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Unread 02-17-2002, 10:59 PM
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Controversy at the SCRRF Scrimmage -- opinions needed!

Today at the SCRRF scrimmage, we ran into an interesting rule issue, and I wanted to get some opinions on it. Our robot has a long lexan “carpet,” which connects our robot to our goal grabber (which anchors itself in place, preventing the goal from being moved). It is made of 1/16” inch lexan squares (3” X 6”), and when deployed lies completely flat against the floor and is inflexible enough that it cannot get wrapped around anything. In the last match of the finals today, we were winning by a large margin with 15 seconds remaining, and had our grabber anchoring a goal in our goal zone, and the “carpet” running to our robot, which was in our home zone. One of the losing teams, in a deliberate attempt to get us DQ’ed, repeatedly tried to entangle itself on our “carpet” (which itself was at rest) by running back and forth over it and doing 360s. In the end, it was not able to get itself caught on our carpet, and the match ended with the robot straddling (but not actually touching) our “carpet.” However, the student judges ruled that our “carpet” was an entanglement risk (although no robot, even ones that tried, ever got caught up on it). When the judges asked us to clear the field, the other robot was able to drive off without a hitch, so it was not stuck on our “carpet.” My question is twofold:

1) If a robot intentionally tries to entangle itself on part of another robot, is the entangling robot still at fault? If so, it would seem that any arm, grabber, appendage, or even robot body would pose the risk of entanglement, as a robot could always be made or driven to get caught up on them. Even the telescoping boom, which FRCTech2002 specifically OK’d, could entangle a robot with enough ground clearance or malicious intent. The rule about entangling goals requires there to be the intent to run the tether under the goal on the part of the tethered robot -- another robot pushing a goal onto a tether doesn’t count -- so it seems the same would apply here (see TU #6). It would also seem that deliberately trying to get entangled in order to DQ another robot is strictly against the spirit of gracious professionalism, and not in the spirit of the competition itself.

2) Does a device actually have to get caught up on another robot (or have the potential to get caught up) in order to count as an entanglement risk, or is simply being able to be driven over enough?

I do want to add that I have no hard feelings against the judges, who did the best job they could, and I know that the result of the scrimmage doesn’t matter, but I want to get opinions on how such a situation might play out at the regionals. I will post pictures here of the actual “entanglement” as soon as they are developed.
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Last edited by ahecht : 02-17-2002 at 11:31 PM.
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Unread 02-17-2002, 11:07 PM
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I have to say that your device was far better than some of the other OBVIOUS entangling risks (Hart).
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Last edited by Monkey : 02-17-2002 at 11:17 PM.
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Unread 02-17-2002, 11:40 PM
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At the DC scrimmage, 225 (Bear Feat), which has a very nice machine BTW, had deployed its runner. It went diagonally-ish across the field and was between us and the goal. In attempting to get to the goal, we drove across the teather, or tried to. We ended up hung up on it and unable to get off.

It didn't wrap around our wheels, but it did prevent us from getting to the goal. Or anywhere else for that matter.

I personally think that would be entanglement, but until it is rulled so in a match, it isn't.

A related question: What are the rules regarding scoring for the other team when an opposing team is disqualified?
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Unread 02-17-2002, 11:47 PM
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Oh man Zan im sorry i didnt remember it was you on our alliance. I was so crazy.
Hey Cd members tell us what you think about this ruling. I was on this alliance with team 60. Whose bot may i say was just beautiful. It was a cross between a ballerina and a junkyard bulldog. It had the grace of a ballerina with that arm and drive train and the power of a 200lb bulldog.

Be afraid........ be VERY afraid. 60 will leave you in the dust and crying for more.

Thanks to all of the members of the culver city alliance ,
Justin Rolnick
And a special thanks to GLen and all of those great drivers on team 60.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 12:18 AM
Andy A. Andy A. is offline
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Couple sides to this issue:

1. like FIRST has been saying all along: If it presents a risk of entanglement, then it presents a risk of entanglement and isn't legal.

2. It doesn't sound like your 'bot had any risk of entanglement about it.

3. If a 'bot gets tangled, then it's tangled. If they can do it by will, then you have to assume that it's possible they could do it with out meaning to. A risk is a risk is a risk is a risk. Just like most forms of teathers deployed at the last second probably wouldn't be a risk, FIRST doesn't seem to care. If the risk is there, even the risk of a team meaning to get entangled, then it's not going to pass inspection or will get DQ till the risk is gone. But again, a lot of this is subjective. It's up to the refs and judges and their all diffrent. If a team did get stuck on your scoop, then it would probably attract attention. Would it get you DQ? Maybe not, it all depends on the refs call. If it happend more then once, then your going to attract a lot of attention.

But it doesn't sound like thats going to happen to you.

-Andy A.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 12:56 AM
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Post Entanglement

DQ3: Strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tripping over or entanglement of robots are not allowed...

M16: Referees may disallow mechanisms that present a risk of entanglement.

Now, M16 is in the robot appendix, and DQ3 applies to the game. I'd think referees would use M16 during inspection and DQ3 in the game.

Looking at what happened to you, the other team was CLEARLY trying to damage YOUR system, by driving on it deliberately and violently. They should have been called to stop first by DQ3. I'm sure FIRST judges will realize this. I hope your system won’t be a problem in inspection, and if I may say so, it’s ingenious.

(BTW, our 'bot wasn't at Chatsworth, as we were still finishing it.)

Last edited by Suneet : 02-18-2002 at 01:01 AM.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 01:36 AM
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I was head ref at SCRRF

Ok.......
In refrence to the SCRRF. I WAS the head ref for the entire competetion. CONTRARY to team 992's claim, the other team DID get entangled in their lexan device. While the team was not entangled at the end of the competetion it WAS during the match and that was when we got the call. Additionally, there were numerous teams that had some trouble going over their lexan device. there are several issues here pertaining right to that incident.

1. A TEAM DID GET ENTANGLED. the head ref (me) and my assistant have been in robots a combined 9 years and in our opinion that was entanglement. We both saw it happen and i was personally 2 feet away when it happened.

2. Team 992 was warned by BOTH ref's several times that they were an entanglement hazzard. While they did make some changes, the changes were not enough to prevent the lexan from becoming an entanglement hazzard.

3. While it can be assumed by some that the robot tried to entangle itself on purpose, it can never proven. As the referee i had to rely on the facts. The FACTS were that a team DID get entangled in team 992's device while it was on the floor. If the team DID try to become entangled, it IS unprofesstional that was not the issue. The issue was the FACT that entanglement did occur.

4. When it comes to being graciously professional team 992 was unprofessional towards the officiating committee. One of their adult coaches had to be gently escorted off the field by the crew due to his unruley attitude. When warned on a previous occasion earlier in the day, the team used abusive language and constantly second guessed the referees on their decision bringing up the same points over and over that had nothign to do with our ruling.


Speaking as an official at a small competetion, i hope that teams would show more respect to the volunteers that work it. We are trying our best!

Anyway, my 2 cents

Sean Roberts
Head Ref, SCRRF
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Unread 02-18-2002, 02:16 AM
A. Snodgrass A. Snodgrass is offline
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1) There is no excuse for swearing at a judge in a competition, even if you disagree with the judge. And not to offend anybody but 992 had team members who were doing just that. Before accusing somebody else of not showing gracious professionalism, make sure that YOUR team is showing it.

2) You did entangle another bot. Arguing with the referees of the competition on whether or not there WAS an entanglement is a useless exercise and it represents harassment of the judges. I dont care if you dont agree with the ruling. But arguing over it was NOT the right thing to do. At a true regional a judges word is final. Since this was meant to represent a small taste of a true regional experience as well as a good practice, the people picked as judges are the ones who are KNOWN for knowing the rules among the students.

3) Ignoring another team when they tell you about something in the competition is a bad move. I dont know who your team had doing tech inspection but they got nasty to at LEAST two old veteran teams when they tried to explain concepts, and some points about inspection. This isnt the brightest move. Plus arguing not only with the veteran teams but a neutral observer is a VERY bad move.

I do have one question as well. Do the pictures show underneath where the entanglement took place? Underneath? If they do then you can plead your case. If they dont then there isnt really a good way FOR those to prove your case.

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Last edited by A. Snodgrass : 02-18-2002 at 02:35 AM.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 03:08 AM
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Ok i have talked with both sides zan and this is what came out of it.
First of all dont be mad at sean from team 330 he wasnt the one who made the rule. He was there as a volounteer and i will not tolerate him being abused. If it were a real regional event and anything like this happened the judges would start taking points away.

Second if you want to plead gracious professionalism then it has to come from your team also. Yelling at any volounteer will not be tolerated by first. These people are volounteers and are not there to take any abuse what so ever.

Thirdly dont argue with veteran teams. That low team number means experience. They have been here a long time and know what there doing. Teams like 60 and archer are very knowlegable.

Zan i want you to understand something, the things i have just said are in no way meant to put you down. I just want your team to know that they need to have gracious professionalism in any matter.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 04:31 AM
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Lightbulb

Pretty much entanglement means what it means. When stuff get entangled, then the referee will see that, and rule to either stop the match, or disable the robot because of the rule of entanglement. If it actually happened, then referee are going to call it.

Now, if it is a device on your robot, that happens to get entangled. The judge will have to see if it's likely to happen again. If so, they will ask you to modify the part until they are satisfied. Or, if they think the risk isn't great, then they will let you keep it. Prepared to remove the device either way.

And about who causes it and how it happen... It really doesn't matter. As long as the device is on your robots and the entanglement do happen, then it is your fault. (Well, not really "fault"... but if your robot doesn't have the device, then entanglement wouldn't have happened). So, your robot will be the one to be asked to be modified. So will the other team if there are some devices on their robot that got entangled (unlike just a drive train).

It is the design of the device that make entanglement happen.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 05:51 AM
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If a robot can't get over your runner, big deal! The runner is a part of your robot. You wouldn't expect a team to be able to drive over any other part of your robot, why should the runner be any different? I can build a robot that would unfold to be as wide as the arena and just creep up the field - would that be entangling if a robot couldn't get around? Nope.

Furthermore, if a team tries to entangle an arm or tether that is lying on the floor, the team that is spinning donuts is at fault, not the team that built an arm that is difficult to entangle.

And lastly, chill out. Don't be a jerk and try to pick up someone's tether, and don't be even more of a jerk and swear at volunteer refs. It won't help anyway - as the saying goes, you get more flies with honey than with vinegar.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 12:21 PM
Jnadke Jnadke is offline
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What I mean is... I think there are a couple of pics floating around of our robot drive frame... It's quite close to the ground so almost any tether can pose a threat...

Last edited by Jnadke : 02-19-2002 at 12:19 PM.
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Unread 02-18-2002, 03:20 PM
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Anchoring systems=sticky rules?

if a robot were to drag the ancored goal around and rop off the tether atttached to it, would that be deliberate destruction of the robot?
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Unread 02-18-2002, 07:37 PM
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Andrew,

That really depends on what the refs think. While the rules do specifically prohibit "DQ3: Strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tripping over or entanglement of robots are not allowed" the act of moving a goal over a tether is most likely an attempt to get the goal to a scoring position and not destroy the tether. In an update to the rules FIRST encourages teams to build robots robust enough to stand the interaction that occurs at the matches. Untimately, however, it is up to the referee's judgement to determine whether the act of moving the goal over the tether was meant to destroy the tether or just to score points. Additionally, the update says that if a goal is moved over a tether and the goal is damaged, the team moving the goal over the tether is held responsible. It is a complex issue that depends on the circumstance and the refs.

BTW just to clarify things: The 2 DQs at SCRRF involved entanglement with other robots and not the goals.

Sean Roberts
Head Ref, SCRRF
Senior Member, team 330
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Unread 02-18-2002, 10:07 PM
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RE: SCRRF scrimmage

As much as I don't want to bad mouth team 992, I can't help but think that they could have realized that their "carpet" is a dangerous device. I know both the refs personally, and am told that 992 was given a stern warning that if ANYTHING became entangled in their device, no matter what the motives of either parties involved, it was the deployers fault.

Even if they could not foresee the impending problems, they were called for entanglement more than once, so they could have then removed their device and avoid any further problems.

Furthermore, after their offenses were called, they refused to give up, even when the matches were long over. A team member of 992 came up to one of the refs and started cussing and complaining about how horrible the call was. This is the exact opposite of gracious professionalism. May I inform you that neither of the refs were supposed to ref by themselves, much less the whole day. It was the other teams who didn't fufill their responsibility by submitting refs to help. May I also remind 992 that the refs at the regionals and nationals are sure to be much more strict, and the teams might be disqualified for the rest of the competition simply for voicing their disagreement.

I urge Oakwood to cosider removing or at least modifying their device before further using it.
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