Did this deserve a red card?

In Qual 28 at San Diego Regional, 3128 got a red card for tipping 589. The hit occurred when 589 was trying to defend us.

Did this deserve a red card?

I know this has already been discussed in a couple other threads, but I still wanted to share our bad experience with G206.


From a complete third party perspective, looks like there was no intent to tip or damage, but at the same time they didn’t really do anything that put them in a compromising position to become tipped, in my opinion.

I don’t think I would have given a red, but at the same time I think the onus should have been on your driver to drive around with the swerve. They were heading to the blue community, regardless of if it was to defend against you or to just go balance or go to their community. You can’t definitively say if they moved with the intention of defending you. To me it didn’t look like that.

Looking at the bot it doesn’t scream high CG to me either, but you never know from a video. They definitely appear to be underweight and would probably benefit from some ballast.

Red feels too harsh but I do think 3128’s driver could have avoided this.


Here’s the match video, happens about 2:04 in.


Not to weigh in too much, but this seems pretty egregious to me. I’m of the opinion that robots should be designed to not tip from clean, bumper-to-bumper contact. What happened here looks like nothing out of the ordinary for an FRC match, especially one with brushless motors and swerve. I really don’t think the onus should fall to the “offending” driver to walk on glass around higher cg bots.

At the end of the day, it looks like it was just a really unfortunate hit because that bot doesn’t look super tippy either.


Unfortunately that robot does have a bit of a reputation for falling. I’ve personally seen it more times than I can fit on my hands. It was an unfortunate hit, I hope we can see rules better reflect what these robots are capable of in the future.

Ridiculous red in my opinion, the severity of handing a team a red card should be taken with more weight.

My team had a similar experience in the ISR DCMP last week, we received what we perceive as an unjustified red card for a similar situation.

It really hurt our morale and eventually the whole competition as it was very early in the quals…

Hope this gets addressed by FIRST for future games and events.


Absolutely shouldn’t be a red card. There was no contact after the robot began to tip. And even if there was (which there wasn’t), it was by no means deliberate or intentional.


:clap: stop :clap: giving :clap: red :clap: cards :clap: for :clap: incidental :clap: contact :clap:

When giving a red card, I think the head ref should be required to look the student driver and head coach of a team that receives a red card directly in the eyes and say with a straight face that they believe the offending team intended to tip the fallen robot. They should own their belief and be required to ascribe malice and ill intent directly towards the team they are impacting with the decision, highlighting how they personally believe the offending team is not behaving within the ethos of FIRST and deserves the harshest penalty available. The current red card process keeps referees disconnected from the team experience, which is partially to blame for the terrible process we have right now.

FIRST needs to fix this.


Edit: 3128 is a fantastic team. I bring up the above because it’s preposterous that a team as fantastic as 3128 would ever try to tip a team intentionally. 3128 received a red card for accidentally breaking our CAN loop in a qual match last year and we campaigned extensively for the red card to be revoked.

Upon further reflection, this further highlights the regressive and crude nature of FIRST’s card system. One of their model teams, I’d say a top 20% team in the world, has received an egregious red card in quals two years in a row. How terrible is FIRST willing to make this team’s experience, and others like them, before FIRST is willing to change something?


This should not have been called a red card, according the current rules.

Tipping as an unintended consequence of normal ROBOT to ROBOT interaction,
as perceived by the REFEREE, is not a violation of this rule.

The rules should be changed so that a failed split second judgement by a referee doesn’t lead to a disqualification.


I firmly disagree with this statement. Swerve drive robots should be held to the same standard of tank drive robots.

This would be the same as a ref going to to a tank drive robot and saying “well i didn’t count the pin because as a tank you should have been able to push out of it”.

Regardless of drivetrain everyone should be treated the same.

A team who was told “well you could have moved sideways” by a head referee when we were tank last year.


STANDARD GAMEPLAY would help here. No-call for bumper on bumper contact with a robot not performing STANDARD GAMEPLAY.

No way warranting any card, warning, etc…. Bad call. Should teams just pick a tippy 3rd robot to try and play d and “accidentally” get tipped?


Obviously not a red card.



Regardless, red card was excessive.


You expect drivetrain to determine who has to give “right of way” to the opposing alliance? Maybe the blue robot shouldn’t have been driving that fast if they couldn’t stay upright through contact. Furthermore the blue robot is playing defense knowingly trying to get in the path of the red robot which is completely fine but you can’t expect them to get a red card when you are successful but can’t take the hit that ensues.

Bumper to bumper contact should never be a red card! FULL STOP.

Completely agree.

This is a bridge too far IMO. There are times where things happen where one robot does something that is not their intention but is against the rules and disables another robot and that IMO should be a red card. EX: robot 1 has a giant arm outside their frame perimeter and tips robot 2 with it. They may have completely not intended to do that but also robot 2 can’t be faulted for not making their robot robust against that, so it has to be a red card. When we are talking about wires near the edge of the robot that could have been protected then it gets into a much more grey area but I think there are some cases where there is illegal (bumper to bumper is not illegal) damage that wasn’t intentional that still warrants a red.


I’ll add this one to the list. Playoff Match 11 (Round 4) - 2023 ONT District Newmarket Complex Event - YouTube

It’s very clear that there was no intention to tip anyone over. Banning falling over in FRC is like taking fighting out of hockey. Its just going to make it boring.

This rule incentivizes tall, unstable robots.

I’d like to argue that falling over in FRC is part of the fun. Its a full contact sport, it’s part of the engineering challenge. Its part of the game.

Edit, Here is another instance from the same event where a red card was not called.


Something very similar happened and qualification 69 in Sacramento. No red card was issued.

Your second link was very similar to this thread and not a red.

The first video was a lot more complicated. I still don’t think it should have been a red but the situation of one bot on top of another with the bottom and top still moving is significantly more complicated and I can see arguments for a judgement call. This thread and the second are not even close

Another questionable red card at Minnesota 10,000 Lakes


There is nothing in that video which would make you think that that was deliberate. It sure looks like the type of hit that happens many other times in a game due to inadvertent contact or reasonable defense. This is a very disappointing trend.

That being said, the one way this might be justifiable is if the red robot had previously done a set of actions that would lead the referees to believe that they were trying to tip opposing robots. We wouldn’t know that from this clip alone. (A note to our student audience: don’t trust everything you see on the internet without proper context!)

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