<G24> Empty Cell Ruling from DC

Here’s the situation:

At the beginning of our 2nd match at DC, our alliance human player put all 4 empty cells in our robot during autonomy (unaware of the G24 rule). We proceeded to deliver those empty cells to the corner stations and were expecting 30 points in penalties for this mistake. Instead we only got one 10point penalty for controlling more than one empty cell.

Our team has questioned that if this is the case, is it worth the gamble of 10pts in penalties to quickly deliver all 4 empty cells to your alliance? In our case we only scored one super cell of the four, which resulted in a net score of 5 points, but we think the chances of getting more scored may be worth that gamble.

Thinking this didn’t sound like a correct interpretation of the rule, we clarified with the head ref who said this case is, in fact, only 10pts. We then told her if that’s the rule, we may choose to do this all the time.

What does the community think? Was the rule written this way so that teams could make the decision on if carrying 4 empty cells at one time was worth the gamble? Or is this just a loophole in the rules that needs to be clarified?

Maybe it’s not worth the gamble, but if it is, we want to know what people think.

The Robonauts

Definitely sounds worth the gamble to me. But at the same time I think that this should be clarified by the GDC for future regionals. I somehow doubt that this will remain true.

There was a clause in prior rulebooks about intentionally taking penalties for some kind of gain elsewhere, and how that was not legal.

That clause is not in this year’s rules.

I think the better question is why they were chosen to be HP when they did not know the rules?

The rule itself reads that “ROBOTS may be in POSSESSION of a maximum of one EMPTY CELL, or may HERD a maximum of one EMPTY CELL at one time. A ROBOT may not be in POSSESSION and HERD EMPTY CELLS at the same time. A violation will cause a PENALTY to be assigned.”

It could go either way. You could say that the robot had 4 ECs, which means the rule was violated 3 times (1 per extra), which means 3 penalties. On the other hand, and this is what the ref is saying, each case of multiple EC possession is 1 violation and therefore 1 penalty.

Now taking bets on how long this’ll last… I’m sayin’ no longer than Tuesday’s update.

After speaking to our head referee in Traverse City, he said that it was most likely a miss rule, but he would rule it as one foul per empty cell.

I was watching a regional with a flaky connection (hospital) and I remember the commentator said something about a “double penalty” regarding scoring a super cell without swapping it for an empty. If that can be a double, i’m guessing knowingly breaking the rules would be penalized the same way.

Without thinking about “the rules,” I wouldn’t allow my team to continue to do this based on what is “fair” and not a good example of GP.

Let’s suppose for a minute that the ruling stands, one penalty for four empty cells, and that’s the approach for future Regionals. Further suppose that it’s the consensus of the FIRST community that “taking advantage” of this ruling is not a violation of gracious professionalism.

The question then boils down to, given that 10 points will be lost, “is it good strategy to load four ECs in one robot in autonomous?” That’s a tough question that needs to be answered by the alliance together. I am inclined to say it may be worth the risk.

I bet this lasts about as long as stacking robots at the beginning of the match did in 2007.

<offtopic>I loved that strategy, one of my favorites of all time</offtopic>

<OT>Pictures or it didn’t happen</OT>

[also OT] There are. http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/27756 [/also OT]

If this is the ruling for the head referee at your regional, I do not believe that that calling will be the same at others.

Also, intentionally breaking rules can cause more penalties if the refs. catch on not to mention that there is NO GP in that strategy and the example you are setting for other teams would not be good.

We were discussing this on Gameday. 9.5.3 is the ONLY manual section that would cover this that we found. And then, it depends on what your ref finds to be “egregious”. There is no rule that says you can’t take a penalty for a competitive advantage.

As for the “No GP” comment, maybe you should think about this spotlight: “Only think of Gracious Professionalism as a standard to work toward personally. Never use it as a gauge to point out someone else’s shortcomings.”–Rich Kressly

Whether or not it is GP is kind of up to your team to decide. If you decide that you won’t use this, fine. If you decide to take advantage of a ref’s interpretation, fine. Your choice.

So, are you equating GP to personal integrity or morality?
I think it’s much easier to peg down. Act as if you out of school and at your first real job. Before you do anything, ask yourself this: Would my boss/colleague/grandmother look at me and say that was professional behavior? Would those same folks define that as ‘gracious’? Knowingly breaking the rules to get an advantage in a silly game is neither. This is my personal opinion and I am not making a call on the rules of the game.

Am I? Sort of. It sort of is, sort of isn’t. But what one person thinks is not GP, another person thinks is GP, and both can be right. It depends how you look at it.

It’s more like ethics.

I wouldnt expect this to continue being interpreted this way so not worth arguing about.

My interpretation is that my Grandmother would approve if my team took the 10 point penalty like adults and didn’t complain. If I take spare points by little work (like prestacking bots in 2007) than it would be unfair.

who’s arguing? I think we all agree that this ruling will be “patched” in the next update. What I think we are discussing is the idea that a team would continue using the same tactic knowing that it was against the rules.

True. However, there is a hole/miscommunication in the interpretation of how the rule is applied. Where it is, I don’t know. I pointed out what the hole was earlier. The question is, if you can actually get an advantage by breaking the rule, should you exploit that? That’s a call each team must make for themselves, with their alliance assisting.