YMTC: Redateam Uncrates Redabot on Wednesday

You Make The Call (YMTC) is a series of situations where you are the official and make the call. Please reference specific rules when applicable. The results of YMTC are not official and are for educational purposes only.

Redateam arrives into Hartsfield International Airport on Magnolia Airlines at 6:15 pm the Wednesday of Championship week. Two Redateamers rush over to the Georgia Dome with all of the Redateam’s tools. After registering, the members begin to uncrate Redabot that had been disassembled after a trip to the finals at the Magnolia Regional. The Redabot base comes out first, then the arm is removed from the crate, then the tower, and finally the controls leave the wooden box. Ten minutes later, the team members have Redabot assembled and are completing a full-function checkout. At 8:30 pm, the Redateamers leave all their tools along with Redabot in their pit and leave the Georgia Dome mumbling, “I can’t believe that we have a bent axle!”

Based on the 2005 Rules, YOU MAKE THE CALL!

The team should just uncreat all of the robot parts and set up the batteries, save the other stuff for Thursday morning since they are able to put the robot together in under 2 hours they surely can do it Thursday morning.
It is illegal

Not sure why this one is even a question.

From the FIRST e-mail blast:

The Wednesday pit opening is designed for uncrating robots, confirming ship weight, and charging your batteries. Please do not work on your robots or assemble pit booth displays on Wednesday!

Pronunciation Key: (n-krt)
v. un·crated, un·crat·ing, un·crates

  1. To remove the contents from a container, such as a slatted wooden case, used for storing or shipping.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

“Uncrate robots” means exactly that. Open the box. Remove contents from box. Put contents off to one side (in the pit). Close box. Remove box from pit area. Period.

“Uncrate robots” does NOT mean “Open the box. Remove contents from box. Put contents off to one side, and then start putting them together because we are bound and determined to push and bend every rule until the breaking point because we want to get every competitive edge possible no matter what the consequences and no matter what example of professional behaviour we are setting, and even though the meaning and intent of “uncrate but don’t work on the robot” is absolutely clear we are going to pretend that it is not and play lawyer and argue the exact wording so that we can have our entire robot in competition form ten minutes ahead of everyone else and then we can go and eat donuts.”

If Redateam does this, then they have clearly violated the rule and:

  1. have no one but themselves to blame for shipping their robot in a partially-assembled state rather than as a complete unit,
  2. need to suck it up and wait until Thursday morning to spend the ten minutes needed to assemble the robot, and
  3. should have to make amends for their violation, by providing fresh Krispy Kreme donuts for EVERY member of EVERY team competiting at the Championships in the Georgia Dome.


I have to say that I think the point being made is that this isn’t, in fact, a rule. I can’t say for certain because the FIRST website is down and I can’t pull up the rules on when you’re allowed to work on bots. Yes, it’s against FIRST’s wishes and isn’t really the right thing to be doing, but it’s not a rule. It’s not even strongly worded. With all the context around it in the blast and the “please don’t…” it sounds vaguely like they just want to make sure you finish getting your stuff uncrated and get the crate out of the way so they don’t fall behind. A simple change to “You may not…” would’ve made things 100% crystal clear.

Devil’s advocate aside, I still won’t be working on the robot. Partially cause I will personally be getting there too late to uncrate and also because it’s not right.

Yes, it is a rule. See <R15>.

I stand corrected. I thought that rule was around, but couldn’t find it thanks to usfirst.org not working. From FIRSTsearch, for those curious:

<R15> At the competitions: Teams are allowed to repair, modify or upgrade their competition robots while participating in a competition event event. To support this, teams may bring SPARE, REPLACEMENT and UPGRADE PARTS and COTS items to the competitions (within the limits specified in Rules <R23> and <R24>). Work may only be done on-site in the Pits or at any facility made available to all teams at the event (e.g., in a team’s repair trailer or a local team’s shop offered to all teams to use). Fabrication may be done when the Pit area is open for normal operations during the period starting with the opening of the Pit area on Thursday and ending at 4:00PM on Saturday. All work must be completed when the Pit area closes each evening. Parts may not be removed from the competition site and retained overnight after the Pit area closes.

This is the longest sentence I’ve read in a long time :slight_smile: - but I fully agree with every word. Let’s not be silly, you all know what it means - don’t work on the robot. I think it’s great that they have opened it up to allow Wednesday night uncrating to help things run more smoothly in the morning.

Aside: How does this apply to setting up your pit with collapsable shelves, etc.? This was allowed for the 3 early entry team members at regionals, so has this changed or not?

OK, so let’s try again. From the FIRST e-mail blast:

The Wednesday pit opening is designed for uncrating robots, confirming ship weight, and charging your batteries. Please do not work on your robots or assemble pit booth displays on Wednesday!

The answer is right there (and please, let’s not even get in to any discussions about “they said not to set up ‘pit booth displays’ but I am going to set up ‘pit shelves’ which are different, so that is OK…” - the intent here is obvious to even the most casual, moderately intelligent, observer). Uncrate your robot. Plug in your batteries. Leave the area.


I think part of the problem with this qestion lies in the fact that I don’t believe it was ever put out as a Blast - just as an e-mail to the Team Contact person who may not yet have forwarded it to team members. Therefore they are unaware of the wording from FIRST.

Andy Brockway did post the e-mail, however, in the CD FIRST E-mail Blast Forum for anyone who has not yet read it.

Wait… so all we need to do to have unlimited pit time is buy donuts?


Good thread and great input by Dave L.

This clarifies that we can’t even set-up the pit “shelves”, “display”, “tables” etc on Wednesday.

That means that on Thursday AM after the pits “officially” open, the guys working on the robot will be tripping over the team building the pit display, who in turn will be tripping over the people bringing the rest of the stuff, and everyone will be tripping over each other to get to those “free” Redabot Krispy Kreme donuts.

I can’t wait for the mosh pit! I also am waiting for my Krispy Kreme stock to climb out of the cellar…

It was an email blast–I got it, and I’m not 1293’s main contact. (Well, unless Mr. Orr did something that I don’t know of!)

Aw, Dave, c’mon–what about the volunteers? Fields don’t reset, keep score, queue, and referee themselves! :wink:

(And to avoid being off-topic, yes, Redateam is illegal. If I spotted it and ruled the world, I’d shoo them out, then have them disassemble and reassemble it in the morning–effectively making them lose twice the time involved in assembling the robot compared to had they done it legally.)

To quote Marie Antionette: let them eat cake (which will thoughtfully be provided by all the other teams against which Redateam must compete, since they all stayed within the rules and didn’t spend a lot of time setting up their pit area on Wednesday evening, and therefore had a lot of extra time to bake up some delectable morsels for all those that will be slaving over the field under the hot lights in Atlanta)!


Er, Dave…I hope they’d be giving us the aforementioned morsels off-site. After all, doesn’t section 7 of the manual say not to bring food on-site? (If not, I definitely saw a sign to that effect at UCF, and a few employees standing by a trash can by the entrance to that effect at Palmetto, which might give me that impression.)

I guess ditto for the Krispy Kremes, if that were the case.


PS: The Georgia Dome should SO open up a Krispy Kreme stand for the Championship. Even if they charged normal prices, they’d still make a killing!

I could see a team who had their robot all done, and to pack it into the crate required taking a few parts or assemblies off

and I would call that task ‘crateing the robot’

therefore, applying the reverse logic, putting the parts back together that you only took off to ‘crate’ the robot could be construed as uncrating it.

Obviously thats not the intention of them allowing teams to go in on wednesday night - the intention is to get the empty crates out of the way when nobody is there, which should in theory allow more actually assembly and repair time thursday morning

So I dont think the answer was obvious - this thread does make the answer clear. Once you have everything out of the crate, you are done.

And i would call that logic “Lawyerism”.

Guys stop trying to find loopholes in the rules and ways around the rules and “being lawyers”. On Wednesday you will be allowed to open and empty your crate, register your team and start charging batteries. One point for this is so there will be less congestion of fork lifts and moving crates on Thursday so more people can have their 10’x10’ room and set their pit up then. Good luck all teams, and if you think you might be tempted to violate the request of FIRST of not setting your pit up Wednesday night and working on your bot then, wait till Thursday morning to uncrate!

Is there going to be uncrating on Thursday? I know the blast says that wednesday is an additional opportunity, but I don’t see any mention anywhere about uncrating on thursday morning, early or no.

ok then, when these YMTC threads come up, we will all just wait for you to tell us the right answer?

isnt that what these YMTC threads are for, to give people an opportunity to discuss the rules and explore both sides of it?

something that is perfectly obvious to you may look the opposite to someone else. We all have different perspectives.

There has to be. The announcement was made too late in the season for some teams to change their travel arrangements to get there early Thursday night.