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Official Q&A: VRC 2023-2024: Over Under

Usage Guidelines All Questions

[Official GDC Q&A Post] Is my hypothetical Match Load design / strategy allowed?

Grant Cox

<SG6> :

Match Load Triballs may be introduced by a Drive Team Member in one of two ways:


  1. By placing the Match Load gently onto a Robot from the Drive Team Member’s Alliance.

There have been many Q&A's asking for further clarification regarding what types of creative Match Load mechanisms and/or maneuvers are legal. This post will provide some explanations and examples that should help Teams and Head Referees evaluate these possibilities.

Answered by committee

Generally speaking, our intent for SG6 has always been to encourage creative / unusual strategies. We want this rule to be as much “anything goes” as possible, within two bounds:

  1. Avoid irresponsibly unsafe actions.
  2. “Robots play the game, not humans.”

This Q&A post will be discussing point 2. Information regarding Point 1 can be found in this related Q&A post.

The operative phrase of SG6 is “placing the Match Load gently onto a Robot”. This verbiage was intentionally chosen to be as broad as possible (within the aforementioned boundaries).


  • Relevant dictionary definition: “to put or set in a particular place, position, situation, or relation”
  • SG6 intent: Set the Triball onto the Robot, don’t throw it carelessly.
  • Example question: “Is it okay to drop a Triball a short distance, in a controlled manner, onto a ramp?”
  • Example question: "Is it okay to throw a Triball to the Robot?"


  • Relevant dictionary definition: “in a way that is not rough, harsh, or violent”
  • SG6 intent: Be calm; try not to risk damaging your Robot, the Triball, or your hand.
  • Example question: “Can we use the Triball to push down a mechanism while loading?”

“Onto the Robot"

  • Relevant dictionary definition: “to a place or position on; upon; on”
  • SG6 intent: Release the Triball to your Robot, not to the foam tiles or an opponent Robot
  • Example question: “Is there a difference between ‘into’ and ‘onto’?”
    • Answer: Maybe, depending on which dictionary you look at, but in this context, no. This phrase will be changed to“into/onto” in the next Game Manual update. (legal example)
  • Example question: “Can it be placed onto a moving/spinning part of the robot?”

Here are some things rule SG6 doesn’t include, and are therefore not part of the requirements for legal Match Loading:

Placing the Match Load….

  • …into a Robot’s Possession
  • ...not into a Robot's Possession
  • …onto a Robot which has no moving parts
  • …onto a flat surface
  • …onto an “outer” surface of the Robot
  • …such that it doesn’t move for [x seconds] after released by the human
  • …such that there is a moment when the human and the Robot are both contacting it
  • …such that there is never a moment when the human and the Robot are both contacting it

One final note -

In the next Game Manual update, an additional guideline will be added to SG6 stating that Match Loads must be introduced one at a time. We are not going to include any more specificity than saying “one at a time”; please interpret it using as much “common sense” as possible.

The vast majority of Teams are already doing this, and will not be affected. The intent of this addition is to prohibit actions such as the following:

  • Any interaction where two Triballs are being held past the plane of the field wall (at the same Match Load Zone), even momentarily (illegal example 1) (illegal example 2)
  • Loading a second Match Load onto a rapid-fire Robot before the Robot has released the previous Match Load, even though they were each individually “Possessed” for a fraction of a second and may not have technically met the definition of “Possession”

This addition is not intended to prohibit non-Possession introductions of multiple Match Loads, such as while the Robot is Possessing a Triball from a non-Match-Load maneuver.

  • Legal example: Robot has control of a Triball in their intake and drives over to a Match Load Zone; their Match Load mechanism is a rapid-fire catapult, so each Match Load is only placed on the Robot momentarily, i.e., not controlled / Possessed (legal example)
  • Legal example: Match Loads being introduced onto a ramp (one at a time), such that they pile up in front of the Robot and meet the definition of Plowing, not Possession