2009 Human Player Specifics

Got some specific questions about what people are seeing on Human Players.

The rules say the HP must use the tongs to pick up the balls from the floor. Is this ANYTIME? Even if the balls are past the airlock and behind the wall?

Like if the ball rolled through the air lock and past the driver wall, does the HP still have to use the tongs to pick up the ball from the floor?

Are you guys seeing any penalties for reaching on the floor for balls past the driver wall without using the tongs?

Once they use the tongs and place the balls in the tote (for later retrieval), then they can reach in the tote with their hands and get balls is what I read in the rules.

Can HP hold more than one ball? I don’t see anything in the rules against this yet I don’t see many HP doing this. Didn’t know if I missed a rule somewhere.

Can human players toss a ball under the wall through the airlock back to the robot without penalty without using the tongs? I think I seen Simbots doing this but wasn’t sure.

Thanks for any feedback on specific ball handling on the HP.

HP must use tongs for any ball that is not in the tote

I have seen penalties be given for not using tongs

HP can hold more than one ball

At midwest I saw at least one instance of an entire tote being dumped under the wall toward a robot.

Also at Midwest, supercells were loaded into robots by sending them under the wall.

It was a rule or an update that states that the tote that holds the balls must remain on the floor at all times.

yep here it is


Hmm, that’s weird. Trust the rule updates, not other regionals.

There are only 3 refs this year and they don’t really watch the HP’s that well, as they are watching the field making sure the robots aren’t breaking rules. At TC there were SO many HP penalties that didn’t get called because the refs just weren’t watching at that time. 3 refs for this game really is WAY to few.

The airlock includes the case/enclosure inside the driver station wall, not just outside the wall. Tongs must be used to lift the ball off the ground, then once removed from the airlock it is free for use. Put it in the tote, hold it in your hand, drop it on the ground outside the airlock. You no longer need to use the tongs. Payload specialists can hold as many as they want at once, but can’t touch them until after the match starts.


I can understand your concern, however, if everyone is volenteer then shouldn’t you be lucky that you have 3 referees? It would be more convenient and more fair to have 3 refs, however, life isn’t fair. And I’m sure the refs are doing as great a job as they can.

Sorry for the negative comments it’s just how I feel.

I’m not really that concerned, i don’t think stepping out of the lines or taking the box off the floor should really warrant a penalty. I was just commenting on the fact that if they are going to have these rules that they should be policed correctly. I think that, for the most part, the refs have been doing an awesome job this year.

Does anyone know how long the tether that holds the tongs is and where it is attached to the fueling station.

At the Boston Regional, most of the penalties called were on the Payload Specialists. When I was coaching the drive team, we always went over the golden PS Rules:

  • Use the tongs for balls not in a tote.
  • Don’t stick your had through the Plexiglas.
  • Use your seat belt.
  • Don’t pick up the totes.
  • Don’t throw the Empty Cells over the wall.
  • Stay inside your box.
  • Don’t touch the Super Cell until 20 seconds left.

We were penalty-free in Boston. Does anyone see something I missed?

At the Oklahoma Regional you could use your hands to grab moon rocks as long as your hand did not pass the plane of the alliance wall. The tongs can be used as long as they do not go outside of the airlock.

At Buckeye in the SF’s I saw an HP show the ref the empty cell grab the super cell and then throw both into the crater one after the other. No Penalty because the ref was watching the field.

I agree, too few refs this year.

As a human player, a few more things i noticed being called were:

Sticking hands over the plexi glass wall at the corner fueling stations… It happens mostly during atonomous when you are dropping them right over the wall… Your hand cant cross the plane of the wall.

Second one has to do with touching the ball before buzzer… Our announcer would say. Three… two… one… go… and then about two seconds later the actual buzzer would start. A penalty was received if you touched the balls before the “official” buzzer.

Lastly. While using the tongs. Make sure you pick it up a fair amount off the ground. I got a penalty called for not bringing it up far enough off the ground.

As far at the tether for the tongs goes… It is just long enough to reach the airlock… At our regional (San diego), the tongs wouldnt even reach out far enough to get a penalty.

This is how it was called at Midwest and Kettering District:

  1. Must use tongs to pick up the moon rocks, empty cells, and super cells from the fueling station floor or airlock floor.

  2. Can put rocks/cells into the fueling station and use your hands to push them out the airlock as long as you do not break the plane of the alliance wall with your hands. There is a Q & A about this clarifying the rule that you must use the tongs to pick up but not to push out. we use the roll out method at Midwest a lot!

  3. Don’t even think about touching the super cell until to 20 second sound is made. even if you do not put it on the crater you will get the double penalty.

  4. You could not dump the bin into the fueling station. The bin must stay on the floor.

at both events, I specifically asked about the rolling on the floor to make sure the refs knew the Q & A. I will look it up and attach it here in a minute.

EDIT: Found it and it is really clear: http://forums.usfirst.org/showthread.php?t=11987


I checked the rules and we were supposed to use the tongs to pick up the moon rocks (<G40>). I guess the refs missed that one.

Last year they managed to get… what, 10 refs for each regional? And I know I, for one, asked to be a ref, and was told that they didn’t need any more. I think there was a conscious effort in this game to cut down on the number of refs required, but unfortunately the high human player involvement seems to have thwarted that.

At the Arizona Regional, the human player job was the following. I didn’t see these anywhere in the past posts.

  1. The human player was responsible for putting the moon rocks inside, on, etc the robot.
  2. The moon rock had to be at least the wall level in order for the h.p. to be able to touch it.