Going to championships, I know many students on our team are planning to bring/wear shorts. It is hot in the arena, and personally, being on the drive team, I wouldn’t mind wearing them. The controversy on our team is, are they safe?

For a few years, we have always said no shorts, and had always said it was a FIRST rule. Looking through the safety manual, I so no mention to pants vs. shorts.

I know our driver wore shorts to Midwest, and there was no problem, but we didn’t know what is actually allowed.

We want to be as safe as possible, and I would like your thoughts on the matter, and/or what the actual ruling is.

Thank You!


In the volunteer manual it says not to wear shorts but I see several volunteers wear them and it is not enforced. If it makes you comfortable I say go ahead and wear them.

I’m pretty sure there’s only a rule against open toed shoes…and a societal rule against Crocs.

You can consult the Safety Manual on this. A quick search only produces to refrain from wearing jewellery, baggy clothes, ties, etc…

I’m pretty sure I remember a broadcast of Championships where teams wore shorts no problem.

(Shorts are shown here)

Honestly, if you’re not in a machine shop where 300+ degree steel chips are flying around, I don’t see any reason why shorts would be a safety issue.

I say go for it.

Wear your shorts under a pair of pants, and take the pants off when you aren’t in the pits or driving. Bonus points if you use your robot building knowledge to build a pair of well-ventillated pants with underglow.

Snap away pants? Snap away pants.

If you’re just standing, I’d say that’s fine. But there are all sorts of metal chips and other things on the floor of the pits, and I’d hate to kneel on a metal chip if I’m in a hurry.

I know a lot of people are comfortable wearing shorts around robots, but I’m personally not and try to wear jeans when I can (exceptions being IRI and MARC, because I sweat in those gyms just from standing still).

Fair point.

It is our team policy to always have long pants at events for safety for reasons just like this. Screws, rivets, pins, etc all can end up on the floor in the heat of the moment and knees are notoriously delicate relative to metals or wood…

I’ve always worn shorts to FIRST competitions (even the cold ones because I’m stubborn) and I’ve never had a problem. I can understand thinking it might be safer with pants, but it does get pretty hot in the pits, and overheating is just as much as a problem.

If they are going to enforce long pants then they must enforce sleeves. In the pits it always seems like forearm injuries are more common.

They’d rather enforce glasses and shoes more than what pants you are wearing.

Our team policy has always been long pants for those working in the pits, drive and pit crews. Those cheering, scouting, or occasionally in the pits are welcome to wear shorts.

I don’t like long sleeve rules because of the danger of getting caught up in a machine or power tool.

I haven’t seen anyone faulted for wearing shorts at a competition. I would just make sure that they went below your knees so that when you do kneel down, they are protected from whatever’s on the ground

Me being from Minnesota anything warmer than 40 F is shorts weather! :stuck_out_tongue: So I wear shorts all the time at events. I have never been asked to change into pants by any of the event staff at regionals or at worlds so I assume it is fine. But of course have to follow the team dress code… ZUBAZ!!

Here’s what 358’s drive team wears:

We enforce pants as part of our team uniform. I had no problem with temperature at the arena or pits the last 2 years and don’t expect it to be any different this year.

In general, anyone actively working on the robot should wear pants because it’s the smart thing to do.

My personal opinion is I do not like shorts in the pit area. This is just a personal preference that I try to enforce on our team. It’s a safety think in my mind for the reasons that others have mentioned.

On a side note I also don’t like morph suits either. I’ve actually tried to get students to take the hoods off if they are in the pits.

Although I do agree that I would rather enforce shoes, glasses, hair and extremely low hanging jewelry around the robot than nitpick about shorts.

When I was a student on the team I was 1 of the 2 (only 2 our team has every had in the 8 years of existence) cheerleaders on the team. I got permission to wear my uniform around the arena for the events. On that same line if I was wearing my skirt I always had pants underneath while in the pits.

I wore shorts to Finger Lakes in February and liked it.

I’ve worn them for 13 years and have suffered no significant injuries whilst working in the pits. Of course, I leave all the mucking around on the floor to the mechanical folks. :slight_smile:

It has escalated quite a bit…

edit: Last year I was asked to change on the grounds that the shorts were unsafe.