Safety is a key element to FIRST. We even play a safety video before the matches. Wearing eye protection is mandatory in any area of the pits. Why is then hearing protection not even mentioned in the video? PPE (personal protective equipment) is a cornerstone of all safety on and off the job. I wear hearing protection at the matches because it is uncomfortable and I get ringing in my ears with loud noises. I think this really needs to be addressed, as it is at odds with some of FIRST’s objectives.
We bought thundersticks and put our team number on them, we may be passing a few out at Wisconsin I agree that noise in the pits needs to be regulated, but I think in the stands you should be loud and excited.
Thundersticks have been considered illegal for several years now… see section 3.15.3 of the Competition manual. You can be plenty loud and excited using your voice and hands. No need to use artificial props just to increase the volume.