HELP I'm a coach but I'm to short to see the timer!!!

My team recently advanced to world’s and I found out I was going to be a coach. As a coach I’m expected to stand behind the driver and the operator and remind them of the amount of time left in the match every 5 to 10 seconds. However I’m certainly not the tallest stack of pancakes even for a girl and have been hindered by being unable to see over our quite tall driver and operator to read the timer. Am I allowed to bring a step stool or perhaps my own timer into the match. I want to be a coach but I also want our drive team to function at its fullest capacity. What would your recommend I do?
my deepest regards :ahh:

Step stools are generally disallowed by safety concerns and T26-1. There is a wheelchair ramp for each field for any driver that has need of it. You can ask about using it.

T26-1 does allow the following strategy devices:

I feel that a stop watch would meet that definition.

You can always modify your dashboard to read the time remaining and display it right on your drive computer. I know that the driver station provides this as part of the information it sends.

Is this for FTC or FRC?

If you have some specific threshold(s) in mind, you should be able to program the driver station to send an unmistakable signal to the driver (like flashing backgrounds as red for 0.2 sec). I agree that a stop watch, or even a programmed timer/alarm on your person that sounds based on you pushing a button at the start of the match would not violate any FRC rules. FTC, I’m not so familiar with.

I have never related to a CD thread title more. Best of luck!

You can either program it into the smart dashboard(probably easiest to use), or you can use a hand held stop watch. In 2015 when I was coach I was using the dashboard most of the time, but when it stopped working I used my wrist watch until I got the dashboard working again.

You can walk around the entire driver area behind the wall, so I’m sure you can find a good angle somewhere and run back to your team with the time. I would suggest before the match starts to find a spot where you can see the timer, and run over there when you need the time.

The use of a rack seems fitting this year.
Stretch you right out :wink:

I would also suggest standing between the driver and the operator, rather than behind. I did this both years I coached (2014 and 2015); I was always the shortest member of drive team. Having your drive team standing side-by-side also gives you, the coach, a clear line of sight to the driver station/dashboard, as well as the entire field, so you can let the drivers focus on the robot.

Hopefully your operator console gives you the space to do this, I always made sure 1912 built the console long enough to accommodate.

With the consequent size of the console, this happened to my arms :slight_smile:

Hello there!
I had this issue being on drive team during my high school years.
Since step stools are not allowed and its harder to control your drive team and walk around at the same time, I decided to bring heels just for the matches.
I know this sounds stupid but being short is such a disadvantage and wearing heels really helps you see.

Good luck!

The driver station already displays the time left where (during regular testing and stuff) it would be in the ‘elapsed time section.’ Once FMS is connected it turns into a downward timer of the time left in auton and teleop.

It might just be easier to run behind another driver station or the human player station. Drive coaches can move pretty much wherever they want on their side as long as no rules are broken so you could just walk behind another station on your alliance or your human player station to check the time.

Since your team identification shows FTC, and your team is on the Edison division list, I’ll provide an FTC answer assuming that you might actually be asking about FTC and not FRC… If this turns out to be an incorrect assumption, maybe it will help someone else. XD

The three suggestions I can think of:
(1) You could investigate putting the match time on the driver phone. I know it displays on our autonomous, but that’s also because it stops the robot after time ends. I don’t know how feasible it actually is for tele-op as I didn’t program on my team this year (particularly if you don’t want the robot to stop 2 minutes exactly after you press the run button on the phone), but it’s something you can look into. You have to be able to press the button anyway in case you need to stop the robot in an emergency, so that might work best in terms of visibility (and if the other options don’t work out).

(2) You can also stand next to or between the drivers instead of behind, although I’ve found that the alliance box doesn’t seem big enough for that. If you can do that, that might be the simplest solution, but perhaps you’ve already tried this and it didn’t work out.

(3) I couldn’t find a rule on this when I searched (if someone else does, please do share), but searching found a 2013 official Q&A that basically said that non-communication devices and things that didn’t pose a safety hazard were fine, so I think a stopwatch would be okay. That said, I would try to find an official ruling yourself from this year and/or ask the head referee at worlds just to be sure.

Hope that helps!

Might I recommend Moon Shoes? In all seriousness, they give you an extra 4-6 inches of height that could be beneficial to seeing over your drivers.

The timer is on the driver station program if you look there, IIRC. I used that to count down auto to anticipate teleop.

All events have wheel chair ramps for drive team members who use wheels for locomotion. You could request to use the ramp.

If you are short enough that it handicaps you, then this counts as a “disability” (magic word!) and you can bring whatever equipment (such as a stepstool) is needed to overcome this disability.

“An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” -

Decide whether your height substantially limits your ability as a robotics coach. If it does, then talk to the Head Referee. He/she will ask you if you are disabled. Answer “yes” and you can use the stepstool.