Other threads have noted the limited number of power cells available at each event, and how easy they are damaged. This thread is dedicated to discussing how to minimize damage. There are other threads if you want to complain about the choice of game piece.
Things to check
Look for sharp edges in the intake and game piece storage mechanisms. Bolts, cable ties, sharp metal or plastic edges will cut.
Wheels with sharp edges - the stock AndyMark HiGrip wheel, for example - can damage game pieces when used in your shooter. If you’ve tested your particular setup, great! If not, and it’s found that your shooter is causing gouges, you’ll likely be asked to make modifications.
You are going to drive over game pieces. Make sure there aren’t sharp spots on the underside of your chassis. Are there places where your testing shows that they get lodged? Try a guard and see if helps. You don’t want to suck a game piece into your drive train, where the belt or chain can saw away at it.