Our experience in Galileo

I mean we tried asking about it but we couldn’t get really get anywhere. As in the ref himself did admit that the referee team was in agreement with the calls and he apologizes if there is a mistake however we were trying to talk with him to figure out where a miscall could have taken place but in terms of fouls/G204 violations they wouldn’t budge an inch in regards to communicating with us why and which calls were made.

With Einstein matches going on i think it reinforces this post even more. So many robots having technical trouble and requiring help from the FTAs and strange calls being made like with the match between hopper and newton where 4096 had issues staying connected etc. Like even without delving into specifics you can’t deny how weird this years Galileo field is so buggy (even taking into consideration all wifi issues caused by hotspots in the stands etc).

Hi @Wing, I completely understand your frustrations about your situation. I also understand that it might seem weird that my team (more specifically myself) was allowed to enter the field and swap batteries. I’m not here to tell you I don’t or do agree with you, I’d just like to shed some light on the situation.
I personally haven’t watched the matches where you lost robot code however, what I do know is what went down in our case.

Match 30 had issues with the FMS where, a lot, if not all, robots had connection issues. This caused the match to be stopped and it being replayed immediately after. Since our robot uses pneumatics and also tends to use up quite some battery, we obviously wanted to swap batteries and charge up our pneumatics. Since the field gets opened for a field reset anyway we asked the head-ref if he’d allow us to do this, which he did. Thus we ended up tethering to our robot and swapping out batteries but the field wasn’t opened specifically for us. The short inspection was because of our robot not connecting to the field, in which case the FTA almost always opens up the field to check the robot (at least the one at Galileo did). So that’s why we went on the field again.
I hope this sheds some light on our situation compared to yours. Then again I’m not here to bash you or hate on what you’re saying. If anything is still unclear feel free to ask or comment on this post! :smile:


Thank you, it really is helpful to hear your perspective when I was in the dark as to what happened. Please remember that I never meant to make it seem like i was talking about your team with ill intent I just wanted to use you guys as an example so If it came across differently I really do apologize


Is this the proper thing to do? Maybe not, but I just wanted to say as the ref in the video and who was on Galileo the entire weekend.
I am very sorry that our calls as a crew were not up to standards you feel fitting for a Worlds crew. I cannot speak for all of the referees there but I try my very best to make the best calls I can, which includes things that I feel 100% certain of that I saw being called and getting corrected (if need be.) I know I cannot go back and make any changes, but if there was anything you saw that you think I could have improved on for future events I welcome the feedback so I can be a better referee!


I think part of this issue is this year in particular has been a year with field fault after field fault specifically in regards to FMS and even more specifically between FMS and robot communications. I have volunteered at many events, and you quickly learn that FMS is legacy software built on legacy software, built on legacy software, built on… you get the point. It has a pretty user interface, at least sometimes, but the underlying issues are prevalent more than ever. I think that a big part of the upcoming years will either need to be a rework of FMS with a potentially more robust wireless communications system, but that would be costly, and time consuming, in the mean time, FIRST needs to have more clear rules as to what happens when these issues pop up. I’m sorry for the experiences you had, typically it is not robot related, especially when their aren’t clear definitions as to the capabilities of your radio, where it should be placed, what it shouldn’t be near etc.


Great! It didn’t come across as such so no worries :slight_smile:

Please dont be, realistically speaking the faults that I pointed out aren’t really anything that went wrong with you guys as the human referees but maybe the officiating system as a whole. Unfortunately refs can only call damage that they physically see, this isn’t fair to teams who dont get reimbursed properly for being damaged on the field but it also isnt fair to take it out on you guys who physically could not have made this call.

I feel like there are alot of ideas floating around especially on CD about how to make the refereeing system more fair and consistent but honestly until FIRST takes it upon themselves to make major changes towards this goal I dont know if theres much we can do


Do you know if FIRST has stated that they have plans for an FMS rework? I think it was made clear this year at champs with all the replays and field faults that there is definitely something going on but I didn’t realize that FMS was actually outdated. But then again it obviously isnt as simple as going ‘oh why dont they just update it’ because thats one major overhaul to FRC infrastructure

The penalty at 94s, we never could get an answer on…I am not sure our intake actually went into 3539’s frame either at 74s. For sure went inside their bumper zone. The call on us in the blue substation is real, even as much as I hate it. OP is correct that when we asked for explinations on the double penalty enter, the 94s foul, and damaging contact it was the classic: “Thats what we saw and called, not sure which robots they were on” :upside_down_face:


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Yeah I’ll never really be able to get over that, I don’t expect them to keep mental logs of each specific infraction on the rules but if teams come to the question box presenting geniune doubt as to the calls made and thats the best explanation that can be given its not the best feeling in the world

i feel like refs should only be responsible for penalties in their side/quadrant of the field where their station is? Is that already how its supposed to work or is it pretty much a free for all?

Yes and no. And it depends on the game where the “zones” are - it’s not just cut the field into 4 equal slices.

Like a lot of things, it’s hard to use ultimates like always, never, etc. A lot happens in a very very short period of time, all robots may end up in one general area, field or robots may obstruct line of sight, robot interaction may start and continue to another area, and many many more hypothetical situations out there.


There’s a slight misunderstanding here.

There’s nothing to correct in Eric’s example.

When you see refs pointing at each other, what you’re seeing is two (or more) referees waved flags because more than one referee saw the infraction. The referee tapping their chest is saying “I’m going to input this” while those pointing to another referee are saying “I believe you’re inputting this.” If you see the pointing, you’re not seeing multiple entries.

To Eric’s point, the radios are garbage. So you’re seeing this occur as it’s quicker and clearer to use the pointing and chest tapping method than trying to discuss anything on the radios.


Over the season our RoboRio 2 had progressively more no codes fixed by a reboot and progressively longer boot times. Replacing the SD card seemed to help.

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We had that issue like 4 times on curie, our fta let us just reboot the bot and that worked every time


Here is how I mentor my teams on the Question Box.

First, the Question Box is never about changing the past. The Game Manual is clear that the ruling by the team of referee volunteers is final. The Question Box is for clarification.

If the team feels that a bad call was made, one student goes to the Question Box and the rest of the Drive Team works to remove the robot from the field so the next Match can start on time. The student in the Question Box will bring the answer to the pits as soon as they can.

Inquires in the Question Box should be structured this way:
In that last match, we observed .
We expected .
Can you clarify why ?

Listen to the answer from the Head Referee knowing that you’ll have to explain their answer to the anxiously waiting team in the pits. You need to make sure you listen for understanding. You’re not listening to respond.

After the Head Referee provides their answer, always thank them for spending time to clarify what happened. The Head Referee has a lot going on and is critical to keeping Matches on schedule. Any time they spend in the Question Box is a gift of time to the individual over the many.

As I stated before, the Question Box has nothing to do with the past. Its purpose is to make sure future matches are run smoothly and called consistently.

Consider a 2x2 Decision Matrix. (I use these a lot in my mentoring. If you’re not familiar with them, look up Pascal’s Wager.) On one axis, you have how you think a call by the referee was made (Good Call, Bad Call). On the other axis you have whether the call was made according to the Game Manual (Good Call, Bad Call).

If you think a call was a good call, you don’t enter the Question Box, and the tournament continues.

If you think a call was a bad call, there are two possibilities: It was a good call or it was a bad call.

Consider the situation where you think it was a bad call, and it actually was called according to the Game Manual. In this case, you present your perspective using the format above and ask for clarification. The Head Referee will bring the Game Manual to the Question Box and give you clarification on how the rule in the Game Manual is applied. You’ve learned something about the Game Manual and now you can provide the clarification to the rest of the team. This will likely require the team to adjust their Game Strategies based on this clarification. The goal of better future Matches is met.

Now the second scenario is that you think a bad call was made, and in fact the call was bad. We already said that we’re not in the Question Box to change the past. All of the Head Referees I know will review the Game Manual and admit that the call should have been made as you expected based on the Game Manual. You thank them and leave the Question Box. You go back to the Pits and provide the waiting team with the explanation provided. While you’re doing that, the Head Referee will bring the Referees together for a conference. They will explain the situation and remind the team of Referees to be on the lookout for the infraction or non-infraction as the case may be. From that point forward, the Referees will be making better calls in that particular scenario. Again the goal of having future Matches called accurately and consistently is met.

If you think about this situation, you can see that the Question Box has the least influence during Playoffs. There just aren’t that many matches yet to be played. Of course these are when the more novel situations occur, so it is understandable how the Question Box is still a valuable tool. The most influence of the Question Box is during Practice Matches. There are no consequences to Bad Calls in these matches. The entirety of the tournament is in the future, so clarifications for teams and for referees can have the most impact. Unfortunately teams are using the Question Box the least during Practice Matches.