Rule K3?

Is K3 the most ambiguous rule I’ve ever seen - probably not. But it sure does have a lot of ambiguity. So here is the email I already sent to FIRST. I’ll post here if I get an answer before it is answered in an official update:

  1. Regarding rule K3:
    We need a much better definition of what is an “additional component” for the purposes of determining if it’s cost is counted.
    a. Are “additional component” to be bought from MSC or Small Parts only? Is that what defines an “additional component”
    b. Or is it similar to the additional hardware list from the past? If so, then what is the exact list?
    c. Does it include items on the “restricted parts list”. If so, then if it says “Any amount”, then do we have to count it’s cost?
    d. Are adhesives or glues to be considered for cost?
    e. How about lubricants?
    f. Any free fasteners at all?

  2. Regarding rule K3:
    a. For the purpose of counting labor cost, how do you define who is a team member? Is anyone who makes parts for you from your sponsor company considered part of the team?
    b. How about if sponsors agree to donate free machining for your team – are they considered part of your team? Or do we have to ask them what they think the labor would have been if done for someone else?
    c. How about anyone else who donates their time and makes your parts for you and doesn’t charge you?
    d. How about if they are not official members but come to your shop to make your parts and don’t charge you – does that make them a team member? If not, what does?
    e. How about if they don’t make parts, but just provide a repair service like welding, without charge? How about if the service is done for free and on site.
    f. How about labor done by competition machine shop at a competition?

i believe they meant money spent on the materials, not what the cost would have been to have it fabricated, just the materials such as the aluminum and what not

That’s what it sounded like to me too Mini-Mullet.

Well part of the rule states
“The total cost(materials plus labor) of a componet that you pay someone else to make”

so I would assume that if you dident pay them, then its not part of the cost.

There are numerous questions like that throuout this years manual… I think in an attempt to make it simpler… they made it more confusing. I mean its nice that they opend up the additional parts, but I think what we had was just fine, and it was clear cut. I really feel sorry for the rookies this year… seems like the learning curve is REALLY steep this year.

E-Mail FIRST then. But it sounds ok. BUT I HATE THE $400 CAP ON ONE PART!!

I agree that this rule is very very confusing. It seems to me that the cost of labor can be debated until the cows come home. What’s the going rate for running a milling machine in an economically depressed area, or better yet Mexico - going for these days???
If I have one of my Engineers run the drill press do I have to count the labor rate of what the Engineer makes or what I would have paid a machinist???
Can I have my students run the machines and determine their rate at minimum wage (I’m cheap, and just trying to operate under a tight budget!)???
What if I simply recruit everyone that will make every part and assembly that will be used, and make them all team members (what’s a team member???)
I love rules, as long as they are understandable - but this one needs to be better defined.

I think what they mean by this is if you pay sombody to do it… then its part of the cost… if you dont pay them… its not part of the cost.

I think they want the teams to determine a fair market value for the labor, even if the person is on the team. But, then again, that’s why I believe this rule is so very, unclear. So far I have talked to 4 long time vets, whom each came up with their own interpretation… that’s not good.


I do not understand your interpretation. Here is a quote from rule K3:

“Ex.: A team buys a 4’ x 4’ x 1” steel plate and cuts several gears from it using just team labor. The raw material cost counts but the labor does not."

So, team labor does not count.

The issue is - how do they define “team labor”?
Is it labor done by team members - and in that case, how do they define a team member?

Yes, I agree that it is all about defining the “team member”. It was late and I wasn’t thinking clearly. So, if you get a better interpretation of “team membership” - which apparently is the the key to the “cost of the labor”, let me know.