I have been looking through the manual, and haven’t found anything specific regarding the number of inbounders.
The general consensus so far has been that there are three inbounders because there are three human players on each alliance. But, rule [G04] states that “Each FRC team provides up to four Players”, which implies to me that there may not necessarily need to be a full team there. Also, do you think that this would apply to number of drivers or whether or not there needs to be a coach on the team?
This would affect the number of balls a team can be in possession of, since each inbounder can hold two balls.
If anyone has noticed a rule that I missed, or a different interpretation of a rule, please share.
The rules say that each team may have up to 2 drivers (both students), up to 1 coach (that may be an adult), and up to 1 inbounder (student).
There isn’t a rule saying any one team has to have an inbounder as long as the alliance has enough inbounders (from the other 2 teams) to handle the balls that are scored. Of course, not having the maximum 3 inbounders (one from each team) places the alliance at a disadvantage.
In fact, your team doesn’t have to play with all four positions filled. As long as your team has at least 1 student show up to the match (even w/o a robot) your team is still eligible to receive qualifying points for the match. Although this puts your alliance at somewhat of a disadvantage, and your alliance partners may not be very happy with you.
In short, it is probably best to play with all four positions filled.
Our team came to the conclusion that there must be 3 inbounders because the rules state that an inbounder can only hold 2 balls at once, but they have to remove balls from the corral immediately. Having 3 inbounders just about covers that.
Also several times in the manual (can’t remember where) they refer to the inbounders.