[FRC Blog] 2017 Einsteins and More

8/26/16 FRC Blog Post

2017 Einsteins and more!
Written by Frank Merrick.

I’ve seen a few questions about whether both FIRST Championships will have Einstein fields. Yes, they will. All subdivision winning alliances at both Championships will rightly be able to say they made it to Einstein.

Stop Build Day (Time)
A concern has been raised to me that, since Kickoff happens simultaneously around the world, yet the Stop Build Day deadline is midnight on a Tuesday wherever a team happens to be, teams in different parts of the world actually have different amounts of time to work on their competition robots. While the differences between many teams would be trivial, teams in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA actually get 20 more hours to work on their competition robot than teams in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia under this approach. This difference is nothing to sneeze at and seems unfair. So, for 2017, all teams will be required to stop building no later than whatever local time is the equivalent of midnight, Tuesday (meaning the midnight that falls between Tuesday and Wednesday, I recognize the term can be ambiguous) in the Eastern Time Zone. I know this can add some confusion, and may mean some teams will try to push themselves into the wee hours or later, but it does bring this in line with how we deal with award submission deadlines, and also eliminates an unfairness in the system that will only grow as we continue to grow worldwide. Please check what time this is for you to get ready!

I’m getting pumped for another great season! Can’t wait to reveal this year’s game!


Can everyone here please, please, please make an effort in February to ensure every team in their state actually knows what time stop build is for them? 11PM Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific… I would hate to be an LRI in California that has to tell a team “No, you worked for an extra 3 hours past stop build…” at an event!

And also please be gentle with your LRI’s if you attend an event in a different timezone than you build in! I can only imagine the confusion at events with teams from two timezones (or more!) as the inspectors try to figure out if everyone bagged up on time!

Can we not just define everything in UTC/Zulu? For a global competition, it seems to be the natural choice.

While I think the bag day change is a solution to a problem that doesn’t need solving (drop the bag), it is an improvement none-the-less.

I am looking forward to the extra sleep, being out in CA :slight_smile:


This change does make things a little more fair. A little more confusing, as well, but I think we’ll be able to handle it. Just be sure the time and time zone are included in any mention of Stop Build Day in the manual, press releases, etc; combined with other reminders, and we’ll be fine.

I guess this also means Stop Build Day is confirmed for 2017, but that’s not really a surprise :confused:

Frank has been on a raft of good and useful posts as of late.

I feel the timezone change really should have been a while ago. However, it’s going to be hectic at events that teams from different timezones attend. Best of luck to the volunteers! :stuck_out_tongue:

Why not make it midnight Hawaii time instead? So Hawaii teams don’t have to stop at 7pm?

Not sure the best way to get the feedback to FIRST, but if they weren’t already, would be a good thing to call out specifically in the kickoff video… as well as a nice bold box where appropriate in the rules.

We’ll make sure to mention it to the teams at the kickoff we run though.

FIRST HQ is in EST, so that seems the logical choice. Also, EST probably has the most amount of teams (with GA, NE, MAR, NC, Ontario, MI, etc. there). Makes it easier on a larger amount of teams. Also, instead of Hawaii teams working only until 7 pm, the other solution would be to have East Coast teams working until 5 am.

I think that was the rule before, but because the globe got kickoff at the same time, Hawaii was able to get basically 20 hours of extra work time. It makes more sense to have it this way so that all teams stop at the same time.

This should make a lot of people’s lives easier. Stopping at 9:00 in CA will be a welcome change for many.

What does it matter? FIRST is now a global competition. You’re going to have inconvenient times no matter which timezone you choose.

Yeah seriously, if I were in the West Coast right now, I would just be thankful I got to go to bed at a reasonable hour on Stop Build Day.

Stop Build ending at midnight EST makes sense, because Start Build is more or less noon EST.

Three words:

Thank you FIRST!

This is the end of 359 dominating the competition they go to. Australia is finally going to beat Hawaii.


Seems like a positive change. Not a big deal for us in the east coast but I’m happy to see our friends down south gaining some more work time.

This will make the UP of Michigan events fun: there are 5 Michigan teams in the Central Time Zone.

To be clear here, Hawaii got 20 hours more than the teams in Sydney, AUS. Not 20 hours more than most of the US.

Up until recently, it was +/- a few hours for most teams. Hawaii got 6 more hours than the east coast teams, Israeli teams got 10 fewer hours, but the vast majority of teams are pretty close. With FRC expanding rapidly globally with Australia and now China hosting regionals, in addition to Israel expanding, it’s only natural to make this change. Yes it may end at an inconvenient time for some teams. Kickoff is also at an inconvenient time for some teams. In the end, everyone gets the same amount of calendar time, which means everyone should have roughly the same amount of “reasonable time” working hours.

This is a good change.

Actually it was 5 hours difference from the East Coast and 2 hours difference from you folks on the West Coast.:slight_smile:
Its been awhile since we ever finished late on a Tuesday since during most seasons, our robot was being shipped out that day or the next. We do a lot of Week 1 events.

I feel like this was a made up problem. International teams traveling are already at an inconvenience having to ship out early and things like Glen just said (I know Hawaii isn’t international). Most of the other teams are competing with people from their timezone or very near it anyway for their regionals and by championships a few hours probably doesn’t matter anyway. I don’t know of any team that uses every hour of build season, if you want an extra few hours, show up earlier or stay later through out the season. Many can’t fully utilize the “extra” build time they did have since it was so early in the morning on kickoff anyway or will now be late at night/morning on bag day.

Teams that compete at more events have more time with their robot and teams with practice robots have more time as well. We are trying to make an unfair system appear more fair but with very little actual consequence. Why? Let’s get rid of Stop Build already and actually start to see improvements.

[emphasis mine] This was my initial reaction. I suspect that despite the wording of the blog, this change is more about giving Israeli district teams more time rather than addressing some kind of unfairness with Hawaii. International teams have enough extra struggles that time zones pale in comparison.

Thank you FIRST for not extending Stop Build Time to 4AM CST so I can get some sleep for the first time in over 6 weeks.