G16 question


G16 states:

<G16> BALL Return - HUMAN PLAYERS must place BALLS on the BALL RETURN using the TRIDENT. No other means are permitted for TEAMS to return BALLS to the FIELD. Violation: Two PENALTIES and YELLOW CARD.

You would think that deflecting the ball before the ball touches the playing field would be a G16 penalty.


How do you come to that? G16 is clearly referring to how balls get back on the ball return (via the trident). It doesn’t have anything to do with what’s “allowed” to happen after it leaves the trident…

If the point of this thread to go after a certain team, please redirect your comments to the other threads.

You’re on the wrong rule. <G16> only governs the actions of the human players returning the balls to the field–they have to be placed on the return, using the trident. Once they’re on the return, a different rule governs not contacting a ball in contact with the return, and another one governs contact with the return and return bars.

I know why you’re asking the question. For your own good, I would suggest not asking further, as the topic can easily rub someone the wrong way, especially after it’s been discussed ad nauseum for the past 3-4 weeks.

Ball deflectors touch balls after HUMAN PLAYERS place BALLS on the BALL RETURN. Clearly you’re *really *reaching here.

I think he’s referring to the “No other means are permitted for TEAMS to return BALLS to the FIELD” section. While i can see how he’s interpreting it, I think this is more an attempt to “lawyer” the rules than take them for their true intention. This rule involves the act of team members (not robots) returning balls into play. The only legal way of doing so it by placing the ball in the trident, then using the trident to place it on the rack (per the first sentence in the rule). The second sentence, IMO, is solely there to ensure players know it’s illegal to, for example, simply throw the ball over the wall.

You are misunderstanding the definition of TEAM. The ROBOT is not part of the TEAM.

TEAM: Four representatives from a registered FRC team that interact with their ROBOT and their ALLIANCE partners to play Breakaway. Positions on the TEAM include:
COACH: A student or adult mentor designated as the team coach and advisor during the MATCH
and identified as the person wearing the designated “COACH” pin or button. There is one COACH per TEAM.
DRIVER: A pre-college student team member responsible for operating and controlling the ROBOT. There are two DRIVERS per TEAM.
HUMAN PLAYER: A pre-college student team member responsible for properly returning BALLS to the FIELD. There is one HUMAN PLAYER per TEAM. The HUMAN PLAYER is the only TEAM MEMBER that may handle the TRIDENT.


My intent is not to go after a team. I am simply asking a question and was wondering how other people interpret the G16 rule.

I’m not a lawyer either.


We may just be hypersensitive, but that question statement sure seemed to be questioning/going after certain teams, or trying to find them illegal. Like I said, we’ve just had about 3 weeks of debate on that topic and don’t want another two.

Short answer: It is to prevent HP’s throwing the ball in to the field, say straight to their robot, instead of putting the ball in at midfield. Once the ball clears the return counter, it’s protected by another rule until it breaks contact with the return, at which point it’s whoever gets to it first, via deflection or a lucky bounce off the ground.

469 doesn’t need any defense from me, but since we built a looper similar to 469 (but nowhere near as awesome, since we can’t get the returned balls all the way back to the goal) I’ll give you our team’s interpretation of the rules. Seemed like to us they were pretty straight forward, I have a hard time seeing where all the confusion comes from. The initial poster seems to be thinking that RETURNED TO THE FIELD means that the ball has to touch the carpet. This is NOT true, otherwise you would keep getting DOGMA penalties until the ball hit the carpet. The ball is consiered RETURNED TO THE FIELD as defined in <G16> once it passes the ball return timer, which is obvious once you read <G17>. <G47> controls what happens once it passes the timer.

<G16> BALL Return - HUMAN PLAYERS must place BALLS on the BALL RETURN using the TRIDENT. No other means are permitted for TEAMS to return BALLS to the FIELD. Violation: Two PENALTIES and YELLOW CARD

Says teams have to place balls on the BALL RETURN rails using the trident.

<G17> BALL Return Timing - BALLS must be returned to the FIELD within a specified period of time to prevent delaying the game according to the following algorithm: Texpire = Tscore - [11 + (4 * n)]

From this rule, it’s obvious that the ball is considered RETURNED TO THE FIELD once it trips the timer (which is close to the top) of the BALL RETURN BARS. Otherwise you start getting penalties for not returning the balls. However, you cannot touch the balls once they’ve passed the timer but are still on the rails because because of <G47>:

<G47> BALL RETURN Interference – Neither ROBOTS nor TEAM members may interfere with BALLS in contact with the BALL RETURN downstream of the BALL RETURN counter. Violation: Two PENALTIES per affected BALL.

So once the ball passes the timer, it’s RETURNED TO THE FIELD, but you can’t touch it until it falls off the rails because of <G47>.

Nothing to stop you from doing anything you want to with it once it comes off the rails!

Additionally, the FIELD actually encompasses everything within the Alliance Walls and guardrails, not just the carpet/bumps. It extends vertically, although it not described well in the manual. So the BALL is in the FIELD for most of its travel down the BALL RETURN. The best way to concisely illustrate that the FIELD extends vertically is <S02>

<S02> TEAM Member Safety – For reasons of personal safety, contact with ROBOTS and/or entering the FIELD are prohibited during a MATCH.
a. TEAM members may not directly contact any ROBOT at any time during the
MATCH. Violation: PENALTY and Disablement.
b. TEAM members may not extend any part of their body into the FIELD during the
MATCH. Violation: PENALTY.

Don’t put your fingers over the Alliance Wall or else you enter the FIELD, which is an <S02-c>!!

OP question is answered in multiple ways. Let’s close the thread before there are anymore misunderstandings :rolleyes:

Can I second the motion?

The definition of the FIELD in 6.2.1 can also be interpreted such that the FIELD is a 3D volume, not a 2D surface. As noted, <G17> and <S02> reinforce this, as does “Robot out of Bounds”.