Tetra Rods Steel, not PVC?

I heard from a little blue bird that the rods in the tetras are meant to be made out of steel and not PVC… could somebody clarify this? Perhaps post a scan of the new drawings they gave out at regional kickoffs?

Our video feed during the national kickoff was in and out, I assume they mentioned it there but we just missed it.


in the intro video it said one makes them out of pvc but i didn’t get to watch the whole kickoff so i could be wrong

From Section 3.3 of the manual:

Each edge of the Tetra is defined by a 30-inch length of 1-1/4” Schedule 40
(approximately 1.6” OD) PVC pipe. The ends of the pipes are attached to
“Tetra Connector” to form each apex of the Tetra. The Tetra Connector is
a custom injection molded part. When properly constructed, a Tetra stands
approximately 28 inches tall and weighs approximately 8-1/2 pounds.

So they’re PVC.

Specifically, I heard that Dan Ward at the Kokomo, Indiana Regional said that the prints are wrong, and that a couple of days ago FIRST contacted him saying that they were making the switch to steel from PVC out of fear that they would break. If anyone was at the Kokomo regional that could clarify that, it would be appreciated.


The scoring tetras are PVC, the GOALS are METAL.

I’d guess that the goal tetras might be made out of steel. It’s not unprecedented that we get different field parts from what the final competition field ends up being. The game piece tetras are going to be PVC, though, simply because steel would weigh a ton more, and that’s the kind of thing you need to know in designing an arm.

I was at the Kokomo kickoff and he did say that FIRST did modify the design. My understanding was that the pipes would still be pvc, but the end clover connectors would be metal.

There was a demo tetra that had metal clover connectors.

I don’t know for sure what is official, or what kind of metal the clover is made of.

Alrighty, that sounds much better. Thanks!


I heard at VCU today that they changed the plans for the goals from PVC to metal and that this happened AFTER parts were bought for a demo field.

Our demo tetras had plastic clover connectors, but we also had PVC goals.


The most important part wether it is steel or PVC is weight, and the manual states that the “non-vision” scoring tetras weigh in at around 8.5lbs, where the “vision” tetras are around 12.5 lbs. (Sec 3.3). In the webcast, the BIG tetras that the scoring ones were to be placed on were made out of steel… hope that helps

The drawings for the clover that was posted calls out .098" zinc plate.

At least according to the manual, the smaller tetras that are to be lifted are 1-1/4" PVC and the goals are 1-1/4" aluminum.

According to my dad, who was at the Manchester Kick Off they say to use PVC with threaded rod running through it to gain the weight, apparently the ones FIRST uses are of a different material that is denser then the PVC conduit, but much more expensive and not easily obtainable. So instead they give you the low cost version not the real deal.

So if its lighter in the first place, and its cheaper to produce when its lighter why didnt the FIRST guys just make it PVC and just make the weight lighter?

Is this one of their strategies to make it more complex?