Each year, we look at what official rules might need to be adjusted for IRI.
We have the benefit of seeing how the game is played, and we can adjust the level of difficulty (when needed) to match the level of play we see at IRI.
Gneral guidelines we use are that we won’t make changes that are a major impact to designs, and we try to limit changes so that teams don’t feel compelled to spend all of June and July working on their robot to meet some new challenge. We are also have to consider changes that impact FMS, automated systems, and referees.
As a note, we were already discussing the Tower Strength change to 10. We will see how that plays out at CHP.
Change G28 so that robots can continue playing defense in the courtyard until the end of the match. They must leave robots on the batter alone, but before that robot gets to the batter, they’re fair game.
This could make the game more competitive in the way that you possibly eliminate shooting from the same spot every time. Agreed in the way that it could force teams to use more goals than just the center one.
As the season continues, Breaching seems to be less valued, as it happens relatively quickly with a competent alliance. Something that may add an additional level of difficulty would be to require all 5 defenses to be breached to get the rank point/extra points in teleop. I don’t know if that messes up the FMS, but from a referee standpoint, it shouldn’t be any more work.
I would make the sally port and drawbridge transparent. My preference would be to eliminate the portcullis and drawbridge completely, but that might be too drastic a rule change.
Some language to eliminate the transferring-balls-without-completely-crossing-a-defense penalties while still preventing the existence of ‘defense-straddling bots’ would be nice.
Some language to not penalize robots that inadvertently push a second boulder over a defense when crossing when the second boulder previously started in a defense would be nice.
I would also investigate incorporating a static or non-team-selected defense lineup to help with the space constraints (and matches would go very quickly without having to change all the defenses all the time), but I haven’t done any analysis on the impact of this yet.
Add a ref in each human player station watching ball counts
Robots can break the midline during autonomous, but only for a new boulder zone. Put the boulders in their own 10" “zone” where you can interact with the entirety of the ball. Itll make for some interesting auto modes.
Breaching and captures shouldn’t be automatic, as they are slowly turning into. Changing it to 10 boulders (or higher?) should help with captures… I would also, if possible, change the requirements for damaging a defense to 3 crossings instead of two.
Remove the limitation on robots crossing Neutral Zone plane during autonomous. This encourages teams to develop more complicated autonomous programs that reflect the level of competition that should be at IRI.
Remove the height limitation of 4’6 in your own courtyard. This makes actual courtyard defense viable, and gives cheesecaking options.
If a boulder is in the way of a robot’s defense crossing (eg in the low bar), don’t penalize them for pushing it through. This eliminates those awkward situations where you have to outtake your ball and take the defense ball because of a weird case in the rules.
I was so caught up in boulders/tower strength I didn’t even think of this, but I really like it. It seems like it adds that extra amount of difficulty without being excessively hard or fundamentally changing gameplay.
The only issue I see is that I doubt it will be able to be changed in the scoring system (as there was no reason to build variable defense strength into the system) so that will add some difficulty in scoring. Potentially. I’m no expert.
And of course now this means that there’s another crossing for teams to get mad about when refs “miss” it
Allow boulders to be able to be shot/launched/moved out of your own courtyard into the neutral zone or opponents courtyard. Penalize any scored boulders however. This would open up some new defensive and offensive strategies to play stronghold.
Just remove the drawbridge entirely, but if that’s too much I completely understand.
You should allow defenses to be crossed multiple times in auto and give you the same amount of pointd(I.e. first crossing 10, 2ND crossing 10) because at the moment defenses are effectively worthless at high levels of play as an effective elims alliance is breaching literally every match.
This would make auto a bit more interesting as now you have placed an interesting deal on the field of do you shoot and cross once or just cross twice? However it does have the chance to greatly overpower two ball autos, which to be honest are already doing a fine job at being pretty effective.