Team Update 18 Posted

Those are MUCH more obvious. If I see a robot going out of its way to push into the rocket that’s clearly a C8 violation.

People thought what was going on before was clearly a C8 and it still happened.

The problem was that pushing a scoring team across the line cannot only be interpreted as an attempt at drawing a G9/G10. That pushing could just as easily be trying to get them away from the cargo ship. The unintended consequence is that between two bots, each following legal strategies, at least one foul must be assigned.

In other situations like the HAB or Rocket, there’s really no “valid strategy” to go out of one’s way to draw those fouls.


Imagine a robot on red with cargo capability running parallel to the direction of its drive and no strafing moving to score on either side of their cargo ship. If I am on the opposing alliance (blue) and start pushing them towards the mid line, all they can do is backup (they aren’t driving forward cause a cargo ship is there). As they do that they are going to put themselves between me and my rocket just because of the geometry of the field.

I don’t see how just being between a robot and their rocket - especially with that much distance from the rocket - opens up any issues with G16 and C8. You’ll have to elaborate.

So the issue I have is that there is the interaction between C8 and some game rules that created some unhealthy game play patterns, primarily winning through fouls by pushing past the midline.
The purpose behind this update correct me if I am wrong was that teams were abusing how C8 (Don’t expect to gain by doing others harm) was not being called when teams were gaining the bulk of their points from fouls from G9 (One (1) defender at a time). By changing just G9 and not also changing similar rules we have only partially fixed the problem. You need to change how that conduct rule works or is called or how all the game rules work. If you don’t then teams can still exploit this unhealthy interaction with other rules that haven’t been updated.
The example I posted is me saying hey I can apply that same abuse of G9 to G16 (Don’t touch opponents’ ROCKETS at the end of the MATCH) and get a ranking point.

I think that’s a fair point. It hasn’t really come up in competition however I can see possible edge cases and a gray area there. I think that instead what FIRST should do either this year or next year is to add either an addition to C8 or another rule which states “if the actions of a team force another team to commit a foul while this was not the team’s strategy, no foul will be called on either team”. That wording was kind of bad but I think you can get the general message. This takes the refs out of a tough position of either calling the foul and potentially encouraging similar behavior in the future or calling C8 and potentially giving a team a foul/yellow card where they don’t deserve one.

That is a bit more obvious, I’m afraid.

OCR Q65.

It would have been quite interesting had they actually been trying to place a hatch panel.

BTW, if you want to talk about abuse of the rules: Someone suggested the Rocket Agreement some time back. I say they weren’t thinking big enough. (And wrongly enough, I guess. I don’t condone any such “agreement”, so I’m not going to go into what was missing.)

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The rocket agreement would get struck down SUPER quickly. Any head ref would just chuck C1 out there immediately which is basically their ultimate “you can’t do that cuz I said so”.


Not quite what I described but my underlying point is that when unhealthy game patterns emerge you don’t solve them by highlighting what was abused in a team update while not updating other similar rules. You have drawn attention to a potential flaw in your system without completely patching it. I have faith in the FRC community that it won’t be abused (and I’m sure the update itself will put many on edge with eagle eyes looking for weird strats), but in all the table tops games, and video games (especially competitive games) when an exploit is found or an unhealthy game pattern emerges the appropriate response is to eliminate all instances of the exploit to the best of their ability, not just the one that was abused.

Oh also I’m upset cause I figured out that being pushed across the mid line while scoring was a problem and have instructed drivers how to mitigate it and now its not as big of a deal.

I see where you’re coming from. It’s entirely possible that it’s still being worked on as far as a full-on fix of the root.

Because C8 is what might best be termed an “evergreen” rule–that is, it’s almost guaranteed to show up again next year and the year after ad infinitum–I would hope that HQ reaches for the triage and sees whether a band-aid fix will work or an operating room is needed. If a band-aid will work to get to the operating room, then definitely use the band-aid. But if it won’t help, then why put it on?

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a change in 2020, or later on. There’s a limit to how far you can go, though–just as an (exceptionally narrow) example, if it’s 2017 and you’re in my retrieval zone and I hit you, I caused you to get a foul, does that mean you shouldn’t get one? Answer: AW HECK NAW! But at the midway point of 2019, the loose HQ policy is likely to be “don’t fix it unless we have to” (and “have to” may be somewhat fluid based on questions/need).

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As I’m sure you know, C8 has existed largely as it is for years, and has a track record for how it interacts with protected zones, like G13 and G16 define. If you were near Stronghold’s SECRET PASSAGE, Steamworks’ RETRIEVAL ZONE, or Power Up’s NULL TERRITORY, you were playing with fire. Even if you were nudged in by a robot, if they were trying to use the zone for its intended purpose (or it at least seemed reasonable that they were), that was on you. And rightly so; a single defensive bot in those zones could shut down the entire alliance. I don’t think many people had any problems with how blatant a C8 (or that year’s equivalent) had to be to get called.

What separates those games from Deep Space’s G9/G10 is that those zones were small, key choke points, inside which the consequences of defense would be massive if allowed. They were also rather far from anywhere an offensive robot had reason to go. G9/G10, on the other hand, cast an extremely large net - so large even undefended bots have violated G9 while trying to score, just from sloppy driving. Combine this with the traditional interpretation of C8, and you get an inversion of the normal results; offensive bots were the ones getting too close, and defensive bots could reasonably push them into violation normal gameplay. That’s very bad, as it discourages use of certain scoring areas, effectively limiting offense; the opposite of what it’s designed to do. So something clearly needed to be done.

Tightening up C8 might seem like the obvious thing to do, but it would have bad consequences. After all, there were many cases in the past three years where it made sense to foul a defender getting pushed into a protected zone, as not doing so would shut down the game. And this, finally, is where I get to G13 and G16. They look and behave much like traditional protected zones. And for that reason, they’re fine as-is. The GDC does not want robots to be defended while intaking, so the rules heavily favor the offense in the HAB ZONE. Same goes for the rocket during the final moments of the game; if you’re trying to defend it anyway, you better know what you’re getting into. The traditional C8 interpretation here is healthy for the game. I believe this is why they chose to alter G9 and G10 directly, and not C8; they’re the only rules C8 failed to properly cover, and changing C8 forces a reinterpretation of every other rule in the manual. Seems a bit overkill for two easily fixed rules.

That said, it’s still possible to get a C8 call on an attempted forced G13 or G16. Even in your hypothetical that I originally responded to, nearly all defenders I’ve seen don’t hold on to game pieces, so if you push someone all the way to your rocket… it’s pretty obvious what you’re trying to do.


throw Wisconsin in there, please!


It looks like you can make a custom cover, you just can’t screw it into the pdp holes. This will be useful for teams wanting to reorient the pdp-side battery cable connections.

Best update I’ve ever read. If only this was changed weeks ago but its whatever, beggars can’t be choosers right?

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Since C8 refers to intentionally making another robot break a rule, and G9 is now not a foul if the offensive robot tries to return immediately, then C8 shouldn’t apply since the offensive robot can avoid the foul by attempting to return.

It actually works a lot more often than you think. Certain key players in FIRST and the GDC have ways of keeping their fingers on the pulse on Chief Delphi.

This is a useful feature in our community, and one that has not always existed. In order to preserve it, Chief Delphi posters would do well to remember that what they write may well wind up being read by a very wide audience. Level-headed discussion of ways to improve the game and team experience can ultimately be very constructive. “lol GDC, you screwed up again” type posts, maybe not so constructive.


One again FIRST pulls through to make the game more fair for everyone. Thank you for this update.

Another example is the 2015 noodle agreement. IIRC the rule change specifically mentions CD.

I am 100% crediting our lengthy conversations to this rule change.
and 100% crediting myself with the “No call” exceptions that were made. /s

Seriously though, I’m glad to see it addressed, and I’m glad to see it addressed in a way that didn’t change how the game was played, just when fouls were given.

Fantastic update!