Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2021-2022: Tipping Point

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Using tallest Neutral Mobile Goal to impede opponents gameplay


Doug Hepfer (Event Partner)
1 month ago

The tall Neutral Mobile Goal tips over in more than 3/4 of the matches played. it is unstable, even without Ringles on the branches. Given that once there are Ringles on the branches, a robot will be disqualified if they tip that goal over and the impact of the descoring was match effecting, many teams will choose to avoid the risk of disqualification by tipping the Neutral Mobile Goal over early in the game. Some creative teams might even accidentally tip it over onto an opponents robot. With the branches hanging out the way they do, we have seen that it is likely that a robot on the receiving end of the tipped Mobile Goal will then drag that Mobile Goal around with it for the rest of the match. Is there any penalty for knocking over the tall Neutral Mobile Goal before there are any Ringles on it?

Answered by committee

Given that once there are Ringles on the branches, a robot will be disqualified if they tip that goal over and the impact of the descoring was match effecting

Before getting to the root questions being asked, we wanted to note that this assumption is incorrect. Rule SG6 partially reads as follows, with a portion bolded for emphasis:

<SG6> Rings on the Alliance Mobile Goal are “safe”. Strategies intended to remove Rings which are Scored on or in an opposing Alliance Mobile Goal are prohibited.

Neutral Mobile Goals are not covered by SG6, as noted in this Q&A post

Is there any penalty for knocking over the tall Neutral Mobile Goal before there are any Ringles on it?

There are no rules preventing this, thus it is legal.

Some creative teams might even accidentally tip it over onto an opponents robot. With the branches hanging out the way they do, we have seen that it is likely that a robot on the receiving end of the tipped Mobile Goal will then drag that Mobile Goal around with it for the rest of the match

Although you use the word "accidentally", this hypothetical scenario is getting very close to invoking SG10, which reads as follows:

<SG10> Use Scoring Objects to play the game. Scoring Objects 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 routine per <SG4>.)

The intent of this rule is to prohibit teams from using game objects as “gloves” to loophole any rule that states “a Robot may not [do some action]”. This rule is not intended to be taken in its most extreme literal interpretation, where any interaction between a Scoring Object and a Robot needs to be scrutinized with the same intensity as if it were a Robot.

Using a Mobile Goal to damage an opposing Robot could be considered a violation of G12, just as if the action were done with a Robot mechanism.