My understanding of the “strategy solely aimed at damaging” rule is to prevent saws, spikes, blow torches, etc. Not to prevent aggressive pushing. Likewise, the intentional flipping rule is designed to prevent “scoop bots” who can go out and up-end a robot with some kind of pneumatic flipper.
So, <G34> is OK as written and as enforced.
The intentional entanglement rule is also there to keep teams from throwing a lasso around another robot and immobilizing them due to entanglement.
So, <G35> is OK as written and as enforced.
What many people seem to want is a couple of new rules to influence style of play.
<G50> If two or more robots become entangled with each other, the referees will disable all entangled robots until the end of the match.
<G51> Charging. If an offensive robot drives through a defensive robot on the way to a scoring object (while in the scoring zone as defined by a different color of carpet), a “charge” will be called on the offensive robot. 5 point penalty.
<G52> Blocking. If a defensive robot drives into an offensive robot on its way to a scoring object, a “block” will be called on the defensive robot. 5 point penalty.
<G53> Late hit. If a robot intentionally runs into a disabled or immobilized robot, a late hit will be called. 5 point penalty per offense. Repeated offenses may result in the robot being disabled at the discretion of the referee.
BTW, for those offensive minded teams, if FIRST limits or eliminates “vigorous interaction,” it becomes much easier to play defense. There was more contact initiated by robots trying to get to the scoring objects then by robots attempting to prevent them. If contact is limited, the defensive bot just has to get to the scoring zone and drop a flimsy wall around it. The offensive bot would have to “stand off” in order to avoid penalty, resulting in a very boring match indeed.
Ramming…how do you decide whether a robot was driving across the field and encountered another robot in its path (due to limited vision, driver reactions, etc.) or a robot built up speed in order to hit another robot?
If a ramming rule were put into place, teams may put themselves into harm’s way, just to get another robot disqualified. In order to defend a position, a robot just has to get into the vicinity first. Any other robot would have to slow down and inch around the defending bot, in order to avoid a ramming call.