Your annual trip the the psychic

Why are the below rules hidden until kickoff when they really pertain to things you’ve done in the past? Ex post facto laws are prohibited in the US Constitution, but apparent we’re cool with them in FIRST.

Physical ROBOT elements created before Kickoff are not permitted. Exceptions are:
B. BUMPERS (a protective assembly designed to attach to the exterior of the ROBOT
and constructed as specified in Section 8.5 Bumper Rules),
C. battery assemblies per R05-B,
D. FABRICATED ITEMS consisting of one COTS electrical device (e.g. a motor or
motor controller) and attached components associated with any of the following
Wires modified to facilitate connection to a ROBOT (including removal of
existing connectors)
Connectors and any materials to secure and insulate those connectors
Motor shafts modified and/or gears, pulleys, or sprockets added

Software and mechanical/electrical designs created before Kickoff are only permitted if the source
files (complete information sufficient to produce the design) are available publicly prior to Kickoff.

Questions that only some of us are dying to know the answer to.

Dissenters will suggest that Frank make a blog post, or that these can’t be put into the “Evergreen” rules because then no one would pay attention to them, or that we should all just quit complaining because FIRST has better things to do.

Ohh, and if you want to win Wil Payne a bet then you’ll make the case that FIRST isn’t a government and can do whatever it wants.

FIRST isn’t a government and can do whatever it wants. You’re welcome, Wil.

It might be good/interesting/useful for FIRST to release a “Game Manual Part 1” much as is done in FTC to clarify the perennial issues and those that would not be specific to the year’s game. Bumper rules, control system rules, and perhaps things like the awards descriptions/criteria that are currently scattered on FIRST’s website. Just having these in a single downloadable document would really be great…

Doing this would help new mentors and new teams. It’s a great idea.

It’s part of the challenge! Not knowing whether offseason software or designs will be legal in the new season is a critical component of inspiring students and really adds to the FRC experience.

Maybe this is worth a poll. I have heard of previous year’s inspection stickers on robots. There are no questions about this on the robot inspection check list so questions about this rarely get asked. I have never seen or heard of these rules actually being enforced. Of course I am only involved in a tiny bit of robot inspection. YMMV. (Doesn’t mean they are not rules and teams are supposed to follow rules even when no one is looking)

“Publicly before kickoff” is a very low bar. Store the files on the cloud with public access. You don’t even need meaningful descriptors.

It’s fun to kid around about dropping an SD card with your offseason robot CAD somewhere in a randomly selected municipal park in fulfillment of this anticipated future rule. But littering is no joke, folks.

I see you’ve located our offseason CAD and code release.

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

To be fair, there really wasn’t a leopard.

Before FIRST moved to the evergreen rules, some of that was contained in the Admin Manual, which would be released before kickoff. It was just the Game Manual that was released at kickoff, which had the arena, game, and robot rules sections in it (maybe tournament too? I can’t remember).

If you look through the robot rules from previous years, you’ll see that many of them don’t really change from one year to the next, and only a few are game specific. The majority of the robot rules could be considered evergreen resources, if they were posted as such. The problem is splitting the evergreen ones from the game specific ones.

I would propose making the robot rules evergreen, and having references in them to the “current year’s game rules”. So, for example, size restrictions could be listed as “the robot must be capable of meeting the maximum starting configuration size listed in the current year’s game rules”. Then the game rule would say “confined to a starting configuration of XxYxZ”. Currently the dimensions are listed in the robot rules and referred to in the game rules, this just switches that convention around.

While it’s not an explicit question in the checklist, everyone that signed the inspection checklist agreed that it was built per the fabrication schedule rules.

We, the Team Mentor and Team Captain, attest by our signing below, that our team’s robot was built after the 2018 Kickoff on January 6, 2018 and in accordance with all of the 2018 FRC rules, including all Fabrication Schedule rules.

Everything old is new again…

I too remember the admin manual, and when FIRST was not committed to scattering important information to the furthest corners of its website.

I agree that with some careful wording, robot rules can be made evergreen. I know that in the past however they’ve made some major tweaks to the rules for just a year (particularly 2015 comes to mind), and that while they seem to have settled on the RP ranking structure, they’ve played with alternate structures in the past, which may preclude some of the tournament section from being in the evergreen manual.

I am vehemently opposed to them taking out part of the manual and blowing it up across their website again, however. This just makes things more difficult to teams old and new to figure out what it going on. Give me a PDF I can download, print off, hand to new teams or to team members. The customer/user experience of trying to find something on the website versus downloading/viewing a single file is really no comparison.

Lol. Made my day!

Careful or someone will come along and tell you that you know exactly what the intent* of the rule is.

Technically they said it was as “clear as !@#$%^&()_ day”.

…So it’s not happening?

Heeeey, that’s my username’s job…

So I’m a they now? I’m beside myself.