SG3 Robots may not intentionally or accidentally, directly or indirectly, perform the following actions: A Contact an opponent Robot which is fully contained within their Protected Zone. E Contact an opposing Alliance’s Inner Protected Zone
It was clarified in Q&A426 that robots not fully contained by their Protected Zone are not granted protection under SG3A. However, in Q&A432 the following was stated:
The intent of SG3-E is to prevent Robots from interfering with opposing Robots' ability to Score Cubes in their own Inner Protected Zone, and to provide an additional element of risk for Robots attempting to drive anywhere in the vicinity of an opponents Inner Protected Zone. Regarding indirect contact with an opponent's Inner Protected Zone, G14 should be considered:
><G14> You can’t force an opponent into a penalty. Intentional strategies that cause an opponent to violate a rule are not permitted, and will not result in an infraction on the opposing Alliance.
Therefore, a Head Referee's judgment call will ultimately depend on the context of the interaction and the Robot designs involved. A Blue Robot playing defense on a Red Robot that pushes a Red Robot into their own Inner Protected Zone may be considered a violation of SG3-E. A Red Robot with a piece of string laying in their own Inner Protected Zone who then contacts a Blue Robot would not result in a violation of SG3-E.
The response more so addressed edge cases and left a more common scenario like the following unclear:
A Blue Robot is attempting to score a stack in their Protected Zone. The Blue Robot is currently in contact with its Inner Protected Zone but not fully contained by the Protected Zone (e.g. a tray sticking slightly outside the Outer Protected Zone). A Red Robot attempts to prevent the Blue Robot from scoring by contacting the Blue Robot, in the process, the Red Robot does not directly contact blue’s Inner Protected Zone.
Q&A426 establishes the Blue Robot does not have protection under SG3A. However, does the Blue Robot still have protection under SG3E because the Red Robot is indirectly contacting the Inner Protected Zone? In other words, should the Red Robot be disqualified in violation of SG3E for indirect contact of the Inner Protected Zone?