FIRST Vendors - extra BOULDERS

Ok, THIS is ridiculous. I know there isn’t much we can do about this, but seriously?? $33.95 per foam ball that’s worth maybe $1.00? And get the 6-pack price! $205! Isn’t ripping off FRC teams of high school kids kinda low? Jus’ sayin’

If you can find a ball that’s like the game piece for one dollar, you’re doing well! Seriously…this is NOT a normal ball. It appears to me to be made of memory foam. Have you priced memory foam?

It’s not $1, but this might be a cheaper alternative if you plan on buying in bulk.

This was covered in a blog post that I can’t find very quickly. First was open about the fact that it was at a high cost. Their explanation was that they needed a ball that would hold up to gameplay and didn’t have to be inflated so that there was a consistency between each ball without having to check air pressure each time. They attempted to find something cheaper, but was unable to. They also figured that since you are only able to carry one at a time, teams would not need a large amount to practice with.

Do you have one of those balls to compare with the real game piece? It is claimed to be “low bounce”, I wonder how similar it is…


No, however the skin does appear to have a texture similar to that of the FIRST boulder and the “low bounce” and high cost indicates to me that it could be similar (memory foam), but may not. Do not blame me if you decide to buy this ball and adversely change the dynamics of your robot because it is not similar to the actual FIRST balls.

Based off the description on the website or because your team has already purchased and compared physically the two balls?

I have used both gopher(FIRST) and Rhino-skin balls in previous gym experience and I can say the skin is similar. I have not compared the compression characteristics of either ball however.

Did any opt into the “extra game pieces” option FIRST provided to international teams?

If so, how many extra balls did you get?

2386 opted for this and received 1 extra ball. We were extremely disappointed with this. We gave up 180 points in first choice this year to receive a ball that is worth 50 points in first choice right now. That is over a 300% mark up. Even if they wanted to argue extra shipping for the game piece it is ridiculous.

If you order from Gopherballs… don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter. It will give you a 15% savings on your first order. This brought our price per ball down to $28.86. We ordered 12 balls and the shipping to Seattle was 58.87 so don’t forget about shipping. FYI

:frowning: Sorry to hear this. We struggled with the decision whether to opt-in. Ultimately we decided not to because we figured we still probably wouldn’t get enough game pieces to be useful, and unfortunately you seem to have confirmed this suspicion.

Using last year’s game as our only reference, we figured that each team got a couple of totes and noodles and one recycle bin, but to really test out a full mechanism you would need a minimum of 6 totes to build one full stack, possibly even more if you wanted to simulate a landfill.

Using last years game as reference is exactly why we decided to opt for this. The totes we got in the kit last year compared to the ones we had a local company make (to save time on shipping and shipping costs) were slightly different creating issues in our stacking mechanism. Having additional official totes from the start would have helped us immensely (even one would have helped). So we figured we would opt in to this because it would have helped in years past.

Clearly that was not the case this year.

Have you not gotten totes in the KOP for years? We had so many from years and years that we didn’t have to buy any extras. We did buy 2 extra yellow totes and 2 extra bins for auton but thats it.

IIRC, only the 2014 and 2015 totes were the same model - previous years had different flanges along the edge though they were similar in overall size. Those flange differences may have mattered a great deal to some teams.

Just out of curiosity, how expensive were the basketballs from 2012?

I want to say $7 each.

Since we’re only doing one ball per cycle versus 3, and if the balls last longer (which it seems like they will), we will come out ahead in value this year.

Looked through my order archives, and yep, $7.

I love how the per ball price in 6 quantity is more than the single ball pricing. Brilliant.