Sandstorm should be lowered for both sides equally

I’m noticing more and more that prior to the match start, the Sandstorm is NOT being lowered at the same time for both alliances. Seems like FIRST should change that to equalize the experience. Seems odd that one alliance can see the field while another cannot.

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Why does that matter? The match hasn’t started and the robots aren’t moving.


One alliance can continue to see the other alliance’s robots and all of the field elements, while the other cannot. Perhaps you notice something that changes your alliance match strategy, while the other alliance is denied the opportunity to do the same. Perhaps you can interact/communicate with your teammates in the stands, while the other alliance cannot.

Just seems very odd to me that it’s not equal for both sides

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The sandstorms are lowered after everybody except the MC is off the field, for the most part. So you already had your chance to adjust, yes?

If it’s that important, you can always inform the Head Referee that placement order matters.

Im curious to know just what could change that you wouldnt of noticed the 2-5min you had setting up…

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You wouldn’t want to be able to see what’s happening on the field if you were the Blue Alliance in this photo?


And it doesn’t appear to be an isolated situation.

If someone is still making decisions at that point they have no idea how this game works.


So…just look around the curtain. The rules about looking around the curtain only apply once the match has started.

This sounds like a solution looking for a problem.


Again: if it’s going to be an issue for you and your team, tell the Head Ref that placement order matters. If you do, anybody trying late adjustments is in trouble. That simple.

Or as noted look around the sandstorms until the count starts.

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To everyone saying that you shouldn’t be making adjustments that late – maybe, but why can’t there be some standardization? How hard is it to just lower both at the same time or approximately the same time?

Even if you think that only someone who has “no idea how this game works” would be making late adjustments, there’s no reason to not have a level playing field. Sure I could look around the curtains but then I can only look through the human player stations and maybe can’t talk to my drivers at the same time.

It’s no cost I don’t understand why you wouldn’t do it.


At some events it might have no cost, at others it might. At Del Mar, the wind meant it was a challenge to get the sandstorm down at all, so I wouldn’t make it so they had to be down at the same time. It just seems a silly thing to care about because it provides essentially zero competitive advantage.

I hope FIM events aren’t in open air.

Rather than speculate whether or not it’s a competitive advantage, why don’t we eliminate the reason for discussion when possible.

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From observation, i think it already is meant to go at the same time. At Vernon, both sides pointed to each other before lowering. The two “examples” shown probably have more to it than just being “done at different times.” (example one shows many people on the field, bot issues?)

Personally, I found his argument to be a non-issue for it, which is why I responded in the first place.

Perhaps I should have been more clear in my original assertion.

Momentary differences are absolutely NOT an issue at all. I’m more concerned with situations illustrated in the first photo where there is obviously activity happening on the field that an entire alliance is oblivious to.

At some Week 1 events, the difference was often several minutes where one Sandstorm was down and the other was up. And I’m already seeing that repeat in Week 2.


I assume you are talking about Mt Vernon??? Since I saw your name on the volunteer list.

I’m not so sure that FIRST has told people that they are supposed to do it at about the same time, however those of us in the PNW tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard than FIRST requires so the fact that it was done that way in Mt Vernon doesn’t mean that it is expected to be that way.


Fair points. I went and scouted a few matches through streams to see what everyone does.

  • NYTR lowers a side after introducing
  • OKOK waited till the field was closed and then did it at the same time
  • CAFR went at the same time after introductions finished but before field closed
  • BCVI lowers a side after introducing
  • MIBEL waited till the field was closed and then did it at the same time
  • CASD was the worst of the bunch, doing it haphazardly as it permitted (though it looks like red in general has issues)

So sure, theyre not all done equally, and that isint exactly great. Im not sure if this is something that really needs to change either way. Besides CASD, there was barely any advantage as the focus was on the MC anyways.

At most, they could just change it to wait till the field is closed. Thats the only time that the “advantage” argument could come into play, but then you can still peek around since its before the start of the match.

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This picture legitimately swayed my mind on this issue. If the other alliance ends up on the field after my blind are down, I’d be upset. I’d want to know the end result of their discussions with the FTA/referees.


Psychologically it could have an effect, being stuck too long at a RED light make you more irate…I’m with team comments on this one do them at the same time for equal irateness and equal pupil dilation…its blinds should be able to syncronize them better


Go talk tot he FTA at your event then, or contact the head FTA for FiM. They are who will be able to resolve these types of occurrences.