When exactly does the "kick" in kickoff occur?

When exactly does build season technically start?

To be more specific, if I’m writing code privately from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on 1/9 (assuming the kickoff stream starts at 10:30 AM and ends at 12:30 PM), at what point forward is the code I’m writing eligible to be used on this year’s robot? Because all the code before that point wouldn’t be R13 compliant.

Is it when the stream starts? Ends? When the password is released? When the game animation is shown?

The moment the password shows is when our team sees it as build season has started. Whether thats official, i dont know.

‘And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: the 2016 FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION game, FIRST STRONGHOLD!’
The game animation to me is the moment it all starts.:slight_smile:

I don’t think any reasonable person would say “he published his code two hours after kickoff, it can’t be used”

Post what you can pre-kickoff and the update later in the day.

Why not just publish it before kickoff to alleviate any issues? Pay attention to the broadcast, not your programming…

Standard disclaimer that I am not the GDC and therefore this is only an opinion.

Are you releasing a large chuck of code that you have been working on for a while? If so, publish what you have when the broadcast starts and post an update to git after you finish working on the same set of code.

If you are starting to write something new starting a few hours before kickoff to then use on the robot, I wonder if you could wait a few hours and see what the game is. Perhaps the code you are writing is not needed. I understand the desire to kill some time while waiting for the video to air.

My reading of the intent of the rule is to prevent a team from doing a few months of code development in private and get a huge leg up in the offseason. A few hours of code the morning of kickoff would probably be seen as negligible. Ultimately it is up to you to self report that you followed R13 (no one can really tell) so do what is ethical and in the spirit of GP.


Will the code you post be tested and verified to be working correctly? If not, is it worth posting? Would you and your team be better off if you were doing something else rather than typing in code that may or may not work and may or may not be useful in the upcoming season?

Sorry, I should have clarified that this question was for the most part hypothetical. I don’t have any code that I plan on releasing seconds before build season starts.

I would like to know when I can start code development, though I’m sure people don’t really care if I start a couple hours early.

I would say you can start code development in earnest once the game animation/description ends. I was expecting you to be nose down in the manual and strategy brainstorming right after Kickoff though, haha.

Most of the responses use the game animation as the flashpoint. The game animation has little to nothing to do with the actual game rules. It’s a tool for us to describe what we do to our grandmothers.
I would agree with this:

This makes the game manual available to everybody, and would mark the official start to the season.

The first time we see the denim in Saturdays broadcast…that’s when it starts


Post whatever you have to a **public **repository/venue when you break away to watch kickoff. You will watch kickoff live, right? Once you see kickoff, feel free to use private repositories.

That’s certainly the spirit of the rule.