De-Scoring is illegal

See Bill’s Blog today.

Thanks for the pointer, that will save us some time!

Also the Wal Mart list is a bit off, or they hide the balls well at some stores. We saw no balls at the local Sierra Vista store yesterday and it says 10 in stock, but we did find (and buy) all 5 that were in stock (as shown on the list) at the Douglas store.

While I appreciate Bill’s blog and FIRST’s continued focus on communicating with teams effectively, as far as I’m concerned, this is not an official channel.

This is the sort of thing that needs to come down in an update – and while I’m sure it will – I won’t believe it until I see it.

Well, that settles that!

I knew it was coming XD

Thanks for posting this… you just linked a lot of people to the answers to one of their main questions.

Agreed it is less than official, however, if my team was planning on a downforce fan, or a ball de-scorer, or a trailer-top blocker, I’d stop that effort.

I guess I’m saying that it’s “official enough” for me to stop heading down that brainstorming path and focus on the variables that we do have control over.

I agree with Madison and as I stated in a different post -
CD is NOT the official rules clarification website either - that can only come from the official method as determined by FIRST.
As far as I know, Bill’s Blog has not been identified as one of the official methods. So, although this may seem official - it isn’t so, until FIRST states it via the method that they have cited as being the official channel.

I hope that everything that Bill wrote is true - as I agree with all of it.

Mike Aubry

I was just going to say that. It’s great to have this tipoff to maybe a future update, but seeing as Bill has not clarified/re-interpreted/referenced any official rules it seems about as worthwhile as someone saying it on CD at this point.

The vacuum suggestion, on the other hand, references and applies a current rule that can be found in the rulebook. I’m not discounting what he’s said about the descoring/blocking, just saying that I would merely take it as it is, a suggestion and possibly a tip to a future update.

While the list of WalMart stores with Orbit Balls in stock might (if it IS accurate) assist American teams, the Canadian WalMart we went to tells us that they do not and never have carried Orbit Balls.

I suspect other non-American teams are similarly at a loss until a new source of balls is found.


I went to the store near me on Saturday, the list says that they have 16, I looked all over for about 30-40 minutes and asked a few people, they all thought I was crazy.

It’s sort of lame that we can’t goaltend. It would have been an incredible (and fun!) challenge to build a robot that could goaltend the trailer while remaining withing the 28x38x60 footprint.

Being that de-scoring was a pivotal facet of two of our potential design choices, this is a bit frustrating that in no way was this expectation clearly laid out. Did the GDC not anticipate that something that fundamental would be considered by teams as a viable strategy?

I appreciate Bill stating this TODAY rather than when the first official update / Q & A comes out, but I’m disappointed that it was overlooked.

Sorry… build season frustration venting over :slight_smile:

Not making that clear in the original set of rules is a major oversight. Without descoring this game has no flavor. Thankyou for “tipping us off” to critical rules… I seriously protest this CHANGE and am now in limbo until First makes this official… That goal tending CHANGE has many reaching implications as well.

FIRST just made it official.
Moving on…

Ahh Strategy down, medic needed!!!

We briefly considered some of these strategies, but didn’t concentrate on them because they didn’t seem to fit the intent of the game (as we understood it). I guess we’ve seen it happen too many times in the past…if there’s a neat way to do something, that is not addressed in the rules, it will soon be addressed in the rules as being illegal.

We, too, have considered this, but never made a real effort to make it happen.

Also, our local Wal-Mart was listed as having 18 balls, but when I went to the ball pit section, there were zip. Nada. None. Nein. Nothing. Zero.
Plus, the closest team is miles away, with at least two listed Wal-Marts before the one out here. Kind of frustrating, but we’ll see what happens when FIRST offers them online.

From Bills Blog:

"I want to clarify the Game Design Committee’s intention on a few matters to save you time and resources:

  1. De-scoring is not permitted (ie. You may not remove game pieces from a trailer)
  2. Goal tending is not permitted (ie. You may not block access to a trailer)"

If these were the GDC intentions, why were they not communicated from the beginning? Many times are our questions are answered with “Don’t look for loopholes, stick with the intention of the rule”. How are we to know the intentions of the GDC if they do not spell it out in the rules? Many hours of brainstorming was wasted trying to decide if it was possible to descore or goaltend.
Sorry for the rant

I have to agree, gburlison; the GDC’s explaination (that de-scoring constitutes “disruption of ARENA elements”) really doesn’t do it for me. I mean, it would have been OK if they had just made a new rule-I don’t think there were a lot of people that weren’t anticipating it. But stretching the rules to act like that had always been what they said rubs me the wrong way.