Violations of C8 unnoticed and rewarded by Referees




C8. Don’t expect to gain by doing others harm. Strategies clearly aimed at forcing the opposing
ALLIANCE to violate a rule are not in the spirit of FIRST Robotics Competition and not allowed.
Rule violations forced in this manner will not result in an assignment of a penalty to the targeted

Violation: FOUL. If egregious or repeated during the MATCH, YELLOW CARD.

In the past few days, we’ve seen multiple C8 violations in the Israeli district with referees granting the fouls to the teams being harmed instead of those harming, in my opinion. For example, during the Israeli District 3 Finals 3 game, our team (4338) was pushed twice over the center line by the other alliance’s defender, causing us to temporarily have two “defenders” on the other side and giving us a foul. The winner trophies were already given by the time we reached the question box, so the referees were reluctant to agree with us / call for a replay.

Another example would be in the Finals 3 game of Israel District 4, where team 7039 was pushed in a similar matter, twice during one game, (even more violent in this case) over the line and ended up receiving foul points for having two defenders even though it was pretty obvious, in my opinion, that the opposing alliance was pushing them with “strategies clearly aimed at forcing the opposing ALLIANCE to violate a rule”… See this video

At this point it seems like the defending teams are being rewarded for breaking C8 because the referees are giving the fouls to the teams being harmed — as pointed by our mentor, we may as well just mount metal bumpers on our bot and start pushing robots over the line to get points (sarcasm but still). If anything, shouldn’t they be granted a yellow card for repeating this more than once in the match?

Could it be possible that the referees at the competition are not aware of C8? If so, how should we approach the subject at the upcoming district championship?—should we bring it up in the drivers meeting? Contact FIRST Israel through our mentor? Do you have any ideas? Have you experienced something similar?

Orian Leitersdorf
Falcons 4338


There is no "Defense Agreement"
C8, G9, G10 - Rule change request letter to FIRST

This is a rule that necessarily requires some human discretion, so keep in mind the way you want it to be called might be different from the way the head Head Ref calls it.

IMO, the best time to bring this up is at the driver’s meeting, and then escalate from there. That’s our plan at our event this weekend.

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Yeah, it is really all down to the head ref’s call.
At our event they specifically made it clear at the driver’s meeting that they would be calling fouls on defenders who pushed robots across the center line.
It really just depends.



I agree that certain instances can be interpreted differently by different people, but I fail to see how a team repeating the exact same maneuver with the magnitude of intention shown in the video can be interpreted in any other way…

Yeah that’s what we were thinking of doing.

Have you seen this too at your events?

Did they call those fouls at the games?



No, because they never happened.



There was some good discussion on this topic here:

The difficulty here is that C8 relies upon intent which is hard to prove. I would agree, however, that the particular video you linked shows a C8 violation.



Already better than what happened to us. Perhaps that’ll work at our driver meeting too.



To be clear, is this just a figure of speech or did your team wait until after the award ceremony to approach the question box?



At our district we had the awards ceremony between the last Semi and Final 1, and Final 1 and Final 2. There were no ceremonies after Final 3. The weird part was that the score was a 9 point difference (all from these fouls) and they announced the results already about 1 minute after the game ended — as if there was no thought involved in the decision. (For reference, we were alliance 1 going up against alliance 7). By the time we got to the question box (about 1 minute after they announced the score but already after they handed out the trophies to the team), the refs shot down our request pretty quickly.



Do you know for a fact it was their strategy to get a penalty called on you? If their strategy was to push you far away from the scoring objective that is legal even if it means pushing you to their side. If your drive train is susceptible to being pushed I would either not send a defender, or make sure your alliance partner knows they need to watch you and when you are being pushed rush back.

Your opponent’s defending robot does not have to stop pushing you just because you’re getting near mid field.



At Del Mar, I saw refs not call C8 for defensive contact that caused a robot to go to the other side of the field. In these circumstances, the defensive robot was clearly trying to prevent the offensive robot from scoring, and happened to bump them to the other side of the field. I think it was the right call.

I disagree that the video is clear cut. I would probably call C8 there, but it’s easy to interpret that events as the defending bot pushing the offensive bot away from a potential score (clearly allowed).

It’s not illegal to untertake strategies that happen to cause the opponent to violate a rule.



That’s the thing though, our drive train is 8 wheels 6" tank with three neos on each side. But when you have robots that are essentially 125 pounds of metal (note, referencing a different incident, not the team in the video) pushing at you, and you don’t want to fight back because you don’t want to break your intake, that makes you vulnerable.

I see your argument here, but you will never know for a fact that they’re doing it intentionally. It’s not like the opposing team is going to jump up and down and say they’re doing it.



Why do you say they aren’t playing the game if they are pushing you around? For a lot of people, if you can prevent your opponents from scoring 12 points, that is the same as scoring 12 points my self.

Do you have the ability to retract your intake? If so, why not do that then push back? If you don’t, why not look at the ability to retract your intake? Why should the fact that a robot has an intake out prevent another robot from pushing you?



Careful here. Defense is perfectly fine in the context of FIRST: it’s not bullying. You may or may not be a “top team”, but that really has no bearing on whether they are allowed to play defense against you. There is nothing in the rules that says “you must not play defense on robots that are good at offense”.

That said, it seems that your refs may be mis-interpreting the rule. Posting here is a start - send an email to FIRST and ask in the driver’s meeting as well.



Also, see this other incident in the same match by the same team. Here the defending robot pushed the other robot from in front of their cargo all the way over to the other side of the line. Thoughts?



I would call that a C8 violation.



I see your arguments here, but I still think that we should try to prevent these arguable violations from happening in the future. Again, that’s just my opinion, but violations of C8 are “not in the spirit of FIRST Robotics Competition” and I think there should be more awareness amongst teams and referees to stop potential violations from happening in the future.

I’ll try that at the next competition, perhaps it’ll also bring some awareness to other teams and prevent them from doing it on purpose (if they are).



This happened a few times at the CHS Bethesda event, and I believe the refs simply didn’t call a foul if a robot was clearly pushed over the line, so long as they immediately attempted to get back to their side. Intent is really hard to judge, even in the linked video; I think it’s hard to penalize a team under C8 unless they’re doing it repeatedly and for an extended time.



Similarly, we were about 3.5 arm-waves into a pinning maneuver when our driver began to back away from the robot he was pinning. Another opposing alliance robot came up from behind and pushed our bot back against the first robot, thereby putting us between two opposing alliance robots. The ref continued counting (4…5) and we received a penalty for pinning.



I don’t think it’s feasible for a defending alliance partner to rush back across the field because one of the other robots in the alliance is being pushed across the cargo ship line. There simply isn’t enough time to react ad adjust accordingly before the robot crosses the line.

The are only a few situations in which pushing an opponent across the cargo ship line and causing them to violate G9/10 isn’t a C8 violation. One such example is the defender is trying to move back to their side of the field, such as for climbing, and they have no choice but to push them because the robot is in their way. Regardless, the game manual clearly cites intentionally pushing an opponent into a foul zone as a C8 violation, so almost all instances of pushing an opponent to break G9/10 are C8 violations.