Banging on Glass

I have been musing these questions over for a few weeks and as my mentor will not let me ask these is the official Q and A, I will ask them here.

  1. In rule H16, it says that “Team members may never strike or hit the ALLIANCE STATION plastic
    windows.” However, I think that mentors are not team members. Does that mean that a mentor coach is able to bang on the glass?

  2. There are no rules prohibiting the robot from banging on the glass during the sandstorm, so is it legal for a robot to hit the sandstorm?

  3. If a robot/driveteam bangs on the glass and causes the sandstorm to have issues, is that a field fault? Will the match be stopped, or will it go on with a sandstorm the whole time?

I’m only going to focus on your #1

Do your mentors where team shirts while at competitions? If you answer yes to this then how are they not team members?

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For 2, im pretty sure that goes against G15.

For 3, G15 would get you a nice card, and probably stuck with the results if intentional. (not a ref though, past the card i dont claim to know what will actually happen.)

Why? Can you elaborate?

For 2 and 3, remember the intention of sandstorm was to provide a challenge where one would operate the robot without a direct line of sight. Any attempt to either damage the field or circumvent the line-of-sight restriction definitely goes against the spirit of the rules… Even if you think you’ve found a loophole here, I’d be very leery about pursuing it as a strategy.
Remember the update where they closed the loophole about climbing the opponent’s HAB.

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5.5 Drive Team
A DRIVE TEAM is a set of up to five (5) people from the same FIRST Robotics Competition team responsible for team performance for a specific MATCH.

If your mentor is not a member of the team he/she won’t be let into the ALLIANCE STATION (see H11). Especially if you’re planning to exploit technicalities in the rules I would recommend following the advice in the thread below (not to be patronizing).

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I refer you to the blue box in section 12.3:

A broken FIELD element caused by ROBOT abuse that affects the outcome of the
MATCH for their ALLIANCE is not an ARENA FAULT.

What are you trying to get out of these rules by asking these questions? Like are you trying to think of “legal” ways to cause a field fault to replay a match?

1: I assume you watched Kickoff, and they spoke about how the Sandstorm curtains work. So how do you possibly come to the conclusion that mentors are allowed to damage the field just because they’re not students?

2: There is no reason AT ALL for a robot to bang on the glass during Sandstorm. You get points for diving OFF the HAB, which is in the COMPLETE OPPOSITE DIRECTION of the glass. Any attempt at touching the glass at this time should be called as G15 and result in at least a Yellow Card if it’t intentional (which seems to be your angle from your questions).

3: For humans, try reading H16. As for the robot, that might be a bit more difficult to call. Fortunately the Sandstorm curtain does not extend over to the Loading Stations, so a robot banging against that glass shouldn’t be an issue. As for the other areas, there’s not much room for a robot to normally cause an issue. You would have to try to purposefully cause damage to the Sandstorm curtain, which again would result in a G15.

I can see why your mentor shut these questions down: you’re trying to lawyer the rules in some absurd way to give you the ability to force a field fault and replay the match. This is definitely NOT in the spirit of FIRST and would result in a potential Red Card or even event DISQUALIFICATION if done strategically and repetitively.


In light of the last comment, which seemed rather hostile in my opinion, just don’t bang on the glass, human or robot. The rules clearly spell that out. The above comments give the correct citations to the rules, so I will refer you to those comments.

Mentors are NOT second class citizens.

Fun Questions though.


I agree with the answers above, but also it would be very difficult to pin the curtains to start with, look at their placement, even starting out on hab level two, you would have to have some mechanism that at the very start of sandstorm deploy over the bumpers and move up and forcibly pin the fabric to the wall, and even then the fabric is quite slippery and there is hardly any lip at the bottom to catch, so most likely the fabric would just get yanked right out from under your pin.

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loop hole… bring a piece of lexan to the field to bang on.

To answer your question
#1 mentors are part of the team
#2 there is no reason for the robot to hit the glass during sandstorm unless small instances that it would happen
#3 I think its up to the refs and if the team has gone it before or other teams have done it at the comp


I believe by “team” they are referring to the 5 person drive “team” that is assembled. I see the loophole that you’re trying to work with, and from a strategic point of view, I applaud it, however with something in this gray area, I’d refer to the head ref at your comp(s). You could try the asking for forgiveness route with your original argument, but the refs have the ability to interpret rules how they see fit, so it would be risky. Your best bet is to take any available extra time in setting everything up pre-match.
Best of luck!

I’ll give you my best Q&A-style answers:

  1. Your COACH wears a button that identifies which Team the COACH is a member of, which makes the COACH a Team member. It is that Team that will receive the violation(s).

  2. We believe the second paragraph in the Blue Box of G15 answers your question. If not, rephrase and ask your question again.

  3. While we cannot answer hypothetical situations absolutely, you might find the first Blue Box of Section 12.3 helpful. HUMAN and ROBOT abuse may be seen as similar types of abuse by a REFEREE, however, the final judgement will be made by the HEAD REFEREE at the event.

You can tell I’ve been reading the Q&A waaaaay too much for my team this season. :slight_smile:

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