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

Goal Zone Descoring


248A
3 months ago

An interesting thread on the VEX forum, so I'll post it here: The scenario is ... if the red robot stacks cubes in the smaller/unprotected goal zone, backs away, then the blue robot pushes them back into the stack while playing defense either causing them to touch the bottom cube or knocking cubes off the stack. What is the ruling?

According to the rules, SG3B and SG3F may come into play, but also may not.

  • SG3F states that "Robots may not intentionally or accidentally, directly or indirectly, cause Scored Cubes within the opponent's Protected Zone to no longer meet the definition of Scored". Since it is specific that this takes place in the opponent's Protected Zone, this would not apply since the Protected Zone is defined as "the area of the playing field made up of the Outer Protected Zone and the Inner Protected Zone, in which opponent Robot interaction is limited"
  • SG3B states that "Robots may not intentionally or accidentally, directly or indirectly, contact any Scored Cubes in either of opposing Alliance's Goal Zones". It could certainly be argued that, although the blue robot is indirectly touching a cube by pushing the red robot into it, the cube is no longer a Scored Cube once the red robot touches it - so, technically, the blue robot never indirectly touches a Scored Cube.

There are no other rules that I can think would be at play, except maybe the common sense rule G3. I think (and hope) the intent would be that the blue robot couldn't push the red robot into the stack and descore those cubes. I think (and hope) the intent of SG3F should say "within the opponent's Goal Zone" and not "within the opponent's Protected Zone".

I have seen www.robotevents.com/VRC/2019-2020/QA/376. Although the question specified that it was in the unprotected zone, the answer did not and could certainly be taken as referring to the goal zone in the protected zone.

Answered by Game Design Committee

I have seen www.robotevents.com/VRC/2019-2020/QA/376. Although the question specified that it was in the unprotected zone, the answer did not and could certainly be taken as referring to the goal zone in the protected zone.

While the specifics of that question may be different, the following sentence from its response can be taken as a general ruling:

Yes, one Robot pushing another into causing some action is considered "indirect contact" by the first Robot.

Therefore, a blue Robot pushing a red Robot into a Cube would be considered "indirect contact with a Scored Cube". Since the Scored Cube was in the un-protected Goal Zone, then SG3B has been violated, and the blue Robot will receive a warning or a Disqualification as appropriate.

It could certainly be argued that, although the blue robot is indirectly touching a cube by pushing the red robot into it, the cube is no longer a Scored Cube once the red robot touches it - so, technically, the blue robot never indirectly touches a Scored Cube.

We admire your creative approach to looking at this question as an "at the moment of contact" paradox. However, the overarching intent of SG3 as a whole is to protect Scored Cubes in a way that can be realistically monitored and enforced by a single Head Referee. In general, if a set of Scored Cubes have become de-Scored, and an opposing Robot has had something to do with that event, then SG3 has likely been violated in some way.

I think (and hope) the intent of SG3F should say "within the opponent's Goal Zone" and not "within the opponent's Protected Zone".

Please see this similar Q&A: www.robotevents.com/VRC/2019-2020/QA/288