Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2023-2024: Over Under

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Determining contact between objects


In a recent competition, a situation arose where a robot elevated in the last few seconds of the match very close to the field wall. Since the robot would not be considered elevated if it were contacting the field wall, the referee did a paper test between the robot and the field wall. The paper failed to go through. However, after a bright light was shined on the area in question, a very small gap between the robot and the field wall was visible.

In the note under SC4, referees may use a paper test to settle situations where a triball is close to the border between offensive zones and it is difficult to tell which side it is scored for, if at all. However, in other situations where contact is relevant, should a paper test be used? Additionally, in an event where a paper test fails but the existence of a gap can be seen (and is agreed upon by everyone), should it be considered to be contacting or not? (Does visual evidence override the paper test?)

Answered by committee

The paper test is only a suggested tool to help a Head Referee evaluate whether or not a Robot meets the criteria of not touching the field wall. The rule is not "if a referee cannot place a piece of paper between your robot and the wall..."

Head Referees may use other, self-selected tools (e.g., the flashlight you've described) to help assist their decision making, as long as the method is similarly not easily refutable & is applied consistently during an event. In every case, as described in the first paragraph of rule <T3>:

Once the Head Referee announces that their decision has been made final, the issue is over and no more appeals may be made (See rule <T1>).