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Yes, we are going to get the markings off- I don't think it is a good idea and was concerned from the beginning- did go back and find the rule. The team meant no harm- they thought they had come up with a good solution.  My bigger concern was if we could not undo- they have worked really hard all season - they actually put the markings this Thursday.  There will be no markings on our sensors.  thanks all for the feedback. Laura
On Nov 9, 2012, at 11:51 PM, VA/DC Referee Advisor wrote:

> Different Rules are there for different reasons.
> 
> Most are there to make sure that the robot game is fun, and performed
> by an autonomous robot.
> 
> Some are there to give the team more of a challenge.
> 
> Some are there to make things easier for the referees to do, and for
> the team to understand.
> 
> 
> Although it's not my place to discuss the intent of the Rules (Rules 3
> and 29), I think that the limitation on markings is there for the
> following reasons:
> 
> a)  Teams are limited to using "LEGO-manufactured elements in original
> factory condition" to set a level-playing field, try to keep costs
> affordable for teams all over the world, and to limit teams in
> materials they can use, to give them a reasonable challenge.
> 
> b)  The referees don't want to have to determine whether stray
> markings serve some kind of strategic purpose.
> 
> c)  Most teams can remember what they need to do after a little
> practice, even without markings.  It's just a little extra brain
> challenge.
> 
> d)  The robots look nicer in pictures without writing all over them.
> 
> 
> Actually, this rule as been around as long I as have been an FLL
> referee.  I've teased teams about labeling their robots for years, and
> enjoyed asking them which kits their stickers came from.  I've never
> seen a team kicked out because they had a name or a number on their
> robot.
> 
> In response to the thought that teams should be allowed to do anything
> that helps them, we have lots of examples in FLL where teams are not
> allowed to do things that might help them:
> 
> - having 11 team members
> - using 4 motors or two bricks
> - using Robot-C
> - taking as much time as they like with the project presentation
> - avoiding touch penalties by leaving a tether in Base
> - having Bluetooth on during a match
> - having an alignment jig extend outside Base
> 
> Some of these might seem helpful, some might not.
> 
> Bottom line--it's just a rule.  One of the side effects of FLL is that
> we ask for members of the team to become expert rule-readers both to
> be able to comply with the rules, and to think creatively about how to
> act within the rules in surprising ways.  This is one of those
> rules--even if there is minuscule benefit for the team, the team
> shouldn't mark the robot or its pieces, because it's not allowed
> within the rules.
> 
> Steve Scherr
> VA/DC FLL Referee Advisor
> 
> On Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM, Purnima <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Still don't understand why marking the sensor or motor is not allowed, If
>> team wants to put a number on motors, sensor that helps them it should be
>> allowed. As that will not inter fear with the robot. Just wanted to
>> understand the justification behind no marking on the sensor/motor.
>> 
>> Regards,
>> Purnima
>> 
>> On Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 2:14 PM, VA/DC Referee Advisor <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Laura,
>>>  It's been tacitly understood that marking the robots to distinguish
>>> them from each other, especially where there were multiple teams from
>>> a school or other location, has been inevitable.  Also, once you do
>>> it, it could be financially infeasible to undo.
>>> 
>>>  For attachments and other components like sensors, it would be seen
>>> as more consistent with the rules not to have those marked.  So, if
>>> possible, swapping with unmarked sensors would be preferable.
>>> 
>>> Steve Scherr
>>> VA/DC FLL Referee Advisor
>>> 
>>> On Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 1:39 PM, Laura Dysart <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> My team wrote numbers on two of their sensors in sharpie- they have some
>>>> swapping out of attachments and sensors and decided to mark the ports on the
>>>> sensors.  Raised a red flag for me- is that "illegal?" We can swap out the
>>>> sensors if it is against rules.  Thank  you- Laura
> 
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