Preseason Rules Clarifications

Posted by Raul at 12/26/2000 8:39 AM EST

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

What does everyone think about us starting to ask for rules clarifications before the kickoff? My idea is that there are some rules that apply in general regardless of the game. For example, the rule about how long we get to keep the robot after a regional - that one has been answered. How about other ones?

Here’s one that has been nagging me since the national competition, so I just wanted to throw it out here for discussion:

When a rule requires a robot to be off the field surface to score extra points, it is unclear what is considered ‘the robot’. For example, to get 10 extra points last year, your robot had to be off the field either by hanging or being lifted by your partner robot. But what if a piece of your robot was on the ground? At nationals, one of our opponents had a piece of PVC laying on the ground at the end of the match. So even though they were hanging it did not count. Ouch - that was 30 points less for us.

The rulings on this varied too much last year. I would like to see a definitive clarification before any competitions start if this applies again this year. I know this is a tough one because the judges have a hard time deciding where to draw the line. Does any piece broken off of a robot laying on the ground count as not being off the field surface? How about if it is a nut or bolt - last year they let this slide because it was hard to tell which robot the part fell off of. How about if the piece is a sliver that was scrapped off by your opponent? How big does the part have to be to count against you? We need a clear ruling on this.

Here is another one: What is meant by non-custom made gears? The rule says you can use any gear that can be bought off the shelf and is not custom made for you. But you are allowed to make your own. But are we not also allowed to outsource some fabrication of parts? So where do you draw the line on what is custom made for you? This same question is floating around about the drill shafts that Dr. Joe is thinking of sourcing for any team that wants them.

So how about if you can buy a mechanism off the shelf that has gears in it and you just use one of the gears?

I’m sure some of you have some leftover questions from last year that we could ask and get a ruling on, if not now, then immediately after the kickoff. At the very least we should all gather up a bunch of questions now and have them ready to go after kickoff.

Raul

Posted by Joe Johnson at 12/27/2000 8:52 AM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: Preseason Rules Clarifications
Posted by Raul on 12/26/2000 8:39 AM EST:

Raul,

A lot of good questions. As to when to ask them, I say
either you should have gave them to FIRST much earlier
so that they could try to address them in this year’s
rules OR you should wait until kick off.

I suspect that FIRST has a lot on their minds right now
and this would likely get lost in the shuffle.

I suggest that you type them up and get ready to fire
them off to FIRST as soon as you are you are sure that
the answers are not buried in the new rules.

Just my advice.

Joe J.

Posted by Patrick Dingle at 12/28/2000 3:29 PM EST

Other on team #639, Red B^2, from Ithaca High School and Cornell University.

In Reply to: Preseason Rules Clarifications
Posted by Raul on 12/26/2000 8:39 AM EST:

: What does everyone think about us starting to ask for rules clarifications before the kickoff? My idea is that there are some rules that apply in general regardless of the game. For example, the rule about how long we get to keep the robot after a regional - that one has been answered. How about other ones?

Could someone outline this specific rules update? I haven’t been able to find it.

Thanks
Patrick Dingle

Posted by Raul at 12/28/2000 7:32 PM EST

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

In Reply to: Re: Preseason Rules Clarifications
Posted by Patrick Dingle on 12/28/2000 3:29 PM EST:

Patrick,

It is not in an update; it is in an email sent by Lori (from FIRST) to existing teams on 9/19/00. Here is the entire email - the statement you are looking for is in the 4th paragraph.

Hi all…

As some of you know by now, FIRST has implemented a new phone system which began on Tuesday, Sept 12th.
It’s a bit different than what you’re used to, but very user friendly. Please make sure to listen to the new menu options when calling in. There are a few new choices available.

I know that you’ve been used to speaking with one specific Teams Coordinator, but there are several representatives available in the office now to field your questions.

If you must dial an extension directly, please press the # (pound) key and then the extension number and you will be put directly through to that extension. We do encourage you however, to listen to the menu and use the options available through the new system.

Thanks for your cooperation and your patience as we work through this together!
Another thing…because there is a week between the last regional event this year and the National Championship, you WON’T have to ship directly from one event to the next. We will be returning to the way we have done it in years past…you may keep the robot until the Tuesday (5PMEST) following the regional. I know this is good news to some and bad news to others…but that’s the way it is this year. It will all be clearly spelled out in the Manual that you receive at the Kick-off.
One last thing…when filling out your registration form on the web…please remember that we need you to complete ALL required fields on the form. It is mandatory to have a main, alternate, travel and shipping contact (NO PO BOXES will be accepted) before you can be considered completely ‘registered’ for an event. Please make sure that this information is on the registration form to avoid any confusion.
FYI, hotel information for the Kick-off is now posted on the web! Thanks to Mark!

If you have any questions, as always, please feel free to contact me.
-Lori- :slight_smile:

-Lori Ragas ~ [email][email protected][/email]
Senior Teams Coordinator ~ FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology)
200 Bedford Street, Department #2 ~ 4th Floor
Manchester, NH  03101
phone: 800-871-8326 ext. 433 ~ fax: 603-666-3907
FIRST web address:  www.usfirst.org

: Thanks
: Patrick Dingle

Posted by Jason Morrella at 12/29/2000 4:58 AM EST

Coach on team #254, Cheesy Poofs, from Bellarmine College Prep & others and NASA Ames/Cypress Semiconductor/Unity Care.

In Reply to: Keep the robot until Tuesday!
Posted by Raul on 12/28/2000 7:32 PM EST:

Remember, that announcement was in September, and I know many teams requested that they reconsider the shipping issue. If I had to bet, I would agree that FIRST will probably go back to keeping the robots until Tuesday - but many things can change between September and the kickoff, and as we all know, nothing is ‘official’ until announced at the kickoff.
I for one hope that FIRST did & does change their mind, and keeps the shipping as it was last year. The fear last year was that more robots would not be functional at the events - which turned out not to happen.
Keeping the robots till Tuesday gives a HUGE, I repeat HUGE, advantage to teams competing in more than one regional and especially teams whose second or third regional is in their home city. Shipping the robots directly from each event still doesn’t level the playing field, but it helps. Teams going to more than one event, like ours, already get 3 days per event of extra practice and work time on their robots - we don’t need more. We’ll take it, but we don’t need it.

Hope everyone has a safe & Happy New Year - see you at the kickoff!