[FIRST EMAIL] Stop Build Day Survey

I received this email today:

Greetings from FIRST®!

The FIRST Robotics Competition is looking for feedback about Stop Build Day. Stop Build Day is the day when Teams are expected to Bag and Tag their robot- putting the robot they will be using at the competition in a bag, not to be worked on again until the competition event (with the exception of a few hours for District Teams).

We are eager to hear your thoughts and feedback and would greatly appreciate it if you could give about 10 minutes of your time to fill out this survey.

Please click on the following link to access the survey (or copy and paste the link in your web browser)


Please forward this message to any Mentors and Student Team Members over the age of 13 on your Team. This is a very important survey about a core element of FIRST Robotics Competition, and we want to get as many participants as we can.

Your opinions are valuable to us! Thank you for taking the time to participate in this survey. The survey will close on Monday, September 26th at 5pm ET.

If you have any questions regarding this survey, you may contact [email protected]

Go Teams!

FIRST® Robotics Competition Team Support

Marshal? Here is your chance.

If I’m a coach and didn’t receive the survey, should we A) fill it out and give them more data or B) not fill it out since we’re not a part of the population they want to sample?

This poll is bad and it should feel bad.

Seriously though, it is very poorly written and the way the choices are laid out does not make a lot of sense. I question whether the data they get back will even mean anything given that.

:yikes: :yikes: :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:

Agreed. I had to read through the first questions a couple times just to understand what they meant. The whole advantage and disadvantage answers just don’t seem to fit with what they are asking. At least the Remove stop build day and keep it as is answers will be useful.

Based on this line, I’d say anyone over the age of 13 is invited to fill it out:

Please forward this message to any Mentors and Student Team Members over the age of 13 on your Team. This is a very important survey about a core element of FIRST Robotics Competition, and we want to get as many participants as we can.



“Is having 6 weeks a disadvantage to a whole bunch of stuff?” Of course.

“Are those disadvantages outweighed by the life lessons and playing field it enables?” Up to the reader, and the real question they should be seeking to qualify and quantify.

As another poster pointed out, the last couple questions at least hit that key at a high level. Doubt they will get useful data from the rest.

I thought the questions were laid out almost as a way to inform the general public (i.e. - a larger group of people than the CD echo chamber) about the pros and cons of the bag day rather than really collecting information on it. I found the survey to be a little confusing and that the first page seemed a little biased - but I think it’s interesting they sent a survey out at all.


The way I read it, low numbers meant you didn’t like bag day. It seems a little late to be making this decision for 2017.

I issue I see with eliminating bag day is doing something rational with spares at the competition. Or maybe not. With only allowing 30 lbs of fabricated spares, no one will be bringing in a spare robot.

Keep in mind that First does monitor these threads. At time it seems to influence their thinking.

If bag day is eliminated, then why would they keep a withholding? I would think that would go away completely and they would come up with some definition of “second robot” to say “don’t bring this” instead.

That would be too broad of a definition IMO. One would keep withholding to prevent massive robot-sized mods to their robots. Withholding could stay, thus forcing a lot of teams to do nothing more than driver practice once they hit that 30lb limit.

EDIT: Wait, how would withholding even work? Ignore me, I’m being weird- they would have to remove witholding allowance. That does create the problem of totally new robots, but I doubt many teams will do anything more significant than they are already doing. After all, if they wanted to copy, say, 254’s robot, they would have to do it in just a few weeks and get all their driver practice in too while other teams are just busy practicing the whole time.

First and foremost, the survey is terrible. The questions are incredibly confusing, and abstracting any data out of it should be done carefully.

Secondly, bag day, though a challenge is part of the larger one. Having only 6 weeks to build a robot is a very looming challenge, the stop build timer counting down like an evil overlord. To me though, it’s part of the fun (or lack thereof when I’m asked 3.5ish months from now.)

However, if they were to remove bag day, you get into the whole Ship of Theseus problem of “if they change every part of their robot, is it still the same robot?” Where is the line drawn between “improvements” and “totally different” robot?

I digress, the survey stunk, and should FIRST want better information, the questions should be worded to make more sense. We may be roboticists, but we’re not all rocket scientists. :stuck_out_tongue:

But if we don’t have stop build day, the robot doesn’t go into a bag… why would I stop working on it just to practice? And if the robot is not in the bag, how do I, as an inspector, determine what is withholding and what isn’t? Say a team brings in a 50 lb manipulator. If it’s detached from their robot, do I call it withholding? What if it’s held onto the robot by a zip tie, or a single bolt?

Without a bagged robot, “withholding” loses its entire definition. Besides, as the rules are now, I could bag hundreds of lbs of spare parts and it would be just fine.

Two L’s… people with one are weird.

Sorry about that. But having 2 L’s in your name doesn’t stop you from being weird. (I have 2 L’s in my last name as a point of reference.)

In 2013 we went to 2 regionals and Champs. We built 2 robots(second was mostly just a drive base). At our first event we didn’t like how our shooter performed so we made an entirely different shooter and that was our 30 pound withholding. At our second event we didn’t like how our intake was working so we made a completely different one and took off our shooter so we could keep working on it. At champs we had a completely different robot than what we originally bagged. The only part of that robot that was not changed was the drivetrain.

Withholding and bagging is only really a hindrance to teams without a second robot and who only go to one event. 1678 stops working on our robot when we leave from Champs. I believe every team should get the same time advantage we have because of how we choose to use our resources.

Asking if Advantage or Disadvantage. The only one’s who see this as an Advantage are those that can finalize a robot in 4 weeks or less and 2 weeks of driving.

So I predict it will lean heavily towards Disadvantage.

Does FRC want this to be more or less of a challenge?

FRC: More

So a 6 weeks build is a disadvantage?

FRC: Then our job is done here.