Are aluminum parts accepted in competitions?

last Spring my students participated in a local competition. My students built a robot that had one aluminum plate in the design. The officials at the competition told us that aluminum parts are not allowed in the design of the Vex Robots because aluminum parts are not listed in the construction list of the Sweep Away document. They were ready to disqualified us, but we were able to change the part prior to the beginning of the game.
Were the officials correct?

I’ve moved this thread to the general competitions channel.

To answer your question, It really varies on the competition you were competing in. If this was an official qualifying VRC event, aluminum parts would absolutely be acceptable for use.

However, being that you mentioned the “Swept Away” game manual, (Link, for reference) I’m assuming this was a classroom competition. In which case, the referees would actually be correct. Robot construction rule 1b states that

Being that no aluminum parts are included in a Swept Away Classroom Bundle, the aluminum plate your students were using would not have been legal for that particular competition.

That being said, Clean Sweep competitions rules can be easily modified to scale the list of available parts up or down, depending on a classroom’s needs and circumstances. (See page 14 of the linked document) Just because that particular aluminum part was not legal at the competition you attended, does not mean it would be if you were to hold your own. Those rules really comes down to the discretion of the competition organizer.

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