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Potential match load loophole in skills


7316N
8-Jan-2024

Our team recently competed at a competition and we have some concerns about how rules at the skills challenge were being interpreted, and to our knowledge the rules have been interpreted in the same way at other competitions, including at the Hollywood Blockbuster Signature Event. To start let us get some context as to which specific rules we are concerned about.

First is Q&A 1177. The phrase “Two Drive Team Members loading in rapid succession, such that two incoming Match Loads (or hands) are never past the field perimeter at the same time” makes it clear that a team is not permitted to have more than one match load crossing the field perimeter at a time and doing so while introducing a match load into a match would be considered a violation of rule <SG6>. In the context of skills matches this would involve the note on rule <RSC1>

Violation Note: In the Robot Skills Challenge, the standard definition of Match Affecting does not apply, since there is no winner and loser. When evaluating whether a rule Violation should be classified as a Major or Minor Violation in the context of this criteria, the term “score affecting” can be substituted for “Match Affecting”. A Violation is considered “score affecting” if it resulted in a net increase of that Team’s score at the end of the Match.

This would mean that if a team illegally match loaded a triball during a skills match and the same triball was scored at the end of the match it would be considered “score affecting” thus escalating to a Major Violation resulting in a score of 0 points for the skills match.

From here we can address our concern. This is how the rules have been interpreted:

If a team scores using an illegally introduced match load, they could be given the opportunity to rectify their violation and not have it be a “score affecting” result if the team uses the robot to take the illegally scored triball and descore it by putting it into an unscored state.

Essentially the logic boils down to “descore any illegal triballs to deescalate the offense from score affecting to a minor violation.” Here are some scenarios where this may apply:

Scenario 1: A team illegally match loads 2 triballs which land within the red offensive zone. The robot then removes 2 triballs from the red offensive zone either by placing them into the blue offensive zone or any match load zone. Thus the triballs in question will have moved from a scored state into a descored state.

Scenario 2: A team illegally match loads 2 triballs which land within the red offensive zone. The robot then removes 2 triballs from the red offensive zone and places them into a part of the field where they do not count for points. However, the team then proceeds to take the exact same triballs and scores them into the red offensive zone again. Thus the triballs in question will have moved from a scored state to an unscored state and back to a scored state.

Scenario 3: A team illegally match loads 2 triballs which land in the red offensive zone. The robot then makes physical contact with the triballs and drives away. Per rules <SC3> and <SC4> the triballs in question briefly would not have been considered scored if a robot of the same alliance color (in the case of skills this is red) is touching them. Thus the triballs in question will have moved from a scored state to an unscored state and back to a scored state.

What penalties, if any, would a team receive in any of these given scenarios? Our team hopes that this interpretation of the rules is not valid to begin with, however we wanted a clarification so we can best prepare for future events. Thank you!

Answered by committee
22-Jan-2024

We believe that this is addressed by our answer to this similar Q&A post. If it is not, please feel free to rephrase and re-submit.