2016 IRI - Rule Changes and Reasoning

Below are the 2016 IRI Rule Changes / Modifications. The goals of the changes was to minimize the impact on robot designed from any changes, assure a rapid flow of matches, increase the challenge for teams and adjust a few areas.

We are posting this now so that teams are aware before confirming their attendance at the 2016 IRI.

  1. 3.1.4 Tower Strength = 12 for all matches.

  2. 5.5.10 - In QUALIFICATIONS - Defenses will be randomly selected / placed per the details below. The placement will be defined in advance and will change every 10-12 matches to match the robot cycles. There will be no Audience Selection of Defenses.
    A. Cheval de Frise
    B. Ramparts or Moat
    C. Sally Port
    D. Rough Terrain or Rock Wall
    E. Low Bar (Always in play and in position 1.)

  3. 5.5.10 - In ELIMINATIONS - Defenses will be selected by the opposing alliance (Category and Placement, except Low Bar) per the categories below. There will be no Audience Selection of Defenses.
    A. Cheval de Frise
    B. Ramparts or Moat
    C. Sally Port
    D. Rough Terrain or Rock Wall

  4. G21 Revision - A ROBOT contacting carpet in the opponent’s SECRET PASSAGE may not contact opposing ROBOTS who are in contact with the carpet in the SECRET PASSAGE, regardless of who initiates the contact.

  5. G38 Clarification - Driving over or getting stuck on a boulder while holding another bolder will not be a violation of G38.

  6. **3.1.3 **No change to defense crossings for RP.

  7. R5 A +5 pound weight allowance is provided. There is no formal inspection, however if a referee questions a robot weight it will be verified.

  8. 5.4.1 - Draft Order 1-8, 1-8, 8-1. Alliances select their own backup. No requirement for any robot on an alliance to play.

  9. G13 Exception – G13 Applies, however, AFTER a robot has fully crossed a defense and returned to the midline, a robot may cross the midline with no foul and contact with an opposing alliance robot will not be an additional foul.

  10. **5.4.4 **- In Eliminations, up to THREE tied MATCH SCORES between two alliances will be re-played. If the 4th re-play results in an additional tied MATCH SCORE, the published FIRST tie-breakers will be used.


  1. Reflect the expected level of play and increase the challenge of receiving the RP.

  2. The community has settled on these selections a high percentage of the time. This change reduces the field reset crew work. This change enables a 6 minute cycle time to provide 9 matches per team. Each team will play each set-up one time before they change (except where a cycle is split).Many teams will have limited scouting crews. The Portcullis has been removed by FIRST. The drawbridge was ignored by most teams.

  3. This adds to the strategy options for eliminations and minimizes the changes to the original game play.

  4. *This removes the incentive to just go touch an opposing robot. *

  5. *Getting stuck is enough of a penalty to pay. *

  6. Changes in number of crossings or number of defenses we too much impact on the original game and robots designed to play it.

  7. This allows for repairs or new systems, while maintaining a safe robot weight limit.

  8. *Well, we always do this. *

  9. *This encourages teams to develop / try a 2 boulder AUTON or return to mid-field without fear of major fouls. *

  10. This allows teams to play for the win, but also sets a limit for “how many times”

I read this twice but this might warrant a confirmation/clarification…

You mean this to say: “… the published FRC tie-breakers will be used on the 4th re-play” as opposed to “… the published FIRST match tie-breakers will be used.”

Yeah, I’m probably lawyering this a bit, but in case anyone else read it the way I did…

I think it is correct because the first three tied matches are mention in the first sentence. The second sentence only mentions one match for the tie-breakers to be used in.

I can see how it might require a second read to be clear.

If three matches end in a tie match score, we will play one more match.

If that one also ends in a tie match score, then we will go to the published tiebreakers to determine the winner.

There are some many potential implementations of this that we will publish a list of “if this happens …” so it is clear before that happens.

I forgot the +5lb rule for TRI, I’ll have to update it.

The G13 Exception is interesting, we could see some deviation from the “standard” 2-ball routines that have so far been shown. It should also make non-low bar 2 ball routines more common. Smart way of encouraging more auto play IMO.

Wonder if it result in fewer successful 2 ball autos though, given how easy it will be to defend them.

I have to say, I’m sad to see the drawbridge go. I entirely understand the portcullis, and I can see why IRI did away with the drawbridge. I did really love the extra strategic element that the drawbridge brought when a team that understood how to use it played it well. Messing with vision and pulling it off is an exciting nuance that Stronghold really benefitted from.

On that note, why is the rough terrain still around? At events I went to the rough terrain only a bit more used than the drawbridge (if that). If the drawbridge is going because it was unused, why not the rough terrain?

Perhaps I misinterpreting what Mr. Fultz said: “the drawbridge was ignored by most teams”? I thought that it meant that teams didn’t select it much, but I could see how it could mean that teams didn’t cross it much.

What happens when the teams decide to go full Palmetto* and break all the available copies of the Cheval de Frise?

*Contrary to popular memes, you should always go full Palmetto.

Sometime after Week 0.5, many teams improved their CDF autons. Now most of them are considerably more effective than simple “ramming speed”. :wink:

Since then they’ve made them beeifer. I know the first change was swapping from countersunk to counterboared panels. There may have been a second change. Knock on virtual wood, but in Indiana (and on Carson field for that matter) I don’t remember any breaking (and the defunct countersunk ones being used as doorstops).

I’m sure that the IRI committee put a lot of time into this decision. While it does negatively affect a few teams who planned for their robots to manipulate the drawbridge, I’m sure that the decision was made in the interest of the competitiveness of IRI itself.

While the Drawbridge may not look as obstructive from the stands, in many scenarios the Drawbridge is actually more detrimental to your OWN alliance than it is for the opposing alliance, as placing it in position 2 blocks your left-side member from seeing the left side goal, placing it in 3 blocks your own view of the middle goal, placing it in 4 blocks part of the right side goal and placing it in 5 entirely blocks view of the right-side goal from the right driver station.

Also the main difference between the Drawbridge and the Rough Terrain imo is that very few teams could justify putting a drawbridge anywhere on the field that would benefit their own alliance, while basically every team was able to cross the Rough Terrain.

To be quite honest, the only people I’ve ever heard say the Drawbridge adds to the depth and excitement of the game are people who have never had to play a match behind one. The drawbridge was a suicide pact - you torched your own visibility on a prayer that it messed up the opponent’s visibility more. But it’s closer to you than them, so it blocks more of your vision, and it blocks a significant chunk of the midfield. This is a good change.

They did identify the root cause of much of the Palmetto breakage, but that doesn’t mean breakages didn’t happen later in the season. And when your alternative is gone, I figure it’s worth asking. :slight_smile:

Can’t agree with you too more. We only selected the drawbridge once this season because the opposing alliance could do every defense and we used it to slow down their breach. Playing matches with the drawbridge on either side really sucked, and even with a camera pole at the maximum legal height we had huge visibility issues going over it.

Yeah, my point was more along the lines of “better”, not “perfect”. Obviously I wasn’t clear enough… To be fair the play style was somewhat unique in IN (compared to other areas) which may explain our lack of panel breakage.

We did break a couple batter dividers though (1 in Indiana, 1 on Carson) and had various light string short-outs (which I’m not going to comment on further), so it wasn’t field repair utopia. You can’t win them all…

While it is true, that I have never played a match as the drive crew, I have been pretty involved with my team’s defense selections and general strategy throughout the year. I’ve discussed our use of the drawbridge often with my drive coach, driver, operator, and human player, and always am sure to get consensus from everyone behind the glass (including alliance partners) before placing a drawbridge. I’ll get back to you on whether my drive crew agrees with my opinion of the drawbridge in a little bit.

And to Edxu, yes, I’m aware that the drawbridge is more limiting to your own vision than to your opponents. However, I do believe that it can be used effectively - most commonly in position 4. For example, take a look at MAR Champs Quarterfinal 3, Match 1. (Quarters 3 Match 1 - Mid-Atlantic Robotics District Championship 2016 - The Blue Alliance) This was, honestly, not a match that the blue alliance would have won had the drawbridge not been in such a place that 5401 had difficulty placing their hooks and thus lost their scale. That match was won by less than 10 points. Note that 5401 got their scale successfully in both of the other quarterfinal matches, neither of which had the drawbridge. Furthermore, since we were in a position that we could play around the drawbridge (708 was on the right, and we intended them to focus on low bar-low goal) then the damage to our alliance is at least minimized. Lastly, this works to nearly guarantee that the opponents will not cross at least one defense - a ∆10 for your alliance if they have teams who will solo-damage the sally port from behind. It all comes down to whether you expect to be hurt by the drawbridge for more than 10, possibly 20 points.

Yes, the Drawbridge should be used carefully and thoughtfully, but I would disagree with a sentiment it’s never the right answer.

(At this point, I’ve certainly departed from IRI discussion - my bad.)

Can you clarify how this removes the incentive? or perhaps I am just missing something

Just a note: I agree that the drawbridge can be useful, in the right scenario.

But it’s really fun to watch that “near guarantee” turn into 10 auto points, plus an auto shot on the high goal (which probably drops for another 10), and then another 5 crossing points. (1197 built to be able to run a solo drawbridge. Figured if we couldn’t do low bar, we needed to get a breach some other way if we needed to.)