[FRC Blog] Stop Build Day and Shipping

My thoughts won’t help anything at this point. I know exactly as much as everyone else here. Like everyone else, I have questions about how we should implement certain parts of these new rules. I won’t have answers for those questions until LRI Training in January, unless they are clarified on the Q&A before then.

I’m happy to provide informed opinions on prior rules or the history of a rule over the past 10 or so years… But when we have something radically new like this, I’m not going to speculate.


Good post, Jon. To follow up, referencing a comment you made earlier, I think teams with mentors who are also certified LRIs should strongly consider designating one of them as Lead Coach/Mentor 1 or 2, so that they can assist clarifications to new rules by submitting well-framed inquiries to Q&A.

I am not an LRI now, but my team is fortunate to have other mentors who are. I have recommended that the team designate one of them to submit Q&A inquiries on our behalf.

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I might suggest that a five minute conversation with the LRI when the event opens for load-in could be helpful. “We have several students who go around and support teams who need the help. We don’t do this for a competitive edge as we support all teams equally” isn’t exactly something an LRI would discourage.


Mike was also talking about specifically helping your alliance partners for elims, which IS a competitive advantage.

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Im unsure how the rules would affect your Citrus Service program, or affect most team’s that help other smaller/rookie teams. The blue box for I1 seems to be fairly clear.


So unless your Citrus Service program (which I know very little about, apologies in advance) is shipping teams prefabricated parts, it looks like you’d be in the clear.

That being said, teams will lots of manufacturing capability will have to me more careful helping teams with little manufacturing capability. No more having your spare members manufacture parts for other teams that your helping. Instead, it seems that the other teams will have to take lead on all manufacturing, but can still use your tools/build space if needed.

Correct. 1678 historically has done both.

We have a specific crew of students for Citrus Service that are there to help the general event with anything, regardless of alliance status. We have a separate, smaller crew which helps get alliance partners ready for matches.

Both of these efforts appear to be risky now, as does helping the younger teams in our region when they visit our shop.




I’m aware. I believe this aspect of “help” for other teams was intended to be specifically disallowed. It’s likely incredibly difficult to allow teams to give their alliance partners limited cheesecake while still disallowing teams from bring in practice bots #1 and #2 to hand to their alliance partners.

Why do these things seem risky now?

According to that above blurb, as long you’re not providing an entire major mechanism, you’re not restricted from helping teams in anyway. Obviously teams can’t just hand out hangers and ramps anymore, but that’s such a small part of the assistance we see in FRC. The rules still encourage teams to help teams with their own robots, so I’m having a hard time seeing what’s at risk or where the lines may be blurred.


Thanks Karthik, good clarifying question.

I think the risks are

  • the difference between “MECHANISM” and “MAJOR MECHANISM”
  • the definition of “attempts to exploit loopholes”

The clarifying blue box has lots of examples, but none are absolute and the words “probably” and “generally” are used.

So the risk comes in at “how much can my kids help other kids?” and “How much collaboration is too much?”

Judging intent to exploit these rules is going to be very contentious. We’re at risk of being accused of cheating, when we’re just trying to find the line of what is legal.

Separate question, has FIRST attempted to police collaboration between teams in the rules set before?



I follow what you’re saying now. Hopefully we can get some clarification via the Q&A over the next few months on the issues you brought up. Perhaps using examples from past games to get definitive answers, as opposed to wading in hypotheticals.


Given your experience in other robotics competitions, perhaps you can share some insight regarding your opinion of rule sets that leave “wiggle room” over in this thread. Rules that give authority to tournament officials or that rely on the intent or spirit of a rule seem to be a pretty widespread feature of many robotics/engineering competitions.

I remember in the first attempt to stop cheesecake where FIRST banned giving teams mechanisms, someone made a long post about how the wording stopped teams from giving people gearboxes or other benign things at competition (EDIT: found it: Dangerous precedent set by Q&A 461: Loaning Parts/Assemblies to other teams). The new ruleset is IMO much more clear on that specific example (COTS assemblies are allowed) but I can see how you’d be worried about being accused of cheating in grayer areas.

The rule then was quickly repealed. It’s interesting to see how much CD’s opinion of cheesecake has changed in just a few years.

The new bag day rules clearly rule out cheesecaking in the future games. What is everyone’s thought?

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It clearly doesn’t make cheesecake illegal :man_shrugging:

((PS, We can probably just contain this into the single thread regarding the rule changes))


You are correct it doesn’t totally rule out a cheesecake although it does rule out many forms of it. Fair point, somehow I missed that thread.


It specifically bans cheesecaking of “major mechanisms,” which include manipulators and climbers. That’s almost all cheesecaking.


Although a 1114 and 900 cheesecake would not necessarily be banned. Or would it?

The parts that were built by 1114 before 900 was involved (which if I recall, were the entire harpoon mechanisms) would violate the new rule (each, to me, meet the criteria of MAJOR MECHANISM). The rest (the drive chassis and integrating such to the aforementioned mechanisms) would pass since 900 was actively involved.

My opinion (Not an RI!): Cheesecake is legal, but only if the recipient fabricated it themselves (with help from the giving team). Kits don’t pass (unless they’re COTS), but nothing to stop a joint effort at the event (or for that matter, before the event)? Bolt-on cheesecake, on the other hand, is dead.

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No ban for cheesecake, only some teams will take advantage of no-bag iterations …so plenty of room for cheesecake.