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Official Q&A: VRC 2022-2023: Spin Up

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Intentional entanglement with opponent during endgame to mitigate expansion


Is purposely driving one's robot so that an opposing alliance's expansion gets entangled in one's robot a legal game strategy? We would like clarification of this specific strategy. Q&A question 1110 "G12d incidental entanglement during the endgame" somewhat addresses the question, but only specifically incidental entanglement and entanglement initiated by the offensive team.

Rule G12 states

Don’t destroy other Robots. But, be prepared to encounter defense. Strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of opposing Robots are not part of the ethos of the VEX Robotics Competition and are not allowed.

However, rule G12d states

During the Endgame, Robots should expect the possibility of vigorous interactions with opponent Robots. Incidental damage that is caused by pushing, tipping, or Entangling during the Endgame will not be considered a Violation of G12. Intentional damage or dangerous mechanisms may still be considered a Violation of R4, S1, or G1 at the Head Referee’s discretion.

So based on G12d and Q&A question 1110, it would seem that purposely driving so that an opposing alliance's expansion gets entangled (for example, spinning your robot in circles to wind up string that an opposing alliance has jettisoned, or using an intake roller to roll up that string) would be considered legal. Is this interpretation correct?

We observed this exact tactic in a tournament and it was not considered illegal by the head referee. We just want clarification so if our team employs it in the future we will not risk disqualification.

Answered by committee

The strategy you describe could be legal under rule <G12d>. However, as stated in that rule and quoted here for emphasis, "Intentional damage or dangerous mechanisms may still be considered a Violation of <R4>, <S1>, or <G1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.

Intentionally entangling in your opponent's string to gather it up would not generally be an attempt to intentionally cause damage, and would not generally be considered a Violation.

Intentionally pulling on your opponent's string and ripping the mechanism out of their Robot could be considered an intentionally damaging action, and could result in a Violation.