Match Load Triballs may be safely introduced during the Match under certain conditions. For the purpose of this rule, “introduce” refers to the moment when a Match Load Triball is no longer in contact with a human and has crossed the plane of the field perimeter. During this action, a Drive Team Member’s hand may temporarily break the plane of the field perimeter. This momentary interaction is an exception to rule <G9>. Excessive, unnecessary, or unsafe actions while introducing a Match Load may be considered a Violation of <S1> and/or <G1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.
Teams are responsible for the actions of their own Robots at all times, including while interacting with Match Load strategies/mechanisms that could be deemed unsafe. A higher “benefit of the doubt” will be granted to Teams who can demonstrate any precautions or considerations that have been taken to minimize this risk, e.g., during inspection or a practice match. See this Q&A post for more information.
Match Load Triballs may be introduced by a Drive Team Member in one of two ways: By placing the Match Load gently onto a Match Load Zone. This may be done at any time during the Driver Controlled Period, provided that no other rules are Violated. “Throwing,” “rolling,” or otherwise imparting enough energy onto a Triball such that it bounces out of the Match Load Zone is not permitted. Note that the Match Load Zone refers to the foam tile itself; it is not a three-dimensional volume. There is no rules-bound limit for how many Triballs may be in the Match Load Zone at any given time, provided that new Match Loads are placed directly onto the foam tile without violating any other rules. By placing the Match Load gently into / onto a Robot from the Drive Team Member’s Alliance. The Robot must be contacting the Match Load Zone or the Match Load Bar. Momentarily / accidentally losing contact with the Match Load Zone or Match Load Bar is permissible, provided that the Robot is still “breaking the plane” of the inside edge of the Match Load Bar. See Figure 28. Rules <S1> and <S3> still apply to this interaction; there should be no reason for a Robot to extend outside of the field perimeter during this action. The following actions are not considered “placing the Match Load gently onto a Robot”, and are not permitted. Egregious, intentional, or repeated instances of the following actions may become <G9> Violations at the Head Referee’s discretion. “Throwing,” “rolling,” or otherwise imparting enough energy onto a Triball such that its motion after release is mostly defined by the human (instead of the Robot). Physically interacting with the Robot, such as pushing down on a mechanism (using a sensor to detect a Triball is permitted). Placing the Match Load such that it is in contact with anything other than the Robot, such as the field perimeter or gray foam tiles.

Figure 28: This Robot is not physically touching the Match Load Bar, but is still breaking the plane of the inside edge of the Match Load Bar.
The intent of part 2b is to provide some “benefit of the doubt” to Teams for incidental Violations that may occur during rapid introduction of Match Loads. For the purposes of this rule, “momentary” refers to a duration of 2 seconds or less. Part 2a should still be the primary driver of Robot design; part 2b is not intended to permit a design which relies solely on “breaking the plane” with no intent of the Robot ever contacting the Match Load Bar. In other words, it is still the Team’s responsibility to ensure that a Head Referee can clearly determine their legality “at a glance” during a Match. Part 2d is intended to provide a reasonable, limited scope of prohibited Match Load actions. See this Q&A post for more information.
Note: Match Load Triballs may only be introduced once the Driver Controlled Period has begun. During the Autonomous Period, and during the time between the Autonomous and Driver Controlled Periods, Match Load Triballs may not cross the plane of the field perimeter. Note 2: Match Loads must be introduced to the field one at a time.
Violation Notes:
  • For the purposes of Match Affecting calculations, each illegal Match Load should be considered worth a value of 2 points. These values are not added to the actual score. As with all Match Affecting calculations, only the winner’s points should be considered.
    Match Score
    Score Difference
    # of Illegal Match Loads
    “Match Affecting” Difference
    Red: 50
    +1 (Red)
    +8 (Red)
    Yes, Match Affecting
    Blue: 49
    Red: 55
    +5 (Red)
    +8 (Red)
    Yes, Match Affecting
    Blue: 50
    Red: 62
    +12 (Red)
    +6 (Red)
    No, not Match Affecting
    Blue 50
    Red: 50
    +8 (Red) +6 (Blue)
    Yes, Match Affecting (Red)*
    Blue: 50
    * Note: This scenario is a specific application / exception for how <T8> should be applied to <SG6>.
  • For the purposes of this rule, the following guidelines should be used for escalating repeated Minor Violations to a Major Violation during Qualification Matches: Six or more illegal Match Loads in a single Qualification Match. Three or more Qualification Matches with at least one illegal Match Load (i.e., the third Match and all subsequent Matches with a Violation).
  • For the purposes of this rule, only Match Affecting Violations should be considered during Elimination Matches (i.e., repeated <SG6> Minor Violations in Elimination Matches do not compound to Major Violations). Point B-1 does not explicitly apply during Elimination Matches, although the risk of illegal Match Loads becoming Match Affecting still inherently increases as the quantity of Match Loads increases. Point B-2 does not apply during Elimination Matches.
  • Significant Q&As:
  • 1550 - Match Loads must be entered from the Alliance Station wall
  • 1589 - You cannot push down on a Robot/mechanism while introducing Match Loads
  • 1777 - How to judge whether a Match Load maneuver is safe
  • 1778 - Legality of Match Load strategies / designs
  • 1789 - Only one Match Load can break the plane of the field per Match Load Zone at a time
  • 1821 - A Match Load can only be introduced after the previous one is “launched”
  • 1836 - Referees should warn Teams before and after bad Match Loads whenever possible
  • 1849 - Reaching more than a tile into the field repeatedly may be called as a Violation
  • 1938 - An individual can use both hands to safely introduce one Triball at a time
  • 1973 - When possible, Match Load Violations are assigned to the human Match Loader’s team