Custom FRC game, looking for feedback

Hello all! I made a new FRC game today and I’m looking for feedback so that I can submit it to FIRST. The game doesn’t have a name so any suggestions for that would be welcome as well.

You can find a link to the game manual (with the OnShape field cad) here:

Let me know what you think, how you would improve the game, or what questions you may have about it.


Those holes in the alliance wall remind me of Triad from the 1970’s/80’s Battlestar Galactica. (The remake’s commercials told me I didn’t want to see them.)

I must say, it’s very well thought out generally. My main question regards how many game objects a robot can hold at once. With the limits on the number of objects on the field, I can see hoarding becoming an issue or even strategic, and personally would like a cap on the number of game objects a robot can hold at any given time, or a source of additional game objects.

That being said, have you considered field reset at all?

Solid game concept, I’m a big fan of the multi-game piece aspect to mix up challenges since teams have gotten so good at perfecting manipulators.

A few comments from a read through:

  • Why penalize scoring tennis balls early in the troughs? Instead set the ball counters to ignore all balls before the end period. The less penalties for refs to watch the better.
  • Similar question for a penalty on shooting over the center net. The net itself prevents cross court shots and there is already a penalty for out of field objects for volunteer safety.
  • RFID in the tennis balls is unnecessary, since the trough ball counters would be too small for another ball to fit through. If a tennis ball went through any other goal the lack of RFID would prevent it from being scored. That eliminates 80% of the RFID tagging effort.
  • As written it would appear teams could form an endless loop of balls though their alliance center goal that would easily outscore all other game objectives. Think of a “catch, shoot” loop like 469 in 2011, so that the game would devolve into a center field scrum over trying to stay in position to keep the scoring loop going. How can this be designed out?

I think that some return system like in FTC 2017 would be a decent option. Scatter the scoring elements across the field by returning through/under the truss and off to the sides hopefully uses time and randomness to disincentivize a 469-esque strategy. I’d love to see an updated version if the field/rules with this change in mind.

I think robot size will be the primary limiting factor with regards to number of game pieces held, though if preliminary tests show hording is indeed a valid strategy, I’ll consider adding more.

Field reset is actually super easy and I designed this game with it in mind. Bounceballs and Dodgeballs are short in number so distributing them evenly is easy to do, and all Tennisballs are just tossed into the white center bin. No effort at all.

  1. I don’t want teams dumping tennis balls in early to try and get a head start, and the foul alert would be automated (the sensor would read a ball before the end game and could automatically alert refs. Alongside that, as a manual check, there should be a ref on every robot anyways, so making sure it’s not dumping in the dump troughs should be easy enough).

  2. The purpose for the net is actually because of human players. Since human players return balls to the field via throwing them from the corral zone, it would be too easy for a practiced human player to throw the game pieces into the 36" goal opposite them and get points that way. I wanted to avoid a situation where you could cancel out points scored by your opponent using your human player.

  3. The reason for RFID in the tennis balls was because while they’re not worth points in the scoring zone goals, they will count as a “scored” object, which can be used to move the “hot” goal onto the next step in the order, or as a defensive play by an alliance to end an opponent’s streak without giving them points.

  4. This has been my biggest contention as of yet. When initially designing, I had hoped that because the robot is not safely locked into a part of the field (a la 469 2010) and could be pushed around that it would be much easier to prevent with simple robot-contact defense. Allen Gregory brought up the fact that it’s still possible and ever since I’ve been trying to find ways around it. I initially added a brim around the bottom but I don’t like the look of it, so I am open to more suggestions. Aidan brought up a good idea so I may see if that would be viable.

EDIT: RE #4, and option I’ve been considering is feeding scored balls from the blue/red center goals through the truss and into holes next to the hole for the white center goal so that everything deposits there (there’s no real advantage to repeat scoring in the white center goal since it scores for both alliances and highest match score doesn’t affect anything). Thoughts?

I believe I’ve solved the problem. I have added some tape to the floor that creates a zone on either side now called the Launch Zone. I added rule G19 that says that game objects cannot be launched above a robot’s height outside of the Launch Zones, which will prevent a robot from sitting and infinitely cycling the fallen game pieces.

I also modified rules G01 and G05 such that robots must be placed into their Launching Zones on the field for auto, and cannot leave them during auto, to prevent a strategy where a team would end auto underneath the white center goal and collect all 120 Tennisballs as they dropped.

Thanks to everyone who has provided help so far! I really appreciate it.

While I think that it’s a good start to remove the collection of all 120 Tennisballs, if my team could have a guaranteed shot at getting all or almost all of them, I would have them take the tech foul. That’s a 100 point gain and a 20 point loss.

The conversation can be made either way for strategic penalties and their place in FRC, but I’d take the penalty any day.

If you wanted, you could add FIRST’s signature “If strategical, yellow card” to it as a solution.

Not a bad idea. Good call.

Ballistic Barrage

The other leading suggestion is “Balls to the Wall”, so I quite like this one.

I say make it “If strategic, RED CARD” because taking a yellow card is not a guaranteed loss. Teams could do this in the last finals match, take the yellow, and it not have any real repercussions.