Trapping an opponents ball

I have seen this strategy used several times in the past few weeks, however it has not been penalized like I believe it should be.
Robots (usually 1 or 2) block the ball from the opposing alliance’s ball in a corner to prevent it from being scored. I have seen this done for between 10 seconds and half of the match, but I have not seen a call against this. The final match of the West Michigan district is the only video example I can find of this, but I have seen it multiple other times on various webcasts. To me, it seems completely unGP and a strategy that no one should ever consider doing.
G12 seems to be the only rule against it.

*emphasis mine

Is it not being called because the robots are not actually contacting the opposing alliance’s balls? Is this really the way anyone wants the game to be played?

Red card given in Quarter Finals in Montreal.

yeah i’ve been seeing this happen occasionally, especially by strategically defensive teams (my best example is 4060, since they were at all of our districts- not attacking them, I happen to love their strategy and style of play)- they often would do that for a small length of time, but far more often, they just outmaneuvered slow robots
I think the reason it’s often not called is because the Refs cannot determine if it is actually trapping, or just the inability of a robot to outmaneuver the defender, and get to the ball; and most often it is a combination of both

Red card was given for this during an early match at Chesapeake.

Has anyone ever witnessed an offensive robot getting credited for a possession in this way? That would have been a good strategy for me to suggest to some of our partners with bad intakes.

As the rules are written, possessions should be credited the same regardless of the color of the ball, but I haven’t necessarily seen that in watching matches.

For possession, it would be much easier to just inbound the ball off your team mates robot, as in throw a ball at a moving robot on ur team = 1 assist, then pickup by another robot = 2 assist.
I tried using this for my teams final matches, but you have to make sure that a robot is near the inbounding hp, which makes captains communicating crucial for this to happen.

Simply throwing the ball against a robot should not count as possession.

I’ve witnessed one or two teams at SVR that appear to be intentionally using the trapping strategy (on their own balls).

Exactly. I’ve seen offensive teams credited with possession by simply pushing the ball around whereas the same thing was said as just “bulldozing” for opposing robots.

It was called many times at the Long Island Regional, mostly when a robot would isolate the ball by the corner lower goal by parking in front of it, not necessarily touching it. That would be the “overt isolation” part of the rule.

We had the happen to us once at Hawaii where our robot was not able to maneuver around the robot trapping the ball. It ate up a lot of time but the robot left once they needed the assist and truss points. I was really frustrated but when I asked why it wasn’t called, I was told they couldn’t call it because the robot wasn’t touching the ball.

Its part of the game and its effective defense.
Teams employed that a ton of times in our previous 2 regionals, especially knowing how we score.
Good driving and team execution can counter it.

A big thing to remember that you pointed out, is that if 1 or 2 defenders are preventing you from acquiring your ball, they are not working towards their own assist/truss points during that time.

A good alliance is able to always apply the transition quickly from offense/defense or defense/offense constantly.

launching” (impelling BALLS to a desired location or direction via a MECHANISM in motion relative to the ROBOT)

Well the ball moves with the robot so it should be a possession?

The rule refers to a mechanism in motion, not a ball.

I thought the robot was a mechanism? especially if its a net?
Anyways, Ive seen the call happen before at regionals without the ball being cradled by the robot, but instead just bouncing off of the robot

HP throws ball to robot, robot pushes ball to next robot, this should be an assist right?

A robot is not a mechanism in motion relative to itself. (Nothing is in motion relative to itself.) The launching definition was updated to avoid the “I moved my robot, I hit the ball, I launched it”. Any bulk robot motion relative to a moving (vis–à–vis a trap) floor (vis–à–vis a carry) ball must meet herding.

If the pushing is herding (repeated pushing or bumping), then yes. If it is a single short hit, no. The non-definitions of “short” and “repeated” are one of the many reasons this game is so unnecessarily aggravating.

Regarding defensive (opposing ball color) trapping, in MAR* it’s typically called regardless of out-maneuverability, though standard fouls for it are rare. (Typically the call waits until it’s consequential–deliberately blocking an opposing robot from its ball and/or extended.) Unintentional non-extended calls are rarer.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen offensive trapping called in MAR, despite Q&Aing that it is indeed possible. Cross-event inconsistency on possessions is incredibly frustrating.

*after Week 1.

We made a truss shot in the last seconds of a qualifying match at Smoky Mountain Regional that was caught by the opposing alliance. Not a passive catch but a totally drawn in ball. The penalty won the match for our alliance.:ahh:

I agree. The strategy worked well. We aimed to do this in the elimination matches but our alliance seemed to have some trouble transitioning from defense to offense.

Reading all the responses, I am starting to actually begin to get a little more confused than before… what would your opinions be on this match recording for the time period 0:27-0:40 or so, and 0:56-1:01?

From what I can tell off responses, some would considering it isolation (foul) others would just consider it defense, so just trying to clarify a few things up. Thanks :slight_smile:

I don’t see any fouls from the camera’s angle. Of course the referee in that corner would have a different perspective.

I was a referee during Week 5, and recall seeing similar play several times – it only warranted a G12 foul when the robot possessed a ball of the opposite color by trapping.

“Overt” isolation is not clearly defined – our Head Ref’s interpretation of “overt” was “we will know it when we see it”. At that event, we never did.

I agree. As a ref myself (Week 1, Week 4), I would have called that good defense, no foul. The key reason for that is that the red alliance WAS able to get through to the ball at all times, even if it would have meant moving around the blue robot. (If the blue robot had then started moving to block the red alliance from going around, that would have probably been worthy of a technical for intentional possession. But they didn’t.)

And yes, I did call a few trapping calls…