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Official Q&A: VRC 2019-2020: Tower Takeover

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Definition of Possession and Cube Starting Positions


Rule SG1 Section E states that at the beginning of a match a robot must be “Contacting a Preload. 1. The Preload must be contacting exactly one (1) Robot. 2. The Preload must be fully within the field perimeter.” Recently at an event, a team had brought up that the way this rule is written, it would allow teams to place their preload inside of a goal zone so long as the robot is contacting the cube and not contacting the goal zone as defined as “ the inner edges of the Barriers and the field perimeter” or the barrier (both of which as per SG1 section f).

The only rule that we see that may contradict this is G12 section d which states “Game elements in possession of a Robot are an extension of that Robot.” Because possession is not defined in the current game manual, without looking back at the Turning Point or In the Zone game manuals (which as it is known, previous rules do not apply to current game rules), it is difficult to properly rule whether the cube is in possession. This is question number 1 and 2: Is there anything that we are missing when coming to the conclusion of the starting position mentioned above, and can you define possession?

Now, once you define possession, if a cube is considered in possession of a robot, while the robot is in its starting position and if this cube is contacting either the barrier or the goal zone; would this be in violation of SG1 as per G12 “Game elements in possession of a robot are an extension of that robot,” because technically the robot through the extension of the cube is contacting the barrier/ goal zone? Would we also be correct to assume that this same violation would apply if the cube in possession of the robot were contacting any other items covered by SG1 (such as another cube or Tower) then this would be a violation due to G12? Thank you.

Answered by Game Design Committee

First - the rules and definitions quoted in your question are incomplete, and have a strong impact on how to interpret this situation.

The full text of SG1 is as follows:

<SG1> Starting a Match. Prior to the start of each Match, the Robot must be placed such that it is:

a. Contacting the field perimeter wall on the side that coincides with their Alliance’s Goal Zone and Alliance Station.

b. Contacting a foam field tile.

c. Not contacting a Tower.

d. Not contacting any Cubes other than the Preload.

e. Contacting a Preload.

  1. The Preload must be contacting exactly one (1) Robot.

  2. The Preload must be fully within the field perimeter.

f. Not contacting a Goal Zone or a Barrier.

g. Not contacting another Robot.

Note: If a Robot is not present for their Match, then their Preload will instead be placed randomly by the Head Referee such that it satisfies all conditions 1-7 laid out above (contacting the field perimeter wall, not contacting a Robot, etc).

The full definition of Goal Zone is as follows:

Goal Zone - One of four (4) areas of foam field tiles defined by the inner edges of the Barriers and the field perimeter in which Robots can Score Cubes. The Barrier and field perimeter are not considered part of the Goal Zone.

The Goal Zones are explicitly defined as the foam tiles, not the 3-dimensional volumes above them.

With that in mind, rule SG7 is the rule that directly applies to this situation, not G12:

<SG7> Use Cubes to play the game. Cubes may not be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms. Examples include (but are not limited to):

• Encroaching upon an opponent’s Protected Zone per <SG3>.

• Interfering with an opponent’s Autonomous Period per <SG2>.

Therefore, a definition of possession is not necessary in the context of this question. Starting with a Preload Cube that is contacting the Goal Zone (foam tiles, not the space above it) would be considered a violation of SG1 via SG7, and would not be a legal starting configuration.