Bag & Tag FAQ

 ‘Bag and Tag’ FAQ for Teams (2012 Season)

1. Q: What is ‘Bag and Tag’?
A: On Stop Build Day, FRC teams must put their robots in a large bag, close it with a security seal, and log the information on a ‘Robot Lock-Up’ form. The team is then responsible for transporting their bagged robot, and the rest of the equipment, to the event themselves. Teams should think carefully about the amount of equipment they plan to bring to events, as all of it will have to be hand-carried or rolled in to the venue by the team members. Inspectors at each event will check the bag, tag, and ‘Robot Lock-Up’ form for compliance before the team may open the bag and access their robot.

2. Q: When and where am I getting the bags, tags, and forms I need for this process?
A: Bags and tags are included in each 2012 Kit of Parts. The ‘Robot Lock-Up’ form may be downloaded from the usfirst.org website. You are expected to re-use your bag at all events in the season. If your bag tears and you need a replacement bag, there may be extra available at Pit Administration.

3. Q: Can I ship my robot to my event?
Teams may not ship their robot directly to a venue. If a team is presented with a substantial hardship on the bag & tag rule then that team may request an exemption by emailing frcteams@usfirst.org . Include as much detail as you can in your request, and use the subject line: “Bag and Tag Exemption Request, Team XXXX”, with your team number in place of ‘XXXX’. Exemption requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Not every request will be granted.

Note: Teams who ship their robot directly to an event or a drayage location without prior permission risk not being allowed to participate in the event.

  • In cases in which an exemption is granted, FIRST HQ will work to establish an official drayage location for that event and provide shipping instructions and robot transportation services for approved teams.
  • The requirement to get advanced permission from FIRST HQ for robot shipping applies only to teams wishing to use the official drayage location and services. Teams may otherwise use any transportation method they wish for their robot, at their own risk and expense, as long as the robot remains sealed in the bag. However, unless a team has received an exemption approval, the final leg of the robot’s journey - arrival at the venue and delivery to the team pit, must be done by hand by the team.
  • FIRST HQ will coordinate the drayage service provider and put them into contact with the Show Ready event manager to coordinate the drop-off and pick-up of the robot for approved teams.

4. Q: Since I am not shipping my robot to my event, does that mean I can continue to work on my robot after the Stop Build deadline?
A: No. All FRC teams must seal their robot in a bag on Stop Build Day. The bag may not be opened without FIRST HQ approval until it is inspected at an event by an official inspector.

  • One exception to this rule is for teams attending 2-Day events since they have less time than others attending 3-day events to work on their robots at these events.   Details are in Section 5 of the FRC Administrative Manual.
  • The only 2-Day events for the 2012 season are the FIRST in Michigan and Mid-Atlantic Robotics District Events

5. Q: Is there a specific time on Stop Build Day I need to bag up my robot?
A:  Stop Build Day is a specific date, so you may work on your robot until that day turns in to the next day.  In other words, you may work on your robot until midnight on that date, in whatever time zone you are working.

6. Q: Did I have the option to choose whether I Bag and Tag or ship to my event? I don’t remember seeing that when I registered.
A: No. You did not have the option to choose this year. All events this year, with the exception of the FIRST Championship in St Louis, are ‘Bag and Tag’ events.

7. Q: Do I still get FedEx shipping vouchers (otherwise known as bills of lading)?
A: That depends on your situation. If you are granted an exemption, you will be issued two FedEx vouchers (bills of lading) for transportation to and from the official drayage location. All teams competing at the FIRST Championship in St Louis will be issued a voucher because teams must ship robots to Championship.  As usual, if you attend the FIRST Championship, you will receive an additional FedEx voucher (bill of lading) at Championship to ship your robot home.

  • Note that if you are granted an exemption and will be competing in the FIRST Championship, you will still only receive 2 vouchers.
  • If you did not sign up for Championship, but qualify for Championship during an FRC event, you will be given one voucher (bill of lading) at the event to be used for shipping your robot to Championship.

8. Q:  When can I bring my robot and equipment to the event?
A:  Check your event agenda, when it is published.  Teams will be able to load in robots and equipment both the evening of Day 0 (the day before practice day) and the morning of Day 1 (practice day).

9. Q:  What are the restrictions on load-in?
A: During early load-in hours, restrictions are as follows:

  • The intention is for teams to find their pit space, place their bagged robot and tools in the pit space, and depart. 
  • Only 5 team members will be allowed to bring in materials.  At least one of those team members must be an adult mentor on the team.  Otherwise, any combination of mentors and team members is acceptable
  • Teams may bring in their robot and any other equipment/pit items that they would normally be permitted to bring in to the venue
  • No work of any kind is allowed during the drop-off period.  Teams are to bring in their material, set it down in their pit areas, and leave.  ‘Work’ includes, but is not limited to:
  • Plugging in battery chargers
  • Unrolling extension cords
  • Unrolling carpet or laying out any other kind of flooring material
  • Putting up pop-up canopies or any other construction
  • Opening roll-in workstations
  • Deliberately arranging equipment in the pit for future use
  • Any other activity in which the team is doing anything more than unloading what they have brought in.
  • Teams are encouraged to make a single trip in with their robot and equipment, but may make more than one if necessary
  • After team members have dropped off their material, they are to exit the pit area until the pits open
    • This also applies to teams that dropped off their robot and material on Day 0.  If they have already brought in their material the evening before, there is no reason for them to re-enter before the pit opens on Day 1.  Reasonable judgment will be used here – team members arriving a few minutes before the pits open with small hand-carried items can probably wait until the pits open before being allowed to go to their pit.
  • Robots may not be unbagged until both their bag and tag forms have been inspected and pits have officially opened on practice day.

10. Q: Where can I find more information?
More details are in Section 5 of the FRC Administrative Manual.