Ethics of Auto Defense

In light of the multi-cargo auto that we have seen, I wanted to ask this question about the ethics.

A team can shoot/push cargo into the opposing alliance’s zone to either displace a pre-placed cargo or make a team shoot the opposing cargo (or control 3 cargo). Assume, for this poll, that it is both legal and feasible. The defending robot would not hit the opposing robots or cargo directly.

Ethics of Auto Defense
  • Yes, it is ethical to play this type of defense during auto
  • No, it violates gracious professionalism

0 voters


This isn’t even a question. Anything that you can do to disrupt your opponent’s gameplan within the confines of both the rules, and the spirit of the rules is totally valid.

Edit: Just don’t do it during practice matches


Gonna want an explanation from this sliver of people: image


If GDC didn’t want teams messing with opponent cargo in auto, they would’ve made it illegal. But they to my surprise ruled Q8 as legal and therefore are fine with this type of action.


This sport would be indescribably boring if you weren’t allowed to disrupt your opponents’ game plan.


Chief Delphi, is it unethical to try and win a match?


True gracious professionals™ sit in the corner all match and allow their opponents to score the points they want.


Yes. It is un-gp to beat your opponents. This is why 2010 was the best FRC game.


Yes. The most GP thing to do is decide all future things with a fair coin flip.


I’m pretty sure this was legitimately a discussion on here after 254’s perfect season


Messing with your opponent’s plans within the rules is the most basic definition of strategy with in FIRST.


Going to prefect the shoot my ball into their ball and have my ball stop on contact so they intake my ball and score it for me.


It’s just the people that think using “ungp” in a sentence isn’t reprehensible. Coincidentally these are all the people I block on here and in Discord.


To echo others… this confuses me, and I have many questions.

First, are ethics and gracious professionalism interchangeable? The poll assumes so, but Section 1.4 does not ever use the word “ethics” to describe or define GP. I feel like this needs to be worked out in the context of the poll, before the poll results are meaningful.

From what I see, for the sake of this discussion, I must assume the strategy is legal, feasible, and will give my team an advantage. Pulling from the manual:


Not sure why teams wouldn’t do it. I can’t think of an ethics or GP frame of reference where it wouldn’t happen.

If I were concerned about it being done to me, I should design autonomous routines and sensor systems that allow me to avoid opponent cargo, and collect cargo from potentially non-starting locations. No different than building a drivetrain that can withstand a full-force side hit from a 120 lbs robot, because that’s what the rules allow.

@OP - you clearly created the post for a reason, but I’m not entirely convinced you’re getting the answer you want. Can you explain in more detail what your concerns are? Perhaps use the “robust drivetrain” analog as a starting point?

Is it driven by the title of G210?


I agree by title alone you could imagine there are issues with the strategy you propose. But the black text is very clear as to what “no defense in auto” actually means. Since there are no hidden requirements or restrictions, the only thing that could change this is a Q&A or team update… I’m not aware of the existence of one yet.


It was in no way meant to be controversial. And I did use ethics and GP interchangeably which is my bad.

However, I got the exact information I wanted. I just didn’t want our team to be the “jerk” team if we decided to implement this. Given the data (so far), the vast majority (of CD users) believe this to be an OK strategy.


Q&A8 has been answered and rules this strategy as legal. Feasibility is a different question.

Note that just because it’s Chief Delphi Approved™ does not mean you won’t make people angry by doing it. Not saying you shouldn’t; just be prepared.


Use everything that you can find in the manual to your advantage. If there isn’t a rule against it, and it doesn’t break any other rules, why not go for it? It is not ‘un-GP’ to want to win a match. This is a competition, not an exhibition. There are winners, and there are losers. I would seriously like to hear the argument of someone who said no.

While I concur that this strategy is perfectly ethical and sporting, the “if there’s no rule against it then it’s okay” is a bit of a cop out. There’s no rule against sneaking into your opponents shop and hiding all of their roboRios in the ceiling tiles, but that’s very obviously unethical. Our ethics are the decisions we make when operating in grey areas.


I’m reasonably sure this is covered in uh… laws or something.