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

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Jamming a Robot Into a Match Load Zone

Kris Swanson (Event Partner)

In a recent tournament, some teams seemed to be applying the strategy of knocking into an opposing robot who was contacting the bar of their Match Load Zone and loading / throwing triballs to their own Offensive Zone. The result often was that the offensive robot was knocked back into the Match Load Zone and stuck there, unable to escape or even continue to throw triballs due to the angle it was stuck at. Some of these interactions could have been accidental due to the Match Load Zone being lined up with the open pathway between the two sides of the field and robots running full speed back and forth, but at least some (including those repeated a few times) were intentional.

The interactions were very quick so <G16> Holding rules don't seem to apply. Being stuck on the bar doesn't seem to fit the definition of "entanglement" or being tipped over, but I wonder if it would be considered against the "ethos of the VEX Robotics Competition" mentioned in <G13> because it effectively eliminated the stuck robot from the rest of the match. On the other hand, <G13> also states that robots should be "prepared to encounter defense," and being able to climb out of the Match Load Zone may be something they need to be capable of.

What is the best action from the Head Ref in this situation?

Thank you,

Answered by committee

Assuming no other rules are broken in the process (e.g., Holding/Lifting for more than 5 seconds in Violation of rule <G16>), there are no rules preventing the interaction you've described. Therefore, it is legal.