Question about the interpretation of a rule

So my team is currently at the VRC Heartland Championship, and had external quad encoders on the drive. We had these to enable us to track our movement on the field during programming skills. We had the removable covers on our encoders taken off, as they trimmed down the size on our robots length and width, and didn’t serve a noticeable purpose. While going through inspections, the judges said it violated the rule that states, “Any electrical component * may not be modified in any way.” Our team has not been stopped at any other tournament before this, and would like to ask any official what their stance is. With the covers on, we do exceed the size limitations. Currently, we have had to take the encoders off, which drastically hurts our chances at world competition through programming skills.

Edit: We have external encoders, not integrated*

I would recommend posting this in the official Q&A to get an official response.

Do your IMEs still work? If they do, I guess I never realized that IME caps can split into two pieces. If not, I’m fairly certain those caps do serve a purpose in housing the actual encoder, and they hold the top gears in place.

I believe they are talking about the quad encoder which has a removable cover

That wouldn’t decrease the size, though. They did say integrated encoder.

They said integrated quad encoders not integrated motor encoder so i was confused. I would have stopped them at inspection too if i saw the back of the motor off

See this question from last year.

@jpearman There is a difference, however. In this case, OP did not cut into the sensor. He merely removed the cover that is removable as the sensor comes. I’m not sure what the ruling on that would be, as he would have to ask Karthik, but it is a different situation.

I think the same ruling applies in this case because the sensor would not be in its original form.

I would also say the refs were correct in this case going by

As you’re removing the cap which would in case be altering it in a way (see bold). Also, yes you may have been able to do it at other competitions though the refs said they were going to be much stricter on Inspections than they have been in competitions prior while this could be (seems almost certainly) one of the things they are being strict on for if/when you make it to worlds you’re able to compete at your highest level without being called out on any pesky rules that have been allowed to pass by.