[FTC]: Rules Clarification - "Controlling" Glyphs

The video below shows our driver driving our robot (team 9804) to collect glyphs during our Inter-League competition this past weekend.


We have a wheeled intake and approach the glyph pile to collect glyphs. In the process of doing so (as most robots do) we may knock down, slide, touch or nudge other glyphs unintentionally. It is never our intention to collect, herd or possess any more than 2 glyphs. In the above video you can see us collect one glyph, move backward, align, then collect another glyph which happens to have a second glyph stacked 1/2 way on top. As we collect the 2nd glyph, the stacked glyph falls on our intake and bounces away from the bot. It never rests on top of the intake, it is never held by the intake wheels or any part of the robot, and it does not move in the direction we are driving.

It was not our intention to pick up the other glyph, and if you watch the video, you can see us immediately back up in the other direction to approach the cryptobox. The glyph on top just happened to fall on our intake for a fraction of a second before bouncing AWAY from our robot as we drove toward the cryptobox. It should have been abundantly clear that this did not violate <GS3> Control/Possession Limits of Glyphs (Definitions below.)

We were also told that even if another team pushed a stacked block onto our intake as we were collecting a glyph, we would receive a penalty. With triple-stacked glyphs during our Final, it was near impossible to collect glyphs without moving or making contact more than 2 glyphs during collection.

As this minor penalty was assessed against us several times throughout the day, I was wondering what the FTC community’s thoughts were and if there have been any clarifications to this rule that we can point to in our next competition, if necessary.

Thanks for any help!

Definitions from Game Manual:

"Control / Controlling – An object is considered to be Controlled by a Robot if the object is following the
movement of the Robot. Objects that are Controlled by a Robot are considered to be part of the Robot. See
Possess / Possessing to learn about a related term. Examples include, but are not limited to:
FIRST® Tech Challenge Game Manual Part 2 | 11
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  • “Doing your best work while treating others with respect and kindness - It’s what makes FIRST, first.”
    • Carrying – holding Game Elements Inside or Outside of a Robot.
    • Herding – pushing or impelling Game Elements to a desired location or direction that gains a
    strategic advantage beyond moving the Robot around the field.
    • Holding – Trapping one or more Scoring Elements against a Game Element, Playing Field Wall, or
    Robot in an attempt to shield or guard them.
    • Launching – propelling Game Elements into the air or throwing in a forceful way.
    Examples of interaction with Game Elements that are not Controlled include, but are not limited to:
    • Plowing – Inadvertent contact with Game Elements while in the path of the Robot moving about the Playing Field.
    • Deflecting – Inadvertent contact with a launched Game Element as it bounces off a Robot."

“Possess / Possessing – An object is in Possession by a Robot if, as the Robot moves or changes orientation (for example, moves forward, turns, backs up, spins in place), the object remains in approximately the same position relative to the Robot. Objects in Possession of a Robot are considered to
be Controlled, and they are part of the Robot. See also Control/Controlling.”

I think way too much left to judges’ discretion. As a result situations like these happens and event to event there is no full consistency.
There has to be something like 2 seconds rule