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View Poll Results: Should judges/refs read the rules?
YES 43 69.35%
NO 0 0%
They do a good job as is. 19 30.65%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 04-17-2003, 07:34 AM
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Should FIRST Judges/Refs Read the Rules?

Do you agree with me that the judges/refs at FIRST competitions should have more knowledge of the rules and regulations for that year's game. FIRST should work on getting more competent judges/refs so less teams get screwed. And teams that know the rules and play by the rules, win. It would make the game fair.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 07:52 AM
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The do read the rules and they have meetings about them before competition begins. As you know, they are volunteers and do thier best. Some only do 1 event. I have seen too much ref bashing on these forums. Refs do make mistakes and are human. They also may interpret rules differently than you or other refs. Give them some slack. I noticed a lot of robots that came onto the playing field without batteries being fastened in and radio cables loose. People showed up for wrong matches. Does thjis mean all students are bad, or need proper training. No !!!! the only thing we can expect is consistency and the ability to change if problems are pointed out. Rules stated no replays but I know of at least 2 during Championship and 2 during regionals( probably a lot more). They try to do things right and they are there giving of thier time. Remember, you could give up building and become a ref if you like.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 08:27 AM
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The easiest thing to do the in world is to point your finger at others and lay judgement on them.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 08:39 AM
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You Tell him Steve
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Unread 04-17-2003, 08:50 AM
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I added another option to this poll, to be fair to those who judge and ref competitions.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 08:54 AM
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Judges need to have a familiarity to the game and need to be able to understand a team's manner of play. But, judges don't need to know the details of the rules.

Referees and inspectors need to know the rules, and from what I can tell, most do... especially the head referees and the head inspectors. This has improved over the recent years. Usually, the disagreements that we see are in two areas:

1. people interpret some rules differently

2. referee's judgements on the field are different than observers, due to the simple fact that referees cannot read the minds of robot drivers and understand the intent of some moves.

During the first week of regionals, #1 came in to play. Once FIRST had a few regionals under their belt, they communicated these interpretations between regional coordinators and referees and agreed how to make rulings.

#2 is more tricky... this was seen in Houston as some teams were called for DQ with regards to tipping and some not. Referees do their best, and make tough calls sometimes. They don't have the luxury of hindsight and replay. Sometimes they make the wrong call that decides a championship, sometimes they make the right call. That is the way of the world. If this is not easily understood or accepted, then I suggest doing something less challenging or exciting.

I'll never forget a time when I was a ref for the first year of IRI. I made a tough call against team 68, Truck Town. I go over to their alliance station to explain the call... and their students are complaining. Tom Nader, their coach, said to his students "what was the referee's call?" The students just looked at me and shook my hand. I could tell that they did not agree, but they simply accepted my call. This simple act of GP has stuck with me ever since. This showed class by Tom and the students. I wish that more teams had 68's class.

Andy B.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 10:09 AM
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Jeez guys! Maybe it's time everyone learned a little bit more about what FIRST does to train it's refs.

There is a referee manual given out by FIRST to every ref before competition. This manual contains almost everything a ref needs, including "The Game" section from the manual. It focusses on DQ's and penalties. They are also refferred to the competition documents themselves, and all the team updates. As the season goes on, the ref manual is updated regularly from these updates.

The ref's are also given "Cheat sheets" of important things they should watch during each stage of the match, and all the various calls they need to watch for.

The most important part is the ref meeting on thursday night at competition. This is where the Head-Refs familiarize the other (volunteer) refs with how things will work. They go over the rules again. They talk about any controversies expected to occur. They also look for weird scoring situations. (Example: most ref meetings spend about an hour just looking at various box placements and stack configurations, determining EXACTLY what is legal and not.)

The head-ref's are all INCREDIBLY familiar with the rules. FIRST is very careful when choosing a head-ref, and makes sure they have someone familiar with every facet of the game. These head-refs also regularly communicate during the 6-weeks of competition, such that things stay as consistent as possible from week to week. They painstakingly over-analyze the game rules, to try to make things as clear as possible for all those invovled.

Refs are there to make competition a FAIR and POSITIVE experience for everyone involved. They donate their time and energy (it's more than you think... try it sometime...) for YOU, the "colored shirt" participant in this wonderful competition.

To imply that many refs did not read the rules, and therefore "screwed" teams is unfair, and insulting to those who are volunteering.

FIRST does EVERYTHING they can to make things fair, and to make sure everyone involved knows the rules.

Remember:
Just because YOU think it was a bad call, doesn't mean it actually was!

Referees call things as they see them. Their interpretation of what happened is the only one that matters, because their rulings are final!

Cut the refs some slack guys...
They are out there working for YOU, and many of them, are members right out of these forums. Members right out of participating teams.

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Unread 04-17-2003, 10:13 AM
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is this about Refs or judges... like those who judged awards? because they should def. read more of the rules for awards. specially one in particular

Caus every ref i met at nationals was nice and cool and we never had any problems with the refs. one person at regionals would yell at every human player as they went back to the drivers station.. lol we were laughing about that.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 10:30 AM
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Officals (tried) helped

We competeted in the West Michigan and lost points due to a mistake by either the Ref or Score Keeper.
Our robot and our teammate were the only ones on top at the end and they gave the points to the other teams.
An offical helped by saying if our 2 oppents agree that they didn't earn those points that we would get the points back. One team agreed the other said we're keep those points. (So much for Gracious Professionalism)
FYI-They don't except video or pictures as proof.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 11:48 AM
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Well said Andy and John. Letís all not get into ref bashing. Referees are people too. They make mistakes. I am a referee. I admit, I have made mistakes in the past.

The most important thing to remember is just because the referee's decision does not agree with YOURS does NOT mean the referees made a mistake. Just because the referee has a different interpretation of the rules does not mean his is wrong and yours is right.

I refereed at the SV Regional this year. The individuals i referees with were some of the most competent and knowledgeable people i have ever worked with and it was an honor to referee with them.

At the Southern California Regional, where I did real time scoring, the referees took time out of their busy schedules to meet for hours on Thursday making sure they all understood the finer points of the game as they were described in the updated rules and referees manual. They did this to be fair not because they were confused. They knew the rules really well by the start of the seeding matches.

FIRST referees are not out to "screw" you or "cheat" you or anyone else. They are present at the events to make sure they are as fair as possible and fun for everyone. If they mess up, its not a big deal. Thatís where gracious professionalism comes in. Is it GP to come to these boards and whine about the referees? Do you honestly you think you could have done a better job if you were in their shoes? Shouldnít we leave out differences at the competition since nothing can be donít to change it and starting threads like these on CD is going to do nothing except cause fights?

Anyway, thatís my opinion.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 12:18 PM
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When my son started playing soccer, he was upset with some of the calls at his first game. I told him then, "It doesn't matter what you think happened, what the Ref calls (or doesn't) is what happened. The judgement of the Ref is part of the game, live with it or don't play." The same principle applies here.

If an eight year old can undertand that, why can't some of you?
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Unread 04-17-2003, 02:10 PM
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One thing we have to play by the rules refs should follow it

If they agree it should be a DQ it should be a DQ and not change their mind and BS there way out of it so they dont "take up more time".

We have to follow the rules from day one refs should know these rules better and shouldnt have a "cheat sheet" so when they forget.

The only point I was bringing up is there would be a lot less complaining if refs read the rules and the consequences and went by them.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 03:39 PM
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The only thing I don't like is that sometimes Refs will obviously not give the correct amount of points to teams. If the competition matches are in such a hurry, then we should just put more time inbetween the matches completely devoted to the scoring of matches so the score will almost always be correct... that's my only complaint. Other than that, the refs overall did a pretty good job.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 04:43 PM
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Refs ARE trained before matches, they DO go to meetings to know the major rules, and have a good knowledge about what is a DQ and what isn't.
Think of it as being an umpire in a baseball game. These men and women only have a split second to decide if it is a ball or strike. There is no instant-replay, much like there isn't an instand replay in FIRST. Refs are human, they do make mistakes. I had the chance to stand in on part of the refs meeting at the 2002 IRI while I was helping there, and they are given the rules, and understand them very well.
People who complain about them don't understand how hard it is. Refs make a call based on what they see, and whatever they say usually goes. I know a few times where a score has been overturned, but usually, the refs call goes.
But remember, they are only human. Everyone makes mistakes.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 05:51 PM
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Angry Refs.

I know lots of refs. One was a substitute teacher of mine this year. They read the rules. As for "jusdes", yeah, its frustrating when your talking to a judge about something you know way more about than they do (ie the rules).
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