Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2022-2023: Spin Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

<SG4> Horizontal expansion clairifications


SG4> Horizontal expansion is limited until the Endgame. Robots may not expand beyond a horizontal area of 18” x 18” at any point during the Match prior to the Endgame. There are no horizontal expansion limits during the Endgame. Violation Notes: • Teams can prevent an accidental or momentary expansion from becoming a Major Violation by immediately moving to rectify the Violation, and / or removing themselves from gameplay (e.g., parking in a corner of the field without impacting gameplay for other Robots). • Even if an expansion was accidental, it can still be considered a Major Violation if the Head Referee judges that the expansion was intentional, strategic, and / or Match Affecting.

Two scenarios were encountered in our league night play and I want to make sure that everyone rules the same way.

  1. A robot's end game falls off their robot so the robot is dragging it - thus illegally expanding horizontally. There are no other robots around, but the offending robot is in the opponents low goal area and is carrying three discs. To "remove themselves from gameplay" and drive to a portion of the field to avoid other robots (ex, a corner) they would have to leave the low goal. In doing this, the robot would essentially be descoring the three discs from the opposing alliance. Is this allowed? Or should the offending robot be required to either stay in the low goal (or leave the three discs in the low goal)?

  2. If this offense took place with 29 seconds left in the match and the robot successfully removes themself from gameplay, when there is 10 seconds left and the end game begins, they are no longer violating the horizontal expansion limit. Can they now be involved in gameplay (ex. Manipulation/scoring discs) as long as they were doing so in a way that their accidental early horizontal expansion was not an advantage to doing so (ex. Driving out of the low goal or shooting the discs that they already have in their robot into the high goal)?

Answered by committee

Thank you for your questions!

  1. It is impossible to issue a blanket ruling, as scenarios like the one you describe will be highly context-specific. Ideally, the offending Robot should find a way to rectify the situation (e.g., by retracting the expansion) or move to a more neutral position on the Field, but as you described this may not be possible. Descoring Discs from the Low Goal would violate <SG4>, and should be avoided. Depending on context, remaining in the Low Goal could impact gameplay for other Robots, and may be penalized by the Head Referee.

  2. A Robot that does not succeed in rectifying an early horizontal expansion (e.g., by retracting the expansion) must remove themselves from gameplay. Because it is impossible in many cases to gauge the overall impact of an early expansion on the outcome of a Match, a Robot that is in violation of rule <SG4> in a head-to-head Match cannot participate in further gameplay and will not receive points for tiles Covered in the Endgame. If a Robot successfully rectifies the early expansion, they may resume playing other portions of the game.

Teams may still be Disqualified for violations of <SG4> that are deemed Match Affecting, intentional, or egregious by the Head Referee.