NOT Blocking the ball deposits

My team noticed that positioning the mobile goals in front of the opposing teams ball deposits held them up from getting and balls until they would have to divertsome of their robot time to clearing them out of the way. We thought that maybe blocking the oppositions ball deposits with mobile goals or the robot itself could provide a good defensive strategy. Keep in mind you dont need a high scoring game in the finals and that just winning is the first step in getting a high seed.

My teammates had the exact same idea. The only debate was is it more of a waste of your time or an effective defensive strategy. That would have to be a driver decision. You have to ask yourself does the other team have a mechanism specifically designed to pull the goal, if so, are you helping the other team more than your harming them?

When FIRST mentioned the spirit of the competition and all those speaches about “Gracious Proffessionalism” at least my team took the hint. This is not meant to be a defensive I’m going to bash you into the ground type game, KISS it for goodness sake!! do all that you can don’t worry about your opponent unless it’s blocking them from the “bar” or knocking out the 2X. Plus it’s advantagous to allow your opponent to have some points unless you want to be at the bottom of your tier and fight your way up?? but thats just me.

A side note for our team at least we developed a “code of ethics” for this competition what we are willing to do and what we aren’t, these would include highly mean spirited and pointless things like netting over the goals or blocking ball deposits with a goal etc… not to say we wouldn’t be competitive just that there are some things that instead of being “gracious” turn into sorts of evil type things kinda like turning to the dark sides of designing stuff…


Whoa Jedi,

FIRST has not ruled on the issue in the Q&A yet, but I believe they will allow it. Here are the reasons why.

First off, blocking one ball chute will not prevent the opponent from scoring. There are two ball chutes and the human players can share balls. Blocking both chutes with one robot would be a feat of engineering. We are talking about 24 feet. And blocking with goal will happen no matter if it happens naturally or intentionally. And when it does happen the opposing team has a fair chance to move the goal and continue scoring.

I know they probably will I’m just saying your using up alot of your time to do something that unless your ally does it as well you don’t stand to gain from it (all that much) and you end up losing points that way as well. Plus why would you want to other than to directly try and take points away when you could just be adding more points to yours than they are to thiers unless your worried you won’t be able to design something that good. oh well I’m not saying to burn the idea I’m just saying keep it in context of each individual match if an opponent wants to fight fire with fire (in this case block your chute) I have no qualms about blocking them and playing defensively but for the most part it seems this year FIRST tryed to somewhat tone down the defensive aspects of the game and want you to concentrate on the offensive.

if you drag your opponents goal infront of their corral opening, they will say THANK YOU! - it will be very easy to drop balls into it there

and if you drag your goal to their side, it will be impossible for your team to score any points with it.

if two hanging robots delay the ball fall and then block the ball holes for 30 seconds they could then leave and hang themselves on the horizontal pole. 100 points would be hard to make in the 45 remaining seconds

Just checked FIRST’s Q&A section, it said:

Q: During a match, are the human players allowed to use both ball chutes or only one?

A: Human Players must stay inside their own Team Zone so they could only get balls from one chute. They can pass them to the other HP in the alliance as long as the HP stays within their own Team Zone.

ur forgetting that for the seeding, the losers score is used, so u really only want to win by the lowest possible margin. If you trounce them, then you get a low score too…

No, seeding is determined by Wins, Losses, and Ties… THEN the tie-breaker is the losers score. Here is an example:

Rank Team Wins Losses Ties Losers points

  1.    333          8           0           0             543
  2.    222          8           0           0             210
  3.    111          7           0           1             777
  4.    99           7           1           0             834
  5.    88           7           1           0             456

It’s really simple. Qualification rankings are determined on W-L-T. If two teams have the same W-L-T record, THEN the tie-breaker to determine which one seeds higher is the Losers points.

Hopefully, this is clear.

Andy B.

Sorry to nitpick Andy, but im afraid your wrong.

[left]7.3.3 Match Qualification Points and Ranking Points
[left]At the completion of each Qualification Match, each team will receive a win, loss or tie depending on the final score. Each team on the winning Alliance will receive two Qualifying Points. Each team on the losing Alliance will receive zero Qualifying Points.
[left]In the event of a tie Match Score, all four teams will receive one Qualifying Point.
[left]All four teams will receive a number of Ranking Points equal to the Match Score of the losing alliance or their alliance score in the case of a tie. A Surrogate team will receive zero qualifying Points and will not
[left]receive any Ranking Points.[/left]

[left]So the ranking should look like this:[/left]

[left]Rank Team Qp’s Rp’s[/left]
[left]1 A 16 1000[/left]
[left]2 B 16 800[/left]
[left]3 C 13 1200[/left]
[left]4 D 12 2000[/left]
[left]5 E 12 1200[/left]

[left]The reason why W-L-T can’t work is because we have all seen how the number of matches each team gets is usually not equal. Each team ranked first by Qp’s and then by Rp’s. I’m growing to like the idea.[/left]


I’m talking about another question asked.

If we can block the chutes, not if HP can pass the balls to each other?

risksta - why did you tell andy he is wrong, then give an example that agrees with what he said

you ARE ranked first by the number of matches you have won (your qualifying points) and within each of those tiers you are subranked by your ranking points (loser match points)

7.3.7 Qualification Ranking
All teams in attendance will be ranked during the Qualification Rounds. If the number of teams in attendance
is ‘n’, they will be ranked ‘1’ through ‘n’, with ‘1’ being the highest ranked team and ‘n’ being the lowest ranked
The Scoring System will use the following Ranking Method:
• Teams will be broken into Tiers based on their Qualifying Score. (this is W/D/L)
• Within each Tier, teams will be sorted by their Ranking Score. (this is match loser scores)
• If any teams within a Tier have the same Ranking Score, they will be sorted by their Highest Match (this is teams highest match WINNERS score)
• If any teams within a Tier have the same Ranking Score and the same Highest Match Score, then
the Scoring System will sort those teams based on a Random Electronic Coin Toss.

if the number of teams at a regional is not divisible by 4, they will assign random surrogate teams to even out the number of seeding matches played. All teams will play the same number of seeding matchs - if surroate teams are needed for the last match, the match reasult will not affect their ranking in any way.

Seems to me that most of the “gracious professionalism” stuff had to do with assisting fellow teams. Blocking the goals also seems to be in the spirit of the game, because otherwise they would have put something in the rules about it.

Just my thoughts… :stuck_out_tongue:

They are right, wins do weigh more than the games score. And blocking both deposits wouldn’t be as hard as you think. If you remember the Zone Zeal game from 2 years ago, several teams used teathered “runners” to score in multiple zones. A similar strategy could be used here, with a runner deploying in front of one deposit and another one going to the other. Since I havnt found entanglement rules yet, and niether has my team, you could do other things while the runners sit there. Also blocking it with a goal doesnt guarantee an easy shot, keep in mind there is a 7 foot high player station wall in the way.

Sorry, I did find an entanglment rule in the robot section of the rules.

<R11> Mechanisms or components that present an obvious risk of entanglement are not allowed.

Wouldn’t have to do it during the 15 second autonimous mode?

Not if they dont get the balls off the tees. But it is possible to do it in the autonomous mode. A good dead reckoning program can take a goal and drop it off quickly, if your fast enough, which we should be. Also you could defend at least the ball tee on your side until the deposits are blocked off. Plus you can let them get some balls, but this would limit their supply. It not neccessary to shut them out, but this can reduce their score. Also it doesnt have to be a full time strategy. You can draw thier robots away from what they’re doing to take a goal out of the way, which could give you invauluable time. This is more of a strategy for stiuational use I think, than an all the time one.

i thought i read some where in the rule book that doin that was illegal

Official answer from the FIRST Q&A system:

Section: 4.1 Date Posted: 1/10/2004 Status: Answered
Q: How many of the doggy doors which let the robot push balls to the human player are open at a time, and can we block them?
A: The “doggy doors” are open cutouts aka Ball Chutes in the diamond plate so they are always open. Regarding blocking of the Ball Chutes, please refer to new Rule <G26>… 1 robot can only block 1 Ball Chute of the opposing alliance at a time.

So, building robots that block both chutes is definitely against the rules, now.