Defensive Free For All


Past games have seen defense at least this hard. The stretch from 2012 to 2014 had progressively stiffer defense. And on other threads, people have posted about how 2014 was there favorite game. That year, we kept blowing fuses from hard hits until 254 showed us how to freeze the fuse with CO2.

FIRST has decided to use the sports model to inspire students to find STEM heroes. Defense is part of almost all true team sports (beyond just adding up individual performances). So you should expect defense to played in each game each year. In fact, the exceptions (e.g., 2015) have generally been considered to be the worst years.

BTW, its good to monitor CD for discussions about what others expect for the coming year. As noted, many started discussing defense in the first week of build season and designed accordingly.

If you’re looking for agreement with your view, I suggest that you find the thread where the OP expressed a similar view. Almost no one supported him there.


Correction: Destination Deep Space (Presented by Boeing) is a Defensive Free For One (per alliance) per G9.


Mind explaining this? Never heard of it and don’t really see how it helps.


Reading this thread is making me regret zip-tying our radio on the outside of the electronics plate-I definitely will need to rectify that tomorrow.


To be honest, I don’t work on the robot and I don’t remember the details enough. However, I do know the fuse breaks more easily when it exceeds its thermal load, and when its supercooled, it takes a bigger load to trip it.


I believe you’re referring to the main 120A breaker. There weren’t any required fuses in the 2014 control system.

Regardless, my understanding is that the main breaker actually trips once it reaches a particular temperature, not once 120A is flowing through it (teams can and do exceed 120A quite frequently). Supercooling prior to a match would therefore increase either how long or how much you could exceed the current rating before tripping it.

The issue has largely dissolved with the 2015 control system due to the roboRIO’s brownout mechanism.


as a long time player myself in both high-school/college just want to clarify there are no “cards” in basketball, only personal fouls, and type I and type II technical fouls (flagrants fall under the type II technical category). I agree with the whole premise of the post though, excellent points!


They don’t know any better yet. Feed them some roasted corn and they’ll come around.


Bumper on Bumper contact has always been a thing in Ontario. At least for the last 8 years I have been involved. The only thing that has waxed and waned has been how “intent” has factored into the reffing. The years with lots of tall robots, have tended to closer reffing in interactions that ended up with robots tipped over. Even then I can only recall one card for a collision that tipped a robot on the first impact. Continuing to hit/push after a robot became unstable has typically been called.

This field is actually not bad for high speed collisions since you don’t have to go to the other end to acquire game pieces, and there are not long typically open corridors to get up to speed, since the lanes by the cargo ships tend to have your alliance occupying them.

Defense was called out as being more useful this year due to the game design right at the being of the season. What baffled me is even if you did not expect much in the way of defensive impacts, how did you plan on surviving a season of drivers smashing into walls, driving off level two, and running into things? If your robot cannot survive a full speed impact into a fixed surface it is not robust enough. The mechanism inboard when playing defense on the other side rule, should mean that all impacts are bumper to bumper.


I truly apologize for making this post. We have never had aggressive defense played on us before and I reacted poorly. The teams that played defense on us did nothing wrong and because I did not understand all of the rules of the game, that is my fault. In hind-sight I should have taken the aggressive defense as a compliment that the opposing alliance saw us as a threat. Even an “old” guy like me has lessons to learn in life.


Feel free to contact me and we can discuss, team to team, what we have learned about robot build practices and game strategy that may be of help (since we’re neighbors).
We learned a lot from Stronghold where our first event, we spent half the time dead on the field. A lot of teams helped us learn how to improve our electrical system to withstand large accelerations and we’re much better for it.
We also worked on strategies to counter defense prior to Wilsonville. And Wilsonville Finals saw another strategy that was useful - defense on defense.
Willing to share what we’ve learned. You’re right, this year is a change from recent years. But I fully expect that what we saw in Wilsonville will be the norm in Houston elims. If you’re up against someone who can score faster than you, defense is one option to even it up.


Playing defense was not our choice, we were instructed by our alliance captain that since the other teams was outscoring us, that we should play defense because we were excellent at it. Defense is one of the strongest abilities this year and teams needed to build their robot to either defend or counter people trying to defend.


More power to ya, mate. Defense is a fine art that I wish we saw more of in Indiana. (Though I understand why we don’t). In no way was that post meant to belittle you for playing it. As long as you follow the rules, and stay GP, you can do what it takes to win.


Yeah, I wasn’t mad about anything I was just replying to the guy above that said that we “didn’t know any better” because I dislike it when someone portrays me and my teammates as incompetent rookies. I also wished that there had been more defense in Indiana but I understood why it was rare to see due to a lot of high scorers who could spend their time better scoring, or couldn’t play defense very well.


The rookies in Indiana this year really impressed me. We’ve had some strong ones these last few years, but all five really seemed to have it together at this St. Joseph.


I wonder if there’ll be more defense at the upcoming Tippy event, with a big change in who will attend that event vs St. Joes. It’ll be fun to see if any different strategies appear.


I wouldn’t mind seeing the “high speed ramming” rules from FRC antiquity making a comeback.


I don’t. Rules like that are so subjective and hard to consistently enforce.

Allowing bumper to bumper contact and penalizing contact inside the frame perimeter seems like a much more clear cut way of refeering defense. I don’t think designing for high speed bumper contact is unreasonable.


I used to be for all-objective-interpretations-all-the-time rules. But I think the reality is that judgement calls are important. Objective rules sound great until you get in the uncomfortable situation where following those rules to the letter results in issuing double yellow cards to teams climbing down from airships or having to award dozens of penalty points to teams that lose communications in protected zones. Subjectivity should be allowed in referee decisions.

There’s also already a fair bit of subjectivity in assessing defense rules as it stands. What constitutes damaging contact? Which robot initiated that contact inside of the frame perimeter?


I am thinking that a lot of the bots with low center of gravity are going to play defense a lot more in the coming events as it was shown to be very effective at St. Joe. 3940 in particular I think could play a really effective defense with their low center of gravity, plus their robot seems very well-built.