Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2023-2024: Over Under

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Match Loads that Accidentally Miss the Robot Upon Loading


Carey Boggess (Event Partner)
6-Dec-2023

<SG6>

Some teams are using an open flywheel to introduce their match loads. The action of placing the match load onto their robot consists of them dropping it or lightly tossing it onto the spinning flywheel, which then launches it across the field, somewhat randomly. I've witnessed several times per match or per Skills run when during the act of dropping the triball onto the flywheel, it does not contact the flywheel, but bounces onto the mat and sometimes bounces across to the other side of the bar, thus being in a scoring position. How should the referee handle this when it happens, either in the case of matches or the case of Skills runs? Would this be a minor violation? At what point would it become a major violation?

Answered by committee
18-Jan-2024

Note: This guidance was revised for Robot Skills Challenge Matches at the 2024 VEX Robotics World Championship. Per Section 5 of version 4.0 of the game manual, "In Robot Skills Matches, Teams will get a verbal warning for the first <SG6> Violation in each Match. Any additional <SG6> Violations during a Robot Skills Match will result in a score of 0 for that Match." This guidance overrides the previous answer to this question.

Each time this occurs, it is technically an accidental / Minor Violation of Match Load method 1:

a. “Throwing,” “rolling,” or otherwise imparting enough energy onto a Triball such that it bounces out of the Match Load Zone is not permitted.

Depending on the context and resources available at a given event, this may be handled slightly differently from event to event at the discretion of the Head Referee. However, we would expect it to be handled consistently within that event. Any of the following outcomes would be acceptable:

  • A Minor Violation that escalates to a Major Violation / zero score after a pre-determined number of incidents. Many Head Referees use a "three strikes" rule, treat all Violations in the first Skills Match as a "final warning" for subsequent Matches, or something similar.

  • Requiring Teams to demonstrate that these accidental introductions are not used in a score affecting way, as described in <RSC1>. For example, requiring that none of the improperly introduced Triballs are sent to the red Offensive Zone, having a Head Referee remove an equal amount from the blue Offensive Zone (if/when it is safe to do so), or removing an equal amount from the remainder of a Team's Match Loads.

When setting standards such as these within a given event, they should presented to all Teams, e.g. during a Driver's Meeting. With that being said, we will work to provide more specific guidance on this topic in an upcoming Game Manual update.