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OK to "bend" mission models?

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  • OK to "bend" mission models?

    My team wants to know if it is OK to bend a mission model. Specifically, they want to retrieve Gerhard and when they load him into the attachment that will put him in the airlock, they want to fold the wire loop down. I showed them R11:

    You are not allowed to take Mission Models apart, even temporarily.
    If you combine a Mission Model with something (including the Robot), the combination must be loose enough that if asked to do so, you could pick the Mission Model up and nothing else would come with it.

    And we are all in agreement that this does not constitute "taking mission models apart" in any way because we are bending the loop at a joint.

    But, GP5 rule superiority may play a role:

    GP5 - INFORMATION SUPERIORITY If two official facts disagree, or confuse you when read together, here's the order of their authority (with #1 being the strongest):
    #1 = Current Robot Game UPDATES
    #3 = RULES

    The field setup guide talks about models being "built perfectly, not almost perfectly" and even specifically mentions frequently checking and fixing loop distortions. But I feel like the verbiage there are more like comments on maintaining our own mission models, rather than instructions on handling mission models during a match. However, once the loop is bent down, it is indeed no longer perfect in that it is not matching the build instructions, so I can see where this may not be allowed.

    I was trying to think of a time in the past where my team tried bending/flexing of mission models at a joint. The only example I could think of was turning the shark tank upside down for Animal Allies. The build instructions show an upright tank, but many teams flipped the tank over, and this was accepted. Not exactly the same as bending at a joint, but similar.
    Norfolk, Virginia, USA
    FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014

  • #2
    Usually teams are allowed to manipulate the arms and legs of mini-figs such as "Gerhard". I would expect bending a loop at a joint that is attached to a mini-fig would be allowed, as long as it can easily be restored to its original configuration after the match.


    • #3
      I expect the referees would allow any flexible components and joints of mission models to be used as designed.

      The closest applicable rule is R11, which discusses taking models apart (not allowed), and combining of models. Neither of those apply in this situation.
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.


      • #4
        The applicability of the Field Setup Guide is for the configuration of the Field at the beginning of a match - it does not apply to what the team does after the match starts, under the robot game and mission rules.
        FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.


        • #5
          are you talking about this?

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          This gallery has 1 photos.


          • #6
            Yes, that is exactly what we do. The kids felt this had the highest reliability, and I have to say it makes sense. There were a few times when we dropped him feet-first and his hands would hit the edge of the airlock and fall out, or the loop would get caught on the holding mechanism.
            Norfolk, Virginia, USA
            FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014