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Official Q&A: VRC 2019-2020: Tower Takeover Usage Guidelines

R11 Clarification


394A
1 year ago

Could we get clarification of rule R11 Certain non VEX screws, nuts, and washers are allowed. It says "Robots may use ......and any commercially available nut, washer, and/or spacer... The intent of the rule is to allow teams to purchase their own...... without introducing additional functionality not found in standard VEX equipment." Last year, commercial spacers had to be the same diameter as official VEX spacers. ie: to make cascade slides, the VEX spacers could be ground down but commercially available spacers with a smaller diameter could not be used. Does this fall under "introducing additional functionality" and therefore cannot be used again under this years rule? Need to know for inspection purposes as expect to see elevator slides this year again. Thank you.

Answered by Game Design Committee

Last year, commercial spacers had to be the same diameter as official VEX spacers. ie: to make cascade slides, the VEX spacers could be ground down but commercially available spacers with a smaller diameter could not be used. Does this fall under "introducing additional functionality" and therefore cannot be used again under this years rule?

First, please see this Q&A regarding previous rulings: www.robotevents.com/VRC/2019-2020/QA/281

R11 is a good rule to demonstrate the principle explained by that post. 2019-2020 is the first year that "spacers" have been explicitly included in this rule. Therefore, it should not be assumed that any previous rulings regarding spacers would apply.

Please also see R5d:

Any parts which are identical to legal VEX parts are permitted. For the purposes of this rule, products which are identical in all ways except for color are permissible. It is up to inspectors to determine whether a component is “identical” to an official VEX component.

In the context of this specific question, the following is a valid interpretation of R11 and R5d: "commercially available spacers that are functionally equivalent to spacers that could theoretically be made from legal VEX spacers are legal".

Therefore, yes, a spacer with a smaller outer diameter (i.e. "ground down") or a larger inner diameter (i.e. drilled out) would be legal.