Hey guys!
We are a rookie team and we’re worried about our bumpers. Our purchased pool noodles are too wide (3 1/4"), can we cut them? Is that against regulations?

Per R21 part C you would have to cut them so they are all the same which I think would be very challenging. I personally think you should just buy new pool noodles that are the right size and use those.

Do the pool noodles have to be 2 1/2" in diameter?

Yes (That is also in R21)

No, and Yes.

R21-C: use a stacked pair of approximately 2 ½ in. round, petal, or hex “pool noodles”

No - Approximately
Yes - 2 1/2"

2 5/8" is probably ok.

Keep in mind that pool noodles are not really a precision crafted part. One’s that are sold as 2.5" may not actually be exactly 2.5" - I’ve seen variation of them up to 1/4". 3 1/4" diameter, however, is too large to be legal. Cutting it down would be difficult - you would have to make sure it was still round, petal, or hex shaped to stay legal.

Okay so just to clarify: How exactly do we cut the pool noodles? In half or we cut slices off? The pool noodles don’t have to stay cylindrical?

That’s the difficult part. R21-C states:

use a stacked pair of approximately 2 ½ in. round, petal, or hex “pool noodles” (solid or hollow) as the BUMPER cushion material

So in cutting them, you have to end up with a round, petal, or hex cross section for the pool noodles. Cutting them in half, or square, etc would not be legal.

If you must cut down the ones you have, then I suggest using a band saw to trim off strips to give it a legal-sized hex cross-section.