Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VIQC 2019-2020: Squared Away

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Let us not miss the opportunity to learn from the discussion of Strategically moving Game Elements


Many have asked about the rule change post 518 ( was Answered by the Game Design committee ~2/12/20 and speaks to moving ‘controlled’ game elements by hand in Programming Skills Match.

  • Whether you agree or disagree with this ruling, I think we can all agree that the experience with this rule change can lead to many positive changes going forward.
  1. Consider changing '<G18> This manual will have three scheduled updates.'
  • I think we’d all agree that if there is a major rule change, such as allowing Strategic moving of Game elements in 1 or more aspects of the game, then we’d ask that Game Design Committee revise the Game Manual ideally at planned break in the season (e.g. January 15th or another date as 4th planned Update to Game Manual?).
  • The alternative is students, mentors and event partners trying to interpret the Q&A, which are numerous and may have potentially conflicting answers?
  1. When possble the Q&A should be more clarifying <G19> The Q&A system is an extension of this Game Manual.
  • I think we’d all agree that since the Q&A is an extension of the game manual, then the Questions as well as the Answers from the Game Design Committee should be clarifying to current and related past questions.
  • Part of the challenge to interpreting post 518 was that there were earlier questions and answers from the Game Design Committee, related to rule G17 (<G17> Handling the Robot mid-match is allowed under certain circumstances. ) that may appear contradictory (Strategically moving cubes 'possible Disqualifiication' 329: Strategically moving cubes LEGAL 392) or at least required different assumptions about what part of competition was being discussed (Driver Skills, Programming Skills and/or Teamwork).
  1. Dates in both Q&A may be helpful acknowleding <G19> The Q&A system is an extension of this Game Manual.
  • I think we’d all agree that if Q&A is extension of the game manual, then both the Questions as well as the Answers from the Game Design Committee should be dated.
  • Dated because, the absence of dating leads to further uncertainty o Was the Answer to 392 really 5 months old or more recent? o Did the Answer to 329 before or after 329 which supersedes which may depend which is older? o Does any of this ambiguity make Q&A more ‘student centered’?
  1. Q&A should more fully consider non-native speakers of English when responding in Q&A
  • If there is a new ruling that creates a need for definition (controlled), then shouldn’t this definition be worded in a student-centered verbiage and included within the Q&A and ideally within the Game Manual?
  • Answer to post 471 was that “We cannot provide a strict definition for "controlled" ”.
  • If controlled couldn’t be easily defined then we’d ask the game design committee to either change to more simple concept like ‘contacting’, rather than controlled. Or even better revisit the Q&A to seek out way to clarify the game to avoid this issue.
  1. Consider adding or consulting Q&A Frequent users to your Game Design Committee.
  • Allot of the frustration related to 518 could have been avoided if Game Design Committee. Looked for Solutions in the Q&A o Solution: Please create a legal position for game objects being controlled by robots during autonomous. o There are countless follow-up questions about what represents a 'legal position for game objects' including: OK to reattached to robot? OK to stack on top of other cubes?
  1. Soccer (aka football OUS) is the Worlds game for a variety of reasons including the rules of soccer are simple for any young person to understand.
  • As VEX/REC strive to be even more student centered, then the Game Design Committee should seek to simplify rules whereever possible, in particular in the Q&A.
  • For example ‘Drivers’ refers to the student operating the robot in all 3 aspects of the game (Driver Skills, Programming Skills and/or Teamwork), which may be worth redefining if the ‘Drivers’ are allowed to do different tasks depending on the different parts of the game as proposed by post 518 and related Q&A.
Answered by Game Design Committee

Thank you for taking the time to write out this feedback; we will be sure to take it into consideration for future seasons.

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