I was wondering if it would be okay to use a sheet of plastic that is 15.5" x 15.5". I know that this is wider than the stated 12" x 24" allowed, but I was wondering if the sheet of plastic has to at least be under the maximum area of 288 in^2 for it to be legal. The piece of plastic we are using has an area of 240.25 in^2. I know the answer is probably no, but I wanted to make sure. Thanks in advance.
I think as long as you can demonstrate that the pieces you use could have been cut from a 12" X 24" sheet you should be fine.
Well, I just found this Vex Forum thread and it seems to say that a 15.5" x 15.5" piece of plastic would be illegal. I honestly don’t know if it is or isn’t. There are too many conflicting answers.
Edit: I am asking this in the official Q&A
Basically, you can cut the pieces from whatever size plastic you want, as long as you can prove to inspectors that they could theoretically been cut from that single 12"x24" sheet.
So having a 15.5"x15.5" piece on the robot would be illegal, but cutting that piece into lots of tiny squares would be legal, because those squares could have come from a 12x24" sheet just as well.
I guess I don’t see what the “conflicting answer” is. You’ve linked to several instances where it’s stated it would be illegal, and then provided your own interpretation based on conjecture that says maybe it would be. It isn’t. There’s nothing suggesting you can.
By definition, a sheet that’s 15 x 15 cannot have been cut from a sheet that is 12x24, so it is illegal. It’s that simple. There’s no ambiguity here. The rule has never been and doesn’t say anything about total surface area - it says “cut from a 12x24 sheet”. 15" on both sides can’t be done on a 12x24 sheet.
When people say “could have been cut from”, they are saying you don’t literally need to cut every piece of plastic from the same sheet if you have scraps lying around or whatever. They are saying you need to demonstrate that all of the pieces used on your robot at a competition could be cut out from a single 12x24 sheet. I know of teams close to the limit that would take a roll of paper 12x24" with them to events, with the cuts they would make outlined on the paper, in order to demonstrate compliance with this rule.