Inconsistency in scoring

At FiM Shepherd, my team and the 8th alliance had an unfortunate loss (SF1M2) against the 4th alliance. No contempt towards them, they played great and were very graciously professional. We lost by 4 points, and there were two unlucky things that happened:
a) My team’s VRM cable came unplugged in the last portion of the match. Based on previous matches, we easily would have been able to score a cargo and get back to the platform to win.
b) One of our teammates didn’t have their HAB 2 climb scored because they were touching a ball. image
I was mainly frustrated by this because an eerily similar HAB 2 climb in QF1M2 had been given the six points.
I didn’t contest it because we won anyway, but I tried to reference it later with the refs. I understand that these are volunteers, but it was the same referee for both climbs.

I know the event is over now, but should one argue this with the referee or let the referee’s call go? Also, should a climb count if the bot is only touching the ball, not ‘supported’ by it?

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It looks like both robots are supported by the cargo. From only the grainy pictures and your description, it looks they made the wrong call in QF1M2 and the right call in SF1M2. It’s unfortunate but that’s what I think the rules say.

As far as supported versus touching, I view the cases where the robot is touching and not supporting as very rare. If the reaction force to gravity acting on the robot is applied by the cargo, I view that as support.


I’m reminded of the term that I tell teams at the event. Make it obvious. Don’t make the refs guess.


You should ask about scoring in a question box immediately after the match if you want it looked at. Refs or any volunteer have short memories and your odds of a correction are best with the least amount of time passed. Not saying you’ll get it, but the odds are slightly better.

I don’t think it would have mattered here. Based on your pictures the SF call was probably correct. My guess is the Ref made a mistake in the earlier match and called it correctly in the second one after having discussed it in that earlier match. An argument that it was called incorrectly earlier isn’t grounds to also call it incorrectly in a later match.

Looks like an honest mistake to me.


I was told at the St. Louis regional that the refs don’t go onto the field to check if a robot has properly climbed. They have to determine that from off the field.

I saw refs mostly call from off the field and very rarely go on the field if it was indeterminate… there is no specific rule saying a ref cannot go onto the field after a game as far as I know to verify an indeterminate from the side score. Ideally calls are made without having to do that and it goes back to make it obvious. No one likes bad calls/scores. In your event that may have been the policy. Scores are critical you want to be sure.

Not going onto the field is one of the “secret” rules, in my understanding.

70 MPH is the California max speed limit, most drive above that . Why post my response in another thread?

Unintentional linking of your post. More the thread was intended

If it’s actually a “secret rule” that they can’t go onto the field, that’s ridiculous. Why would you intentionally limit your ability to make an an accurate call?

As I note, I for one am not interested in revisiting the secret rules philisophical discussion in this thread, as good as the other thread was.

I’ve always pictured the no going on the field as a way to prevent accidently disturbing the state of the field while determining if elements are scored.

If a referee goes on the field to get a closer look at something and stuff starts moving around that hasn’t been scored accidently, what do you do?

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I believe that “no one” is allowed on the field until the all clear is given. That would imply that all scoring decisions have to be completed.

I think you should always challenge a bad call. Not because it is likely to effect the current match. Simply because it makes for better calls later. Bad calls un level the playing field and are rarely intentional.

Not to mention, It’s a mater of safety. A real determination might alter the equilibrium of the perch of the robot, causing it to fall. Would you want to be responsible for breaking a $5000 machine.

…So spend time going off the hab to move the cargo…and then climbing again?

We had several climbs not counted because the robot was touching the ball in that way. To the referees it wasn’t even borderline. By that definition neither of those climbs should have been counted. Judging by the Q&As that I have read no climb is the correct call. Disclosure: I am not nor ever likely to be the GDC or a Referee so I am just an internet opinion.

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The all clear is given by the head ref. The head ref has no rules given to them about entering the field before the purple lights (as far as I know)

Up until a few years ago, refs would go onto the field to check endgame stuff (including sliding a piece of paper under a robot to see if it had climbed). Headquarters decided that was taking too much time and didn’t look good. The last couple of years the refs have been instructed to just look from the sidelines, and the rules have included bits like this year’s

SANDSTORM and HAB Climb Bonuses are evaluated and scored by human REFEREES. Teams are encouraged to make sure that it’s obvious and unambiguous that a ROBOT is not being supported by anything below that Level.

If that is what it takes, yes. In the case of both of the photos referenced in this thread, just being fully in the volume of the hab itself would have accomplished such. In both, the robot is hanging off the edge over the corral (the very nice overhead light gives a great shadow to see that).

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Not sure how it is secret, the rules about when climbs are assessed is right in the manual:

5.3 Scoring
Except for the SANDSTORM bonuses, scores are based on the state of the FIELD when the ARENA timer displays zero (0), or, if not all elements have come to rest or the ROBOT changes state after being DISABLED at the end of the MATCH, five (5) seconds after the ARENA timer displays zero (0).

There’s no point in Refs in going on the field to assess a climb since the state has to be assessed between T=0s and T=+5s. As others noted there used to be a practice of evaluating robot state in the end game on field if necessary. The rules have been written to look at the field state at T=0s or slightly after for a few years now at least in part to eliminate that practice.

I read that as “scoring is according to where the robots and game pieces are at T+5”, not “referees have to make all scoring decisions by T+5 from a terrible vantage point”. If it’s clear that none of the robots are moving, why shouldn’t the refs be able to go on the field to verify the climbs correctly.

Take a look at the 2013 rules.

They have a similar line “final scores will be assessed five (5) seconds after the ARENA timer displays zero (0) or when all elements come to rest, whichever event happens first” but refs still went onto the field to check climbs at champs (as they should have).

Sure you guys could do that.

Though most other teams would find it more expediant to just line up six inches farther to the right.