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

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Matchloading and Q&A 1777 Clarification


Afnan Ali (Event Partner)
30-Dec-2023

Hey, Could I please get some clarification on Q&A 1777 and matchloading?

In the "The Bad" part of Q&A 1777 it provides a list of actions that would likely draw a warning from the Head Referee on the grounds of <S1>, <R5> <SG6> <G9>, or <G1>. The 2 quoted bullets below confuse me a little:

  • Two Drive Team Members loading in rapid succession, such that two incoming Triballs (or hands) are past the field perimeter at the same time, or such that an error made by one person could cause the other to be hit by a Triball / mechanism (illegal example)
  • A Robot design which requires repeatedly reaching further than one field tile away from the Match Load Zone

Question 1: Is violating the first quoted bullet above an S1, Sg6 or G9 violation? I've seen it written as all 3 and wanted to make sure I'm writing it down correctly.

It kind of feels like that bullet point is 2 different violations. Where the first part sounds like a G9 for having multiple hands in the field. Although G9 doesn't really say how many hands you can have in the field at a time.

Two Drive Team Members loading in rapid succession, such that two incoming Triballs (or hands) are past the field perimeter at the same time,

And the second part sounds like an S1 because SG6 says "Excessive, unnecessary, or unsafe actions while introducing a Match Load may be considered a Violation of S1 and/or G1 at the Head Referee’s discretion for being an unsafe action"

or such that an error made by one person could cause the other to be hit by a Triball / mechanism

I could also see both of those being S1 because G9 doesn't say anything about number of hands in the field, but it does say that you can break the plane to participate in SG6 actions and SG6 says unsafe actions can be an S1 at the refs discretion.

Question 2: The 2nd quoted bullet above says that reaching more than 1 field tile away from the Match Load Zone is possible to be a violation. To me that interprets as meaning if a robot is making contact with the elevation bar, then a triball can be introduced legally on the robot within the green bound in Diagram A attached. Is that a correct interpretation? The gif that accompanied Q&A 1777 for this bullet point (link) made me question this interpretation because the robot looked like it fell within the green bound.

Also the idea that a student could be reaching roughly 4ft into the field from their alliance station to load a triball on their robot felt a little unsafe. img

If diagram A and interpretation above is not the correct interpretation could you please provide some guidance on how we should be interpreting that bullet?

Like if the 1 tile away is supposed to be measured from the inner corner of the matchload zone (i.e only being allowed to load on the tile that is in the corner of the field) like Diagram B below shows: img

Or if the 1 tile is supposed to be measured from the alliance station (i.e being able to matchload as long as your arm doesn't go more than 24" inches into the field) like the Diagram C below shows: img

Answered by committee
22-Jan-2024

It kind of feels like that bullet point is 2 different violations. Where the first part sounds like a G9 for having multiple hands in the field.

Sort of. Because SG6 is explicitly referenced as an exception to G9, these types of violations should still technically be recorded as SG6. Our intent was to reduce any confusion about how extreme this exception can be stretched.

And the second part sounds like an S1 because SG6 says "Excessive, unnecessary, or unsafe actions while introducing a Match Load may be considered a Violation of S1 and/or G1 at the Head Referee’s discretion for being an unsafe action"

I could also see both of those being S1 because G9 doesn't say anything about number of hands in the field, but it does say that you can break the plane to participate in SG6 actions and SG6 says unsafe actions can be an S1 at the refs discretion.

Yes, this interpretation is correct. Rules such as S1 and G1 can be paired with other rules, as an avenue to immediately penalize extreme situations (i.e. via Disablement or non-Match-Affecting Disqualification). For example, there are versions of <G6>, <SG3> or <SG8> that should escalate to S1 violations regardless of context.

Question 2: The 2nd quoted bullet above says that reaching more than 1 field tile away from the Match Load Zone is possible to be a violation.

Not exactly. The relevant quote from Q&A 1777 is as follows, with a portion bolded for emphasis:

A Robot design which requires repeatedly reaching further than one field tile away from the Match Load Zone

Generally speaking, Diagram C is the closest to our intent behind this comment. To be more blunt, this is intended to prohibit Robots who are designed to expand and place their Match Load mechanism 36" away from the Match Load Bar.

Diagram A would likely be the "questionable zone" for a verbal warning or one-off occurrences. As with all things Match Loading, this is not intended to be an explicit "never break this plane" rule, and a diagram was intentionally not included. The relevant quote from Q&A 1777 is as follows:

The following examples, although not explicitly Major Violations on their own, toe the line of acceptable “risk tolerance”. They likely indicate a sub-par level of caution on the Team’s part, especially if repeated or if multiple items are combined, and will likely draw a warning from the Head Referee on the grounds of <S1>, <R5>, <SG6>, <G9>, or <G1>.