pic: 6 and 12 inch platform rise

The one thing I never understood about kickoff is why people bring tape measures. They tell you everything in the manual! Just seems odd to me. Am I nuts, or is there no reason for this?

A lot of people are very hands on when they start cranking their brain. Having a personal feel to the playing field add a certain dimension to your thinking. You can see how it is built, and what kind of construction errors there can be.

Sure, the thing come with a blue print, but the important part is the tolerance on the objects. Measuring the actual thing tells you what to expect at the competition. It could be 1/16 inch off, or 1/4 inch off. I remember back at 2001, the bridges of that year were different, depending on which field you played at. Some could balance with an inch off the ground on one side, others have to be perfectly leveled.

Numbers and drawings can do a lot for you, but you will be surprised how useful a tape measurer is. That’s something you should learn about engineering. You can only calculate so much and use computer programs to design and simulate different things until you have to actually build it. Everyone knows you can never build something perfect to the specs, but you can get pretty close if you work hard ;-).