How will the balls be scored?

As simple of a question as this may seem I am unclear as to exactly how the balls will be scored. I basically understand the center goal has some counter to know when a ball has passed through the exit chute but I am more concerned with the lower side goals. With balls being scored from the field and being removed by the human players and re introduced to the game this eliminates just counting up the number of balls at the end of the match. I assume it is impossible for the referees to keep track of all the balls in play at one time and manually count the balls that are scored into the lower goals. We are allowed “incidental incursion” into the goals by up to 3" (Rule <G21>) but must not activate the ball counting system. Does anyone know the specifics of the “ball counting system”. Was this discussed or demonstrated at the kickoff in NH? Our remote kickoff only had a 1/4 field plywood mock-up. At first I assumed that the “ball counting system” would be a light beam type system but I don’t see how that would work accurately in this game. Balls may be “fired” into the goal at high enough speeds to fool the sensor, a continuous string of 10 balls may “flow” into the goal end to end without much of a light gap at and unknown velocity, or even two or three balls may enter side by side and only be “seen” as one ball breaking the light beam at a time. IIRC in 2004 the balls did not score any points as they passed through the lower chutes, they were only passing them to the human player to score into the field goals.

Does anyone know the specifics of how the lower side goals “ball counting system” works?

There is a lighted strip on the top of the corner goal ramp, with a camera positioned above. FIRST has a computer for every goal (or is it every two?) dedicated to running an algorithm to count the balls. Apparently the system was found to be extremely accurate under testing.

There is some more information out there about this system, if you search these fora and the FIRST Q&A fora .

The automated counting system for the corner goals is composed of an camera system located above the goal, and a back-lit diffuser panel in the floor of the ramp on the interior (ball corral side) of the goal. Jeff Wetzel has posted a picture of the overhead camera and the back-lit panel. The camera system is not a simple break-beam counter. The system was developed by National Instruments, and is designed to recognize and discriminate between individual balls that may enter the goal at the same time. The system is a full computer vision application, and explicitly looks for circular objects passing in front of the back-lit panel. During testing, the system easily handled three balls passing into the goal simultaneously (ie. side-by-side across the full width of the goal), and up to 10 balls entering the goal per second.

Note that the “3-inch incursion buffer” inside the goal is about the same distance as the set-back from the goal opening to the back-lit panel.


Wonderful! Thanks for the detailed information guys. It looks like FIRST is on top of things as usual. I think it is safe to say that hopper/dump truck bots will be accurately scored!

Someone closed the "Will the Center Goal be able to keep up? " thread and linked to this thread

which only addresses balls in the corner goals.

The question still remains: how fast can balls be fired into the center goal, before they start bouncing back out?

Regarding center goal scoring, here’s what FIRST Q&A has to say …

How are balls counted during a match?


Ball scoring system

Unjamming the balls at the end of the match so they all drop through the counter is super

but that wont help if 3 teams try to fire 10 balls each into the center goal in a 5 second window, and the balls jam and half bounce back out.

The real question that teams are looking to be answered: has anyone assembled an acutal-FIRST center goal and tested it to see how fast balls can be crammed into the opening? (before they start bouncing back out and falling to the floor?)

I am not all that sure on how the balls will be scored but in the shematics it did not show of any thing so im am guessing that they might use a light sensor in the back of the holding box for both the side and center goals, but if I were you i would go and send them an e-mail asking how they would be scored they most likly will answer back but there is not a 100% chance, but it is worth a try. Sorry, this is not related, but you should try out Runescape if you have not already its really good.