and much more importantly, rookie grants. While it might seem admirable to restrain the Machiavellian incentives that might give rise to “super rookies”, it is incredibly dangerous to restrain young teams’ access to resources that many around here would agree are already far too sparse.
True sustainability will never come from discouraging alumni or experienced mentors from working together to start teams, which increases both the sustainability of the rookie team and the sustainability of the adults’ efforts to contribute to FIRST; nor will it come from disincentivizing teams from registering adults who work with their students as mentors, a process which contributes to accountability and student safety through the YPP.
To the argument about rookie competition awards (RAS, district point bonus, etc.), while there is the possibility of abuse in the system, those mechanisms exist for a reason. The inspiration that these can provide to teams who are particularly vulnerable to folding is incredibly valuable, and removing access to these mechanisms should not be done lightly.
Like others in this thread, I am not bothered so much by this change, which seems to be not much more than
as I am of learning of the rule in general and the heavy-handed way in which it has been written. I myself, along with I am sure many others here, can think of teams that were definitely rookies who would’ve lost what rookie support is available by a strict interpretation of this rule.
I sympathize will the desire (quite arguably the need) to create a strict partition of what constitutes a rookie. But doing so in a way that errs on the side of taking resources away from those who most need it rather than possibly giving a few teams extra support that they do not “deserve”; doing so in this way is a logistical and/or ethical nightmare just waiting to happen.