Found this on Tumblr. lol

Looks like a viable ball hording strategy

At Waterford this past weekend, one match was replayed due to a jammed net (two balls) that was not cleared quickly enough by the field volunteer. The Head Ref made the call to replay after a shot entered the jammed net and bounced back out. I think the official language for this is “Arena fault” (see [T25]).

Just poke it with a stick.
or feed it copious amounts of Ex-lax.

2006’s pokey pokey sticks have returned…

That was at hatboro horsham. The volunteer got yelled at for trying to poke it with a stick :stuck_out_tongue:

This happened at the Hatboro-Horsham district event in the finals. There were a total of 5 balls stuck in the net after auto mode, the match was stopped and replayed due an “Arena fault”. The alliance was 357, 2016, and 708.

that’s what they’re supposed to do.
Bahrat did that at Alamo when 118 got balls stuck. He was trying to free up the balls and 118 came back and put more in.

I read that the volunteers were supposed to be poking the balls if they got stuck… is that not true?

We had a ball hang up happen to us during the elims as well. We lost the match by 3 points.

At Chesapeake, as a field reset, I was specifically given a big stick and told to poke any ball jams in the tubes.

I don’t think the issue was that this isn’t what the volunteers are supposed to do, more that (a) there was no way the volunteer was going to unclog it, (b) all 5 were technically “scored” in hybrid period, and © even if he did manage to clear the basket there was a good chance that one or more of the balls would have ended up on the field instead of in the basket.

Ultimately there was no way the basket was going to be cleared in a timely manner hence the arena fault and match replay.

Two balls got stuck in the net in Florida this weekend, and by the time the pokey stick cleared the balls, it wasn’t autonomus any more, so they just refigured the score.

I was the holder of the Ball Poker Stick (official FIRST language regarding that piece of PVC) at FLR. The rules as I was told, is that the balls MUST be unstuck when that occurs. If a basketball were to enter a hoop stuffed with basketballs and that ball were to bounce out, it would be considered a failure of the field and the game would get the foghorn and be replayed. While it never happened at FLR, I had to stand there in the Red Alliance player station all day to make sure if it happened, I’d be the one to unstuck those basketballs.

According to Kate Pilotte the PVC stick is called the “plunger”. Appropriate I think.


I understand how it may have looked like that, but this is not what happened.* The volunteer was working to unclog it, but it became obvious that the issue was directly affecting the outcome of the match. Not only would the score need to be corrected for Hybrid, but the field ball count was noticeably low, the jam couldn’t clear without dumping some balls back on the field, and the alliance was delaying scoring because the net was still jammed well into teleop. On-field consensus with head ref approval led to restarting the match for an arena fault.
Especially considering it was finals, we’re very glad both alliances got a fair shake and a clean match.

*I was coaching the Red Alliance at station 2, and thus standing next to them.

Normally I’d harrass you about your grammar, but somehow this has a nice ring to it.

Clearing the balls from the top net is incredibly difficult. I was watching the volunteer trying to clear them, and it looked like the angle he needed to poke at was too extreme to be able to get to the jam through the hole provided without also sending anything out over the top.

TL;DR, using the sticks is easier said than done.

Has anyone actually had to use them, and have the attempts been successful?

I had to use the stick that I had twice, but I never had a jam that involved more than two balls. Both times were during hybrid period, and I was able to un-jam the net with relative ease. It probably took me at most a couple of seconds to poke the balls free.

I believe a better caption would be:
FIRST world problems