Violations of C8 unnoticed and rewarded by Referees


I’d like you to cite the part of the manual that says exactly this. The rule as I read it is subtly different. It’s legal to push an opponent into a foul zone as long as there is some purpose of your actions besides causing a foul (e.g. scoring or preventing a robot from scoring). Take the first rocket example in the C8 blue box for example.


If the offensive robot is trying to score on the cargo ship spot closest to the centerline and the defending robot pushes them out of scoring position and their bumpers end up crossing the cargo ship line, would you call that a C8 or a standard defensive play and a G9 penalty (if there is another robot already across the cargo ship line)?

That is a common situation I see.


Hmmm. This is an interesting unintended consequence of streamlining the awards ceremony that I did not for see. Perhaps certain awards should be reserved for after the conclusion of the finals (Chairman’s, Engineering Inspiration, Dean’s List) in order to help mitigate the possibility of events like this occurring.


d. pushing an opponent ROBOT against your ROCKET during the final twenty (20)
seconds of the MATCH for the sole purpose of making them violate G16

I believe that if you cannot prove you were trying to score when you pushed the opponent into the foul zone, then you should get a C8 violation. So, if you’re pushing an opponent around by the cargo ship, you run the risk of getting a C8 by forcing them to cross the cargo ship line, because you aren’t trying to score.


I don’t think a team should be exempt from C8 just because the scoring robot is focused on the furthest cargo bay on the cargo ship. If you choose to play defense on a robot around the cargo ship, then you run the risk of pushing them across the cargo ship line. Furthermore, you aren’t trying to score for your alliance, so you should receive a C8 violation.


Is preventing the other team from scoring not also another legal and valid strategy and purpose?

If it’s legal to incidentally cause someone to break a rule when trying to score, it’s also legal to incidentally cause someone to break a rule when trying to prevent them from scoring. Offensive actions aren’t privileged in the rule.


C8 does not apply for strategies consistent with standard gameplay, for example:

a. causing an opponent ROBOT to contact your ROCKET during the last few seconds
of a MATCH while in the process of trying to place a HATCH PANEL.
b. contacting an opponent ROBOT while in your HAB ZONE while trying to retrieve
CARGO from your DEPOT.

Those are both strategies pertaining to pushing a robot into a foul zone whilst trying to score. However, if you look at example C

C. placing a HATCH PANEL on/in an opponent who’s already controlling a GAME
PIECE such that they cannot help but violate G4.

it’s a strategy aimed at preventing the opponents from scoring and it’s not exempt from C8. Thus, offensive actions ARE privileged in the rule.


Bumper-to-bumper defense is “standard gameplay”. The examples in the blue box are not necessarily comprehensive.


(Deleted because it was wrong). Darn the grey type in the rule book. So the question becomes did the offending robot push the target robot over the line solely to force a foul or because the offending robot was executing a legal strategy? IE returning to its side. Only your head ref knows for sure. :slight_smile:


There actually is a point penalty for violating C8.

As of this post "Violation: FOUL. If egregious or repeated during the MATCH, YELLOW CARD. "


I think the solution would be to not call the double defender foul so long as the “scoring” bot returns to there side asap. It’s hard to figure out intent enough to call a C8, but fairly easy to see the intent of the “scorer” returning to their side of the field.


After playing a good amount of defense in week 2, I personally don’t think any fouls should be assessed for this particular condition. I think the midline rules are being enforced by the book, but are slightly too strict as currently written. Its very easy to incur a penalty for crossing the midline completely unintentionally. (I know we were flagged at least once or twice just because we backed up after scoring on the far side of the rocket a little too aggressively).

I think it would also be easy to put a small time requirement (3-5 seconds) for penalties about crossing the midline (after sandstorm). This would allow a bit of a buffer for the robot on offense to get back, and show the intent of the defender at the same time. (Requiring a defender to back off similar to a pin would not be a ridiculous requirement).


This is how it seemed to be called at CHS Bethesda, and it was reasonable.


A common principle in many sports, whether written or unwritten, is that the player who initiates contact is responsible for subsequent fouls. I believe “initiating contact” is a good substitute reading of “intentionally” in most of FRC gameplay rules. In my mind, that puts the onus for clean gameplay on the defender. The “defense is just as valid a strategy as offense” view, in my opinion, ends when offensive robots are forced to commit penalties that would not have been committed if the defender was not initiating contact.

  • Red defense bot pushes blue bot to the red side of the field while blue is extended. Red gets penalty.
  • Red defense bot pushes blue offense bot to red side of field when there is already a blue defender there. Red gets penalty.
  • Red defense bot runs into blue bot which is extended, causing damage to Red bot. Red gets penalty.

Clean defense is a valid strategy in FRC. Dirty defense isn’t. Dirty defense is the equivalent of putting your fingers in someone’s face and chanting, “Not touching you! Not touching you! Can’t get mad! Not touching you!” So, if you want to play defense, do it right, play with skill, and keep it clean. Don’t cause penalties. Is this easy? No. But when you choose to leave your side of the field, with that action you are announcing your intention to mess with the other alliance. If penalties result, that’s on you.


Not sure I can agree with the concept of

If this is the rule a robot could be designed which has extensions on all sides, and make it impossible to play defense against.


It literally is the rule right now. It is a penalty to have something extended that causes damage to another robot. If a bot runs into another bot with an extension and it damages the first bot, the first bot has caused the extended bot to commit a penalty that would not have occurred if the first bot were not present.

If you’re going to play defense, you should be prepared for counter-defense. If not, simple solution: stay on your own side of the field.


Good points. One thing I’d add is that it is possible and common in this game to initiate contact on offense, and C8 can also be called if an offensive bot pushes a defensive bot into the hab zone.

The other point which is more important in the context of the thread is that it doesn’t matter how you interpret the rule, and it doesn’t matter how I interpret the rule. It matters how the Head Ref interprets the rule. So a team should go to an event with a reasonable expectation of how this will be called, but have a plan for when the head ref has a slightly different interpretation (whether it’s good that the rule is interpretable is another question, but the rule is sufficiently vague for this to be the case).


How do you reconcile your opinion that

with the portion of the blue box in rule G20 that states “Generally, ROBOTS extend elements outside of the FRAME PERIMETER at their own risk.”

To penalize the defending bot for incidental contact with a bot with manipulators outside its framer perimeter seem contrary to this year’s games rules.


If I’m driving a defensive robot, I’m focused on defending you, not whether or not you have someone on my side of the field. To give me a penalty because you designed a robot that is easily pushed from the side is pretty sketchy.


The full blue box is "High speed accidental collisions may occur during the MATCH and are expected. Generally, ROBOTS extend elements outside of the FRAME PERIMETER at their own

A ROBOT with an element outside its FRAME PERIMETER may be penalized under G20
if it appears they are using that element to purposefully contact another ROBOT inside its

Extending elements outside your frame perimeter exposes them to the risk of damage in high speed accidental collisions. For example, when airships blocked visibility to the center of the field, high speed accidental collisions were not uncommon.

The extending robot only is penalized if “they are using that element to purposefully contact another ROBOT inside its FRAME PERIMETER.” My measurement of intentionality is which bot initiated contact. If the defending robot initiates contact, the penalty is on the defender. If the extending bot initiates contact, the penalty is on the extender.