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Official Q&A: VEXU 2019-2020: Tower Takeover Usage Guidelines

Playing offense while a part of your robot is playing defense

9 months ago

Hello my team was wandering what rules could and could not be used on a possible design, a design that has a big defensive strategy (a part of the robot) and an offensive strategy(a cube stacker). So if a robot got in tangled, flipped over, or stuck on the defensive part of our robot while we were playing offense and not moving or forcing the defensive part of our robot to do such things would that count as our fault or would the team that got suck on us be there fault. I was wandering this because some of the defense rules use words like solely, only, and purely defensive strategies will pretty much always be at fault but this design is not a purely, solely or only a defensive robot it is both. Sent from my iPhone

Answered by Game Design Committee

It is impossible to issue a blanket ruling that would cover all hypothetical interactions or Robot designs. This is the type of question that is why VRC utilizes human Head Referees who can observe the context of a specific Robot and/or Match to provide a judgment call when needed.

G13 states the following:

< G13 > Offensive Robots get the “benefit of the doubt”. In the case where referees are forced to make a judgment call regarding a destructive interaction between a defensive and offensive Robot, or an interaction which results in a questionable rules violation, the referees will err on the side of the offensive Robot.

The Note in G12 states the following:

Note: A Robot which has expanded horizontally in an effort to obstruct the field, or is legally covering the top of a Tower in a solely defensive manner, should expect vigorous interactions from opponent Robots. Damage that is caused by opponent Robots pushing, tipping, or Entangling with them would not be considered a violation of <G12>. Gratuitous damage or dangerous mechanisms may still be considered a violation of <R3>, <S1>, or <G1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.

The first portion of this Note does not require a "solely defensive manner", it simply requires the Robot to have expanded horizontally in an effort to obstruct the field.

In the context of these rules, specific mechanisms or Robots are not assigned "defensive" or "offensive" roles. It is interactions and strategies that are assigned "defensive" and "offensive" roles.

There are scenarios where a primarily offensive mechanism is used defensively (e.g. an intake being used to entangle an opponent). There are scenarios where a primarily defensive mechanism is found on a Robot playing offense at any given moment (e.g. this video which has now been referenced on the Q&A three times).

When making a G12 or G13 judgment call, Head Referees will need to look at the specific interaction at the moment it occurred, alongside any relevant context (such as previous interactions or strategies of those two Robots).