Need Official Height Restriction Rule

Our team is working on a design that relies on what is currently an assumed rule, which would state that the robot can extend vertically from its 55" configuration to an infinite height. This is assumed from the analysis of rules RO1,RO3, and RO4. I see a lot of people on the height restriction thread posting that the height is infinite, but there is no official rule. So this thread is apart from that as a request for an official rule on the subject, as our team (and im sure many teams) require this information in order to not waste time or resources.

Michael Cooper, Team 1458

There is no rule that says “unlimited height”, so you’re out of luck looking for one. But there’s also no rule that limits the height after the start of the match.

It’s the good old logic of FIRST- there’s no explicit rule marking a height limit, so there is no height limit.

Think of it this way. There is no rule that will penalize you for extending above 55 inches during the match.

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There are often, however, ceilings and lighting fixtures that will severely penalize you for extending TOO high. I’d assume a practical limit of 3 to 4 feet above the highest point on the field.

Its not the the bot is that tall, LOL. As you all suggest, there is no rule saying you CANT extend that far, but i would appreciate an official ruling that says we CAN. The idea that there isnt a rule was what i was trying to avoid.

How tall can your robot get without falling over?

Generally, rules tell you what you cannot do. Not what you can do.

Why do folks have to make it so difficult? :slight_smile:

If you would like an official ruling, then you need to submit your question to the official FIRST Q&A. We’re just a bunch of schmoes like you.

Unless there’s a drastic change in the rule philosophy, there won’t be such a rule. The best you can realistically hope for is a Q&A which states that there is no rule limiting your height after the match starts.


Exactly! Rules constrain potential solutions for a variety of reasons; practical, safety, consistency, with the intent of making the game harder/simpler/more easy to judge, etc. If there is not a rule, its is not constrained.

The manual specifically calls this out in section 1.5. The key part is “There are no hidden requirements or restrictions. If you’ve read everything, you know everything”.

The updates fix errors and omissions, provide clarification when much confusion exists about a rule, add/change rules to close loopholes that were discovered, or address boundary conditions. The Q&A mostly provides interpretation of the rules (the what does this language really mean). They also really, really try to never add rules that might further constrain, previously legal solutions as this can have a massive impact on a team’s design.

How do you Q&A a non-existent rule? At best the question is “Is there a height rule beyond R.03”, which might get answered “nope” or more likely “Read the Fine Manual and resubmit your question, specifying which rule you are asking about”.

There is currently no height rule, beyond R.03 which applies only to the STARTING CONFIGURATION. Therefore, there is no height limit imposed by First, once the game starts.

Obviously both physics and the physical world imposes limits and this is even called out in the text in the Blue Box in G.05 as it cautions you to be “congnizant of venue height, camera poles, lighting trusses, etc…”.

If you only do things that are specifically stated in the rules as things you CAN do, your bot won’t move very far.

There aren’t rules that say your robot can drive above certain speeds, for example. So, is it illegal to drive at the speed your robot does until you have a rule stating it’s legal? Or, do you assume you’re able to do so until there’s a rule that says you can’t? As others have said, don’t complicate it.

Quoted for truth.

What is not prohibited is permitted.

If there is no rule prohibiting it, then it’s permitted. Note that there is a catchall rule for unsafe designs (R08) so don’t expect to have a robot that extends to 20’ and then runs the risk of tipping over, but unless there is an update my interpretation is that there is no height limit outside of the starting configuration.

It would be impossible to write a game manual detailing absolutely everything a robot could do or a team could build. Instead, FIRST uses the convention of only writing about what you can’t do.