Answer to Q86 - No defense in auto?

I had considered asking a similar question to this in reference to the rule 7.2.1 G3 (which was even updated recently) and was beaten to the punch by 3229.

G3. During AUTO, no defense. During AUTO, a ROBOT’s BUMPERS may not break the plane of their ALLIANCE’s SECTOR (see Figure 3‑3.)

Violation: FOUL. If contact with an opponent ROBOT, either directly or transitively through another ROBOT or POWER CELL, TECH FOUL per instance.

Q: Is it OK for a robot to pass into/thru the RENDEZVOUS POINT area during AUTO, and is it a violation if there is incidental contact with an opponent’s robot?

A: There are no rules prohibiting ROBOTS from entering the RENDEZVOUS POINT during AUTO or contacting other ROBOTS within the RENDEZVOUS POINT during AUTO.

What surprises me is the lack of a foul for contact, during auto, as long as you don’t break the plane of the initiation line and the sector. The question is about the rendezvous point, but I’m extrapolating here. While it makes sense that you’d be able to cross over to get the power-cells in your trench or even risk trying for the power-cells on your starting side in the opponent’s trench, it seems like going for the PCs on your opponent’s side of the rendezvous point or even into the neutral area and creating a little bumper-thumping mayhem is allowed?

The title of G3 implies there should be no defense and the wording of the tech foul violation would seem under ‘common sense reading’ to indicate that any contact might result in a violation.

Anyone else surprised by this, think we need further clarification or considering taking advantage of this? Perhaps the possibility of other robot-to-robot contact violations occurring during auto would be a major deterrent, but I’m surprised.

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I can see a robot that is pathing to collect power cells to be offensive and not defensive, and if that robot collided with another robot also in the rendezvous point that no defense was played.

However, If I see a robot race through the rendezvous point and collide with opponent robots lining up to shoot power cells I’d consider that defensive.

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I still remember back in the day when there were no rules against contact in auto, and interception autonomous programs were a valid strategy.

I guess I’m only surprised in the context of the trends in recent games. I think it would have been hard for them to define additional zones that only apply in autonomous so I understand why they made it the way they did. That said, the obstacles themselves should provide pretty good protection, I can’t see a lot of teams that attempt to cross the RENDEZVOUS POINT to play defense in autonomous, simply because it would be very hard to do accurate position control while crossing the bumps.


Wait so, G10 and 11 don’t count as long as you don’t cross into the opposing sector?

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That seems to be the only rule against it in AUTO, the rest of the field is yours and I’m assuming if you collide then you just collide. Whether you make contact in or outside of the RENDEZVOUS POINT doesn’t matter because it’s both legal. Anything goes as long as you don’t cross their INITIATION LINE

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The other rules still apply in AUTO. You still get penalized for making contact in their TRENCH RUN, TARGET ZONE, or LOADING ZONE. However because their TARGET ZONE is behind their INITIATION LINE and their LOADING ZONE is behind your INITIATION LINE, that means in addition to the other fouls, you’d receive fouls for both contacting them in their zones and crossing the SECTORS in AUTO


No, they still apply. Especially in the trench in this case. You could go into your opponent’s trench and ‘risk’ contact and you’d get a tech foul even in auto. However, going through your own trench
or the rendezvous areas and into the ‘neutral area’ wouldn’t draw a contact foul on yourself, based on how I’m understanding it.

As an example, perhaps my strategy is to shoot my 3 preloaded cells, pick up cells in my trench, shoot them over the control panel and line myself up for a run at my loading station in teleop. However, there’s the possibility that once on that side I’d risk contacting another robot in that space. Risky, but wouldn’t put it past some teams especially if they have the navigation ability to pull it off.

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I look forward to epic autonomous battles like this one (987 beats 469 to the center frisbees in 2013).


Yep. This rule is no mistake. Our students came up with some creative autonomous paths…

This rule may simply be covering ‘no slamming the opposing alliances wall’ like we saw in 2017.

If we have time later in the season I really want our team to draft “auto attack” code (not actually attacking but just bumping) which hopefully we can cheesecake onto other robots if they don’t have a shooter :smiley:

That’s how I read it - during Auto, the “Big H” (between the alliance zones, not in a trench) is fair game for all six robots, and this continues until the endgame. The rendezvous point is only protected in the endgame; of the rendezvous point rules, only G13 and G16 apply through the match, and they both enable the owner of the point but don’t limit the opposing alliance.

Yea auto modes are going to be really fun this year, a mixture of Auto D and alliances passing balls to good inner goal scorers could make for some really entertaining auto modes.

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