Need Clarification for Interstellar Accuracy and Power Port Challenges

The Interstellar Accuracy and Power Port rules were not completely clear to my team. There’s a few specific things we hope get clarified.

Interstellar Accuracy:

IAC9: “The ROBOT must be completely within the Reintroduction Zone in order to acquire POWER
CELLS from humans.”
Does this mean the robot may pick up powercells from the ground anywhere in the field? So could the 2 human players roll them out of the Reintroduction Zone to the robot in another zone?

Power Port:

PPC1:" Teams may not use more than three (3) POWER CELLS."
We took this to mean you can only cycle 3 power cells. So shooting 3, getting them back to the robot, and shooting them again. This seems very restrictive, though I understand this makes sense so that you can’t do better by buying lots of power cells to use.

We were alse thinking about how the powercells can be moved from the power port back to the field. It sounds like it’s meant to be done by 2 people but I also didn’t see anything against setting up something fancy like a conveyor belt next to the field to move powercells.

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IAC9 seems to say that the ROBOT has to be in the Reintroduction zone, so a roll does not count.
PPC1, on the other hand, will require clarification. There is a rule below it in the Scoring section that says that the score is the total score from the 15 power cells. This phrase would make more sense in IAC than PPC. We’ll just have to wait for the Q&A to open.


From the first Team Update, there is no discrepancy. IAC scoring is across 5 minutes and PPC is across 1 minute. However, they did not change PPC1.

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The IAC scoring rules seem clear to me, but at the same time hard to believe.

I’m reading the scoring rules as the only thing that counts is where 15 Power Cells hit the various Power Port locations. I see no mention of time in the scoring other than a 5 minute overall period to take the 15 shots.

5 minutes to take 15 shots (and no more) does not seem to be consistent with typical FRC objectives. An entire competitive round is only 2:15.

I would expect many high scores that bunch together with little variation to rank teams by if there is not some aspect of the scoring that includes time as well as the shot location of the 15 Power Cells.

Am I missing something? I could ask in Q&A, but I thought I’d at least get a sanity check here first.

I guess I’m not seeing the confusion here. These are all completely separate challenges and should be treated as such.

IAC gives teams 15 SHOTS total (whether 1 ball or 15 is used) to show how accurate they can be, speed is not the objective here.

PPC is about scoring as fast as you can, but since rookies are only given 3 field pieces, everyone is limited to 3 field pieces.

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Not to be “that guy”
1 minute to make all your shots for PPC is inconsistent with typical objectives
Expecting and open field with no defense for time challenges is inconsistent with typical objectives
Self scoring is inconsistent with typical objectives
2020/2021 is inconsistent with typical years and the GDC is adapting to it, so keep that in mind when trying to compare these rules with past years.

Our team is still taking this year seriously, but we’re considering this FRC Lite

It’s not confusion. The words in the document seem clear. The question is if game design intended to have time be essentially a non-factor such that numerous high-level teams will likely have no differentiation in score. That seems unexpected from a game design perspective, so I’m just wanting to confirm that I haven’t missed anything in the rules. I don’t want to be “that other guy” who posts a question to Q&A to get an answer of “see section 15.1.2 for the effect of time on IAC scoring.” I’m interpreting your reply to mean that you also see nothing in the rules or scoring calculations that includes time in IAC other than the 5 minute cap.

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Then yes, we’re on the same page and the IAC does look to have a score cap.

Not sure how much of an issue it will be though. Past games have had score caps on different elements and it worked out then. Most recent examples I can think of were steamworks, stronghold. Only so many gears could be placed or barriers crossed.

15 perfect shots from 4 zones will still be really tough for 99%+ of teams out there.

Can we get more discussion on this? It is clear that you can’t have more than 2 people, but not clear if those two people can be assisted (or even replaced) by some non-human mechanism.


It doesn’t say you can’t have more than two people returning balls, only that you can’t have more than 2 people feeding balls to the robot. This seemed to imply that more humans could be involved in the process of returning balls to the reintroduction zone, just not directly near the robot.

I’m assuming that 2 people is ONLY for feeding the robot. More can retrieve power cells though.

If they wanted to restrict it more I would expect more wording a kin to
“no more than 2 human players allowed”
“power cells can only be introduced onto the field via the re-introduction zone” (to stop people from throwing over the play area)
“no launching or rolling of power cells other than by the robot” (run/walk PCs to the re-into zone)
“only human plays can retrieve power cells” (no auto-mechs to free up the players)

Plenty of others way’s that are also absent in the manual for this challenge

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Good point, I think they would have been specific about these things if they don’t want them to happen. I still hope First clarifies what we’re limited to doing for moving power cells to the robot because it’s still very uncertain to me.

Team update 2 seems to imply they wouldn’t be making a clarification. Only do it if it’s “in the spirit” of the rules.

I myself feel like it’s completely within the spirit of the rules to do allow more members of the team to help with ball return, as long as only 2 are feeding.

The question has been directly asked in Q&A. No answer yet.