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No Water????

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  • No Water????

    How can there be a rule change 2 weeks before competition to not allow teams to use water in their demonstrations? The theme this year is water. I'm quite frustrated as this seems like something that could have been specified at the challenge release.

    I'm curious as to how many other teams this impacts.

  • #2
    I agree with you. Our tournament isn't for a month and a half, but I'm wondering if there will be more time allowed in the project room due to this change. The power of your solution working via video will take more time, than if it could be done during the skit. I'm thinking they realized that many spills (liability) that could happen if the project goes awry. Two weeks away? Yikes. This will definitely interfere with many plans.


    • #3
      Yeah it is a major pain. It really takes away from the demonstration that the kids have created. Additionally, the kids need to learn video editing now and we need to find a way to display the video since the rooms don't have any AV equipment. Perhaps FIRST should consider a maximum amount of water allowed like 1 or 2 liters. I emailed them, but don't have much hope.


      • #4
        My team is disappointed with the "no water" rule.....we only have our prototype finished at this point but had our presentation all mapped things will have to change. I agree, it will take more time for presentation to show video. Poor planning on FIRST not to announce this from the start--or better yet not to have water be part of the problem to begin with


        • #5
          I just got a response back from FIRST. No exceptions to the update. So no water at all allowed in project demonstrations.


          • #6
            Consider this from the viewpoint of a volunteer working as a Qualifier Director. They're having to work with the principal of a middle school, who wants to charge them for the janitorial service but that breaks the budget and means they can't buy t-shirts for the volunteers.

            The school is saying "no outside food and drinks," but they're serving concessions and making money.

            Meanwhile, the principal knows that he paid $16K to resurface the gym floor, and last year one of the Lego teams showed up with tiger costumes complete with plastic claws. The principal okayed an expense for his own team to attend a qualifier, but that only benefited 10 kids and he can't afford overtime for one of his staff to extend the hours of the ESL classes.

            Meanwhile FIRST is still carefully weighing every update, cost versus harm. We've met the people who are making those decisions, and they are unbelievably kind and hard working.

            And at the scrimmage that my wife and I just gave, a team walked off with two of my Large Water models, and now I'm on Bricklink trying my best to find that round part before I judge at Qualifiers with the kit that my Partner entrusted me with.

            Meanwhile, you've said that you're "frustrated" and "disappointed" at this decision about water.

            Okay, imagine that you're the person having to build the tables for your qualifier. One of the 2x4s that you've bought has knotholes in BOTH sides, so you can't just flip it and make it smooth on the inside. Do you live with that, or drive back to the store? You drive back and get another two by four. Then you spend the effort to rip the boards so that the table height is 2.5 inches, the new standard. When you get to Qualifier, a parent gets all in your face about not having heard the new wall height, that "somebody" should have told him that. Even though you can see that the team's robot didn't actually use the wall in any significant way.

            Let me offer you a choice. Tell your team that every team has the same restriction, and maybe they can use BBs instead of water? Or extend your frustration to the principal who wants his volunteers to sell you a soft drink even though your team can't have three ounces of water in their prototype.

            At that scrimmage I mentioned, I scheduled a fake team, the Turtles, #9999. Then I didn't tell the referees that they were fake. (I told the judges, because I'm used to being a judge.) I cost the referees critical time during the first round, as they tried to stay on schedule. That was a ACTUAL mistake. The water decision is a judgement call.

            I'm going to express the opposite opinion from the posters in this thread. I deeply appreciate everything FIRST has done. I regret my own mistakes at events, and I am willing to be extremely accepting of the things I disagree with.


            • #7
              The only thing I criticized FIRST for was the timing of their decision. If the no water rule was in place from day 1 of the challenge release I wouldn't be frustrated at all. I'm frustrated because of the late change. I realize every team has the same restriction, but it doesn't affect every team equally since not all teams were planning to use water in their demonstrations.


              • #8
                Great point!! After the team thought about how they would change their presentation, I think they were relieved! What if (gasp) the contraption failed and all 10 gallons of water went everywhere? Yikes! It will make their presentation much easier to share. However, it would have been a good idea to mention this at the release. It wasn


                • #9
                  Everything Rbbbbb said.

                  FIRST and FLL is exactly about figuring out things. Adapt, improvise, and overcome. Kids will benefit from these types of decisions and setbacks more than any of us will realize.

                  Sure, I think venting is good too. There are coaches and event planners that really go the extra miles for not just their team, but hundreds across the region, and even tens of thousands across the globe. And yea - when there are things that could go smoother... I think realizing physical water was a likely issue for event managers and hosts - was a miss that could have addressed earlier in the season.

                  I also wish we could do things on a more judgment or common sense approach instead of zero tolerance. Meaning, I think most teams that wish to use a reasonable amount of water - would have done so in a responsible way. But nobody wants to confront the team that decides to roll in some flimsy giant tank of water and park it next to the electrical outlet. Me, me, me.

                  But yea, Rbbbbb lays out just the kinds of real examples, lack of dollars, lack of volunteers, and unrealistic expectations from parents - that will make for more goofy rules and less people willing to host to FLL down the road. And that, is where the kids lose. And if they lose - so does our hope of taking is easy in our retirement years.