Lap Indicator Rule <R18> Clarification

Last night we realized that we did not leave a place for the flag holder. We were reading through the rules thought we might have solution, but the rule <R18> is not very specific on what the “must be visible from above” clause exactly meant when it was refering to the lap indicator position. I was wondering do we need to have a 2" radius half cylinder that extends all the way up to the top of the flag or just up 2 - 5" around the flag holder. If anyone could help us out with this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and Good Luck to everyone!

Let’s put it this way - the “This region must be kept uncovered and visible from above” part of Rule <R18> has a well-defined purpose. The Lap Indicator needs to be seen from above as you drive under the Overpass.

The Lap Counters have a reasonable field of view (an approximate 45 degree cone), and there are several of them mounted on the underside of the Overpass. Their fields of view overlap. Their locations have been optimized to read a Lap Indicator that is located at about 52 inches above the floor (top of the flag holder at 51 inches, plus 1 inch for the stopper). Any structure on the robot that is in near proximity to this location will run the risk of occluding the view of the Lap Indicator by the Lap Counters.

If you mount your flag holder in such a way that the Lap Indicator is not visible by the Lap Counter, you are risking that your laps will not be scored properly. Is it within the rules to create a 4 inch diameter “hole” that is completely surrounded by robot structure, and stick the flag holder/Lap Indicator down in the bottom of that? Yes, it would appear that it is. But is that a smart thing to do? No, probably not.