New Competition Rules

What does everyone think of the new competition rules in Sec 10 of the manual?

  1. FIRST wants everyone (especially the mascots) to stay hydrated, but you can’t bring your own water, forcing everyone to buy bottled water at the concession stands?

  2. No MOEsticks, shakers, banging on things, rattles, or other noisemakers of any kind?

  3. No drum corps, no Speaker-enhanced carts, and no air horns (which were already illegal).

  4. Teams may not hand out candy to other teams (like Fireballs, Chicklets, gummies, or Peeps)?

  5. No banners except for at your Pit station?

  6. No machining except at the specified machining location, which MAY OR MAY NOT be located at the competition?

  7. No saving seats? (Teams may potentially not be able to sit together)

  8. No fundraising at the competitions?

I can understand about the food part of it, IE bringing in mcdonalds, however candy should be ok, and water should always be allowed. As far as the machening goes, welding I can see not allowing, however we have never seen any sort of grinding area at the vcu regional, everyone should know the risks of being in the pit area, and you assume theise risks when you go in. As faras the brazeing/soldering, brazeing im so so on, however soldering should be allowed its crazy to have to wait on the machene shop driver, (you cant transport yourself) travel to machene shop, then wait for 15 min. for a machenest to become free to make one tiny braze, and from what ive heard from some other teams that used some of theise services apparently the machene shop person dident know what they were doing and ended up filling the teeth of the gear they were brazeing full of brazeing rod, that team then spent hours fileing it back out of the gear teeth. If they want to keep the pit rules in their current form, I think that mobil machene shops should be allowed, granted the team takes all risks involved with operating this and first wouldent be lible, but for the teams that have the facilities and other teams that may recive help from them, let them do it.

On the subject of noise makers, allow them in the stands, ect, but limit their useage in the pit area. Baiscally I think first needs to take away some of the manpower trying to micromanage us and move it over to other areas. I say this because I know first istsself is small but it has taken 2 weeks to get the mmh order form out, and this has hurt my team Severely and im shure some others. I personallly think the rules as they were in 2001 or so were good enough. OK im done ranting now.

This is just a natural evolution of FIRST. You can still be loud and have fun, but they are just restricting what some might find offensive noise…The bottled water thing? That just seems like business thing, FIRST has to give the arenas some kind of hope that people will buy there food, water etc., this is just a formal way (it wasn’t like people weren’t buying food and drinks before). Personally I’m not in favor of the machining rule, but oh well…saving seats and banners? maybe FIRST wants to see a more diversified crowd rather than just giant cheering sections dedicated to a team. This is just one more issue that isn’t particularly new in concept that they have formalized…I’d just wait to see how hard all these things are enforced before getting bent out of shape.

Most of the rule changes don’t bother me. The ones concerning the food and the banners are the ones that bother me. Our Banner is too large to fit inside the pits. Plus, i have a way of getting around the food and the drinks that doesn’t break rules.

I understand the ones about noisemakers, and food also, but the banners and seats are what get me. We have 3 big flags(I assume they count as banners) that we cant do much with now. And now were gonna have to leave even earlier to be able to sit together. ARGH! I dont like getting up early. :mad: :mad: :mad:

I can understand the food reason (but can it be LESS expensive, last year was CRAZY) but everyone should be able to bring water, it’s something you need.
As for the noisemakers, i believe you should still be able to have them, just not excessive use… i mean how can you live without the MOEsticks??? But like others have said before, FIRST is trying to make this viewer-friendly, and how overwhelming was all this when you were a freshman (or younger?) These competitions are pretty crazy to the outsiders, so i think they’re leading them in gently.
As for the speaker enhanced carts, i understand (DARN, we were gonna make one) because they block out pit announcements, and people NEED to hear those announcements, plus FIRST has a dj that they probably pay to play music at these compeitions, so they want to get their money’s worth. If you really want to hear a song, go request it!
I don’t really see the candy thing, but hey, i guess you could consider it food.
Banners could scare spectators away from certain areas, thinking they are that team only, when really, it’s just a space for your banner. Banners in the pit (to me) can get REALLY annoying, because i think of the pit as like a pit…more of a work station than advertising, although it is used for that.
Machine shop…how can you NOT have it on site??? Our machiner used to just sneak into the shop and use the machine…then again that was like 2 years ago, and early in the morning.
Saving seats…ok
I believe in the idea of a team area other than the pit for all your team “stuff” (coats, buttons,meeting kids, keeping the majority of your team out of the pit(kids that aren’t supposed to be there), etc) but too many teams save TOO MANY seats, when they don’t use them. A team can still sit together, you just can’t save the front center section at 830 thursday morning and have it until saturday night, it’s just unfair, share the good seats!! As long as teams rotate during matches, it should be ok, as for award ceremonies good luck, just try to get together as a team, and if you save 2 or 3 seats from the people in the bathroom, i dont think anyone will throw a fit.
No fundraising at competitions? What did people do to fundraise? Personally, i think you have better resources than other robotics teans, plus it kills whoever is selling other stuff’s buiness.

They’re new rules, I dont know how they’ll go over, but let’s just try them an see, and if anyone has a REAL big problem with them, then they will probably be changed, remember, you learn from mistakes!!

This is a nightmare for chaperones, though. The adults/teachers accompaning the team are going to be held responsible for members of the team, and allowing them to sit everywhere in the stadium is a tough pill to swallow for teachers who’ve had run-ins with over-protective parents.

I think what they mean is no saving one section for the entire competition. If you save seats for the awards ceremony, big deal!

The noise level in the stands, especially if you are on an alliance with MOE, is near jet-engine levels, so I don’t disapprove of the noisemakers ordinance. Also, the pits can be the most stressful place on earth, and loud music and random noise can make anger flare, and that has no place at a FIRST comptetition.

The reasoning behind the no-water-bottle issue is probably less to do with vendors and more to do with worries that some bad apple smuggles in a nalgene full of vodka. However, I challenge everyone to bring water anyway… even Disney allows water because they were once sued over an individual who was hospitalized over heat stroke.

before I went to my very 1st regional, back in '97, someone (I dont remember who) gave me only one piece of advice:


been doing so ever since :c)

Though it can be crazy… Who says the public is against it? I took my great aunt (she is in her 50’s) and a cousin to the Midwest regional in Chicago last year and they loved it… especially the noise and people that are “overwelming”. This occured on Saturday afternoon.

Uhm guys maybe you should take another look at that banner rule…

It doesn’t say you can’t have them…it says don’t use them to save seats or hang them on the pit walls. Bring them to the field, hold them up to cheer, or hang them in your pit…all is not lost! :slight_smile:

Nor did they say you can’t bring water…they said you can’t PROVIDE TEAMS with water AS A PROMOTION. You can’t give out “team water” basically.

Atleast that’s the way I read it.

I can understand the candy rule (some people leave wrappers around make a mess)

I can understand the noisemaker rule (excessive noise to the point where my ears get damaged isn’t cool)

Not sure about the water rule - I think it would be fine if you brought your own. Maybe they are afraid of spills causing slipping hazards?

I think one of the biggest reasons that FIRST stands out to so many spectators is the overwhelming enthusiasm of the students.

I do not see harm in putting up banners on railings and around the arena. Most teams take care of their banners and don’t really ‘mark their territory’ with them as much as they just want them to be seen.

Noisemakers that interfere with the events, particularly ones that can be very loud so that others can’t hear (MOEsticks, Beatty Cowbells, airhorns, etc.) shouldn’t be allowed during matches, opening ceremonies, etc. But during lunch breaks and other breaks, I don’t see a problem with them. What about outside of the arena in the mornings? After a hard day of competition is officially over for the day? In some of the arenas, they are connected to the pits, which makes it hard to hear pit announcements. Then again, there are some where the pits are in a seperate part of the arena.

Candy and water… FIRST also has to appease the arena owners.

Saving seats: where this can be a nuisance, it’s almost inevitable. I still maintain that a team that wants to sit closer to the action should get up earlier. Saving seats not only gives the rest of the team somewhere to go to watch matches, but it also provides a number of other factors: somewhere for team-related spectators to sit with the rest of the team, a place to meet up and account for everyone, a central place for the kids to check in with a sponsor or teacher, etc. While I don’t agree with this rule, I didn’t exactly see it being enforced last year, so I am not as worried about it.

Fundraising at the competitions also SEVERELY limits some team’s fundraisers. Here’s a group of a couple thousand people who are potentially very interested in your fundraiser - let’s say, for instance, selling your team shirts, or selling raffle tickets for something team related. When involved in a fundraiser like this, you want to find a target audience and sell, sell, sell. This is really shutting down some marketing strategies.

Here’s a nickel, I’d like my three cents back,

Amanda Morrison

Some of that makes sense. The no-save-seating + banners doesn’t quite add up however…I also really don’t know how you would enforce things such as no saved seating. Will they have “seat-posses” to break up any possible saving of seats? :ahh:

I think FIRST is making the right move putting these rules in place. Also, most of these rules really are not new. Most of them were in place last year in some form or another.

As stated in some of the above posts they are there to keep us safe, the arena owners/operators happy, and to provide a competition atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.

I remember they tried to enforce the no saving seat rule last year at regionals, we would mark out our area in duct tape, then they would cut the duct tape… but we always had more duct tape.

Yeah. I think they expected you to get the hint after the first few times they cut your duct tape instead of stubbornly continuing to break the rules. How many seats did you save and on average, how many were filled during the competition?

I’m pretty sure the seat saving rule is to give every team a chance at some good seats and also to cut down on the dead space in the seats during rounds. Nothing like looking into the stands and seeing massive gaping holes in the sea of humanity protected by someone’s duct tape…

Also about the banners. There IS a problem hanging them in the arena and on pit walls. Those areas are obviously much more official looking than if the banner is in your pit or being held up in the stands. Sponsors pay a lot of money to fund a regional, and they might be slightly annoyed by teams covering up their banners or elbowing in on their ad space.

And all the machining stuff… first off, it was “welding/soldering.” To me, this clearly indicates heavy duty structural soldering, so electrical stuff is probably ok. To whoever said that mobile machine shops should be legal if the team takes liability. The team can only take liablity for it’s own members. If a chuck key flies across the pits, FIRST pays the bill. This same logic goes for grinding. Sparks fly far, and if a nearby team is mixing up some fiberglass or something similarly flammable, you’ve got an instant conflagration. I know all this stuff seems terribly unlikely, but that’s what a lot of safety stuff is about, preventing unlikely but potentially tragic accidents.

I’ve said it in another thread. FIRST has good reasons for making these rules and plotting how to circumvent them is counterproductive. Especially cause FIRST could have “seat posses.” Or worse, repeated blatant disregard for rules could just get the whole competition paused until people start listening.

Thats a fantastic attitude… :rolleyes:


And you wonder why the rule is there?

Personally, I think the water rule is stupid, but really…how are they going to be able to enforce this one? Still, if worse comes to worse, just take the cheap way out: buy one water bottle and refill it continuously during the three days. They didn’t say that we could only drink bottled water that’s prefilled, did they? :slight_smile:

As far as the seat saving goes…I’m assuming that this is referring to teams who would use methods like the duct tape or placing those gigantic signs over their seats. I don’t think there’s any way they can declare leaving a backpack or a coat in a chair “seat saving” and not anger everyone at the competitions. So there’s always that method. Besides…if need be, we can work together to make sure that teams still sit together. I’m sure that 818 - and most other teams - wouldn’t mind shifting a few seats over to give another team a chance to be together to watch their matches.

generally we were saving 10-14 seats with 3-7 members sitting there if we were working in the pits and 14 there if we were competing. our issue was with the gigantic teams saving all the seats, and we couldn’t sit together, so when they’d break up our spot, we’d have to mix in with all the other teams to find space…

I believe it was Woodie who encouraged everyone at UTC NE Regional last year to form the tunnel during the awards ceremony. And I enjoyed it, both as an award recipient and as someone congratulating other teams as they traveled to the stage to pick up their award… But if it created a safety hazard (perhaps they felt it blocked aisles that need to remain open in case of emergency) then of course, we shouldn’t do it.

As far as food, our team usually purchases a simple lunch for everyone on the team on Friday and brings it in. If required to purchase our food at the venues, then the food must be moderately priced; the booths adequately staffed so that the lines move quickly and everyone has the opportunity to get and eat their food within the allotted lunch break. And of course, provide ingredients lists so that people with dietary restrictions and/or food allergies can make choices that are appropriate if we cannot bring our own food choices into the building.

(BTW, RAGE #173 is offering to host a mini-social on either Wed or Thurs night of the UTC NE Regional - maybe we can get together with other teams to do an inexpensive dinner to help strained budgets - see thread .And I think the morning tailgating idea is a great way to stir enthusiasm at the same time as providing breakfast for team members… Let’s hope there’s warmer temps and no 8 inches of snow like at last year’s UTC Regional, though!