Perhaps Defense may not be as useful as we thought?!

Due to the lack of safe zones in this years game, defense has commonly been talked about as being huge this year. With the only safe zone being the little area where frisbees are loaded, the potential for defense bots was huge.

I don’t know if this wasn’t noticed or I may just be late to the party, but:

Regardless of who initiates the contact, **a ROBOT may not contact an opponent ROBOT

contacting its PYRAMID** or
touching the carpet in its LOADING ZONE.

Violation: FOUL. If purposeful or consequential, TECHNICAL FOUL. If an opponent’s CLIMB is affected, each affected opponent ROBOT will be awarded points for a successful Level 3 CLIMB.

Bold added for emphasis.

I was wondering if this was for the purpose of protecting robots that were climbing, or if shooter bots can just touch the pyramid and be free to line up and aim without fearing defense bots so I submitted to Q&A:

Q. Does this rule also apply to robots that are contacting the pyramid while shooting? That is to say, can a robot contact its pyramid to aim and shoot at its goals and consider this a “safe zone”? Or is this rule only active when climbing the pyramid?

A. [G30] applies regardless of what the ROBOT is doing, so long as it is contacting its PYRAMID.

Yeah, we didnt see that at first either. Good thing we found it in a day.

Jostling isn’t the only way to play defense. I see blockers being big this year because the frisbees aren’t going very high in comparison to the balls last year, when they needed an arc to score.

Defense is so, so much more than “push a robot as it is attempting a scoring action”.

Some Defensive actions this year:

-Block opponent’s robots from various parts of field (when they try to go to their feeder station keeping them next to your pyrimid is ideal.)
-Being 60" tall and standing in front of teams attempting to shoot.
-Pestering teams on their way to hang for points (careful not to touch them once they get there.)
-pestering robots while they attempt to pick up missed disks off the ground.

Defense this year is much more about getting in the opponent’s way then actually pushing them around. You don’t need a lot of torque to do that-- just be quick, nimble, and tall.

Of course, I’m of the opinion that every team should at least design their robot with some attempt to play offense. It’s really easy to make an offensive robot play effective defense when need be but impossible to make a defensive robot play effective offense.

Regards, Bryan