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

<SG8> Possession


UWAT
1 month ago

QA 601 asked a similar question regarding to the definition of momentary already, so I will start on the other part.

<SG8> Possession is limited. Robots may not have greater-than-momentary Possession of more than three (3) Balls of its opposing Alliance’s color at once. When two Robots from the same Alliance are working in tandem and blocking Balls, those Robots may not Possess a total of more than six (6) Balls of its opposing Alliance’s color at once.

Robots that violate this rule must stop all Robot actions except for those actions that are attempting to remove the excess Ball.

Minor violations of this rule that are not Match Affecting will receive a warning. Match Affecting offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion.

a) Is it a correct interpretation that the first and second sentence stands concurrently, which means that each robot may not possess more than 3 opponent balls at any time? Or is the first sentence only applied when two robots are NOT working in tandem and blocking balls? Does the second sentence only apply when blocking balls, or do they apply when there are balls inside robots as well?

In other words, are there any circumstances where one robot is allowed to possess more than 3 opponent balls at any given point?

b) Is it a correct interpretation that if the ball has been determined to have been greater-than-momentary possessed by the other team, then a violation has occurred, regardless of whether the other robot "stop all Robot actions except for those actions that are attempting to remove the excess Ball"? Or in the other word, is the actions after being determined in possession relevant in determining whether a violation has occurred?

c) In the case where there are multiple momentary possession of same/different opponent balls, do these add up to count as a "greater-than-momentary Possession"? If so, under what time frame would they need to be under?

Thanks,

Answered by Game Design Committee

a) Is it a correct interpretation that the first and second sentence stands concurrently, which means that each robot may not possess more than 3 opponent balls at any time? Or is the first sentence only applied when two robots are NOT working in tandem and blocking balls? Does the second sentence only apply when blocking balls, or do they apply when there are balls inside robots as well?

In other words, are there any circumstances where one robot is allowed to possess more than 3 opponent balls at any given point?

No. At no point in any circumstance is one Robot allowed to Possess more than three opposing Alliance Balls for a greater-than-momentary amount of time.

SG8 includes a "red box", which helps to explain this further:

The intent of this rule is to prohibit each Robot from keeping more than 3 of the opposing Balls from being used by the opposing Alliance. It is anticipated that two Robots from the same Alliance will work together to Possess the opposing Alliance’s Balls. When those Robots do this, as long as they are not Possessing more than 6 of the Opposing Alliance’s Balls in total, and each Robot is not carrying or controlling more than 3 Balls, these Robots are not in violation of <SG8>.

The intent of the second sentence of SG8, and the red box explanation, is to reduce the need for Head Referees to "track" which Balls are being Possessed by which Robot, in a scenario where both Robots could satisfy the conditions for Possession.

b) Is it a correct interpretation that if the ball has been determined to have been greater-than-momentary possessed by the other team, then a violation has occurred, regardless of whether the other robot "stop all Robot actions except for those actions that are attempting to remove the excess Ball"? Or in the other word, is the actions after being determined in possession relevant in determining whether a violation has occurred?

[It seems like the verbiage of your two questions may be in conflict, so for clarity's sake, the following answer is intended for your second (bolded) question.]

Yes. Actions following a momentary excess Possession do determine whether a violation has occurred. If the following action is anything other than ejecting the excess Balls, then there has been a violation of <SG8>. This includes if the following action is inaction.

This could be viewed as an explicit clarification of "Match Affecting" in the context of this rule. Due to the dynamics of VRC Change Up, a momentary excess Possession could occur where would be impossible for a Head Referee to determine whether the action was Match Affecting or not. Therefore, momentary excess Possessions (that are immediately followed by ejecting the excess Ball) are an explicitly permitted exception to the Possession limit.

c) In the case where there are multiple momentary possession of same/different opponent balls, do these add up to count as a "greater-than-momentary Possession"? If so, under what time frame would they need to be under?

We are not going to provide a time frame during which Balls must be ejected; it should be unquestionably apparent to a Head Referee that the Robot in question has stopped all actions that are not in immediate pursuit of ejecting the Ball.

Teams who utilize this rule as a core part of their gameplay strategy should expect additional scrutiny from Head Referees, as they could be at risk of repeated warnings (that escalate to a Disqualification at the Head Referee's discretion), or of violating R29.

<R29> There is a difference between accidentally and willfully violating a Robot rule. Any violation of Robot rules will result in a Team being unable to play until they pass inspection (per <R3d>). In addition, Teams who intentionally or knowingly circumvent or violate rules to gain an advantage over their fellow competitors are in violation of the spirit and ethos of the competition. Any violation of this sort may be considered a violation of <G1> and/or the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.