Enter the Neutral Zone during Autonomous at your own risk. Any Robot who engages with the Neutral Zone during the Autonomous Period should be aware that opponent Robots may also choose to do the same. Per <G11> and <G12>, Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times.
  • If opposing Robots contact one another while both engaging with the Neutral Zone, and a possible <G13> violation results (i.e., damage, Entanglement, or tipping over), then a judgment call will be made by the Head Referee within the context of <G13> and <G14> just as it would if the interaction had occurred during the Driver Controlled Period.
  • In the context of <G14>, the Zones will always determine “offensive”/“defensive” roles during the Autonomous Period. For example, in Figure 33, the Robots are in the Blue Offensive Zone. Therefore, if an interaction occurred in the Neutral Zone that required a Head Referee judgment call, then Robot B1 would receive the “benefit of the doubt.”
  • The Neutral Zone is intended to be a zone that Robots from both Alliances can utilize during the Autonomous Period. This will inevitably result in Robot-on-Robot interactions, both incidental and intentional. The overarching intent of <SG10> is for the vast majority of these interactions to result in no rule Violations and / or penalties for either Alliance, just as no rules Violations occur in 99% of Driver Controlled Period interactions. Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times. A Robot with a small wheel base, who tips over every time they enter the Neutral Zone and contacts an opponent, should not attempt to claim a <G13> violation on their opponent. Clause “b” of <SG10> is intended to provide a “benefit of the doubt” tiebreaker for interactions which require a Head Referee judgment call beyond clause “a”. If the interaction does not require a judgment call, it is not intended to be an automatic “get out of jail free” card. This could refer to interactions in which one Alliance is clearly at fault, as well as interactions which would clearly be a “no-call” if they had occurred during the Driver Controlled Period. Reckless or unsafe strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, Entanglement, Trapping, or forcing of an opponent into a penalty are still prohibited in the VEX Robotics Competition.

    Figure 33: Two Robots legally interacting within the Neutral Zone.