Official Q&A: VRC 2020-2021: Change Up Usage Guidelines

Intentional Use of a Center Ball for Interference


8800X
9 months ago

SG3: Keep Balls on your side in Autonomous. Balls that start fully on one side of the Autonomous Line may not contact the foam tiles on the opposite side of the Autonomous Line during the Autonomous Period.

Incidental violations of this rule and have no impact on the opposing Alliance will result in a Warning. Violations of this rule that affect the opposing Alliance’s autonomous routine will result in the Autonomous Bonus being awarded to the opposing Alliance. Examples of affecting the opposing Alliance could include, but are not limited to, a Ball moving another Ball or getting in the path of a Robot.

Note: Balls that start on the Autonomous Line are not included in this rule.

SG7: Use Balls to play the game.Balls may not be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms (e.g., Interfering with an opponent’s Autonomous Period per <SG2>.)

The final note in SG3 states balls that start on the autonomous line are exempt from SG3. Does this mean robots may use the balls that start on the autonomous line to intentionally interfere with the opposing Alliance’s autonomous routine? Or would this be a violation of SG7?

Answered by Game Design Committee

First, thank you for quoting the relevant rules in your question. However, there is one additional rule that is referenced in the Note, SG2:

<SG2> Stay on your side in Autonomous. During the Autonomous Period, Robots may not contact the foam tiles or Balls which are on the opposing Alliance’s side of the Autonomous Line. Robots may not contact the Goals that are in the opposing Alliance’s Home Zone.

Violations of this rule will result in the Autonomous Bonus being awarded to the opposing Alliance. Intentional, strategic, or egregious violations, such as intentional contact with an opposing Robot while completely across the Autonomous Line, will result in a Disqualification.

With that said..

The final note in SG3 states balls that start on the autonomous line are exempt from SG3. Does this mean robots may use the balls that start on the autonomous line to intentionally interfere with the opposing Alliance’s autonomous routine?

No. It means that Robots may cause Balls that start on the Autonomous Line to contact the foam tiles on the opposite side of the Autonomous Line during the Autonomous Period without being considered a violation of SG3.

Or would this be a violation of SG7?

Using Balls, whether they start on the Autonomous Line or not, to intentionally, strategically, or egregiously interfere with the opposing Alliance's autonomous routine would be considered a violation of SG2 via SG7.

A Ball contacting a foam tile on the opposing side of the Autonomous Line, is not, in itself, a violation of SG2. It will be at the Head Referee's discretion whether a Ball which has crossed the Autonomous Line has interfered with an opponent's autonomous routine or not. Teams should bear this risk in mind when designing autonomous routines.