G20 Calls up the Wazzoo

I’ve been watching events today and noticing a startling trend of G20 calls all throughout the day. I’ve been watching primarily Buckeye, but I’m getting reports from people everywhere that referees are handing out yellow cards like they’re candy.

For reference, here’s G20:

And here’s a match where G20 was applied to a robot, team 695 on the red alliance: https://www.thebluealliance.com/match/2019ohcl_qm63

695 first crosses the field to play defense at 1:25, where they make contact with Team 5254. This is a high speed collision, and their bumpers do ride up on 5254’s, possibly making contact with items inside 5254’s frame perimeter. However, they do not incur any damage, and they don’t seem to be going inside 5254’s frame deliberately, so I can’t imagine this being the G20 instance. Regardless, the referee does wave their flag at the contact.

At 1:42 they make contact again and ride up 5254’s bumpers again. There is no flag waved until 11 seconds later when the head referee indicates a technical foul on 695. This appears to be a delayed call for the contact inside frame.

Neither of these contacts were damaging, neither were deliberately inside of frame. And yet 695 was given their second yellow card of the event here, and a red card for the match. Additionally, the blue box seems to indicate that this foul is largely intended for “elements outside frame perimeter”, of which 695 had none extended.

This is not a lone incident. Teams at Buckeye are afraid to play defense because of the ridiculously frequent yellow cards being given out.


Seems like quite a few at Utah as well (in my opinion).



Qual 10 at Buckeye, our first match, 41something got their 2nd yellow card for G20 I believe. They were inside our frame perimeter and playing aggressive defense on us so they ended up with a red card but still won the match :frowning:

It seems it is now rare to see a match without at least one team carrying a yellow card. In the last hour I’ve heard multiple game announcers nonchalantly announce that the referee is awarding a team a yellow card. Never before have I seen this situation be announced nonchalantly.


It’s worth mentioning that the situation with 5254 and 695 was the 12th yellow card of the day, 4 of which were turned into red cards.

Also been watching a bit of SPBLI 2 where there’s been a ton of yellows, and about 5 reds.
Comparing that to SPBLI 1 just two days ago, that event had a sparse few amount of yellows (maybe 1 or 2 that I can remember) for extending above the alliance wall while climbing, and only one red card, in playoffs.


Watching that Quals 10 match video, you can see what appears to be the first instance of contact inside frame perimeter between 4121 and 7043 at 1:53 in the video. It is momentary and seemingly non-damaging.
They hit them again at 2:06 in the video, wherein the referee in the bottom left waves another flag. That hit was definitely harder, but still did not look like a damaging hit.

SBPLI 1 had an imo dubious* G20 yellow that turned into a red card for the alliance in SF 3 or 4.

*dubious as in I literally couldn’t find at what point it happened.


It’s as if overnight the week 4 referees got direction to call this much tighter than in previous weeks. Good thing we keep that kind of discussion secret and hidden from teams. If teams knew about any guidance that may or may not have been passed down, they’d have had the chance to adjust their play beforehand, and then who would they give all those yellow cards to. Can’t have that.


Okay thanks for the breakdown, I haven’t watched it back myself but their aggressive defense definitely caught us by surprise that early on. Also qual 57 we (7043) were playing aggressive defensive and got 9 penalty points. So if anyone wants to watch 56 and let us know how we did and if anything else should have been called. There was one point where a robot got underneath our robot bumpers and lifted for a bit but no call for that.

Just watch any of SPBLI 1 and 2 and I’ll leave it at that

1 Like

I have also noticed this rule being WAY overused. What needs to be clarified for the refs is what deliberate means, because some refs seem to interpret the rule to cover deliberately contacting a robot but with the inside the frame perimeter part accidentally occurring. The way I read it, and it seems like everyone else here does as well, is that the contact inside the frame perimeter has to be the deliberate part.

One example of this rule overuse is on 2655 who was called for 3 G20s at UNC Asheville, only one of which (QF1-M1) was mildly damaging (slightly bent an aluminum bar on our robot-5727 a little bit more than it already was, but did not fully break it, so little damage, in fact, that we didn’t even bother to fix it). None of the three they were called for at the event were deliberate, and as far as I could tell from the stands, the other two incidents had no damage involved.


In general I think yellow and red cards are poor enforcement tools, and should only be used as a last resort and against egregious acts. I think we as a community should try to decrease the number of red/yellow cards given out, both by writing rules which don’t overutilize them and by changing team behavior. To see an apparently silent interpretation change cause multiple match forfeits is disappointing.


I commented on this in the 2019 Buckeye thread, because of course I did.

Don’t stop believin’, defending teams.

1 Like

Unc Asheville playoffs saw similar calls


The issue that is causing this is bogus. If a team has only corner bumpers, they are essentially untouchable.

The part of the G20 rule that is being enforced is on the frame perimeter, much more so than inside.

So esstinally don’t touch any robot that has any open space in the bumpers, you touch their frame and it’s a yellow.

That’s ridiculous.

Confirmed from multiple conversations with head refs.



I have a feeling that this must have been a point of emphasis in the last Head Referee meeting/notes. We had a tech foul assessed against us in one of our matches at 10k Lakes.

Watch this - (we were the ones being defended). https://youtu.be/0zERhVgGWd4?t=158

The two robots make contact and push up on each other. Our robot slips and jumps up on their bumpers for a second. We get a yellow card. I hate that the other alliance sends over a defender and the ‘home’ team can get an intentional technical.

It didn’t change the results of the match, but we still get to carry a yellow around for the rest of quals.

Hopefully there is a different ‘clarification’ with the HR’s as we head into Champs.

Good Luck!

1 Like

Pretty much. GKC (Week 4) stricted up on this one real hard. 2410 got a yellow for G20. A defending bot had parked in front of the cargo ship and to push them out of the way, the corner of our bumper slid to be inside their frame area (repeatedly according to the head ref). I guess this is something where if you want to win, you should pick a bot with a giant cutout in the frame.

1 Like

Frank Merrick is aware of all of this, and I’ve heard he’s been in contact with the FRC head referee. Whether that led to any discernible change in the afternoon (or will tomorrow), is not clear. Best to keep making it loud, just to be safe.