Violations of C8 unnoticed and rewarded by Referees

#75

C8 has had problems that extend back earlier than just this year. I specifically remember instances where last year opposing teams would shove an opposing robot under their scale to cause them to draw fouls.

I definitely think something has to be changed about this year’s instance of the problem as well.

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#76

Currently I believe the double defender rule says they invite a foul if any part of the offensive bots bumpers cross the plane of the cargo ship line. I believe changing the rule to if the offensive bot crosses fully across the cargo ships line should help.

If a defender pushes an offensive robot such that the entire robot is crossing the line, I would say that’s intentional. The cargo ship line is past the midline, and even further from the rocket. Then to also push the entire robot across would be doing more than just disrupting scoring. This wouldn’t change the two defender rules intent of having only one defender at a time. This type of change would just give a little wiggle room for refs to recognize what’s going on and still allow defense to be played on a scoring robot.

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#77

Saying you can’t react in time is not exactly a valid argument. If you can’t react in time, then you are too deep in their zone.

This would clear things up a LOT. Touching the line is a no foul to foul with no wiggle room. But seeing your teammate getting pushed over the line is the difference between instant foul to a couple seconds to react foul.

Edit: I double checked the rules it it does say if the bumpers break the plane which I think should be changed to fully crossing. Just scoring on the cargo ship puts you precariously close to midfield. So in effect, if you want to score (what should be an easy spot) you need to pull back deference every time to avoid a possible foul.

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#78

Compare FRC’s rule C8 to FTC’s rule G19. The FTC rule would serve us much better since the referee can easily observe that the opposing robot caused you to commit an action and therefore no foul is assigned. In the FRC rule, the referee has to call the two defenders foul unless they conclude that it’s a “[strategy] clearly aimed at forcing the opposing ALLIANCE to violate a rule.” Why does the FRC rule include that clause about clear strategic intent? It’s so much easier to have a middle ground where the referee simply doesn’t call the foul if the action was caused by the opponent, regardless of strategic intent.

G19 Forcing an Opponent to Break a Rule – The actions of an Alliance or their Robots shall not cause an opposing Alliance or Robot to break a rule and thus incur Penalties. Any forced rule violations committed by the affected Alliance shall be excused, and no Penalties will be assigned.

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

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#79

I’ll add this, independent of what the actual rules might say: if a metagame features forcing opponents to commit fouls as a way of scoring points, that’s super lame. A game with that characteristic is in need of a fix.

#80

On another thread, this reply sort of negates your willingness to penalize defenders.

#81

So if an offense robot is trying to score in the third cargo bay closest to the midline with mechanisms outside the frame, and gets pushed over the cargo line while they also have a partner playing defense. They are violating G9 and G10 and should be penalized 3 points for the first 5 second count and 10 points every five seconds afterwards. Is this how it’s being scored?

G9. One (1) defender at a time. No more than one ROBOT may be positioned such that its BUMPERS break the plane defined by or are completely beyond the opponent’s CARGO SHIP LINE.
Violation: FOUL, plus an additional FOUL for every five (5) seconds in which the situation is not
corrected. If G10 is also being violated, additional FOUL escalates to TECH FOUL.

Only one (1) ‘five-count’ will be maintained at a time for G9, G10, and G18. For violations
of G9/G10, the first count started will be maintained and a FOUL or TECH FOUL will be
assessed at each five-second interval depending on whether one or both rules are being
violated. If G18 is also violated, REFEREES are instructed to disregard G9/G10 counts to
focus on the pin. Attempts to intentionally manipulate this in order to avoid G9/G10
penalties may be subject to YELLOW/RED CARDS for egregious behavior.

G10. On defense, rein it in. No part of a ROBOT, except its BUMPERS, may be outside its FRAME
PERIMETER if its BUMPERS are completely beyond its opponent’s CARGO SHIP LINE.
Violation: FOUL, plus an additional FOUL for every five (5) seconds in which the situation is not
corrected. If G9 is also being violated, additional FOUL escalates to TECH FOUL.

G18. There’s a 5-count on pins. ROBOTS may not pin an opponent’s ROBOT for more than five (5)
seconds. A ROBOT will be considered pinned until the ROBOTS have separated by at least six (6)
feet. The pinning ROBOT(s) must then wait for at least three (3) seconds before attempting to pin
the same ROBOT again. Pinning is transitive through other objects. If the pinned ROBOT chases
the pinning ROBOT upon retreat, the pinning ROBOT will not be penalized, and the pin will be
considered complete.

Violation: FOUL, plus an additional FOUL for every five (5) seconds in which the situation is not
corrected. If G9 and/or G10 are also being violated, additional FOUL escalates to TECH FOUL. If
extended, RED CARD.

There is no FIRST Robotics Competition specific definition of pin, so a general definition
applies; “to prevent or stop something from moving.” As a result, contact is not required
for pinning to occur.
For example, a Red ROBOT parked such that a Blue ROBOT is against its Blue
ROCKET and the Red CARGO SHIP LINE (while the opponent’s partner is already on
defense per G9) could be considered pinning because the opponent ROBOT cannot
cross the Red CARGO SHIP LINE without violating G9.
Generally, pins that exceed fifteen (15) seconds are considered extended, regardless of
a pinning ROBOT’s mobility.

So in this situation, if a blue bot was being pushed by a red defense bot across the cargo line, with blue already having a bot playing defense, the blue cargo bot can’t try to spin/steer into the rocket or side wall because that would be trying to use G18 to void G9/G10 Attempts to intentionally manipulate this in order to avoid G9/G10 penalties may be subject to YELLOW/RED CARDS for egregious behavior.

But if the blue bot was somehow between the cargo line and it’s rocket, the red bot would be counted for pinning because the blue bot wouldn’t be able to move.

Maybe the definition of pinning should include pushing.

#82

I don’t know that I would include pushing. It would suck, but you do have the option of going around the cargo ship.

#83

[quote=“swami_dm, post:81, topic:350379”]
So in this situation, if a blue bot was being pushed by a red defense bot across the cargo line, with blue already having a bot playing defense, the blue cargo bot can’t try to spin/steer into the rocket or side wall because that would be trying to use G18 to void G9/G10 ***Attempts to intentionally manipulate this in order to avoid G9/G10 penalties may be subject to YELLOW/RED CARDS for egregious behavior.***[/quote]

I’m trying to imagine the intent behind the last part of this. Is the idea that an alliance would otherwise be able to initiate a pin, then a second defender could go in and play defense for 3 or 4 seconds and leave before the pin count finishes and avoid a G9? It seems like that would be a reason for including this rule language, not an attempt to prevent the offensive robot from pinning the defense robot.

#84

In this case the rules seem to say that the blue bot can’t try to spin/steer towards the red rocket or the side wall because that would use a pin G18 to negate violating G9/G10. The only thing left for the blue bot to do is to drive around red cargo ship or try to outpush the red bot. Both will accumulate fouls/tech fouls depending if both G9 and G10 are also being violated.

There is no out for blue.

#85

Don’t I know it. FIRST HQ has chosen to interpret C8 as favoring bots who push others over the line instead of those trying to stay on their side of the field and outscore their opponents. This utterly changes the calculus of defense vs offensive play. In our game analysis, we believed C8 would protect bots playing offense from forced fouls caused by defense bots. We were apparently wrong. It now appears the smartest gameplay strategy is to target offense bots and push them across the line while they are extended to score. This years chokehold strategy is to pit scout and identify bots who deploy past their frame perimeter at the start of the match, and can’t return. Then target those bots to be pushed to your side of the field and trapped there. The defender is protected from C8 penalties because it’s the offense bot’s fault they can’t retract, even though they were pushed to the far side of the field against their will. Penalty points accrue to the defender’s alliance every 5 seconds, which is way more efficient than any other form of scoring in this game.

I admit we totally missed this method of scoring in our game analysis. It seems we made the wrong strategic decision to win the game by attempting to outscore our opponents. We’re committed to evolving our robot and gameplay as the season progresses. I expect we’ll be considering replacing those inefficient scoring mechanisms with ballast, and just treating offensive bots as gamepieces to be retrieved to our side of the field.

If you think about it, this years game is really more like Power Up. The GDC tried to distract us with all those hatches and balls, but it’s really about points earned per time. Last year you earned points for tipping the switch or scale to your side. This year you earn points by retrieving extended opposing bots to your side of the field. Extra bonus points for trapping against their will a bot unable to retract their extended scoring mechanisms.

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#86

I don’t think that there is any FRC team that can score 3 points every 5 seconds, or even come close to scoring 10 points per 5 seconds.

Everyone should have built a chassis bot.

#87

Please see my post here as a potential email to FIRST (sent by each team) to combat this issue. I’m open to ideas/suggestions for the email’s contents until we all agree.

#88

I agree this is a strategy you can use. Teams will get hit by this once and then will have to mod their bot with a winch or something to prevent it from happening again. So the responsibility still lies on them.

This goes back to a losing argument I had last year. In a sense, GP cannot exist when teams lawyer the rules. Even to the point that teams are willing to take a short term loss (penalty) for a long term gain (more points than the penalty) and calling it strategy.

#89

I don’t agree with this. Lawyering the rules is fine.

If the penalty for the rules is less than the points gained, the rule is broken. I would never expect or try to convince a team to do something in a match that is allowed by the rules and against their competitive self-interest, but I would expect HQ to address the issue ASAP.

1 Like
#90

They did not address it last year.

#91

See @ToddF recent post about singling out teams for fouls.
Legal? Yes
GP? I doubt many would see it that way.

It’s fun to lawyer the rules and I certainly encourage it, but it does lead to ToddF’s example and others like it.

#92

I don’t disagree with this specific instance being borderline un-GP, but there are other ways to lawyer the rules that don’t have as many negative effects on other teams. Note that, as a freshmen in high school, my team pretty much spent the entire season lawyering the rules, so I feel quite strongly about this.

That being said, I wouldn’t trust GP to prevent teams from executing a legal strategy to win matches. I would think twice about instructing my own team to execute this strategy, but I would never fault anyone else for doing it.

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#93

It is fairly easy to fix this one, if desired. Just add an escalator clause to the foul such that repeated or egregious triggers cards. Without that I would absolutely agree that it is perfectly reasonable to calculate the cost of the foul, in the decision process of how you score points. If you come out ahead, even with the foul, then that is a reasonable game strategy. Having said that, I would see pushing robots over the line as a wash (offensive and defensive fouls cancel each other out), if they immediately try and get back on side and a C8 on the defender, if they continue to push the offensive robot deeper and deeper into the zone. I suspect that is how it will end up getting called once after 2 or 3 weeks of events.

I will add that it really upsets me when the GDC changes the rules, late in the season, that impact game play. Some teams spend a lot of time and effort designing around a particular strategy and a simple rule change can total invalidate all this work. It is even more unfair, if the rules are changed after a couple of weeks of events have been played, as some teams may have already completed their events under one ruleset, which can have a huge impact in a district model on your ranking, and qualification to your DC.

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#94

I think the issue is whether a team should keep track of what’s happening on their side of the field, or whether an alliance should keep track of what is happening to all of their alliance mates. There isn’t a clear default position, but I lean towards you need to be aware of your alliance mates over being aware of the field situation. The former forces alliances to be more cooperative.

But in the end, I think the alternatives offered here of changing the interpretation so that a bot needs to be pushed entirely over the line to incur a foul on the pushing team is probably the best. That way they can push to an effective point, but avoid egregious violations of C8.

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