Is this a red card?

Around 55 seconds


Yes, that particular instance was ruled as a red card, as explained at the end of the match.


From my viewing:

  • It took less than a second from first contact to the red robot being tipped over beyond saving.
  • The blue robot was not extending outside it’s frame perimeter at any point for the duration of the contact.
  • It actually appears the red robot might have had it’s intake down in the direction of the blue robot, potentially contributing to the rapid rate of tipping by contacting the blue robot above it’s bumpers inside the blue robot frame perimeter.

In less than a second, it is nearly impossible to avoid additional contact with a robot starts tipping from bumper to bumper contact. The act of tipping forces the tipped robot’s rear (opposite of contact) bumpers into the ground, meaning it will not translate relative to the carpet. This will mean it looks like the non-tipped robot is “running into the bottom” of the tipped robot, when in reality this is just simple physics that happens in the blink of an eye, where the robot still on it’s wheels will “carry through” the initial contact.

FIRST needs to remove the ability for Head Ref’s to erroneously interpret these interactions as intentional/malicious and in violation of G206. Teams should build robots with low CG’s and potentially self-righting mechanisms to ensure nominal contact does not result with them spending the rest of the match on their side. There are already protections in place for robots that are trying to self right, which is appropriate. FRC games should not reward teams for building tall CG robots that cannot handle normal game interactions between fast robots on an open field.

Was this a red card? Yes.

Should it have been? No.



totally Agree with Mike


Both bots looked like they were “defending” it appeared. There is a problem with the rule that is in favor of high COG bots. I agree with Michael. This should not have been a red card. Plus based on the scoring…the Blue Alliance was not going on in the upper bracket…that I could tell. Not sure the questioning that was going on in the huddle at the end…

This rule and the rule for scoring fouls because your bot was pushed into an opposing zone during defense (I know we like doing it when we can) should be seriously looked at.

As for this, it was unintentional…a call for a yellow should have resulted…IF it was an actual targeted tipping…sure pull the red card. I would tell my driver IF the bot was High COG to stay away from it when it was rocking…gentle push if not…just to let them know we were there.


In a vaguely similar scenario, qual 64 of 2023miesc around 1:48 in the match video, one red robot collides with 8382 in blue, but only enough to rock them, and a second later another red robot makes contact that knocks over 8382. That was ruled as no foul, no card as neither team could react fast enough to avoid it.

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TBH, that looks like it should have been a penalty on red. From that angle it looked like reds intake was down and made contact with blue above the bumpers and inside the frame and that contact is where the leverage came from to tip them so quickly. That’s just me though from this camera view

Blue was also moving to avoid being in the red loading zone. That’s the same line I would recommend when the middle of the field is cut off by defense.


Being at the event, 4272 was a top scorer and was one of the 2 scorers of this alliance. That, mixed with the fact there was follow through by 7454 trying to move into their community without a game piece doesn’t entirely make sense for accidental contact. They were trying to bump 4272 I think and 7454 just hit too hard on a bot with higher COG.

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That, plus retracting the intake may have given a little extra inertia to 4272 that helped them tip over the edge. The timing is almost perfect for the weight of those wheels to give them an extra little nudge.

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100% in agreement, should not have been a red flag.

If your robot tips over from ordinary bumper-to-bumper contact, that should be on you.
If your robot tips over because of your out-of-perimeter element contacting another robot (which is what I see here) that should be on you.


Oh Boy…Hate to be the subject of potentially questionable call.

Here is a close up video if anyone is curious.

We 100% were outside of our frame perimeter trying to get a cube. It was a bold move on our part, and one we paid for with a broken intake at least (got it fixed for the next match luckily).

Our CoG is reasonably low until the elevator goes up. Unfortunately our elevator does go up when we intake cubes. I think that, plus the fact that they got up under the intake is what ultimately caused this. Easily could have been a foul on us since our intake almost certainly contacted inside of 7454’s frame.

We are working on several improvement to make our CoG better for our next event. Certainly not proud of it for this one (this was our second fall of the event).

Still. It’s somewhat of a relief that even had the red card/tech foul hadn’t been called, we still would have won the match. The same is also true about Finals 2, where one of our alliance partners fell.


7454 has a pyramid shaped lexan cover that I think the intake rode up on. They would have tipped even without bumper contact. Technically a penalty on red but a no call would have been justified.

Hopefully drivers have good reaction time, but I think refs are asking too much when they classify this sort of interaction as intentional (or even avoidable after it starts happening). I was in the stands very close to this hit when it happened, and I saw it from the other angle. I was surprised to see the red card called. In the video, the ref nearest the collision also seems unsure of whether to call it or not.

The red intake being out definitely contributed to what happened. It provided a better lever to tip the robot up, it maintained contact with blue (so it wasn’t just a bumper-to bumper pop), and it shifted the red weight when it was retracted. It’s likely the other refs didn’t see this part of it.

I absolutely do not envy the refs, and the FIN refs are by and large GREAT AND AMAZING. I was grateful that this card wasn’t match-affecting as red outscored blue even down a robot. I do worry how this game could play out with red cards like this being common.


Having been a ref at a few off-season competitions. I don’t disagree with this take. But I am unsure of how to fix this rule. In that specific interaction, subjectively, I can say that it probably wasn’t intentional. Especially since sportsmanship at FIRST events is usually very good. But that exact same movement could very easily be an intentional attempt to flip a high-scoring bot. You really can’t tell intention from momentary contact like that.

One solution is to specify a few actions that could be considered intentional. The way that I was trained was that anything more than a single contact point is intentional. If two robots slammed into each other in bumper-to-bumper contact, bounced off of each other, and one of them tipped over, that is likely, not intentional. If one robot slammed into another, tipped it up, and continued pushing (i.e. making a second contact) then that should be ruled as intentional.

This solution is decent IMO but I still believe that it can lead to false positives AND false negatives. The rules should probably be written in such a way that it favors false negatives over false positives since it is very likely that almost all tips in FRC are entirely unintentional.

No matter how the rules are written, I think that @Michael_Corsetto 's take that teams should build low-CG robots is misguided and a bad take. 1678 this year built an extremely low-CG robot that will perform very well. But not all teams have the capabilities to design AND build a robot that can complete the game tasks they want to complete while also having that low of a CG. I would love it if 1714’s robot had a much lower CG, but trying to design it that way from the beginning would have resulted in us not being as competitive and maybe not being able to reach the high nodes.

Tipping rules must be written in a way to account for all types of robots.


I think this is the key. Either the rule or a blue box with it should add some clarification around tipping incidents. Some examples that could be highlighted:

Examples of intentional tipping:

  • sustained contact over a prolonged (ie greater than X second(s)) period of time while in the act of tipping (ie sufficient time for a driver to react and back off)
  • Contact inside the frame perimeter above the bumper zone that initiates the act of tipping (ie hitting them high to knock them over)
  • extending beyond your frame perimeter within or below the bumper zone and contacting another robot in a manner that initiates the act of tipping (ie a wedge robot)

Examples of non-intentional tipping:

  • Bumper to bumper contact that is not followed by sustained contact
  • Contact with a robots extension that acts as a lever to lift them off the ground

I invite everyone to help flesh out the list, correct wording, make things more clear, etc… Lets see if we can help provide the GDC with a better idea of how we want the rule called - we don’t want tipping, but we also don’t want it called when something just happens beyond the teams control. he direction that is already included with the rule clearly isn’t enough in our fast-paced environment.


The problem with this is that a team can very much intentionally tip another robot by just bumper-to-bumper contact. Or by waiting for them to drop down an intake and use that to tip them. I would like to trust teams to not be that malignant, but we simply can’t. That is why we have these rules.

But you trust teams to not put down their intake in order to get tipped and an easy win in the playoffs?

Note: I DO NOT think that’s what happened here… it’s just a reasonable counter-argument in the hypothetical.


Or to not build this: Is this Game Broken? - #102 by jjsessa

This is a great set of suggestions that I hope FIRST considers.

I’d also like FIRST to consider changing the penalty to something a bit more escalatory, something akin to what FIRST is doing now with escalating fouls for being late to the field for playoffs.



Is that a red card? No idea. Should it be? Absolutely not!

One of the problems is just the inconsistency between head referees. Think about the red/yellow card palooza at Port Hueneme compared to other regionals. The 2 regionals we went to last year, SFR and SVR, had vastly different ideas about what constituted a yellow card.

How to fix it? I would say any bumper to bumper contact, without intrusions to the frame perimeter, shouldn’t be a card.