Gate Ramps

There must be a logical reason why ? We are asking that there isn’t any adhesives put on the field parts. We try and make all the fields the same. However this past season there was black tape applied to the bottom of the gate ramps.
Is there a good reason for this, like cutting down on the reflection, or protecting the floor ?
If there was a good reason, we would like to know what it is ?
Looking for a little insight.

care to elaborate?

On the fields I saw, the gate ramps had black and yellow warning tape on the top edge of the ramps for safety. I didn’t see any black tape on the underside of the ramps, and I helped set up a field, so I got a pretty close look.

Yes, the gate ramp has two side to it. One side flips up when the gate is closed (the inside or the game field side). On some field gate ramps this side of the ramp has caution tape on the bottom; the side that will face the robots. (I guess the robot needs to know).
I did notice the last field I setup at NEXTFEST did not have the caution tape applied to the bottom.

I helped setup the Einstein field at Kettering Kickoff. On that field, the ramps had black and yellow striped warning tape on the field side of the ramps on the top (when the ramp is down).

No… not the danger tape, we here at FIRST put that there. If the gate was closed and the ramp was up, ready for competition, the ramp that is up facing the field was covered with black tape. This wasn’t all the fields, only a couple.
We were wondering if it was causing reflection, interfering? The only two thoughts we had was either to protect the floor, or glare. If it is a big problem we change change it.

I don’t recall seeing any tape on the underside of the ramps on the fields I saw (although since I went to Florida, Peachtree, and Palmetto, I more or less saw the same field three times).

I couldn’t really picture reflection being an issue (the dull side of the ramp’s diamond plate is facing into the field, plus there’s all that diamond plate on the ramp and player station walls that wasn’t taped), but carpet protection sounds plausible. I know many gatekeepers are less than graceful when it comes to setting down the ramp (it was more of a swift kick whenever I did it), so doing that some 200 times over a regional (doubled if your carpet goes to two regionals) could -maybe- do something to the carpet in that part of the field. I have absolutely no scientific evidence to back that up, though.

I think your right, it was more to protect the floor. I didn’t think with the carpet that would have been much of an issue. Maybe someone got bored, or needed to waste some tape.
I guess we will move on making this a non-issue, way more important stuff to worry about. Thanks for your view though, much appreciated.

There was a safety issue with the ramp in the up position. It can be a big hazard if the ramp was dropped during the opening of the gate at the end of a match. Referees, students and volunteers are known to just jumped the fence and their foot may land near or on the foot-print of the ramp.

I know at the NJ and NYC regional there was some concern about the ramp dropping down with someone near it. Instructions for the “Gate Keeper” was to drop the ramp first before anyone (referees and volunteers) start entering the field area.

I would assume at the off-season comps the rule are a little more lax. Maybe that is why “caution” tape was added. Somebody saw the hazard and was proactive.

At one of the regionals I attended (either New England or Boston, don’t remember which), the volunteers heard some complaints from the crowd that the undersides of the ramps (when up, in active match position) were reflecting the stage lighting to the point where there were blind spots on the field because it was so bright. Someone came up with the idea of using the black tape used for patching carpet holes to cover the bottoms of the ramp to prevent the glare. The tape did the trick- didn’t hear any complaints after it was applied.

Seeing as a field rep from FIRST is actively participating in this conversation, I will take this opportunity to express my concerns over another aspect of the field without going too crazy here.

The locking mechanism with which the gates were secured to the railings (the slide knob and the inside pole part) was always getting stuck and edges from the slot it was sliding in were very sharp at times.

I did cut myself one time up at Mayhem on the Merrimack unfortunately opening this gate system and would like to have the field design crew at least think of some alternatives in the future to the slide locking mechanism.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experienced this problem, and I realize it must of had to be related to the constant beating the field border railing takes in match after match but there must(?) be a better alternative.



Another case solved for the CSI:FIRST team.

Darn… I opened another case for them. :eek: See my last post. lol

The black gaffers tape was applied to the underside of the gates in Hartford due to high reflections coming from the staged lighting.


I 2nd Elgin’s point.
Cuts and pinches are common with the sliding mechanism.
And the knot from the sliding bolt has came off in my hand several times.