The pit is the team's home base during the tournament. This is where teams can work on their robots, prepare for judging sessions, or just relax. The pits may also have practice tables.
Tournament Officials may need to find your team during the tournament. Therefore, it is best to always be at your assigned pit location whenever your team is not at a scheduled match or judging session. If space is an issue, leave a note indicating where your team is located.
The Pit Areas are open to the public. You should always have an individual watch your team belongings when the team is away competing. FIRST, Clovis Unified School District, Central Valley Robotics, Event Venues, and our Event Partners are NOT responsible for any lost or stolen items.
The main point of contact in the pit is a group of volunteers known as Pit Administration (or Pit Admin for short). This group oversees check-in, pit safety, queuing, practice tables, and answer questions from teams and the public. These volunteers are led by a Pit Administrator.
Pit Admin is the first place to go with questions. The Pit Admin staff can relay questions to the rest of the event staff over radios, and help escalate any questions as needed. Pit Admin also handles all sign-up sheets for the Official Practice Tables.
The Pit and Event Staff have final authority on any safety, practice table, or queuing issues on the event site. Please report any medical incidents (no matter how small) to Pit Admin immediately.
Each team will be usually be assigned a pit location and a table to use, however some events have teams select a table when they arrive for check-in. This table will be approximately: 3' by 6'. This table will have at least one power outlet on or near it for use by the team. Our website will include the Pit Map for use by teams to locate their practice tables.
In some cases, teams will need to share a larger table. (IE: a cafeteria table at an elementary school)
Teams are encouraged to make their pit stand out with decorations, team banners, etc. However, please be respectful of any adjacent tables where other teams may be situated. Please also keep team number and name in view for event staff to find your team, if needed.
Any aisles around team pit locations will need to be kept clear of obstacles. Teams must respect all requests from event staff to move obstructing items from aisles. If your team is not at your pit location and an item needs to be moved, event staff may move items for you but they are not liable for any damages to the items.
While not required, CVR recommends that every team prepares their own team flag to help promote their team on event day. From Judges to Referees to Queuing, all event staff use this flag to identify teams as they travel around the event venue. Teams should carry the flag high so that it is visible from a distance. Full details and rules regarding the team flags can be found in Appendix 4 - Team Flag Rules and Guidelines.
Practice tables are available for teams to test new code and make final tweaks to their robot. Central Valley Robotics will provide one practice table per 12 teams at each event. For example, a 32 team event would have three practice tables.
For this section, a “Game Field” is the mat and models in which the robot competes, and may include a wooden game table as well.
Definition of a Practice Table
The official definition of a practice table at CVR events is as follows: Any game table brought onto the event venue that is not in Robot Design or the Robot Game room is a Practice Table for the day. Furthermore, there are two types of a practice tables.
Official Practice Table
An Official Practice Table is a Game Field that follows the official setup standards as listed below (See Setup of the Tables). It will have a signup sheet with slots in 10-15 minute increments that teams must follow. All tables brought into the pit areas will be considered Official Practice Tables.
Open Practice Table
An Open Practice Table is a Game Field located anywhere outside of the Pits, Robot Game, and Judging areas. These tables may meet or exceed the setup standards listed below (See Setup of the Tables).
Restrictions on Practice Tables
Due to safety and traffic concerns, teams must follow these additional restrictions:
- Teams cannot setup any other Game Fields anywhere in the Pits. (This includes laying a Game Field out on the floor.) This also includes any areas directly outside the Pits.
- Teams will not be allowed to setup practice tables or fields in any part of the event venue that might impede or restrict traffic.
Teams must comply with event staff requests to move or dismantle practice tables.
Sharing the Tables
All Official Practice Tables will include a sign-up sheet. Teams can optionally sign up for Practice Slots before their event using MyCVR. Only a limited number of spots will be available prior to the event. The remaining slots will open after Opening Ceremonies (see Pit Admin).
Open Practice Tables are available for anyone to share, and we expect teams to share the tables (regardless of who owns that table). Remember that Gracious Professionalism is a key attribute of every FIRST LEGO League team. Teams that hoard tables excessively may impact their ability to win awards at tournaments.
Teams that donate their Challenge Kit and/or Table give up rights to claim the table during the event day. The team will be expected to share the table with other teams and follow the same practice table signup rules as all other teams. At the discretion of the Event Partner, teams may be able to sign up for some extra practice slots before practice table signups open to all teams.
Setup of the Tables – Dual Locked Models Only
Official Practice Tables will have only the field mat and the dual-locked models. These are the models that use the Velcro-like material to affix to the mat. Any free-floating models will need to be brought by the team to the table.
Practice tables will be setup to the best of CVR's ability; however, we cannot guarantee that they will perfectly follow the specifications of the Challenge.
Each year, some teams are surprised by this rule on event day. Don't be one of those teams! CVR cannot provide full fields for practice tables since pieces have wandered off in the past. It is not fair for the first event of the season to have full tables and the last event to have partial fields, therefore CVR only provides the secured pieces on the table.
It is common for teams to need to make programming changes between matches. Robots in the Pit cannot interfere with other Robots over wireless communications. As such, the following rules are in effect throughout the entire event venue:
- RCX style robots (Yellow Brick) using the infra-red tower must be set to short distance IR AND should be kept in a robot “garage”. This garage should be a box designed to shield the robot during program downloads. Stray infrared signals can bounce around the room and alter programs on other RCX units.
- NXT and EV3 based robots must be downloaded via a USB connection. No Bluetooth downloading is permitted anywhere at the event venue. We recommend that teams disable Bluetooth while at an official competition.