As per <SG11> Elevation is protected. During the last 30 seconds of the Match, Robots may not contact the following:
The opposing Alliance’s Elevation Bars Opponent Robots who are contacting their Elevation Bars Opponent Robots who meet the definition of Elevated The Short Barriers adjacent to the opposing Alliance's Elevation Bars. Violation Notes:
Regarding points “a” and “d”: If no opponent Robots are in the process of Elevating, then most incidental or momentary contact is unlikely to be Match Affecting, and should only be considered a Minor Violation.
If a Violation results in opponent Robot damage, or otherwise impedes an opponent’s Elevation, then it should be assumed that they would have reached the highest possible Elevation Tier when determining Match Affecting implications. The intent of this rule is to prevent potentially damaging defensive interactions with Robots who are in the process of Elevating. Indirect contact may also be considered a Minor or Major Violation of <G1>, <G13>, or <SG11> at the Head Referee’s discretion. This could include actions such as:
After finding additional posts on SG11, we have revised our original questions. It appears that according to this post, https://www.robotevents.com/VRC/2023-2024/QA/1725, parking a robot to block your opponent’s access to elevation or short barrier is allowed provided they do not contact the elevation bar or short barrier in the process. The blocking robot is also protected from violation if the opponent pushed the robot into the low barrier while trying to elevate. Post https://www.robotevents.com/VRC/2023-2024/QA/1642 states that “whether a Robot’s actions are defensive or offensive is irrelevant to determining whether or not they violated rule”.
Which of the following defensive blocking maneuvers would be considered legal:
A 4 wheel robot parks itself in the last 35 seconds across the low barrier without making contact to the low barrier once parked.
A robot drives up the low barrier and parks itself on the low barrier during the last 30 seconds making constant contact with the low barrier. None of the opponents' robots are in the processing of elevating at the time when the robot parked.
2 opposing robots race towards the elevation bar during the last 30 seconds with constant contact between the 2 robots. The robot attempting to block their opponent is on the inside, closest to the short barrier. When they reached the short barrier, the blocking robot touches the low barrier while the opponent’s robot is in contact with the blocking robot.
Our interpretation based on the current rule and posts from the Q&A is that #1 would be permitted without penalty as it does not violate SG11 and cannot be forced into penalty as per G15. Any attempt by the opponents to dislodge the blocking robot would not result in any violations. One side of the elevation would be effectively blocked.
#2 is unclear as it would only incur a minor violation for contacting the low barrier during the last 30 seconds since none of the opponent’s robot is in the process of elevating. But would this be considered a repeated minor violation due to constant contact with the low barrier and become a major violation if matching effecting.
For #3, if there was benefit of the doubt we would assume the call would be ruled in favor of the robot attempting to hang. However, it seems there is no benefit of the doubt it when it comes to elevating so it would be in clear favour of any defensive bot blocking access to elevation bar or low barrier as most likely there would be constant contact between 2 battling robots. Any violations of SG11 would be extremely difficult to call as the defending robot would be protected by G15.
Lastly, we would like clarification on the definition of “in the process of elevating”. Does the definition of elevating mean when a robot’s lifting mechanism actually starts to lift the robot or when a robot is starting the elevation routine, such as raising hanging mechanism or driving to it’s elevating position, or really only counts when it also touches the elevation bar.