Robot Sizing Start of Match

So here’s a question I’ve had since watching some tournament footage. A robot must be within 18X18X18 when inspected and the sizing tool is used for that. Well, what about at the beginning of a match? If a robot has a star on it, the overall profile will be bigger than 18X18X18 even though the robot is not. However, it will not be possible/practical to use to sizing tool. The problem is this: even though a robot passes the initial inspection, once it mounts a star, it may go beyond the limits. So, at the beginning of a match, if I want to challenge the size of a robot on the other alliance and request that it be measured, how would that be done…?

The referee would use the field sizing tool as best he/she can to ensure that all parts of the robot itself (not the star it is holding) is withing the legal 18x18x18 limits while the star is in place.

If you wanted to really challenge their size, and I mean really, really challenge them, then they wold take the star off and measure the robot on a side table.

No. What if the mounted star opens the intake more than it would be during a table (with star off) inspection and causes the robot to extend beyond the legal boundaries? I can see where the initial configuration during the morning inspection could be very different from the configuration at the start of the match.

I think the OP question lies in the concept that there might be some sort of clamp or holder of the star that extends outside the 18" cube when the star is in place. This means it would need to be measured with the star in place.

If the preloaded star pushes any part of the robot outside of the 18" by 18" by 18" size limit before the start of the match, it would be considered illegal. The robot must be within the size at the beginning of the match.

What 536Mentor said. A referee doesn’t have to use the measuring tool to rule a robot too large, especially if the robot was just measured and is larger when a star is introduced. The measuring tool is an aide, not a referee.

I guess it’s rule <R4> that concerns me. It implies that there are only two ways t measure the size of a robot:

a. During inspections, robots will be measured in one of two ways
i. Robots will be placed into a “sizing box” which has interior dimensions matching the above size constraints. To pass inspection, a robot must fit within the box without touching the box walls or ceiling.
ii. Robots will be sized using a VEX Robotics Competition Robot Sizing Tool. Robots will be placed on a flat surface and must not touch the measurement slide as it is passed over the surface. Please see for a visual reference.

Rick Tyler, this implies that a referee must either use a sizing box or sizing tool. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t say any other ways to measure are acceptable. I think this is an issue with the rule. Maybe I need to post a question in the official Q&A…

A sizing tool is available to the referees to reinspect a robot if it appears to be outside the limit. The star itself is not considered part of the dimensions. If the placing the star causes the robot to be outside the limit the referee can use the tool to determine that it is outside the 18x18 plane.

R4 simply states, "<R4> At the beginning of any match, robots must be smaller than 18” x 18” x 18”. "

R4a says that, “During inspections, robots will be measured in one of two ways.”

If a robot cannot be accurately measured while holding a star, it is up to the referee to decide if R4 is violated. Actually, it’s always up to the referee on the field and the inspector before the robot passes inspection.

As an event partner/tournament director my guidance to the referee would be to size the robot with the tool, without the star, and if the robot gets “bigger” with the star installed to used their judgement about whether it is over 18" or not.

Also, remember rule <G1>: “When reading and applying the various rules in this document, please remember that commonsense always applies in the VEX Robotics Competition.” I trust my head referee to be able to tell if a robot that has passed sizing is now too big when set with a star.

The star can poke outside of the 18" cube as long as the rest of the robot is within the cube. See rule <SG2>:

It does not mention that the Star has to be within the 18"x18"x18" limit, therefore it would be legal to set the star outside of the limit as long as it meets the conditions in <SG2>. Thus, the robot is still legal, as long as the robot passes inspection and placing the Star doesn’t cause any part of the robot that is originally within the limit to move such that it now pokes outside the limit.

I trust the referees to tell if a part of the robot has poked outside of the limit due to the preload.