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

Ball Locking Allowing More Scored Balls at Remote Events


8800X
2 weeks ago

G19: Field Element tolerances may vary from nominal by ±1.0”, unless otherwise specified. Ball tolerances and weights may vary from nominal to ±0.10” and 10 grams respectively. Ball placement at the beginning of Matches may vary from nominal to ±1.5”. The bottom opening of Goals between the lowest two rings has a dimensional tolerance of -0.0 / +0.5”. Teams are encouraged to design their Robots accordingly. Please make sure to check Appendix A for more specific nominal dimensions and tolerances.

As per the May 25th Game Manual Update, Option A: (1x) 4” Standoff (276-1021) or Option B: (2x) 11” Zipties (275-0125) are added to the four corner Goals to aid in proper function of the Goal. One of these options will be required for official match play, with option A being preferred.

As per the May 25th update, a 4” standoff or 2x 11” zipties must be added to the corner goals to prevent balls from becoming locked, Q&A599.

Q&A716 has already addressed what is considered a field fault if a ball becomes locked and a team has not installed standoffs/zipties or a ziptie loop slides out of tolerance at a remote event. However, it does not address what to do if a ball has become locked and additional balls have been scored that would have otherwise not been possible (locking a ball creates additional volume for scoring). Consider the following two scenarios related to more balls being scored as a result of ball locking.

Scenario A: A team intentionally does not install standoffs/zipties for a remote event in order to gain a competitive advantage. This would be considered a violation of G19, correct? What would be the proper course of action if this was noticed prior to the start of a match? What would be the proper course of action if this was noticed after the end of the match and more balls had been scored than what was otherwise possible? Does the proper course of action change depending on whether it’s a robot skills match or live remote tournament?

Scenario B: A team has installed the ziptie loop to follow G19. During the course of normal gameplay, the loop slides out of the acceptable tolerance as specified in Appendix A, allowing a ball to become locked. The team then scores additional balls that would have otherwise not have been possible. What is the proper course of action in this scenario? Does the proper course of action change depending on whether it’s a robot skills match or live remote tournament?

Answered by Game Design Committee

Scenario A: A team intentionally does not install standoffs/zipties for a remote event in order to gain a competitive advantage. This would be considered a violation of G19, correct? What would be the proper course of action if this was noticed prior to the start of a match? What would be the proper course of action if this was noticed after the end of the match and more balls had been scored than what was otherwise possible? Does the proper course of action change depending on whether it’s a robot skills match or live remote tournament?

Yes, this interpretation is correct. Omitting the zip ties and/or standoffs would be considered the same as building a field out of tolerance in other ways, such as making a Goal taller, or using non-standard field tiles. The answers to the rest of your questions would be that this is handled the same as a standard out-of-tolerance field (i.e. rules LRT7 and/or G20 as applicable).

Scenario B: A team has installed the ziptie loop to follow G19. During the course of normal gameplay, the loop slides out of the acceptable tolerance as specified in Appendix A, allowing a ball to become locked. The team then scores additional balls that would have otherwise not have been possible. What is the proper course of action in this scenario? Does the proper course of action change depending on whether it’s a robot skills match or live remote tournament?

As above, this would be considered a standard "field fault"; therefore, LRT7 and/or G20 may apply accordingly at the Head Referee's discretion.

<LRT7> In a Live Remote Tournament Match, Teams must set up their own field in accordance with the layouts, tolerances, and specifications found in the Game Manual and Appendix A.

a. Prior to a Match, a Head Referee will verify each Team’s field layout and request any adjustments as needed. A Team will not be permitted to play in a Match until the Head Referee has approved their field layout; refusal to comply with any requested adjustments may be considered a violation of <G1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.