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

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Incidental vs Intentional Tipping


Kayla Ho (Event Partner)
29-Oct-2023

Per <G14>, offensive robots get the "benefit of the doubt".

Per <G13>, point b, robots may encounter defense, including "incidental tipping, Entanglement, and damage... It will be up to the Head Referee’s discretion whether the interaction was incidental or intentional."

Considering the below scenarios:

  • What would be considered intentional versus incidental?
  • What would be considered offensive versus defensive?
  • Which alliance, if any, would be issued a minor violation? A major violation? A DQ?

  1. Blue goes to get a triball on the red offensive side and causes Red to tip.
  2. Blue goes to get a triball on the blue offensive side and causes Red to tip.
  3. Blue goes to park and causes Red to tip.
  4. Blue tries to manipulate some triballs with subsystem(s), Red gets caught on the subsystem, and Red tips when robots disengage.
  5. Blue merely goes to prevent Red from crossing into the red offensive zone and tips the Red robot.
  6. Blue tries to get to the blue offensive zone and is taking the shortest route to get there, thus going through/pushing the red alliance robot.
  7. Blue goes to get a triball; said triball unintentionally gets underneath Red's drivetrain; Red tries to get off the triball and tips.

Would the Blue robot position relative to its own offensive zone play a role in determining whether it is considered the offensive/defensive robot? How does this affect the issuance of a warning/DQ?

How much does the direction of the robot's travel affect offensive versus defensive, intentional versus incidental?

Answered by committee
7-Nov-2023

We believe our response to Q&A 1628 answers your question. In each of the scenarios you propose, the Head Referee would have to consider the larger context of the interaction to determine whether it was incidental or intentional. It is impossible to issue a blanket answer beyond what is written in the Game Manual that encompasses all possible situations based on a snapshot description of a hypothetical interaction.

When deciding whether tipping, entanglement, or damage should be penalized for being intentional or egregious, pay attention to whether the 'pushing' robot backs away when their opponent begins to tip, become entangled, or risk damage or if they continue to force the other robot over or into entanglement or damage. A team that backs away should generally not be penalized based on intent, and the one that continues to push probably should. Clear verbal warnings are important in this situation, to give all teams opportunities to avoid violations. For more information on these interactions, view the Head Referee training videos from the Turning Point or Change Up seasons (note that the pertinent rule number has changed since these seasons, and some of the game-specific information no longer applies). These tips and links have also been added to the VRC Referee Guide in the REC Library.