Not until we got to Worlds did my kids ever encounter a tournament field that was not on the floor. Even our State Championship was played on the floor. So I’m baffled: why are fields elevated at Worlds?
Considering that the rules allow for fields to be 2 feet to 3 feet off the ground, and considering that the SkyRise robots might be reaching 5 feet above that, I can see the potential for some very dramatic and mechanically damaging crashes taking place. It’s one thing for a robot to fall out of a field and crash horizontally, but by elevating the field 2-3 feet, a 5 foot robot could literally topple upside down out of the game field. It might look kinda cool, but I’m wondering if elevated fields are really a good idea. Having things fall from a height of 8 feet sounds kinda scary, I think.
To make matters even more difficult for the kids, they are not allowed to stand on anything like a stool. That makes it really hard for the middle school kids, especially because I think many of them are used to playing the game by looking down at their robots rather than up.
The SkyRise Game manual says the following:
Are elevated fields really some kind of necessity? And, if they are a necessity, why are they so rarely used outside of Worlds?
I am building a set of stands for our fields. Only way to get used to the ones at worlds is to make it like worlds. I think it’s nice, easier to load bots on and off fields. Plus my students want to be used to them and not just see them at worlds.
Maybe that’s true for adults, but I wonder about the middle school kids. The robot my kids had for Toss Up eventually ended up weighing almost more than they could lift. I saw a number of kids bring stools with them so they could see - and I thought that was a great idea - but now I’m told that is not allowed.
Very true. But if the fields at Worlds were lined with razor wire, I would be compelled to ask: *Hey, dudes, what’s with all the fancy wire? *
Asked before. Shot down before. Some high schoolers don’t grow that tall either. No chairs, no ladders, no trapezes.
But there’s not much of a need to actively reach higher this year as there are no match loads. A chair or ladder would probably hinder their escape out of the way of a tipping robot.
We will probably have to enforce a 3-4 foot buffer from the field this year to not have audience members not get hurt. I foresee tipping robots a real possibility this year. Yeah, more tape to lay down
Okay, I can see how “safety” is why kids are not allowed to stand on a stool, but what’s the reason for the elevated field?
The desire/need/desperation to stand on a stool evaporates if the field is on the floor.
Also, I don’t see how raising the field makes it easier for the audience to see. If people are standing between the field and the audience, an extra 2 feet will not matter very much. Why not raise the field to 8 feet? Then people can stand around the field and people in the stands will have a clear view - at least the people in the balcony will… so long as the team members aren’t up there driving their robot from same said balcony.
I’m still at a loss for why the fields are elevated.
I think that the raised fields look a lot better and more professional. It makes the fields stand out more than if they were to just be sitting on the ground. Also, it allows them to do the fancy lights underneath them in the VEX Dome.
The raised fields also give a different view of the field when driving.
Elevated fields make a better show. The video is easier, there is room for sponsors’ banners on the sides (promoting sponsors is critical for all of us, unless you want HUGE increases in the cost of the World Championship), and it improves sightlines for the audience. The fields for the World Championship have ALWAYS been elevated, and they are 6" shorter than they used to be. It’s a permanent part of the game and I suggest teams that qualify for World Championship adapt to the different environment. (I see more and more schools putting their practice field on risers, too, if for no other reason than you can store a lot of VEX robotics supplies under the risers.)
In the absence of match loads, the only field element that the drive team needs to reach is the Skyrise Autoloader which even the smallest middle school students can reach since the top of the wall will only be 36" off the ground. (The median 12-year-old boy in the US is 59" tall, and the 10th percentile boy is 55". The median 12-year-old girl is about an inch taller.) We are not talking about 6-year-olds.