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Official Q&A: VRC 2022-2023: Spin Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Robot parts leaving the field and S1/S2/R4


Rule S1 reads as follows:

“If at any time the Robot operation or Team actions are deemed unsafe […] the offending Team may receive a Disablement and / or Disqualification at the discretion of the Head Referee.”

Rule S2 reads:

"mechanisms which cross the field perimeter intentionally and / or repeatedly […] during the Endgame may be considered a Violation of S1 at the Head Referee’s discretion. "

And rule R4 reads:

"The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed […] Those that could pose a potential safety hazard to Drive Team Members, event staff, or other humans. […] However, this interpretation does not extend to rule R4d. Any mechanism or component which is deemed to pose an unnecessary / egregious safety risk may still be considered in violation of , <S1, and / or G1 at the Head Referee’s discretion. "

The enforcement of these rules are at the head referee's discretion. This has led to a wide variation in rulings at events. Some events make a team remove a string shooter when it leaves the field. Some events have automatically DQed teams whose robot contacts a human, regardless of any other factors. Others have not given out DQs at all unless a person is actually injured.

I have 3 questions with considerations regarding the scope of a potential S1 violation (warning, disablement, disqualification, and/or removal/modification of the mechanism) for each of the following scenarios.

  1. Does the type of projectile and how it exits the field affect the ruling? Should referees consider the size, shape, weight, sharpness of the object? It seems that a disk leaving the field could be as unsafe as many of the string launchers but disks leaving the field aren't usually considered unsafe. Should blanket rulings be made? ie any projectile leaving the field is a Warning/DQ/Disablement

  2. Does G14 "You can’t force an opponent into a penalty" affect the ruling? A robot is shoved as it fires its projectile. Causing the projectile to leave the field. A robot launches its projectile. The projectile ricochets off a defensive robot and leaves the field.

  3. Does contact with a human affect the ruling?

A projectile touches a person in the leg. The person is unharmed. Is this potentially a "safe" action if it is unintentional and a first offense or is it automatically "unsafe."?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Answered by committee

Thank you for your questions! Teams, Inspectors, and Head Referees must apply judgment to determine whether any specific mechanism is unsafe as described in rule <R4>, and in particular <R4d>:

<R4> Robots must be safe. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:

  • a. Those that could potentially damage Field Elements or Discs.
  • b. Those that could potentially damage other competing Robots.
  • c. Those that pose an unnecessary risk of Entanglement with other Robots or the Net.
  • d. Those that could pose a potential safety hazard to Drive Team Members, event staff, or other humans.

Additionally, as a further and consistent means to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and event venues, the November 1 Game Manual update included the following additions to rules <S2> & <SG4>:

<S2> was expanded to indicate that a Robot which comes in contact with anything outside of the field during the Endgame period or due to an early expansion, including the floor or the outside face of the Field Perimeter, will automatically receive a Disqualification for that Match. This interaction will be exempted from rule <G14>, and Teams will be responsible for the effects of their own Endgame expansions, although <G1> will still apply. <SG4> references these additions to rule <S2>.

Because the overall intent of this change to <S2> is safety, an expansion that contacts the top of the Field Perimeter will not automatically receive a Disqualification. However, an expansion that extends through a Net is in violation of <S2> (as well as <SG3>) and will automatically receive a Disqualification.