Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspirando estudiantes, un robot a la vez.

This Q&A is now read-only

The Official Q and A is now closed. If you want to submit a question for the Worlds Drivers Meeting, please click here. The deadline for question submission is Friday, March 24.

Official Q&A: VRC 2022-2023: Spin Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

R11 "Additional Functionality" 1149 Follow Up

Jess Zarchi (Event Partner)


Q&A 1149

Q. Is it ever legal to use different materials or sizes of nut, washer, standoff or non-threaded spacer up to 2.5" long?

A. Yes, this is what is stated by R11-c.

Q. Is it ever legal to use #4 or M3 screws that are up to 2.5" long made of steel or stainless steel?

A. Yes, this is what is stated by R11-a.

Q. Is it ever legal to use hollow screws that otherwise follow R11-a b and c?

A. By the strictest definitions of R11 and previous Q&A rulings on this subject, no, if purchased off-the-shelf. This minor amount of weight savings would be considered additional functionality, as well as other possible use cases like threading string through it.

  1. Assuming the hollow screw is used as a screw (eg, no string running through it), what aspect of them makes their weight saving additional functionality, but lighter / heavier or smaller material / sizes of nuts, washers, standoffs or non threaded spacer/ smaller screws not being considered additional functionality?

  2. Is there any guidance that can be given to find out what other hardware that seemingly follows R11 violates "additional functionality" that would make it clear that something like hollow screws are illegal?

  3. "By the strictest definitions of R11". When should Head Referees be more strict about R11? When should they be less strict?

Thank you for your time!

Answered by committee

We cannot provide blanket answers to these hypothetical / broad questions. The Q&A platform is intended to be a communication channel for questions such as "is this interpretation of a rule legal", not a discussion forum for questions such as "I disagree with this rule, why was it written this way".

If you have a specific question regarding a specific item's legality (such as the questions posed in Q&A 1149), we would be happy to clarify. However, in general, we would like to note the following portion of G3:

If a component’s legality cannot be easily / intuitively discerned by the Robot rules as written, then Teams should expect additional scrutiny during inspection. This especially applies to those rules which govern non-VEX components (e.g. <R9>, <R10>, <R11>, etc). There is a difference between “creativity” and “lawyering”.

Ultimately, the Robot rules provide a set of criteria that is used by inspectors and Head Referees to determine a given Robot's legality at a given event. The easiest way to avoid any difficulties during inspection is to use standard hardware which clearly satisfies R11. If a Team is relying on stringing together a set of Q&A responses to convince an inspector that their hardware is legal, they are probably missing the intent and spirit of the rule.