[FRC Blog] Rule Change!

Posted on the FRC Blog, 3/3/17:http://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/blog/2017-rule-change

Rule Change!
Written by Frank Merrick

We hate making rule changes in the middle of events! But we’re seeing a real problem that needs to be fixed and we think you will mostly like this change anyway.

S07-C says pilots can’t reach outside the port. Traditionally, we have rules that minimize the chance that someone will come in contact with a robot while a match is going on, so this rule made sense, especially as it seemed pretty easy to avoid violating it. However, in Team Update 14, we added a feature to the airship that ensured handles of the carriage assemblies (which are used to get gears up to the pilots) could not be lost overboard. This change fixed this one problem but inadvertently made manipulating the carriage without at least occasionally reaching outside the port, and so breaking the rule, harder.

As a result, we were seeing many yellow cards being called on teams today, even leading to a handful of red cards. This didn’t seem right, under the circumstances, so we’re fixing it on the fly. The exact wording of the change will be included in the team update, but essentially incidental and brief excursions outside the port required to manipulate the carriage assembly will not be penalized, though at no time may a pilot reach below the deck of the airship.

This rule will be put in place effective tomorrow, Saturday, March 4th. Head Refs will announce it to teams at events in the morning. Also, we are undoing all cards that we are certain got assigned to teams today for S07-C violations that would not have been violations if this rule tweak had been in place. As a result, you may see some rankings jump around tonight or tomorrow morning, as red cards get cleared - so be ready!

Again, this is not necessarily the exact wording of the change that will be made to the manual next week, but it will be something along these lines.

Sorry for making this change in the middle of events, but we do think it was best for the community that we do so.


When I read the title of this I got a little scared, but this is definitely a good rule change!

Congratulations FIRST.

In 2014 we were bit solidly in the rear end when someone ELSE slammed into us while we were stationary. It destroyed our intake system and we got the penalty because our intake was sucking in a ball and was outside our bumper perimeter. Later, FRC fixed that rule interpretation and also implemented a no intentional ramming rule. It was too late to keep us from losing due to a destroyed robot and penalties in that match.

In this case they are being proactive AND fixing the issue retroactively. That’s pretty darn good.

i hope 2148 which just played in match Q28 (15 minutes after this blog post was posted here) gets their RP reinstated…

I am…

…in awe.

“We fixed a problem, but made a new one. So now we’re fixing that one, we’re not done yet but we’re changing it retroactively to make sure we get everyone.”

Anybody ELSE here want to say that? Frank, hat’s off to you guys at HQ.

Good guy Frank

Kudos FIRST , nice to see fast decisive reaction this year, last year it took a while to sort out the no lights on crossings deal . Glad to see the attention to correction in 2017 during Week 1 where rankings can be corrected overnight.

As my teams pilot, this takes SO much stress off my shoulders! Thank you FIRST, I for one will make sure not to abuse this rule.

now how to fix the points per task problem. So Many matches that not a single Fuel cell shot or spilled on the floor. Points for fuel just don’t seem worth the effort. Cut the points for gears and 2 for 1 the fuel.

This would be a bad idea at this point, imho, as the robots are designed and decisions were made based on the current point system, knowing the limited changes that may occur at championships.


Great job to FIRST! I like that they’re going ahead and changing the game for the better. Definitely makes training our HP easier.

So while we’re fixing game aspects, can we make climbs worth 25 points instead of 50 so that they’re not changing match outcomes due to random chance, can we make the area between the airship barriers protected zones so that team should can actually shoot fuel, and can we change fuel point values to be worth 1 pt each in the low goals and 2 pts each in the high goals in teleop, with doubled values during auto, so that way there is some value to scoring fuel instead of gears in regular play.

Holy $@#$@#$@#$@# dude, do you just take any opportunity to complain?

They made an emergency fix to correct a giant game flaw, pretty unpredecented but also a pretty fantastic fix to this issue… and here you are demanding they change the entire scoring structure of the game because you built the wrong robot that focused on the wrong tasks in the wrong way? Dude. Find some other space to whine about this, seriously.

This is like when people suggest totally changing point values for things at IRI except ~3500/~75 ~= 47 times worse. The value of fuel, high or low, was set almost two months ago. It’s on you to estimate and react to the given value.

In 2010, my team underestimated the number of balls that would be scored, so we built a robot around suspensions. Turns out that was a bad idea: too few points for too hard a task (there were only a handful that even happened all season). But we weren’t dumb enough to publicly complain about the point values. It was our fault.

No. The game is the game. Live with it.
You want protected zones? Try 2014 on for size.

Wow Way to be condescending dude.

Nowhere does he mention his robot or their strategy. Just commenting on the game play.

Why not just say it’s the pilots fault for getting the yellow cards in the first place.

If we are gonna change rules anything goes

If anything goes, I demand a rule change that requires Hawaiian pizza to be served at all events free of charge for mentors.

I would support that if we could also get some regular pepperoni and cheese pizza

You should come to Beantown Blitz. All the pepperoni and cheese pizza you can stand (which will probably be much much less after your done eating the five pizzas you’ve eaten at the event and the ten boxes you take home with you).

I’m sold. Where can I sign up?