FRC Bowling Ball Competition Questions

FAQs for March 2020 FRC Bowling Ball Competition

Updates for this FAQ section are scheduled February 6, February 27, and March 19.

Introduction

Read and study all of the competition documents including these FAQs to help your team understand this competition, make your decisions, and then do what you have decided. All of the competition documents are related, meaning that you do have to work as necessary to coordinate all of the pieces to ensure your teams’ compliance.

Why are questions asked?
Team questions are needed for the judges to improve this competition and communicate these answers to all the teams. The competition judges understand that language barriers to understanding can exist in international competitions. Therefore, sometimes teams misunderstand the judges, and sometimes judges misunderstand the teams. Part of this competition is your understanding and interpretation of the documents provided for this competition.

How are questions asked?
Line numbers have been provided in the Rules, for example, which allow the Teams to indicate the exact topic of their question. PLEASE USE LINE NUMBERS to refer to any rule that your team has questions about. Line numbers also allow the judges to pinpoint their answers. If no line numbers are available, then ask questions with a limited screen capture for reference to help answer the questions. Before asking any questions, please read all of the documents, especially including the Rules and these FAQs.

Send questions via e-mail: students@concrete.org.

How are questions answered?
Questions are answered by e-mail reply and posting to this FAQ list as scheduled above. Judges provide answers that are very typical, similar, and consistent for all teams. No questions are answered with an intent to give any team an advantage. Questions are usually answered by citing competition documents: Schedule, Design Submittal, Rules, FAQs, and or the FRC Bowling Ball Competition web page. The answers then also usually cite the competition documents’ relevant subheadings, line numbers, and or paragraph/sentence numbers. The answers provided are intended to be both specific and limited because the questions are also intended to be understood as both specific and limited. General questions receive general answers. Some questions are answered with “no answer.”

Why are some questions not answered?
The reasons that questions are not answered or answered “no answer” are as follows:

    1. Judges will not answer questions about rules from previous competitions because those rules do not apply to the current competition.
    2. Judges will not answer questions that are phrased as an implied question or that ask if a team understands a rule correctly or not.
    3. Judges will not answer questions that ask for permission to do something or for their opinion on what a team wants to do. (For example: questions that include phrases such as “we plan on doing this ...” or “we want to do this …” or “what do you think …” or “can we do this …”.)
    4. Judges will not answer questions that are outside of the scope of the competition documents. If something is not stated in the competition documents, then there is nothing against what you want to do. In other words, permission is given to do whatever you want to do unless the competition documents state otherwise.
    5. Judges will not answer questions that are your team decision. Understand that there may or may not be competition documents (rules) that are either for or against your team decision and the judges will not answer.
    6. Judges will not answer because we don’t want to answer incorrectly or with an answer to cause more questions or change the established competition documents.

Questions and Answers

The following Questions are provided exactly as they were asked, meaning they were not altered or given any American grammar corrections. Understand how the answers to some Questions below relate to the Introduction above and specifically Why are some questions not answered?

Question 1: According to the specifications for the bowling ball competition, a core-filled ball is allowed. But I have a hard time fully understanding the meaning of “core-filled.” Does it mean a solid sphere or a hollow sphere? Or can it also be a hollow sphere with additional solid sphere inside of it as the “core-filled” part of the ball?
Answer: Core-filled means that the center (core) of the bowling ball may be filled with a non-concrete substance. See Rules lines 71 to 89 about non-FRC materials.

Question 2: When the balls are tested, should the balls be at their 28th day?
Answer: No answer.

Question 3: Since there is no requirement about the concrete age in the Rules, can we cast the concrete as early as possible to gain a bigger strength?
Answer: No answer.

Question 4: Is the bowling ramp fixed? Could the team bowler modify the direction or the position of the ramp?
Answer: See Rules line 170.

Question 5: What is the format and size of the testing apparatus’ plates?
Answer: Hardened steel plates 6.5 in. (165 mm) in diameter.

Question 6: Our team noticed that the “earliest pour” date has been removed from the rules. Can you confirm that the FRC Bowling Balls can cure for an unlimited amount of time?
Answer: No answer.

Question 7: The bowling balls shall be spherical (no finger holes) and measure 200 mm ± 15 mm diameter. Do you mean no hole on the ball? or free hole size and diameter?
Answer: The bowling balls for this competition will not use finger holes to handle, control, or throw the bowling balls. See Rules lines 175 to 177.

Question 8: We cannot find in competition rules information about:

    1. Water to cement ratio for concrete mix;
    2. Water to binder ratio for concrete mix;
    3. How much of the mass of cement can be replaced by non-Portland cement materials (e.g. SCMs (e.g silica fume, fly ash), ASCMs, natural pozzolans, and mineral fillers);
    4. Sizes of core and distributed (shell) for ball; and
    5. Kind of aggregate, limits for every aggregate types (for example can we use only fine aggregate in our mixture?) Does it mean there is no requirement for above information/conditions?

Answer: No answer.

Question 9: Due to competition rules: “If the applied load exceeds 70,000 pounds during any portion of this test, toughness test score will be zero.” In toughness test result equal to 0 is the highest or the lowest score?
Answer: Zero is the lowest score possible.

Question 10: Is it permitted to add one more line to include other liquid admixture similar to the Excel format of 2017 or the contest restricts to use just one liquid admixture?
Answer: See Rules lines 49 to 50.

Question 11: For the mass test, am I thinking correctly that we will predict the mass for the ball and the accuracy of this prediction is what we will be scored on? (Is this the same for the diameter test?) For the Load test, am I correct in thinking that we will guess the load necessary for the specified deflections and the accuracy of these guesses will determine our score. For the toughness test, our score will be determined by our load for different deformations?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheadings: Bowling Ball Design Competition, Bowling Ball Analysis Competition, and Scoring. See Rules lines 111 to 219.

Question 12: We found a glass fiber called SE1200, manufactured by OWENS CORNING. The Product Information Datasheet does not mention explicitly that is manufactured in compliance with the ASTM C1666, it is only mentioned that the mechanical properties were determined according to ASTM D2343 and D2344, so is for that reason that we wanted to ask if this material would be allowed for its use in the competition.
Answer: See Rules lines 64 to 66. The words “materials as described” does not mean manufactured in compliance with.

Question 13: In the rules it says that we can only use 2 of the 4 fiber materials that are specified on it (steel, glass, synthetic and natural), but our doubt is, can we use more than 2 different types of fiber as long as those are made of only 2 different fiber materials? For example, can we use a combination of 1 glass fiber and 2 synthetic fibers, or we can only use a combination of 2 different type of fibers, like 1 glass fiber and 1 synthetic?
Answer: See Rules lines 64 to 67. The word “materials” in the Rules does not mean types as used in this question.

Question 14: Where the Rules mention fiber's suppliers, can we only use fibers of those suppliers or can we use fibers from other suppliers that are not mentioned in that page?
Answer: See Rules line 61. Possibly means perhaps and in this context, not required.

Question 15: If our Synthetic fibers are two different sizes, can we fill design submittal file in the same entry?
Answer: Which of the 3-dimensions (sizes) are different? See line 18 Design Submittal.

Question 16: Should I have a PDF file about ASTM D7508.A820.C1666.D7357 because I need to make sure our materials can be used?
Answer: See Rules lines 64 to 66.

Question 17: Concerning the toughness test, we would like to know the evaluation methods for this test (i.e. the rules mention the Max limit for toughness is 70,000 lb). So, the highest result will be for the load that reaches that limit or for the max. average of some points of different deflection.
Answer: See Rules lines 203 and 204. The machine maximum limit capacity is 70,000 pounds.

Question 18: The sphere mass is 5.5 +/- 0.5 kg. In older editions we had to look forward to obtain the nearest of 5.5 kg, but no heavier then this. How is it going to work this year? A sphere with 5.490 kg or 5.510 kg is going to get the same score?
Answer: See Rules lines 129 to 135. See FRC Bowling Ball Competition web page and see content under headings for Bowling Ball Design Competition and Bowling Ball Analysis Competition.

Question 19: Submittals Due: In the schedule it says the final Submittal date is March 5. This date is the last date without any penalties, right? We know it may be clear, but last time around we messed up and that's why we are confirming it, just to not miss it again.
Answer: See Schedule Step 2 (line 7).

Question 20: Sponsorship: Is it still possible to get any sponsorship? We are from Brazil and looking for sponsorship to aid our travel and stay costs over there.
Answer: There is no additional funding available to cover travel expenses to the bowling ball competition.

Question 21: Crushing test apparatus: the plates where it will crush the ball, they are plain or concave? That will interfere in the prevision of load per deformation.
Answer: The plates are not concave but plane.

Question 22: If bowling ball has mass within range but not exactly 5.5 kg, how do you deduct points? For example, how many points (% for mass test), if weight is 5.3 kg?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheadings: Bowling Ball Design Competition, Bowling Ball Analysis Competition, and Scoring. See Rules lines 137.

Question 23: Is there a limit on using amount of supplementary cement material?
Answer: See Design Submittal lines 4 to 11. See Rules lines 49 to 54.

Question 24: From mix design spreadsheet: Can you only use one size of fiber length? Even if using two different fiber types?
Answer: See Design Submittal line 18.

Question 25: How do predictions compute into final scoring sheet?
Answer: See FRC Bowling Ball Competition web page and subheadings for Bowling Ball Design Competition and Scoring.

Question 26: What is Distributed?
Answer: See Design Submittal line 25. See Rules line 76.

Question 27: What are the differences between the two competitions, Bowling Ball Design and Bowling Ball Analysis? And how are they each scored?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheadings: Bowling Ball Design Competition, Bowling Ball Analysis Competition, and Scoring.

Question 28: Scoring: How does the scoring work for mass and diameter? If you comply with specs do you get full score of 10% each?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheading: Scoring. See Rules lines 137 and lines 146 to 147.

Question 29: How does bowling score work? Do you get full score (30%) if you knock down all the pins and then work your way down from there?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheading: Scoring. See Rules lines 162 to 173.

Question 30: How do toughness and load scores work? Rankings?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheading: Scoring. See Rules lines 212 and 219.

Question 31: In the Rules, there is a Mass Test that says that the bowling ball needs a weight of 5.5 +- 0.5 kg. In the competition, how is it evaluated? Is it the team closest to 5.5, or is it the variability between the two bowling balls?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheadings: Bowling Ball Design Competition, Bowling Ball Analysis Competition, and Scoring. See Rules lines 129 to 137.

Question 32: Sorry for not numbering the Rules lines.
Rules lines 129 to 135 says the bowling ball mass shall be 5.5 +/- 0.5 kg. But it does not say how it will score compared to other teams. The content under heading in the competition website says only: Produce a consistent mass for each bowling ball. And that also does not tell how the score is going to work compared to other teams. If we get 2 bowling balls with the same mass will we score 10%? Or will we have to get 2 bowling balls with the mass really near 5.5 kg to score 10%? Is there a formula to compare teams scores?
Answer: [This Question 32 is Question 18 asked again with some additional detail. This Answer also has some additional detail.] See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheadings: Bowling Ball Design Competition (in particular the fifth and sixth bullet points), Bowling Ball Analysis Competition (in particular the fifth and sixth bullet points), and Scoring (in particular the second sentence). See Rules line 137.

Question 33: Answers provided are not satisfactory. It will be helpful if student competition committee/chair could explain answers. For example, answer of Question 1 is rule line 137, “The actual mass of the bowling ball in kg will be the Mass Test Score.” So, it appears to me that 6.0 kg ball is going to get maximum points and 5.0 kg ball is going to get minimum points. OR 5.5 kg ball is going to get maximum points and 5.0 kg/6.0 kg is going to get minimum points. It is not clear.

Original question and answer that is referenced above:
Question 1: If bowling ball has mass within range but not exactly 5.5 kg, how do you deduct points? For example, how many points (% for mass test), if weight is 5.3 kg?
Answer: See the FRC Bowling Ball Competition subheadings: Bowling Ball Design Competition, Bowling Ball Analysis Competition, and Scoring. See Rules lines 137.

Answer: In regards to the statement, “for example, answer of Question 1 is rule line 137,” the answer was more than just line 137 but included directions to see information under 3 subheadings. Again, please see these 2 subheadings, Design and Analysis, and note in particular the fifth and sixth bullet points. Also note and see the second sentence under the Score subheading and the Rules line 137. These 6 sentences explain why the maximum or minimum points will always be unknown until completion of the competitions. These 6 sentences also explain how scores from the 2 competitions are converted to percentages. All of this is why the judges cannot answer either of the 2 questions within the original Question 1 above.

Question 34: I was wondering what kind of submittals are going to be due on the 5th of March? Are we supposed to write up a report about our design?

Answer: The team submittal for the 5 March due date is to include whatever those submittals are from the Registration process and the file from the Design Submittal blue box button.

Question 35: have a question somewhat in regards to line 76, about non FRC materials. We are looking to wax and possibly seal our concrete ball. I noticed that there is a rule against Epoxy based paints, which typically occurs in sealants. Does this mean we cannot seal our ball at all? Or just cannot seal with something containing epoxy? Then, are we allowed to use a wax to achieve a glossy surface? Even if we cannot seal our ball at all?
Answer: See the updated FAQ (blue box to right on web site). See Rules lines 29 to 31 and lines 49 to 54.

Question 36: We would like to know for the registration of the competition, how is it?
Answer: The Bowling Ball Competition is free of charge. You have successfully registered your team.

Question 37: Do we have to pay the 3 contestants and tutor to enroll in the competition? I do not understand that process, or will one pay only for the registration of the event?
Answer: The Bowling Ball Competition is free of charge, however if the 3 contestants and tutor are planning on attending the convention they must all also register for the Convention. I’ve summarized the pricing below but please find additional details regarding convention registration here.

REGISTRATION PRICING

Registration Type
Through 2/23/20
After 2/23/20
Member
$649
$749
Nonmember
$849
$949
1-Day Member
$329
$449
1-Day Nonmember
$429
$579
Guest
$100
$100
Student
$20
$30

Registration fees cover the cost of meeting room rental, audio visual equipment, coffee breaks, cyber café and wireless hotspot equipment and fees, signs, transportation between venues, pre-convention and on-site materials, registration staff, and materials.

Question 38: We would like to know well for this contest how we register, we already registered in the competition but that it continues apart from sending the guidelines before March 5, as it follows?
Answer: You have successfully registered your team for the Bowling Ball Competition. Did you receive a confirmation email with additional details? If you did not, please let me know.

Question 39: Since we want to compete only, we would be the day of the competition until the day of the award, it would occupy a calendar of what activities are per day?
Answer: The Bowling Ball Competition is scheduled for Sunday, March, 29 from 9am-3pm. Additional details regarding your team check in time will be provided closer to the competition date. The winning team will be announced at the Student Lunch scheduled for Monday, March 30 from 11:30-1:30pm. The Student Lunch is free to students who pre-register by February 23, 2020. You must pre-register for the lunch separately to receive a ticket. You can find a complete list of scheduled activities here. I highly recommend the Student Networking Reception and the Young Professional Networking event.

Question 40: I was reading the contest says we have to deliver a documentation a day before the event, bone on March 27, what documentation is it?
Answer: The team submittal for the 5 March due date is to include whatever those submittals are from the Registration process and the file from the Design Submittal blue box button. Read the FAQ’s UPDATED 6 FEB blue box button.

Question 41: Are you allowed to use a CSA cement within the bowling ball mix design? Would it act as the “cement” in the design submittal? Or the "SCM"?
Answer: Read the FAQ and Rules lines 49 to 51.

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