FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Stop Build Day Retirement -- Update and a new DLC pack!

Jul 09, 2019 Written by Frank Merrick.


Happy Retirement Stop Build Day

I hope everyone knows by now that we’ve retired Stop Build Day. In case you missed the memo, you can read all about it here.


The concept of Stop Build Day (and before that Ship Day) has been an important part of FIRST Robotics Competition culture and rules for many years. I would compare retiring Stop Build Day to making a major renovation to a home. You renovate to make a home a better place to live, but much careful planning is required to make sure the new parts work seamlessly with the old parts, and even with the most careful planning, you may get some surprises along the way and need to adjust.


We’ve started to look very carefully at all the rules and practices that may need to be updated with this change. We’re (re)considering such questions as:

  • What’s a robot?
  • What can teams bring to events?
  • Whose robot is whose?
  • What are the implications for teams that must ship their robots?

To help us answer these questions, we’re soliciting feedback from the Woodie Flowers Award winners, the Hall of Fame teams, the Compass Alliance members, and a few additional experienced community members. Our goal is to have the updated rules released the first week in September. This is about two weeks before the first round of event preferencing opens and should give plenty of time for teams to consider the new rules as they strategize about their event attendance for the season. We understand there are going to be lots of comments, questions and concerns about these new rules. The community will have an opportunity to ask questions and give general comments once we release them.


Such an exciting time for the program!



Speaking of excitement – the latest Downloadable Content (DLC) pack is available for the 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition game INFINITE RECHARGE! Check it out here (scroll to the bottom of the page). You want a color guide? Well, maybe you never thought about it but check it out! You want a recruitment poster? You got it. You want some surprisingly familiar sound effects to use for ringtones or what-have-you*? We’ve got those too.


Hope everyone is having a beautiful summer (Northern Hemisphere) or a not-so-miserable winter (Southern Hemisphere)!




*If you don’t have a what-have-you, you should think about picking one up, or better yet, making one. Those things are awesome.


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That seems a little bogus. I would understand if FIRST polled a vast quantity of teams on their preferences for new robot rules, but allowing only the most elite teams to provide input on the new rules only pushes an already underlying stigma even more. FIRST is allowing these elite teams to dictate the future of FRC in a way that seems rather unfair; we don’t know if their preferences would include rules to benefit them more greatly and hurt other teams. Why do they get preferential treatment?

We regularly turn to our Hall of Fame teams when we are looking for feedback on major issues. By earning the Chairman's Award at FIRST Championship, they have demonstrated they represent the best of FIRST Robotics Competition beyond whatever accomplishments they may have with their robots on the field. I have found their feedback on other issues to be thoughtful and helpful. I think it's also important to recognize that, along with the other groups listed above, we are simply asking for their feedback. They are not making decisions, just giving their opinions, which may or may not be reflected in the new rules.

Please note that when we release this new set of rules to the community, teams will be able to ask clarifying questions. We want our entire community to be as prepared as possible for 2020 and beyond.

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