[BB] Bag & Tag in brief and MAR demystified

Good Afternoon Teams,

This year ALL FRC Qualifying and Regional Events will be Bag & Tag. (Teams attending Championship will still have to ship their robots to St Louis.) Don’t know what Bag & Tag means? On Stop Build Day - Feb 21st teams must stop work on the robot and seal it in a giant bag (using a giant tag) that will be included in the 2012 Kit of Parts. Teams then transport the robot to and from the event on their own. Details will be included in the 2012 FRC Administrative Manual coming soon. In the meantime, reading the Bag & Tag sections of the 2011 FRC Administrative Manual Section 5 - Robot Transportationwill give you a pretty good idea of what’s involved.

In some cases, FRC will grant Bag & Tag exemptions for teams facing transportation hardships. (For instance, if you have to cross an ocean or a continent to reach the nearest event.) Teams may apply for exemption by emailing frcteams@usfirst.org. Deadline 5PM EST 12/2/11. Every exemption request should have the subject line: “Bag and Tag Exemption Request, Team XXXX”, with the team’s number in place of ‘XXXX’. The body of the request should include a very detailed explanation of why the team would experience substantial hardship in bringing their robot to the event themselves. The more detail a team is able to supply in their explanation, the more quickly FIRST HQ will be able to make their decision on the request.

These exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis, and only if the team would experience substantial hardship in attending the event for which an exemption was requested. We recognize teams attending second and additional events may need to travel some distance to attend those events and we will do our best to accommodate those requests. Bag and Tag exemptions will not be granted to teams participating in FIRST in Michigan or Mid-Atlantic Robotics Qualifying Events or Championships, because of their local nature.

Register for your event first, then apply for exemption. Do not wait for exemption approval from FIRST HQ before registering for events. Be aware that not all exemptions will be approved. If an exemption request is declined, FIRST will work with the team to help them resolve the issue.

Teams will be informed by reply email of acceptance or rejection of their request. Teams who ship their robots to events without prior permission risk not being allowed to participate in the event.

Now, for those of you with questions about MAR. The Mid-Atlantic Robotics Region Qualifying structure is based on the FIRST in Michigan (FiM) pilot. Teams residing in New Jersey, Delaware or the Pennsylvania counties of Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton,
Northumberland, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, and York
(and only teams residing in New Jersey, Delaware or the Pennsylvania counties listed above will be eligible to participate in the MAR Qualifying events. Like FiM teams, MAR teams may participate in Regional events outside the MAR system in addition to participating at MAR events. Only MAR teams may register for MAR Qualifying events or the MAR Region Championship.

Teams can verify their MAR & FiM status by looking in FRC TIMS on the Team Summary page -> Team Profile section -> Team Information row -> Summary column -> “Event Structure” status. MAR & FiM status is also displayed on the Team Information summary page in TIMS.

101 days until Kickoff
See you then!

Interesting. I wonder just how far away you need to be in order to get a shipping exemption. And short of shipping directly to the event, will teams be able to ship their robots (in bag) to a nearby location (their hotel, for example), and pick it up there? That would seem to reduce a lot of hassle.

RIP “shipdate”

Let me get this straight, without an exception, everyone bag and tags?


I would assume the exception still exists for teams that can’t bag and tag to a regional, but that is more of a venue issue I would think.

I hope this means all teams get unbagging windows like FiM.

…so…so no more massive crates in the pits? But those are some of the coolest photos you can take the night before thursday practice!

I wonder what we will do with our crate, since we don’t go to Champs anymore.

So does this mean that teams will be paying for shipping from regional to championships, or is this going to be donated? Also the question comes up when it has to be shipped by? I am assuming that the robot will have to be brought back to the team’s home base to be shipped to the championship. I hope these questions will be answered in the 2012 FRC Administrative Manual!

I was told of a situation today that “could” happen.

Team 359 decides to sign up for Houston week 6-2012 season.
Team 359 applies for an exemption to have the robot shipped and drayage setup at regional.
Team 359 is the only team attending that needs an exemption.
FIRST denies your exemption and encourages you to attend another event that has more exempt teams pending.

Team 359 already booked airlines, hotels, etc. because its much cheaper to plan ahead.
Team 359’s other regionals may be in jeopardy because of suggested change.

The reason FiM teams got the unbag time is because for out Districts(excuse me Regional Qualifiers) we have no Thursday practice day. Whether the unbag time compared to the practice day are equal I’m not sure, but it would be a disadvantage to FiM teams if teams out of FiM got the same amount of unbag time and a full practice day for all events. At least that’s how I feel. I’m very interested to see how MAR compares to FiM with all their rules.

If it was donated before (I don’t remember if it was or not), I’d assume it’d still be that way. We went to Denver last year, which was a Week 6 Bag & Tag event. I think we had to have the robot shipped out in a crate (while still bagged) by 5pm on the folllowing Tuesday. I imagine it would be something similar this year.

Doubt it.

Unbagging windows are supposed to allow you to get your robot ready for Inspection at a Two day event. (Replaces Thursday)

Even with an exception, all robots will still get bagged. We’ll just be crating a bagged robot.

The exception only provides us drayage support to/from an event.
Crate receiving & storage, local transportation to/from the venue, a place in the venue to keep the crate, local warehousing until a shipper picks up the crate.

Not ideal, but I guess you could just ship it privately?

I think the question then becomes, “To where?”

Uhhhh… to a drayage facility? If you’re paying to ship it privately, why not pay for a drayage facility?

Or even to a local team’s facility? I’d imagine that someone would be nice enough to take in a robot for a few days.

Either that or a sponsor’s local facility.

I’m sure anyone’s robot is safe in FIRSTer’s hands.

Great suggestions that we thought of.
However, the bigger issue is having to spend time, effort and resources to get it to event and from event to the next regional/championships…instead of the pack the robot and put signs on it, leaving it in the pit.
According to Bill, teams still ship robots to championships in a crate, right?
So what if you are going to CMP after just 1 regional?
Technically, all regionals would have to make provisions for that…I’d assume.

Middlesex County isn’t on there (Team 224 is in NJ), so are we not in MAR?