[FRC Blog] Get Your Pool Noodles!

Posted on the FRC Blog, 8/15/2023: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/blog/2023-get-your-pool-noodles

Get Your Pool Noodles!

2023 AUG 15 | Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST Robotics Competition Senior Program Director

Summer is wrapping up in the Northern Hemisphere (sad). One of my favorite end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall traditions is reminding FIRST ® Robotics Competition teams to get some pool noodles for their robot’s bumpers next season.

Evergreen Robot Rule R408-C is the best reference for what pool noodles will be legal for use in bumper construction next season.

We also plan to continue to provide pool noodles as part of the 2024 Kit of Parts for new/rookie teams.


Game Scents
I see what you did there


I had seen those noodles for sale at Battlecry (and even considered getting a set for my kids to use in an actual pool), and wondered if WPI just bought way too many and were trying to get rid of them, or what. But now, I just have even more questions.

Like, is the picture of Francis next to “Production and Shipping” for “Robo Shirts” because Francis is actually going to personally be the one making them? If so, that might just be enough incentive for me to order.

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I am simply the fashion model. Anything more would be a bespoke Bespoke order :sweat_smile:


Honestly mind blowing that selling in spec pool noodles is a viable business these days.

I’m not knocking the company/founder of Bespoke Noodles (seize the opportunity!), more amazed that the rules in FRC have gone the direction of actually warranting such a product (while not strictly necessary with the revision to the initial rule update last November, it’s certainly less of a headache to have a guarantee your noodles are in spec).


If only there were closed cell foam products that could be found at hardware stores or online and were manufactured to engineered specifications! My kingdom for those!


Marshall always over here living in a fairytale. Try coming up with some realistic suggestions for a change :roll_eyes:



‘Viable business’ would have to be a very broad term. We know a guy that ships a lot of heavy material from overseas, so his shipping containers come half empty. Shipping a bunch of pool noodles in the top half for free sounded good.

We’ve been at this since '92 and currently don’t plan on stopping so they’d eventually all get used, and if other folks can benefit from it too then that’s great.

Now Game Scents… that’ll be a whole other thing!


wait…is that where Francis from GameScents comes from???


@Collin_Fultz references pool/pool noodles 13 times. 2024 MUST be a water game. #confirmed by Collin.


I’m just happy they posted the annual reminder that we are not, in fact, going to be playing another Recycle Rush style game again (split field with no defense).


There was defense at higher levels of play… It just happened in the first 15 seconds and did not involve robot to robot contact. canburgler

Well, now they’ve given away that there will be a carpet, and that there will be bumpers, there really isn’t anything left for them to reveal at kickoff, is there?

Well, they could have a split field and still require bumpers. :smiling_imp:


Playing defense against your opponents during a match

  • Predictable
  • Hard to measure efficacy
  • Might not actually affect your chances of making it to the playoffs

Playing defense against your alliance partners during a match

  • Surprising
  • Guaranteed to have an effect on your score and who wins the match
  • Will ensure your team is mentioned when discussing alliance partners
  • Get to talk with your local Head Referee about something called “aitch won oh seven

What makes you think the 2024 game will have alliances? :wink:

It’ll have alliances.

Whether those are intentional or not is another story. See also: 1998, and “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.


What if it’s a split field, non-contact game but the bumpers are there to protect your robots from this year’s unique game mechanic - volunteers pelting robots with all the throttle motors they’d normally give out in the kit of parts.


Yeah pool noodles could be the robots floatation device for a water game :wink:


How many pool noodles do I need for a 120lb robot to float? :thinking: