The origin of soloing the rocket: MentorBuilt investigates

Rumor has it that a few weeks ago, Game Announcers and Masters of Ceremonies were directed to avoid the use of the phrase ‘Solo the Rocket’. The phrase has been used extensively in our small community to describe a single robot completing the Rocket RP. A simple search on our favorite Social Media platform, Chief Delphi, returns quite a few posts and thread titles containing the phrase. Mentors, Students, and even volunteers alike seem to be using the phrase without any hesitation, as it accurately describes both a robot’s attributes and style of gameplay.

The community is obviously not afraid of the phrase, so why is HQ hesitant to allow their volunteers to use it? MentorBuilt Investigates.

Further investigation of the rumor, presumably handed down officially or informally from the folks up at FIRST HQ, provides that the phrase has a sexual connotation. Without context, our peers at MentorBuilt had no clue why the phrase was banned. As such, we decided to consult our favorite expert on teen and pre-teen slang language, Urban Dictionary.

On March 7th, 2019, a new definition was added to the Urban Dictionary site. A user by the name of Han Solo’s Rocket defined the now infamous phrase as a masturbation reference.

Our investigators consulted a Game Announcer for the 2019 FRC game, Destination: Deep Space presented by Boeing. The Game Announcer, who wishes to remain anonymous, disclosed that they received guidance on March 12, 2019 from FIRST HQ to avoid using the phrase at further events they may be announcing at.

MentorBuilt finds it very conspicuous that within 5 days of this definition being posted to Urban Dictionary (a very narrow window of opportunity!), FIRST HQ somehow found out about the reference and sought to rid the phrase from an announcer’s vernacular.

MentorBuilt has no leads on who created the suspect definition. We also don't know how FIRST HQ found out so quickly about the newly minted connotation the phrase supposedly possesses. Regardless, we strive to bring the facts to the table. Past FRC games, and this one as well, have also opened the door for the use of other phrases that have a different Urban Dictionary definition than that of Webster’s. Fuel shooting in 2017 and minibot poles in 2011 both come to mind, no pun intended. However, when researching related phrases (we’ll leave these up to our reader’s imagination), definitions were posted to Urban Dictionary on or before 2005.

We here at MentorBuilt ask our readers to consider the coincidence, or lack thereof, that the Urban Dictionary definition for ‘Solo the Rocket’ hit the interwebs with a sexual reference just days before it was to be removed from the allowed verbiage of the voices on mic at competitions. Surely we can’t be the only people left with the question, “Who is Han Solo’s Rocket?”

Comment and speculate freely below!


  1. I also heard that the term "dropped a duce" was banned for scoring a two point hatch cover placements. Intriguing minds want to know.


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