How high do we have to be off the ground during the climbing stage?

I was looking at the 2020 manual and I did not see anything talking about how high we need to be above the ground when climbing the shield generator. We are planning to do a meter just to be safe but does anybody know?

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There is no minimum, but it should be obvious and needs to hold for five seconds at least.


You have to be off the ground. That’s it. Making it obvious for the ref’s (who have to manually score it) is to your benefit, however.

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Read 4.4.4 in the manual.

As of right now it is defined as being obviously supported by the bar but I would imagine that will be clarified in an update soon.

If past years with similar endgames are any guidance, then just high enough for the refs to see that the robot is obviously not touching the ground.

Last year if it was questionable the refs would slide a piece of paper to see if we were off the ground.


Please don’t be that close

It’s better for everyone if you’re obvious about it

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You don’t need to be any minimum distance, but remember to take into account that you might end up at the low end of the handle, or over one of the bumps or partially supported by a fuel cell. I would plan to be at least 10" above the carpet while hanging at the low end.


As various folks have stated, there is no minimum distance. I would suggest high enough to (a) make it obvious, (b) deal with any back drive or attachment point slippage, © deal with any swaying of the RUNG or ROBOT movement as there is no verbiage about “when ROBOTS come to a rest” and (d) depending on how they rule about someone’s HANG turning into a PARK if they backdrive, high enough to be still off the ground if a second ROBOT ends up backdriving to the ground.

I would further recommend designing your climber so it does not back drive to the floor. If there is an issue they might not make the assessment at T=0 plus 5 seconds. If your ROBOT touches down while they sort out whatever is going on, you could loose a valid HANG. Have seen that in previous years when the climb area gets busy/odd climbing configuration/someone falls.

Last year? Where was that? Refs haven’t been allowed to go onto the field to check for hanging, etc. for several years.

It was a little surprising watching a 2006 video where the refs just leap onto the field right as the match ends. Everything has been field side since at least 2016 and probably several years before that.

Especially in games where the climb points are at T=0 or 5 seconds after the match ends.

In 2013 I believe climb scoring was “ref jumps on field 2 seconds after match ends and lays down to see under robot”

Since you are in Burlington, it would be very worthwhile if your team tests your solution at one of the fields near you to ensure that it works properly under all conditions. You might also get some tips from some of the other teams working at those fields.

Yes – that was the first year I was a referee for FRC, and at that point we were indeed using the “slide a piece of paper under it” test for climbing. They banned that a few years later – I’m thinking it might have been Stronghold year, but don’t remember for certain. Now we’re supposed to judge everything without going onto the field. That’s why I wondered where @NatsirtD saw it last year. Perhaps his referees missed the change?

I don’t think thats the case. When there is a concern on a climb I’ve seen refs go onto the field to double check it.

Or it’s possible that it was too close to call from that far, and they wanted to make the right call the first time. TEAMS, don’t make your refs do that!

At at least one offseason I was at, the paper test was used more than once. Offseasons, OTOH, can somewhat set their own rules.

I’m pretty sure you’re right about Stronghold being the first, but 2013 was the previous climbing year.

Here’s a general suggestion: If your robot when “fully climbed” is NOT shorter than 4’ 7.75" (the top of the ring at lowest height per the Manual), I’m going to go out on a thick limb and say that you’re at risk of being caught on the ground at the end of the match, especially if you’re the only attempted hang and you hang near the end of the rung. Personally I’d try to get fully into the Starting Configuration or close to it due to swing and other similar factors.

I’ll say this much… enough to fit Gene Steratore’s index card underneath it :joy:


Chains are such a terrible way to measure down and distance

Correct. But most people involved in robotics understand the concept of compounding measurement errors.

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