Does the star preload have to start with an 18 x 18 x 18 at the start of the match or can it be without outside 18 x 18 x 18 requirements to begin?
The robot must be in the 18X18X18 but the pre-load can extend beyond that. The pre-load cannot cause the robot to be beyond the 18x18x18 and be legal.
I hope that helps. If you want something official, you can always ask on the official Q&A.