Children in the Pits!

Under what age do children need to be accompanied by an adult to go into the pits at the competitions?

At kickoff I recall this being added as a “new” rule for this year, but I can’t seem to find it in the documentation. Was it in the Grant Imahara video? My computer refuses to play the video, so thats why I suspect that it might be in there? Or was it part of the FIRST Game Show with contestants Dean, Woodie and Dave? :confused:

FIRST game show. I’d have to look at my manual, which isn’t with me right now, to find it.

I don’t recall where it says it in the rules, but all children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

I looked through the rules Section 3 “At the Event” and I don’t see the rule.
I think it is a good rule but we probably need some verification about what it means exactly I will ask Q and A.

The question I have from some teachers is does this mean 1 adult with each child or can an adult supervise several children? We often have FLL teams or school classes visiting and we just need to know what this means in regards to this.

I will ask

Not only must children under 12 be accompanied by adults, but everybody in the pit area must have safety glasses.

yeah its weird, i’ve looked through the rule book but it is not there. All i can say is that it was indeed in the video as i remember. Is there a more general rules and guideline book btw for other issues as these?

I’ve noted in the past that children under 12 get very excited when in the pit area, to the extent that they don’t want to go watch the robot competition. They enjoy the pits a great deal and they love all the team give-aways. What happens with school groups that bring too few adults and/or have adults that think they can just let the young students run loose is that the young students run loose. They are energized by the field trip, the robots, the teams’ excitement and spirit, and the give-away collecting. Often, they try to out-do each other, creating a competition of their own with who has the most buttons, etc. Running through the pits with disregard for the teams, the robots, and the work that needed to be done was not good. In contrast, school groups who had plenty of adults who stayed with the children and supervised their actions and behaviors have been welcomed and enjoyed as they experienced the pits and the competition.

The key is plenty of adults who explain what the pits are, what the appropriate behavior and respect is, and who monitor that and enforce it.

They should also ban sandals from the pits. It was a headache playing bad cop at the end of the Florida regional last year and telling all those people they couldn’t go down into the pits because they’re wearing open toed shoes. They should put up signs at least telling them that.

This is always a problem in March in Michigan too…

(Sorry Ed, I had to!)

It can be a problem at warm weather regionals. And at some that I’ve been to, team members don’t wear closed shoes, so if they want to go into the pit area, they aren’t wearing appropriate footwear.

I can see how cold weather regionals would not have this problem.

I saw someone decked out in team colors, wearing yellow crocs at CT once (before they were banned for safety reasons), but I can’t imagine anyone wearing their sandals through the snow. Even if you’re in a warm-weather area, how can you expect to get through crowded areas, work in the pit, carry the robot safely, etc. while wearing open-toed shoes? I’m assuming only spectators would be caught like this?

Nope. Students.

Teams can go a long way towards helping their invited guests, whether it be schools, family, friends, etc., know the appropriate footwear for touring the pits. They can take that a step farther and spend time training their members in what is appropriate in the shop and also, what is appropriate when traveling and in the venues. It also is good to know what the venues will and won’t allow (as far as food/beverages, etc) in advance, as well. Some of this is discussed in the manual. Teams can always make an effort to educate and inform and not wait until the last minute to figure this stuff out.

edit: Koko Ed is very good at what he does as a volunteer for FRC events. He knows his stuff and if he doesn’t, he finds out what he needs to know. Ed, and volunteers like him, wouldn’t have to be put in the role of bad cop nearly as much if teams did the work ahead of time and got the word out to their team members and their guests regarding proper attitude and attire, including safety glasses, in the pits. And yes, I can get on a rant about this pretty easily, sorry to hijack the thread topic.

So let me recap…Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult to enter the pits.

And they should, like the adult who is accompanying them, be wearing safety glasses and shoes which completely cover the feet.

And so far, this is only a verbal rule, until we get a response in the Q&A (thanks Bob for asking).

Thanks everyone!

The Safety manual that we are still using is from 2007 but in there it does state requirements for foot protection. Those rules are also enforced at the events, including the lead-free solider in the pits.

**[LEFT]Foot Protection[/LEFT]
**[LEFT]When engaged in *FIRST *activities, all FRC participants must wear shoes that completely cover the entire foot. Shoes must have closed-toes and heels to protect against foot injuries, regardless of work location. Flip-Flops, Sandals, Mules, Crocs, etc. *are not acceptable *when working on or near the robot or while attending *FIRST *competitions.

From page 8…[/LEFT]

I remember at Atlanta a couple of years ago, while working as a ref, I had to ban a student from the playing field because she was wearing bedroom slippers. They did cover the toes and heels as specified in the rules, but still…

Last week I made the suggestion to the Volunteer office that these rules be pre-printed on big poster boards, and part of the crate contents for setting up at every regional.

Two years ago in Atlanta, one of our congressman showed up with his wife. They were invited onto the field area, but the woman had open toe high heels. To the rescue came our mascot, Fredy the Falcon, and she lent the wife her costume’s bird feet. Quite a sight, this tall, beautiful woman in a nicely-tailored suit and falcon feet!

I guess the congressman’s wife wasn’t on Carol’s field eh? :stuck_out_tongue:

I kind of find it funny (and completelty appropriate) that when a field is also used as a stage, that the guests (for opening ceremonies most often than not while robots are set up to start matches) have to wear safety glasses & conform with the safety rules.
I guess if you want to come on the field when robots are on it, you have to play by the rules of the robot teams when it comes to safety.

On the flip side, how many times have you seen the judges not wear safety glasses while giving out awards on the field?

There should be a rule written & in place that only requires safety glasses or other footwear/etc. equipment ONLY when a robot is present on the field just to put in writing what is kind of assumed at events anyways.

I actually got yelled at by my WHOLE team (20+ people) because I am always wearing crocs. even in harsh winters (I live in MI). They told me that if I wore crocs, I was going to be held in the concession area until I had better shoes. So the day of the competition, I wore my chucks ^^.

Oh, because that thin layer of canvas is SOOOO much more protective than a solid rubber shoe. :rolleyes:
I hate the look of crocs & think they are the ugliest shoes on the planet as well, so ya know… lol

I wore chucks I found in team colors to a regional in CT & in NJ & let me tell you those things are freeeeezing cold standing outside the venue wating to get in. Not to mention they offer almost no ankle support with the high-top kind I had.

Love the look of those chucks, hate the uncomfortableness factor of them!