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Official Q&A: VRC 2023-2024: Over Under

Usage Guidelines All Questions

SG11 while retrieving Match Loads



Here is rule <SG11> for reference.

I've noticed it is common to see defensive play around the Match Load Zone/Bar as robots try to prevent their opponents from processing Match Loads. I am curious how this approach should be treated in the last 30 seconds (when SG11 is in effect).


  1. If defensive play occurs during the last 30 seconds, and the defensive robot contacts the opponent's Elevation Bar or Short Barriers, would that be considered a violation of SG11?
  2. If a team is instead retrieving Match Loads from THEIR Match Load Zone and contacts the opponent's Elevation Bar/Short Barriers, would that be considered a violation of SG11?
  3. If a robot pushes an opposing team into the Elevation Bar / Short Barriers during interactions in the last thirty seconds, would that result in a SG11 violation (or would that fall under <G15>)? Does this change if the robot which violates SG11 is considered the "defensive robot" in the interaction (per <G14> )?
  4. In general, does SG11 provide a team any extra degree of "safety" from defensive interaction during the last thirty seconds around that team's Elevation Bar / Short Barriers while processing Match Loads, or is it only applicable when a robot is attempting to climb?
Answered by committee

Thank you for your question. We’ll start by saying that trying to determine whether a Robot’s actions are defensive or offensive is irrelevant to determining whether or not they violated rule <SG11>. Head Referees should instead focus on the actions of the Robot. For example, did the Robot contact the opposing Alliance’s Elevation Bar during the last 30 seconds of the Match? Contacting the items identified in clauses A through D of rule <SG11> is a Violation regardless of whether or not the opponent is attempting to climb, and whether the Robot is playing defensively or offensively.

Elevation is protected. During the last 30 seconds of the Match, Robots may not contact the following:

  • a. The opposing Alliance’s Elevation Bars
  • b. Opponent Robots who are contacting their Elevation Bars
  • c. Opponent Robots who meet the definition of Elevated
  • d. The Short Barriers adjacent to the opposing Alliance’s Elevation Bars.

To directly address your specific scenarios:

  1. Yes. This would be either a Minor or Major Violation depending on whether the contact actually interferes with a Robot's climb or not (and whether other Robots were climbing for comparative points or not).
  2. Same answer as #1.
  3. This interaction would be covered by rule <G15>, because this isn't a "don't touch the Tipping Point platform" rule. In this case it's an Alliance partner using an opponent Robot to interfere with their own Alliance's climb. No penalty.
  4. <SG11> does not specifically provide protection of Match Loads. Robots in those areas of the field are subject to rule <SG11> with no modifications.

Additinoally - please note that rule SG11 was modified in the October 3rd Game Manual update to better capture these intentions, and hopefully helps to clarify this questions.