Should mascots be allowed in the pit?

at the Wisconsin regional i’m seeing a lot of mascots walking around the pit without spotters, i have serious doubts about whether it’s safe for people wearing outfits that impair their vision and ability to walk going through a tight area with power tools and 120 lbs. robots

There’s no rules strictly prohibiting them from being in the pits–and I don’t think there should be*–but it is INCREDIBLY unsafe to wear anything but appropriately-fitted clothing in there. I always cringe when I see large dogs, bears, cubes, aliens, and other things walking through the pit, spotted or not. 1189 even takes our mascot capes off before going in, just because they’re very airy and prone to flying out behind whoever’s wearing them. Even if there’s no large rotating/spark-creating machinery around, loose fabric can easily get caught on pit corners, power cords, banner stands, or other people, and it creates a huge safety hazard. Not being able to use your peripheral vision also results in a lot of bumping into things and tripping. Bulky costumes also take up valuable pit and aisle space.

*I would hope that most teams recognize how much of a hazard mascots in the pit are, and how it reflects on their team - I know that I for one always remember who I see with mascots in the pit, and it always sends off giant sirens in my head blaring “UNSAFE TEAM UNSAFE TEAM UNSAFE TEAM”…it looks horrible in front of the judges, too!

There’s a difference between mascots in the pits and mascots touching robots or using any kind of machinery, and I think that’s a distinction that needs to be made. Obviously a mascot costume and a drill or lathe is a bad combination, but walking in the aisles in a mascot costume isn’t exactly going to lead to machines flying in your face.

I’d go with a no because they tend to add certain issues. First off, as Kara pointed out, it really hurts your ability to see. Secondly, how can they wear safety glasses with the head on? I know it may seem unnecessary, but rules are rules. Furthermore, why should they be in the pits? I thought mascots are supposed to be like a cheerleader for the team. Keep them with the crowds. I’ve seen them in the pits before too and never given it a thought before, but I’ll start cringing the next time I see it. Good catch on safety.

In San Diego the mascots had to have a ground guide.

Leave the mascots to the field side of the curtain where they can have a positive impact on the crowds. The pit side is congested enough already, the safety factor just compounds on the issue.

Perhaps we should just have signs put up that say “Please remove your head and tail before entering”.

Very true. Especially when teams have more people in the pit than they probably should (I’ve seen teams where they couldn’t move in their own pit). And they’re still a hazard in the aisles, because teams are constantly moving robots to and from the field. That peripheral vision is important anywhere in the pits.

I’d go with a “no” to answer the original question, too. As a mascot for three of my five years with the team, I’ve tried to never wear the costume in the pits, or at least take the head off. Our bearcat suit allows me to wear safety glasses, so I’d automatically be in compliance with that rule. Generally, though, I only wear the suit in the pits if I’m on my way back to the stands.

As a mascot, you’re there to entertain the crowd. The team members are already entertained with a robot. :wink:

There is a huge difference between venues and allowed space so I think this is a more specififc question. There are situations in which this can be deemed unsafe, but for the most part mascots walking around, unless you’ve seen differently, are there to get the team more well known and a quick walk through the pits should be fine.

When our mascot does its thing, it generally keeps to itself in the stands. On the off chance that it needs to come to the pits, then the mascot usually walks with someone else, or with his/her head off.

Let’s not get too carried away with this. It’s supposed to be fun.

I guess a lion getting ran over by a robot would be fun? Seriously, stick to the stands for your own safety or remove your head. I can’t say the number of times I’ve almost gotten ran over by a robot in the pits. Can’t imagine doing it with impaired vision and mobility.

That image made me chuckle. :stuck_out_tongue:

But out of all seriousness, I’m not saying that mascots shouldn’t be safe. I’m saying that mascots are there to add to the fun of the competition and to not allow them in the pits would be a bit of a let down.

Well, what do you consider a mascot (I was at the wisconsin regional as well)? For my team, the girls in capes and tube skirts (three other girls and me) are our “mascots”(we send them down for dancing). In the pit and working, our capes are unsafe. But walking around? Not so much. I’ll admit that the jellybean might’ve been a bad idea, but I can’t say I saw all that many mascots running around in the pits. You need to define mascot. Is it just a person in a tiger suit or does it include a person dressed up but mostly keeping with their human-identity? Something that you might consider a mascot, other teams consider as an extension to their uniform/image (KING TeC comes to mind).

This is something I’ve been thinking out myself. I think that the point where it becomes a problem is when you lose your ability to see and maneuver. IF we were to impose a restriction, I’d think it should include all headwear that restricts vision at the least.(this would include more then animal heads, some hats might provide similar issues.) I’d be open to the restriction on capes/tails/etc but don’t find them to be as critical.

I see absolutely no reason to have mascots or spirit parades in the pit area, and I think they should be disallowed.

a) certain mascots (humans in rediculous get-up, for example) are (for the most part)(case dependant) safe in the pits, and sometimes are field crew or scouts. But I think this is, falling back on my previous post, a matter of definition.

b) I have never seen a spirit parade in a the pit area. Or heard of one.

Never heard of parades in the pit either!

Molten: Since when is robots running around wild in the pits happened? And wouldn’t wearing the extra padding cushion you from the impact just a little more than wearing shorts and a shirt? Just some of my thoughts.

I see no problems with mascots in the pits, but working on the robot is not a good idea whether in a costume or cape (now that I look back at GSR, I should NOT have been wearing that cape in the pit! I am guilty of this too!).

IMHO, they should really start restricting how many team members can be in a pit at once. If you are standing the in the walkway, most likely you aren’t doing anything and should go up to the stands and stay out of the way. If I see a ton of team 4356’s team members walking around, I don’t see a problem, but if 8+ members of team 4356 are standing in their pit and are spilling into the walkway, there are too many of them. Again, our team is guilty of this too, but there many times are too many people in the pits which create a larger safety hazard.

my $0.02

I’ve seen a parade or two. They aren’t common, but usually consist of a bunch of kids in goofy outfits. Once saw a parade of guys in skirts.

Also, I was referring to teams getting in and out of pits between matches. Some move pretty fast with a short warning of “bot coming through” and thats it. The padding is nice if you were to get hit, but increases your chances of getting hit. I’d rather nobody get hit in the first place.

I thought you were referring to LIVE robots, in that case, it is the teams fault as they should keep that to the practice field.

Solutions: Yell robot over and over and remember you are not the only one moving in the pits.

I don’t like Mascots in the pits. They are there to entertain and drum up energy in the crowds. But more importantly, it’s unsafe. Reduced visibility, odd fitting clothes, people moving around. It’s not worth the risk.

I won’t allow our mascot, Gigawatt, into the pits (or up and down stairs for that matter). And if you ever see it in the pits, tell it to get out.

A rule to ban them? I don’t know. Not all mascots are the same. What about someone just wearing special clothes that is the mascot, but not a plush mascot. Too much wishy washy rulings. I would hope each team would be able to understand the safety risks and decide independently. (Of course, music in the pits had to be banned because some teams didn’t see the issue…)

That didn’t answer much of the question, did it?