Adult Drive Team Member Rule Change Opinions

What’s everyone think of the changed rule for no Adults on the Driveteam?

I like it and never understood (a) why an adult would want to be on a drive team and (b) why an adult should be on a drive team. The robots are built by students and they should be driven by students. It just never made sense that an adult should be involved in the competition in that way. That being said, I’m not sure how much of an advantage having an adult on the drive team is - it is not very common. But I think the rule change levels the playing field. The former rule probably favored small, private teams (we are one but never considered using an adult on the drive team) because a large school team wouldn’t have enough coaches to be able to be a part of every team’s drive team.

Yeah it seems like even those small private teams stopped using adult drive team members, however that doesn’t solve the parent built bots and I guess that really can’t be solved. Still the competitions are meant to teach students engineering, not the parents.

The one situation I can see an adult on the drive team is a driver needs a 1 on 1 aide as part of a documented accommodation. In that case, the adult is an extension of the student.

I have no problem if the kid has a documented need.

However, I highly doubt that parents are building robots - at least in the US. May be more common overseas. Most parents have better things to do with their time than build their kids’ robots.

I find the change interesting. People have rarely had adult coaches since the change about only students being able to put match loads in the robot. If no one was doing it I am not quite sure why the rule change was implemented. I know on my middle school team it was nice having an adult come up with us. I never thought of it as any different than coach on the sidelines in a sporting event. If a ball goes out of bounds a coach can grab it (match loads) and a coach can guide the students to help give them a big picture while the work and actual play of the game was done by students. (normal guidance in match)

I know it effects very few teams but the teams it does effect are effected negatively, small teams, young teams being hit the hardest. Maybe it isn’t as big a deal with less and less events being middle school + high school but I remember when I was on a middle school team we had lots of instances of 7th graders being bullied into doing things by high schoolers and having an adult at the driver stand to stand up for the kids was a must.

In my high school career we tried to always have a member of the A team coach the B C and D teams in their matches but it was ruled illegal to drive for 1 team and coach another. I always thought this was the peak of gracious professionalism but people were abusing it to coach teams to throw matches etc. Maybe the adult change was similar? It couldn’t have been as simple as “we would rather have a team of 2 go up alone than with their parent”.

Interesting perspective, Tabor. However, in my short (2 1/2 years) with Vex, it seems to me that a major tenet is impowering the kids. For example, our team - that consisted of mostly 6th graders - had a scoring dispute (our points were given to the other alliance) and the judges insisted that the kids advocate for themselves and wouldn’t listen to the adults. I liked that. So if we are empowering the kids, why allow adults to be on their “team” (which is what having an adult on the drive team is to me)? Coaching from the sidelines is one thing, but the kids need to learn to act under pressure and quickly make decisions - with an adult on the drive team, this does not happen.

Exactly, but the fact that any adult affiliated with the team can go up and direct the team, and in many cases like to tell the other alliance what they should be doing, not necessarily strategizing, but actively telling them what to score and do. I get the fact that some teams need the extra person, but I still agree with the 2 persons alone, then to have the adult because it seems like some of the smaller teams in our area like to abuse the rule. We’ve been at competition with those teams that have an adult with the robot on the field, changing batteries out, or tightening something, etc and it seems like even with the, “no adult touches the controls,” should also include adjusting the robot and what have you. Again it comes down to the point that Vex is making this competitions for kids to learn Engineering, not for the adults to dominate. While they’re not a lot of small teams that have adults doing that and there really isn’t another way to stop it, this rule change in my opinion doesn’t change much.

The problem that I have with the rule is that adults are still allowed to completely design, build, and program a team’s robot but they now aren’t allowed to even go up to the field to watch, film, or coach matches. This is the one area they can control, so they are going to take advantage of it, but it doesn’t really solve the problem of overly involved adults in any meaningful way.

I agree that students should be the ones talking to other teams and refs, but when those other teams and especially officials intimidate or bully younger students, then just saying that they need to stand up for themselves is a little hollow when we also no doubt want to teach kids to respect adults. When someone is unreasonable that’s when it can be nice to have an adult there to step in.

Also no alumni coaching now. Perhaps this was another anti-tabor rule. :slight_smile: Also, hs students can’t go to the field with VEXU teams anymore either. The recent drive team changes most severely impact small teams; I don’t see how anyone could say that they level the playing field with large teams. Over the last two years they have made it alot harder for small teams to fill their driver station. To be honest, it feels like the program in general doesn’t really like small teams.

I completely agree. Suggestions are awesome, but making the decision/doing it for the team gives the wrong message to the team. What are they going to do as grown up engineers, ask their mommy’s and daddy’s to do their job for them? But exactly my point.

Having a mentor on the drive team is pretty unnecessary in my opinion. I don’t see a reason for a mentor to be up there other than providing “useful” insight which is usually not helpful at all.

As many of you said, this does not solve the problem of mentor-built robots. However, a mentor built robot ruins the whole point of the competition. You’re essentially cheating yourself and just wasting your time; you don’t learn anything from a mentor building your robot.

I don’t like the thinking of we should make rules that try to tell everyone how to run and organize their teams just because some teams are disfunctional. Why can’t teams make these decisions for themselves

That’s not exactly what we’re saying. No where in there was that said. The entire point is based off making sure that its the students learning by doing the competitions, not the adults. This is while realizing that no matter how big an effort, there will still be those teams that do this intentionally.

One of our MS teams had 2 students on it. This past season they asked me to stand in the driver’s station and monitor things when they were using their lift with a partner for the first time in a match. That seems like a reasonable time for an adult to help the students.

At Worlds this year, just before MS alliance selection, the students on one of our MS teams was walking around talking with some of the higher ranked teams. One of the ranked teams said they would like to partner with our team, but they couldn’t promise to select them because all the selections had to be approved by their coach. That seems like a little less reasonable involvement for an adult.

I guess I’d gladly sacrifice the first opportunity if it helps to avoid the second situation (or one similar).

Exactly, why do we need rules that try to make students learn by doing things, rather than letting teams work out for themselves what the students will do in order for them best to learn. Especially when (as you recognize) those rules will never be adequate and negatively impact the experiences of some students.

I think this rule hold true to the mission of making these competitions student centered.