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T5/T6/Head Ref Cert Unit 6 -- Presence of robots on field when nonfunctional in alliance match

Danton Bryans

Relevant Sources: <T5> Be at your match on time. If no member of a Team is present in the Driver Station at the start of a Match, that Team is considered a “no show” and will receive zero (0) points. The other Team in the Alliance will still play and receive points for the Match.

<T6> Robots at the field must be ready to play. If a Team brings their Robot to the Field, it must be prepared to play (i.e., batteries charged, sized within the starting size constraint, etc.) Robots must be placed on the field promptly. Repeated failure to do so could result in a Violation of <G1> and/or removal of the Robot from the current Match at the Head Referee’s discretion.

Disablement – A penalty applied to a Team for a rule Violation. During Disablement, a Team is no longer allowed to operate their Robot, and the Drivers will be asked to place their Controller on the ground. A Disablement is not the same as a Disqualification.

Head Ref Unit 6 Quiz Question: What is the minimum requirement for a Team to get a score for a Match? Form Correct Answer: At least one member of the Team must be present in the Driver Station Incorrect Answers:
The Team’s Robot must be in the Driver Station or on the Field The Team’s Robot must move during the Match At least one point must be Scored by the Team’s Robot during the Match

We had a rule opinion dispute as a tournament recently between the three Head Ref-certified individuals that were present regarding whether a team MUST place and leave their robot on the field for a match, specifically when the robot is nonfunctional.

Two of us felt that having a broken robot on the field was NOT a rule requirement and MAY be placed on the field, but may also be kept off the field, assuming it is not part of a strategy. Doing so would allow that team to keep the robot off the field as a potential obstacle/entanglement for the functioning robot.

The other Head Ref certified individual stated they and another ref, who worked for REC, had encountered the same issue at a prior event, and the REC representative stated that the nonfunctioning robot MUST be placed on the field and would be considered to have disabled status if it was not functioning by the time the match began, which gave the ref discretion to disable the nonfunctioning team and force them to place their controller down for the match.

From the first perspective, and according to the Unit 6 quiz, the only requirement for the team to receive an alliance score is simply to be present in the Driver's Station on time. The team need not place their nonfunctional robot on the field, and they have committed no violation to be subject to disablement. According to the incorrect answers in the Quiz, the teams robot need not be in the Driver Station or the Field, move during the match, or score a point. This would seem to coincide with the reading of T5.

Alternatively, T6 seems to suggest that if the robot is present, it MUST be placed on the field and not being ready to play would be a violation of T6 by bringing a nonfunctional robot to the field. Assuming this is a rule violation, then Disablement could be applied, and with the controller on the ground, the robot isn't going to move and thus remains on the field during the match.

So is the intent here in the Rules that a nonfunctional robot never be brought to the field, or else the kids are forced to place their nonfunctioning robot on the field? That seems like an odd conflict, as otherwise the Manual-suggested common sense would allow the kids to try their best to repair their robots even up to the point of stepping into the Driver Station for a match, just as we allow them to attempt to repair their robots midmatch.

Thank you for the clarification

Answered by committee

Provided a Drive Team Member is at the field for the Match, there is no requirement that they put the Robot on the field (for example, the Robot could remain in the Driver Station for the Match). Rule <T6> is intended to apply in situations where the Team plans to operate their Robot on the field during the Match and is delaying the event while they work to get the Robot ready to drive.

A Head Referee may require that a Robot be removed from the Field if it is not ready to play at the beginning of the Match (per <T6>) or if it does not meet all Robot inspection requirements (clauses C & D of <R3>).