Crushing Balls?

If we crushed the moon rocks with out trying do you think it would count againist us since it is part of the arena??

yes damaging field elements is illegal.

If you slam into the wall at 20fps, a ball rolls in between just in time, and the result is a pile of plastic and spandex, odds are that it will be considered incidental. However, if there is something particular about your robot design that is conducive to regularly destroying game pieces, odds are that you won’t be allowed back on the field until you fix it.

Intentionally destroying field elements is illegal. In 06 we got a poof ball stuck in our drive. The ball got ripped up pretty bad, there is a picture of it somewhere on cd. We did not recieve a penalty because it was not our intention to destroy the ball.


The real question is how many balls will be replaced at comp? 200 plus balls per comp. Just my thought.

Couldn’t tell ya, but they’re always well-prepared. Were you around the year we had to stack plastic boxes? They had MOUNTAINS of them for every competition, because they tended to shatter in epic ways. xD

Ouch, yes. I helped pop-rivet some of those darn things in Houston… Galileo had a pile of ready-to-go ones with about 2 LARGE PALLETS of unassembled ones behind the curtain.

Or how about 2007’s tubes? Boxes and boxes were there, ready to be inflated. The same in 2008. You may not see the piles of spare game pieces, but I can vouch for it that the last two years, they had a field cart dedicated to the game pieces for any event that field went to.

If you’re destroying game pieces left and right, you’re doin’ it wrong. There’s probably a much more effective way to do the task at hand that doesn’t break game pieces. Orbit Balls are pretty hardy.

Our rookie year (2004) all of the game pieces were inflatable, and we popped one (or two :o). Each time we got a talking to, and we worked really hard to fix the issue. If your mechanism goes crazy and eats a ball over the course of a regional, no biggie. But if the referees are consistently pulling plastic shards out of their hair when your robot drives by, they’ll take issue.

So, if “without trying” means once in a blue moon, the referees are human too (except Benji Ambrogi, he’s some sort of superhuman) and they realize this stuff happens. But if the mechanism destroys a ball regularly, you’ll have to change it.

Basically, this is all there is to it. This embodies everything.

I didn’t realize the shear amount of tubes they had until during the ceremony in 2007 they announced that the tubes were being handed out first come first serve, people were crawling over themselves to get large amounts. Some people walked out from behind the curtain like the Michelin Man.

I respectfully disagree. These balls are completely shoddy. They break within minutes of normal usage (ie: human players throwing them into goals). Half of them broke before they even left Walmart’s shelves.

They are anything but hardy, and I would expect every robot to break at least one every match just by running into them.

If your manipulator is destroying them, that’s another story, but it seems like it can be all but guaranteed there are going to be a lot of broken balls on the field at any given time.

From the sounds of it FIRST is going to need a team of Orbit ball repair volunteers to keep enough balls alive. these things are going to get wrecked when robots slide into walls and there happens to be a couple balls in the way, I know we don’t have any that haven’t already broken.

Our experience differs. A couple of our balls started out with a separated connector, but none that I know of have broken. This is after many sessions of target practice and a few games of catch with a very young and energetic child.

I concur…to an extent. After we used staples and super glue to repair them after our dodgeball game, they’ve been great since! Now if only the shooter didn’t try to rip the cloth off of them :ahh: . We’re working on it …

Many of ours have broken and I have found that it may depend on how they are thrown to an extent. It seems that the overhand “tomahawk” or “baseball” throw tends to break them more frequently than a basketball style shot or an underhand toss.

We have broken some of our orbit balls just in normal goofing around at our workspace but I am almost positive that at the competition…unless it intentional…a penalty will not be assessed for broken orbit balls…this is of course unless your robot is an orbit ball shreder and then I think you will have to fix it to make sure it is not ruining a ball everytime it touches it.
Good luck!
Alicia Albrecht
Electrical Subteam
The Robettes 2177

I feel a little disappointed that in 15 posts, no one has really answered the original question:

First off, here is the rule that most directly answers your question:

In the future, try to make sure to look in the manual first. If you’ve read the rules and need further guidance about interpretation, posting on CD is a great way to go. R04 and R05 in Section 8 also discuss this.

I also have to take issue with both freakydork88 and Laaba 80’s responses. The former was incorrect when he or she asserted in a blanket statement that damaging field elements is illegal, and the latter’s use of anecdotal evidence just confuses the issue more.

If you read the above rule, it says nothing about intention. If your robot is likely to continue to damage things, it will be disabled, whether it is your intention to do so or not.

Please please please, read the manual and refer to it in discussions about the rules. While it is not the only appropriate source (your own interpretation and GDC postings are both also appropriate) it is the first place you should look. Anecdotal evidence and “I think that’s OK” will not suffice when your robot is disabled.

Best of luck to everyone this year

The problem is the bumpers are at a great height to destroy any ball stuck between robot and wall. We’ve not tested, or attempted to test, this with our precious supplies of imported balls, but I suspect that they will break before they squirt out of the way. I will expect this to not be considered intentional damage. Shredding ones you intentionally pick up I expect to be called a penalty.

Playing with the balls that have been shipped (thanks 388!) I’ve found that one or two connections break quickly, then a quick clean of the failed glue and replacement holds it just fine. We have had no major failures of our balls outside maybe one failed connection per ball.


People have been answering the question, if you actually read it. The question asked was:

[quote]If we crushed the moon rocks with out trying do you think it would count againist us since it is part of the arena??

Here is a post-by-post account of whether people correctly answered the original question:

#2: did not correctly answer question
#3: did correctly answer question
#4: did not currectly answer question
#5: offtopic
#6: offtopic
#7: offtopic
#8: mix, but certainly provided useful insight
#9: re-affirming #8
#10: offtopic
#11: offtopic
#12: offtopic
#13: offtopic
#14: offtopic
#15: offtopic
#16: mostly correct

First and foremost: when I say “offtopic” I do not mean bad in any way, and I definitely should have been less whiny about “in 15 posts no one answered the blah blah”. These posts (the ones I characterized as “offtopic”) were often useful and interesting to read (and I did read all of them). Many of them gave indirect insight into the question asked by the OP. However, I will maintain that none of them directly answered the question - I’m not making a judgment. I’m not trying to say that since you didn’t answer the question, your post was useless, and again, I apologize for my somewhat snippy attitude about the 15 posts part.

But, I do have to disagree that people have been answering the question. Yes, I read all the posts before replying. And in my judgment, only one person gave a correct and direct answer to the question. This is in comparison to the two people who gave answers that were wrong.

You also seem to be suggesting that the OP was not asking a question about the rules (when you said “You’ll note that the question asked is not ‘Is destroying game pieces against the rule’”). I must confess that this is a substantially different interpretation of the original question than my own, and it could be a valid one. However, my interpretation, based in part on the fact that he was asking in the “Rules/Strategy Forum” was that he was asking about the rules, and that when he said “counted against us” he was referring to possible penalties. But I could be wrong.

As to your third paragraph:

On your first point (“not everyone has the time”), I am afraid that I must beg to differ. Every team should have at least one person with a thorough understanding of the manual. Not such that they have it memorized (though that would certainly be useful) but such that they know where to look for things. From kickoff, 6.5 weeks, which is 45 days, or 1080 hours (or thereabouts) until ship. I fail to see how this does not leave adequte time for one person on the team to read the manual several times over.

As to the second part of your point,I couldn’t agree more, and in fact, this is my objection to the first and third replies to the original question. They were, in fact, incorrect. This is why all discussions of rules need to be based on the manual. CD is a great resource for everyone to pool their resources and share insight - and when people muddy the waters by giving incorrect answers, that doesn’t help, it hurts.

To sum up my rather lengthy point: I did in fact read all of the replies to the topic. I do apologize for the snippyness about no one answering in 15 posts, and I hope that no one takes my labeling of some posts as off-topic to be a criticism. However, I do stick by the idea that discussions of the rules (and such was my interpretation of the OP’s question) need to be based on the manual, and that incorrect responses do not further the discussion.

-Paul Dennis