Load-In – 5 Members - How strict?

From 2pm to 5pm on Wednesday 4/22, teams may send in 5 team members (1 of which must be an adult) to load-in, setup pit, register, etc.

How strict is the enforcement of this 5 member limit? Who enforces the rule? Is there a penalty?

I attended champs last in 2013 and noticed a fair amount of teams breaking this rule. I counted one team with 12 active team members in their pit and no one seemed to care. I’m not sure how this was handled in 2014.

Is this Q&A worthy?

It’s never been my responsibility to enforce this at champs, but I believe there have been people standing at the door counting and checking teams off a list. It’s barely controlled chaos for the first half hour or so it load-in, so it wouldn’t surprise me if some teams ended up with more people in there (not through malicious intent, but probably from an ignorance of the rules and not being noticed through in the chaos).

As an inspector at champs, the last thing on my mind Wednesday afternoon is how many people are standing around - I’m looking just at the robots!

I am not responsible for controlling this unorganized frenzy either, but this is my observation: First year at St Louis it seems that they gave arm bands. It got progressively looser over the years. With the FTC pits open it was hard to regulate. They seemed to rely on everybody’s GP. The real point is to keep the aisle ways open to be able to move crates. This year since there will be only FRC in the building, it might well be different.

Q&A will probably tell you it has nothing to do with the game. Despite whatever they say it will be chaos best dealt with GP & patience. Also realize the crowd control people are all volunteers.

It should be teams’ main mentor’s responsibility that team follows FIRST rules. I definitely don’t want a blue coat volunteering counting heads and in pit or anywhere else. I am sure volunteers have better things to do than this. As a participant in an event where volunteers are spending countless hours, I take it as individual team’s responsibility, starting from main mentor.

“Is it right for me to do wrong things because other people did them first?”

It seemed to be pretty strict last year at champs. Was one of those teams that had 12 people in their pit a Hall of Fame team?

I know in 2012 or 2013 more of my team members were invited into the pits on Thursday for a Will-I-Am ‘shout out to DC’ near a practice field by our pit. That was very specific however, and I got a call directly from FIRST about it ahead of time. We then had to make sure those people left the pit after all of the photos & selfies.

I’ve seen teams asked to leave the area until 5pm for repeated violations.

As somebody that attempted to manage this at the Duluth Regionals this year, it’s incredibly difficult-- especially when people aren’t wearing team shirts. We’d call a team out if it was really obvious, but you’d need to be superhuman to keep track of everyone entering or leaving. I’d imagine it’s even worse at Championships.

Generally its a bad idea, if you need more than 5 people to set up your pit, you run the risk of getting the extra people kicked out and you will be back at 5. Its better to plan on just having 5 people.

A good tip is to have the rest of the team eat an early dinner so at 5pm, the original 5 can go eat when the rest of the team comes.

On a side note, it does get confusing when teams help each other unpack. Last year we had an extra 3 people help but in reality they were a neighboring team (coincidentally our two teams had the same colors) helping us before we went over to help them.

I remember in 2011 it was raining real good and us, 2826, and 111 ended up camping under some tarps and used everyone to bring all of each team’s stuff in at once, which didn’t seem to be a problem.

The same year however, we were talking with a 6th person near our pit wearing a clearly different color shirt than us and got scolded for having >5 people :stuck_out_tongue:

My biggest concern has to do with what the 5 people can actually do during “load in”. FIRST still hasn’t spelled out exactly what the 5 are allowed to do between 2 and 5 pm Wednesday… unless I missed something? Sure hope we can actually set up the pit AND work on our robot to get ready by 6 pm practice time.

At least in the past, teams could load in, unpack their crate, set up their pit, work on their robot, and even start inspection. I’m not positive, but I think the practice field isn’t open during this time.

I don’t know why on earth you would want more than 5 people on your team to go in for load in. There’s nothing to do except load in, unpack and work and I feel like with 5 people, a robot, crate, and equipment in 100 sq feet can be cramped enough.

1 Like

If your plan is to break this rule if it is not strictly enforced, then I have good news… it is indeed very difficult to enforce, so you are very likely to get away with it. Even better, many other rules in FRC are not possible to “enforce”, so you have many other easy opportunities to break the rules. FIRST functions on the oversight of gracious professionalism. Without it, we break down. Decide how your team wants to operate.

The schedule says the machine shop opens at 2 so it makes sense the ‘5’ can work on the robot.

Team 1208 chooses to follow the rules, even when there is no enforcement. FIRST functions best when teams take this attitude.