pic: Return of the MOE sticks

Special guest appearance of the once infamous MOE sticks

And a welcome return it was, too! They almost drowned out the whistler. But not quite…

I think Ramp Riot was the first time I saw Eric not behind the scorekeeper’s table.


These MOE Stix are “vintage.” We only have about 5 pair from the pre-banned days. We resurrect them for special occasions (and places where we do not think they will be confiscated). We did make a bit of noise, but the lungs on those whistle blowers (was that Team 102) were tough to beat.

This was Eric Enslen’s day off, so he wasn’t behind a scoring table. As recognition, Eric has been a volunteer scorekeeper for many years at off-season and official FIRST events, including the Championship. We wanted to give him a chance to wear his MOE shirt once before he graduates. :smiley:

somebody fill me in what are ‘Moe Stix’?

Yup, the -whole- history please.
Why would they be confiscated?

You can hear them: http://www.moe365.org/sounds.php

So are they just Wood planks?

you can tell that was recorded in a large room, the echo is almost as loud as the original

Yes. They are made out of what appears to be 1x2’s. I don’t have a ruler right now to measure my pair.

In 2004(?) , FIRST put in a rule banning noisemakers at competitions. I believe that was the reason the MOEstix were no longer used. After that, MOE had a competition on their website that year where they would photoshop one of the MOE robots various pictures of places around the world, and you could email them where the robot is and the first person to get it right would be given a pair of MOEstix and a limited edition button if they came by MOE’s pit at nationals that year.


WHAT? (j/k)

ok, this is what I’m thinking…

  • let’s make noise
  • therefore the dawn of MOEstix
  • wood would be reasonable, esp. if donated…so maybe that’s how that happened.

How did the stripes happen?
What year did MOEstix make their appearance?
And, knowing MOE, I’ll just bet there was some type of spirit etiquette in place.
Those are my questions.

Nosey Jane

I believe that the last year for MOE Sticks was 2003, and they were probably one of the chief reasons FIRST banned noisemakers starting in 2004. Imagine 20 or 30 people clapping them at the same time! The only thing louder was their team’s shirts.

In 2004 noisemakers were banned, as seen at the NJ regional that year:

Call me sentimental (or maybe deaf), but I kinda miss the little clappers.

Maybe Mr MOE can recall the reason for the MOE-green caution striping - maybe it was to caution against getting one’'s fingers clapped, or that hearing protection was needed? Thay might explain why MOE has often handed out earplugs at regionals…

Team 365 I have the utmost respect for you, and I’m not insulting you…so please don’t think that.
I think “noisemakers” in general are obnoxious, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks this. FIRST says they’re all about getting the public into the competitions, well how can those who have no idea about FIRST learn about it when you cannot hear a darn thing? Cheering and making noise are two different things, cheering is perfectly acceptable, however hitting objects is just creating white noise to the listener, it’s a distraction.
I believe this is why FIRST banned noisemakers, however they still manage to pop up at competitions. Team MOE and TJ^2 are two of the most notable teams to recieve bad reputations for these noise makers. With MOE having their MOE Stix and TJ having thier 5 gallon water drums they’ve gotten stomped on.

It’s just my $.02 and I hope it helps with the explanation.

I <3 MOE Sticks… The photo is of me and my stick. I Still have my vintage (custom painted) sticks from 2001. The stripes came into being in 2002… thus the reason you can tell 2001 sticks from later years.

MOE had carried sticks for many years… along with buckets of earplugs to hand out to everyone. (Since we knew we were loud) In 2003 the first of the noise maker bans began… which was not because of us!!! Original bans were made against the water-jug/pole contraptions and other noisemakers… which were being banged on bleachers… damaging them.

the 2004 noisemaker ban WAS because of us… banging sticks being specifically banned in the rules. Thus the “what is the sound of one stick clapping” buttons… and my “Do Not Operate” sick. It was sad to see them go.

For all those uninformed about the history of MOE Sticks (also spelled MOEstix).

In 2000, our rookie year, MOE 365 developed our signature cheer (Oh-oh-OH-oh, Oh-oh-OH-oh, clap-clap-clapclapclap-clap-clap-clap-clap, GO MOE!). To intensify the “claps”, one of our mentors (Vince) started banging two sticks together. It caught on from there and we ended up painting them lime green and black. The first year, students painted them with their names and other sayings, etc.

They did make noise.

Next season, 2001, we standardized the paint scheme and settled in on the lime green and black diagonals. Apart from being a hazard symbol, I’m not sure why we chose that design. Regardless, it stuck. From then on, all MOE sticks had the signature diagonal.

We clapped our hearts out at competitions, and graciously handed out earplugs. Some loved the MOE sticks and some hated the MOE sticks. There were incidents where members from other teams would “borrow” MOE sticks to take them out of play. This came to a head with the MOE Stick Held Hostage event in 2003. I have posted a number of photos that showed up on CD from the kidnapper (at least that’s what we believed). Eventually, the sticks were returned. However, FIRST was seriously evaluating the noise level at regional events. After that season, FIRST set up official rules regarding which noisemakers were allowed at competitions and which were not.

Since our beloved MOE sticks were now banned, MOE looked for other unique sounds be bestow upon regional attendees. During the 2004 build season, a student used some of our LEXAN side panel material to make strange sounds. We liked it (at least some of us did). We cut up rectangular panels, painted them, and they became our MOE Wobblies. The name seemed fitting based on the sound they made.

We still bring the MOE Wobblies to competitions. The few remaining sticks we have only come out during special occasions. We thought that Ramp Riot would be a nice occasion to resurface some of our MOE sticks.

If anyone has any additional “MOE Sticks Held Hostage” photos from those good old days, I would love to see them.

So, that’s the rest of the story. :smiley:

What about those stupid plastic inflatables that are pretty obnoxious, first hasnt seemed to set a ban on those and they are almost as loud as wood blocks. Not to mention that they make a bunch of trash when they pop and they can be used as projectiles so what gives?

Thank you for taking the time to share some of the history, John.
I can appreciate the noise factor concerns, absolutely.

I can also appreciate the marketing opportunities that were created by the initial ‘banging two sticks together.’ MOE and the MOEstix are firmly entrenched in FIRST history and how it develops and changes. Through all of the changes regarding the MOEstix, we continue to see humor as well, as reflected in the Do Not Operate warning tag example.

Thanks again,

i have a couple of MOE sticks, they are in the a kit given to me by moe for anti big mike bear hug kits… (now avalible online)

I seem to remember a certain “Big Mike” who was directly involved in the MOE stick activities a few years ago. He might even have some incriminating photographs of the whole thing. :rolleyes:

I understand the sticknappers are still at large- in some cases very large…

WC :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m still out here…

I’m back…

Hide your sticks…

I can’t stop myself anymore.


I Miss the MOEStix. And If I’m not mistaken a couple of sets were given to my old team during nations in '02 in trade for our imatation of the MOEStix - I believe we called ours the WizardSticks / WizardWands. Its been far too long to remember but I’m pretty sure they (my old team) still has a couple sets of those MOEStix.