a dozen kids banging drums all day, the hundreds of people sitting around them grew tired of it, got head aches, and couldn't enjoy the competition for themselves.

I have no problem with the idea of noise makers, but lets keep it reasonable. Use them when YOUR team is up, or when a team is receiving an award. Don't just bang on drums all day for the heck of it. In fact, no instrments or sound systems should be allowed (thats a rule now). If you want to blow little horns or kazoo's, I don't care. Just don't sit in the stands and play your trumpet. Do whats REASONABLE, but some people just don't know where to draw the line.
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Unread 01-17-2004, 10:36 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

Ironically, this does mean no more use for the MOE earplugs....

I think that this is a "see how it works" rule. Personally, I missed the clap sticks, but banging on the bleachers I will not miss. To some degree, it's about making noise. I remember that I brought a pair of coconut shells to the Tunkhannok (222) off-season match, and one team had a large bell attached to their cart at the Philly regional last year. I'm not sure whether I will like or dislike this rule; we'll see after Regionals.
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Unread 01-17-2004, 11:01 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

I noticed last year that the music didn't sound as load as the year before. Maybe it was because of where I was sitting, but sounded like FIRST was trying to take a step back from the noise.

You have to remember that FIRST is always trying to make comptetions more veiwer freindly. I don't doubt that this knew rule is just part of FIRSTs attempts to make the arena a more comfortable place for outsiders.

Every year I hear people explaining the game to people and always having to yell over the sound. Not mention that some veiwers are not nearly as fond of loud music as a gruop of teenagers.

Yeah, its great to cheer for your team, but can't we do so without scaring away spectators?
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Unread 01-17-2004, 11:04 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

i think that this is a good rule... ONLY and ONLY if they ment in the pits only. I did the spare parts tabel at J&J this year, and there were plenty of times, that i couldnt hear the pit announcer make announcements, and i was right next to the pit announcer, and near on of the speakers, I love all the noise and stuff in the feild area its what sets FIRST apart from any other "science fair"for lack of better word. the one thing that agitates me a little is the carts that have sound systems on them. i think FIRST just doesnt realize how important teams like Moe are to FIRST, they are bright and flashy and noisy, in my opinion the true essence of the team spirit award
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Unread 01-17-2004, 11:45 PM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

Eh, I don't mind...

...I can yell.

"BEACH CITIES ROBOTICS!!! WOOHOO!!!" I can hear it now, LOL.

I can understand it though, at the L.A. regional there was a team would bring there school's marching band and they would play in the stands, personnally, I thought it was awesome, but it did interfere with the competition. If I remember right, a kid was standing next to them right when they were starting to a play a song, and correct me if im wrong, but the rumors were that the kid had some kind of mental desease. He freaked because it was REALLY LOUD, they had trombones and everything. I think the ambulence had to come. It was a couple years back. If i heard the story right, then the directors of the LA regional probably spread the word, which probably contributed to the new rules.

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Unread 01-18-2004, 12:02 AM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

The reason they are doing this is because some teams have abused sound systems. At competitions, I have found that the majority of teams are considerate. However, there there area handful who are not. They ruin it for us all.
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Unread 01-18-2004, 12:09 AM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

I have several thoughts on this:

- I never have liked sound systems on team's war wagons - pit announcements usually are quiet and hard enough to hear when working on the robot.
- Eliminating noise in the pits takes away the spirit from teams like the Bomb Squad who (at least used to) have their entire team cheer its way to the field with the "Bomb Squad...Bomb Squad" chant.
- The FLL motto is "Sports for the Mind" and FRC is billed as the "NCAA of smarts." Both of those are sport related comparisons...and what do you find at sporting events? Music, noisemakers, and all that good stuff.
- On the same note, if people expect it to be a sporting event, they expect it to be loud. Have earplugs available at the door if you must...but if FIRST is worried about scaring away spectators with loudness, they've got their priorities mixed up.
- Live bands in the stand have been a bit annoying, IMHO. When you go to a game (HS, College, or Pro), you don't take your own pep-band, you let the hosting team take care of that.

I guess this would probably mean that the little "yeah" battle that we created on Hammond a couple years ago would be outlawed too, because that was pretty loud and we did it at the most random times and in the most random places. I guess if this is enforced, everyone will just have to adopt the "silent cheer" that Hammond came up with in 2001 (hands are waived back and forth).

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Unread 01-18-2004, 09:49 AM
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Re: Music / Noise "Restrictions"

My gut reaction is that FIRST should evaluate their own sound system before ruling on noisemakers. I find their "noise" much more irritating than that coming from noisemakers. By the end of the competition my head is throbbing from listening to their system and my voice nearly gone from trying to talk to someone standing no more than 2 ft away.
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Unread 01-18-2004, 09:50 AM
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What's up with that?

I know FIRST wants to get the public more involved and attract more sponsors but I think they need to remeber who FIRST is for: the kids. To tell them to "tone it down" because some people don't enkoy their spirit is just plain lame. I think FIRST is making a terrible mistake. Kids like to have fun and if you take the fun out of FIRST then why in the world would they want to be involved in FIRST? This i similair to their 'no dancing" rule at the Rock n' Roll HOF party. Why invite them? Just tell them to stay in their hotel room and go to bed. FIRST needs to be careful not to start choking themselves to death with regualtions. Don't micromanage the kids.
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