[FRC Blog] FIRST TV Episode and New DLC Pack


Am I the only one that never saw DLC pack 1 get released?

Pack 2 has a poster, 4 ringtones, and a few backgrounds for social media (looks to be stuff from the trailer):


Destination: Deep Space is referenced as the 2018 game on the poster?


Hosted by the FRC Team Advocate is more evidence IMO of the change being the elimination of Bag Day.


If this announcement is the elimination of the bag, which I agree is looking more and more likely, could regionals then follow a district-style Thursday schedule of like 3-8pm? Getting all the teams inspected and connected to the field may be tough, but for teams it would allow students/mentors to miss less school/work on Thursday of home events. For away events, more teams could leave Thursday instead of Wednesday night, saving a night of hotel costs.


Decent idea but for the amount of $$ Regional teams drop for one event, I want and expect a full practice day for inspection and practice field time. Especially since regionals usually have more teams and less qualifying matches.


I actually wouldn’t mind this. I think if they are getting rid of the bag a full practice day isn’t really required. I hope they take this opportunity, if that’s what they are doing, to make a few changes for the better.

I also think it might be somewhere in the middle. Maybe a half practice day like you mentioned with 8 hours a week of unbag time up until your first event. Then no access between your first event and any subsequent event.

I’m just not sure they’ll go strictly no bag.


I’d prefer to see this extra time be used for getting Regional teams more matches. Starting qualification matches Thursday evening would be feasible with no bag. It would increase the penalty for showing up to a Regional without a rule compliant robot… and getting through 60+ inspections is hard enough in the time we currently have… but I think it would at least be an option on the table with no bag.


I agree that I don’t think they will go all the way to no bag. I expect it will be similar to the district system where you get X hours of unbag time in the week preceding your event(s). Not allowing un-bag time between events would be tragic as it will negate the ability to improve the machine after the real world test at your first event.


Unbag between events would further disadvantage teams who play one time late in the season.


Not necessarily.
The rule as currently written is that you get one unbag time limit before each event. If you’re playing your cards right, that gives you X time to snoop around a bit and borrow design inspiration, and 6 hours and 30 lb to add and test it in your shop, rather than show up at competition with 30 lb to wait for space on the practice field/test in the pit.


I think you’ve misallocated the time slightly.

Under 2017 rules (the one year where I lived the Robot Access Period life, 2019 may vary), you could fabricate all you wanted but only bring 30 pounds to the 6-hour Robot Access Period. So in preparation for our second district event we had our whole (sub-30-pound) gear pocket replacement fabricated, hand-lettered, verified on our practice robot, and ready to mount on the competition robot shortly after breaking the seal. It was kind of a thing of beauty.


If teams were better prepared Thursday morning, inspections would go much quicker. The problem is, at a 60 team event you’ll have 5 that are ready for inspection in the first hour, 20 before lunch. Another 20 come up at lunch (because the field is shut down) and have to wait until inspectors finish eating and work through the backlog. In the afternoon you get a few more and finish off those that had fixes to do, and in the last couple of hours after the field shuts down you get the last 10 (hopefully!).

The prevailing theory is that, by offering teams unbag time and a compressed inspection window, they would show up more prepared and you would be able to fully utilize your inspectors the entire morning. Give me 10 inspectors, 4 hours, and well prepared teams that are ready to be inspected when the doors open, and we can get through 60 teams. The reality is going to be somewhere in the middle, I think - you would have more teams ready, but still have those that need more time to get ready, or find something big that needs to be changed before they can pass. The rule introduced last year around unbagging for pre-event inspections with an LRI is certainly a step towards helping with that issue, but it’s a little limited by the relatively small number of volunteers eligible to facilitate it and their limited time and geographic availability. If we move towards a more compressed practice schedule in order to get more qualification matches in, I would want to see that rule expanded so it’s practical for more teams.


The first year of the switch to districts is hard because of this. Teams are used to having that extra time at the event. However, teams adjust and get used to it.


Realistically with no bag, wouldn’t it be possible to do some inspections before the official event? At a week zero (or after the current end of build season but before a team’s first event) or something like that? I don’t have time to think through the full implications of such a rule right now but how dumb of an idea is it?

Obviously teams can change significantly between the time of inspection and the event, but couldn’t these changes be treated like modifications made at an event? Just a thought, there might be a lot of problems with it though.


Hopefully my shorts on bag suppliers will pay off!


Have to concur with this. If I lose Thursday practice matches but still pay $5000 for one Regional then I literally pay double a district team’s costs for the exact same event time. Need to see a corresponding drop in registration costs if this would happen.


What if Thursday becomes extra Qual matches? Inspection on Wednesday and Thursday morning before opening ceremonies? (basically how the first evening and day of Districts work)?


That’d be cool, just don’t want to lose the extra Thursday day if I have to pay more per event.


Nope, per the 2017 Manual, you could use your withholding allowance either at the RAP or at competition, or both, as long as it was under 30 lb.

I pointed out that you could add and test in the shop instead of waiting for competition and the practice field full of teams. Saves time and effort.