December 1, 2017

12.01.17 Team Eblast

A word from our esteemed Head Referee regarding the use of alignment devices:

Earlier in the week, FiM sent a communication that contained a section regarding "Use of Alignment Devices":


From the Game Manual Part 2 Revision 1.4 11/21/2017:
 <G4> Robot Setup Alignment Devices – Alignment devices are allowed during pre-Match setup if they are constructed from legal components, are part of the Robot, and remain Completely Inside the 18-inch (45.7cm) cube starting volume constraint during the set up process. A Minor Penalty will be assessed to the Team for violation of this rule. 

The intent of this rule is to prohibit the use of devices external to the Robot and to prevent the extension of any object or tool Outside the 18-inch (45.7cm) cube starting volume. Humans standing on the other side of the field to aid in aligning the Robot are not allowed.

Head Referee Note:
Teams please note the Rule G4 above in regards to alignment devices while setting up your robot, per this rule you are not allowed to:

  1. Extend any part of the robot beyond the 18" volume (arms, sensors, collectors to aid alignment)
  2. Use body parts such as fingers, arms,feet, hands etc to aid alignment while setting up 
  3. Use separate tools such as rules, templates or tape measures to aid alignment
  4. Use a spotter standing back from the robot to aid alignment during set up
The intent of items #1 - #4 was to provide further communication of the rule interpretation/understanding by the FiM HRs of the Q&A (link below).  It has been determined that further clarification is needed regarding item #4, Use a spotter standing back from the robot to aid alignment during set up.  

Regarding item #4, a member of the Drive Team that is setting up the Robot on the Balancing Stone, may back up a few steps from the Robot to "sight in" the proper alignment. Keep in mind that the action must not interfere with other Drive Teams setting up their Robots, disturb Game Elements, or delay the start of the Match. Drive Teams that unnecessarily delay the beginning of a Match will incur a Minor Penalty for each offense per rule <G2>.

Our understanding of this clarification is a drive team member should place the robot on the Balancing Stone, orientation/positioning the robot however while not changing the orientation/position of the Balancing Stone (remain square to Playing Field Walls), they may step back a few steps while remaining on their side of the field to verify intended orientation/positioning, make any needed changes and then make their way to their Driver Station.  Additional communication with other driver team members could delay the start of the match resulting in a minor penalty.  

Referees will do their best to ensure this rule and all rules are enforced consistently.  I encourage teams to ask questions to clarify any rule questions during the Drivers Meeting and through the question box process throughout the tournament.  I would also like to remind teams of Gracious Professionalism and that all individuals that make these events possible are volunteers.

Mark Garver
FIRST in Michigan FTC Head Referee