In Robot Skills Matches, the Endgame period may begin early without penalty if a Robot violates <SG4> or <SG5> prior to the last 10 seconds of the Match (i.e. if they expand beyond the standard allowable limits, either intentionally or unintentionally).
If a Team intends to finish the Robot Skills Match early and record a Skills Stop Time, they should still inform the Scorekeeper Referee prior to the Match per the guidelines in the Skills Stop Time section below. However, in lieu of a ”stop the timer” signal, the Drive Team Member may instead provide a “begin the Endgame” signal; the Scorekeeper Referee will begin a 10-second countdown in sync with the field timer, and then end the Match early. The Skills Stop Time will still be recorded as the time when the Match comes to an end, not the time when the Endgame began. For example, if a Robot expands with :33 seconds remaining on the field timer, a Skills Stop Time of :23 seconds would be recorded. Note that this rule also applies even if the expansion occurs unintentionally (e.g. accidental early deployment of an Endgame mechanism). In this scenario, the referee will verbally inform the Team that the Endgame has started, begin the 10-second countdown, and record the Skills Stop Time accordingly. The Endgame period must still be 10 seconds long, i.e. a Team cannot decide to immediately stop the Match without an Endgame period (or with a “retroactive” Endgame period) if an accidental expansion occurs without informing the Scorekeeper referee.