Just step up to the EP and say “we are here to help - how about we help get the pit area back in shape?” There are tons of things that would help - winding up extensions cords and power strips and organizing them into piles. Breaking down practice field and packing game parts, stacking chairs, picking up parts off of floor etc. All these effort would be welcomed and would not distract from main events (seeing above comments of teams feeling rushed - the last thing we want to happen).
I’ve been trying to figure out how I can help out in Framingham, but transporting students and having two little ones waiting at home makes timing difficult right now. But by 5-year-old has been driving robots already, so maybe in a few years…
It is definitely doable to have 2 fields running concurrently.
In Singvex we normally have about 55 teams (plus and minus) and we always do a 9-match qualifications.
And it is like what some of you have described - even matches on field 1 and odd matches in field 2. If I remember correctly, R16 and QF matches were concurrent as well.
But the SF (and final of course) were run on separate timing.
And normally there is a 3rd field for skills and a 4th field for practice.
But even with 2 fields running concurrently (and the teams normally queued very early for matches) the tournament is a 2-day event.
I agree with the part about teams chipping in to setup and tear down. In earlier Seasons, I always sent some of my teams to help out with it. The students really didn’t mind at all.
in recent years there are more volunteers, so we didn’t need to help out with the fields. But we still get the competitiors to at least helped with stacking chairs and cleaning the hall up.
- Take apart the field - center section out, fold the corners. (My fields have thumb screws, take them out take it apart, put the thumbscrews back in.
- Take apart the floor – cut tiles in one box, uncut tiles in the other box
- Pull up all of the gaffer tape, team outline boxes
- Pull off all the signs, throw away the team signs (paper) – keep the others (cardboard)
- Roll up power cords
- Roll up power strips
- Roll up network cables
- Roll up and store PA systems
- Collect all the field controls and put them in the box they belong in
- Raspberry Pi, power block, network switch into their boxes
- Game elements into their boxes
- Clipboards into their box
- Unused Judge rubrics, score sheets into their box
- Laptops and power bricks into their box
- Gaffer tape, red / blue floor tape, etc into the support box
- Roll up (printed side in) all of the banners
- Load into cars
It’s a short list, but it’s lots of stuff…
I don’t know how much this will help out, but every year my school hosts a tournament. This year we hit 74/60 teams participating there (it’s confusing to explain, the district wanted some of our middle school teams to get guaranteed spots).
We were able to get more than enough volunteers - we offered teams a discount off their registration fee if they had someone volunteer. In addition, we had quite the number of parent volunteers from our team itself, and some students (not on the robotics team) were offered extra credit if they came to help at the tournament. The seven teams from our schools did the setup of the fields the day before.
We had 5 fields, one for skills and the others for qualifications. Each team had 7 qualification matches.
If you’re short on volunteers, try and look around for them. There usually will be some.
Having teams come and have a good event is the first priority. Teams are good about cleaning their areas up and coiling up extension cords and power strips. We got better by having big totes in the middle of the room for teams to drop off the gear - the result is teams can head home and still contribute to the tear down.
I think Foster was sharing his list to illustrate the tasks, some can be done with relative ease.
I’ve had the little ones - I understand.
Just a quick note, field sets are a feature, not a hack. +1 to everything else.
Do you have your corners on hinges or something? I’m intrigued!
Agreed - it is just the setup of timing if I am not mistaken that might be non-intuitive (vague memories of step by step instruction on the EP forum).
One set uses the old style corner brackets, the other has a piano hinge in the corner to make fold-able. The hinge the same thickness as the frame with holes drilled to match the ends of the frame. Takes about an hour to do for the four corner, saves days on build time across a season.
The angle iron brace corner was a poor design/implementation, it added about 10 mins to the build / tear down time. It’s fine if you don’t move fields on a daily basis and have an F1500 truck to move it in.
So you end up with 4 double frames and 4 single frames. I can take the corners, flip two over and quickly have a 8’ x 8’ field for demos.
Either method allowed for the support plates for the climbing plates two years ago. So it’s pretty flexible.
I love the hinge idea with the thumb screws for the wall I will buy them if someone is selling.
Materials look like they would be $10.47ish.
Again, I will buy them if someone is selling!
I bought the blank ones from McMaster Carr. Drilled to match.
Knobs are from zoro
You need 24 per field (16 on top, 8 on the bottom if you use the corner brackets) If you hinge, you only need 8.