When does the practice field close at an event?

At MSC, there was a full practice field, that was broken down and packed up right around the time eliminations started.

The wood mockups of the tower and hanger bars were left setup with carpet.

At what point in the competition does a team lose access to these elements?

At the NE DCMP, they told us at the drivers’ meeting that the full practice field would be closed around Qual 120 (out of about 126). So I think it’s pretty consistent that they start breaking down when Elims start.

As practice field attendant I can tell you there are no rules beyond if the pits are closed the practice field is closed.

Personally I try to keep the practice field open till at least finals but that was with the basic practice field. If there was a full field I might break it down sooner then that, as I like have the field packed before closing ceremonies start.

Is there any rule about teams that have not been eliminated, using the field elements to tune robot during eliminations.

At MSC, we returned to our pit after octofinal match 11, already victorious, in octos and moving on to Quarterfinals. I do not know the actual time but we had what felt to be an hour, between that time, and the time we needed to appear on the field for Quarters to start.

We went to practice field to better align our camera, as it literally fell off the bot, and we lost all registration between our shooter and goal.

We were told by volunteer that the practice field was closed, and we could not be there.

We went back to pit and worked on mocking up a vision target tower simulation to get it close. We missed auto shots, following matches, each time coming off the field and adjusting. By finals, we were back to making the high auto.

At the end of Quarters we went back to the pit, once more, to find that the practice field was open to teams that were out of eliminations, and teams were working on scaling and shooting on the plywood mockups.

I am not sure if I should have questioned the volunteer, or asked a more authoritative figure, judge, FTA, etc.

I do not know the rules myself, and after the fact, I am second guessing, if I did not question the volunteer enough, and put our alliance in a less competitive position going into quarters.

The only definition I found in the manual was pits were open, per schedule posted at event, and the event schedule was.

Pits Close** 6:00 PM

+Schedule subject to change based on match flow.
** Pits close at scheduled time, or one hour after the end of last match (or awards ceremony), whichever is later.

At MSC it was later, much, much later. :slight_smile:

I’ve been a practice field volunteer several times over the years, including a few at CMP.

MSC for the past two years has had the best practice field I have seen at any event, ever. The volunteers on that field worked four very full days from set-up to tear-down. Teams using the field got the equivalent of several extra plays – for my own team I know it was like playing ten(+) additional matches: that was a whole event back in the day, before districts.

Logistics and safety during tear down required the volunteers to close team access to the area, including the wooden elements, until they had it clear. After that, teams were allowed to use the wooden elements for a while longer. As the previous poster noted, all of this was very late in the day, well past 6 pm.

So if there was no safety concern, we should have been allowed to continue our testing?

We were literally the only people in that whole practice area, the full field was already broken down and pack away. Everyone was either in their pits, on the fields competing, or in the stands. I think there was one volunteer at the safety glasses table and two at the pit admin table.

I will know better to question this next time, thanks for the response. Thanks for your time volunteering, and good luck to the Joe’s.

At NY Tech Valley, the practice field was closed during eliminations.
We had wanted access to calibrate our vision targeting for auto, but was denied.
We found it disappointing because teams in eliminations still wanted to be able to access the field for a variety of reasons.
The field did not close because they had to tear it down, nor was there no volunteer as someone was still standing there (the one that told us it was closed).

The reason why they closed it was due to a big screen above it. They said it was to allow teams in the pits to be able to watch the matches.
The screen was way above the field…:confused:

At most of my events, we generally speaking will follow the practice of keeping it open until the end of Quarterfinals. We then proceed to break it down. This is part of a larger strategy to have as much “back of house” parts of the event broken down before the end of awards.

However there currently isn’t a consistent rule on when the practice field closes, and it’s mostly up to each events management to decide. I’m thinking some consistent rules or guidelines here would be useful.

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At Colorado, the practice field remained open until the very end. Any team that needed practice could get it, whether it was a team that had made the eliminations and wanted to perfect a shot or autonomous mode or a team that did not and wanted to work on improving before their next event.

Just to get the timeline straight, this before 4pm, hours later other teams were testing their high goal shots and climbers on the wood mockups.

Finals were decided around 8:45pm