Violations of C8 unnoticed and rewarded by Referees


So how, if at all, can defense be played against an offensive robot that extends manipulators outside of it’s bumpers on all sides? If we are playing defense on the other teams side, we will have everything inside our bumpers to prevent receiving a foul.


I wouldn’t give you a penalty for pushing an easily pushed robot. Push them around their own side of the field all you want. But, if you push them onto your side of the field, causing a penalty, that’s on you. Knowing the relative positions of all the bots on the field is the responsibility of your drive coach.


Quite easily. There is no penalty if the extension doesn’t damage your bot. If you plan to play defense, design your bot so extensions can’t damage your bot. One possibility would be extensive use of lexan shielding to protect your internals.


So wait, you’re proposing that fouls should be given out for damaging your own robot?


I’m supposed to know, on a field with a cargo ship on it that my opponent is sitting next to the cargo ship but not in my line of sight when I push my opponent off the last chute of my side of the cargo ship toward my side. So, what you are saying is, I have to stop, look around, ask my coach to run check the other side of the cargo ship before I push them…image


I do not see this as a C8 because you CAN avoid it. It may suck to do so, but you have to adjust your strategy.

I would totally instruct my defense to push your best scorer to our side.

A) The longer we can keep you not pinned the better. You can take aaallllllllll the extra time you want going to the other side of our cargo ship to get around us.

B) If your best scorer is on our side, we just sidelined your defender as well.


Oh, heck no. We legally damage our robot all the time. But, if we drove to the far side of the field and impaled ourselves on somebody elses extension, we certainly wouldn’t expect them to be penalized. At minimum we brought it on ourselves. At worst our actions made them commit a penalty, and we would be penalized rather than them. The foul isn’t for damaging your own robot.
The foul is for causing an opposing team to commit a foul. That’s just how the rules are written.


Nope. I’m saying you should follow the rules. One of which is: don’t cause other teams to commit fouls. If that’s inconvenient for you, well, sorry. Playing clean defense is hard. My interpretation is the game design committee specifically designed the game to favor offense over defense. That’s why teams should think very carefully about the tradeoffs between playing defense vs offense. My observation is that without lots of practice, running over to play defense is more harmful than helpful because of the penalties you commit as well as the lost offensive scoring potential. This year’s game is actually friendlier to defenders than most. There are very effective defensive strategies that involve parking yourself, with minimal movement, in spots that cause maximum disruption to the other team. But, most defenders don’t have the self discipline to follow those effective strategies. Rather, they run around willy nilly, slamming into opponents and racking up penalties right and left.

In the specific example you gave, for example, you made a deliberate choice to push the opponent attempting to score toward your side of the field, thus drawing a penalty. A better decision might be to push them out of scoring position towards their own side of the field. This also results in them not scoring, causes congestion in crowded traffic lanes, and avoids a penalty. One of these choices is better than the other. If we were scouting you, one of these choices will leave a positive impression of your abilities as a defender and the strategic thinking of your field coach. The other will not. Really.


Why should this draw a penalty on you? If you pushed them into a safe zone with no means of countering that would make sense, but you are not responsible for their defensive robot not paying attention and crossing the line themselves.


I posted my thoughts on this in the other thread: Immediate and necessary rule change!

TL;DR, I think something needs to be fixed.


So, you should be willing to own that decision. Be sure to approach the head ref at your next competition with this message:
“We understand crossing to the other side while extended is a penalty. We understand having two defenders on the other side is a penalty. We understand that causing other teams to commit fouls is against the rules. Regardless, our defensive strategy is to push offensive robots to our side of the field, even if this causes them to commit penalties. And, to be clear, if you see us do this, it’s not an accident. It’s our defensive gameplay strategy.”


There is definitely a need to address what is C8 and what isn’t.

Either allow the pushing robot to shove them AND allow the pushed robot to come back with no penalties (within reasonable time)

OR the pusher gets the foul.

I come from a martial arts background (coaching, competing and reffing) and the ref in matches is instructed that they should be influencing the match as little as possible. If both athletes are breaking rules (of equal consequence) at the same time they don’t do anything (no fouls). (Again within reason). Let the robots play the game. Let them shove, but don’t penalize people for doing nothing but getting shoved.

To me this seems like the easiest solution.


Completely own it.

Don’t have to be extended

Not forcing a penalty

Yep. We’re not forcing their defensive bot to stay on our side and their robot does not have a right to our side. . As long as they stay on their side there’s no penalty. They can choose to adapt their strategy to that. Otherwise, the rules say one robot on the opposing side, too bad for them that now their best offensive bot is now playing defense.


Where do you draw the line then? Can I also “accidentally” ram you into my rocket knocking off a hatch and giving myself a RP? cause I was just trying to stop you from scoring?


Nothing about my strategy is an accident and I wont pretend to the refs that it is so.

And from another thread:

I’m not alone in my thinking. It’s the responsibility of the defensive robot on your team to be aware of the situation and get back fast. Just because a defender is on our side doesn’t mean they get to stay on our side. I think that’s what a lot of people are missing in this particular situation.


Fields, I see where you are coming from. I don’t agree, but I understand your argument. Setting aside the question about having two defenders on the same side, which is being debated in other threads, what do you think about this defensive strategy? Identify an opposing robot which cannot retract back inside their frame perimeter after sandstorm. Push them to your side of the field, and block them from returning to their side of the field. Is this a C8 violation?


Now that is a good question.
I’ll think on it a bit and respond again.


Just saw your response. Completely agree. If this interpretation is allowed to stand, the game has changed from an offensive scoring game to a pushing contest.


This one IS more in the grey and I’m not going to have a perfect argument here.
I would lean more to a no call on the C8 due to the questions below. (I will still try to reason this one out separately too, it’s a real head scratcher and I may change my mind)

Can I design my robot in such a way that any interaction with it will draw a foul?
Similar to a question in past years, if I park in front of your player station and hit the e-stop (strategic or otherwise), should I be penalized for the first bump when you try to get past me in the HAB or every bump?


I’m still trying to understand the word “Intent” I guess.

As far as I’m concerned, you have shown your intent is to have the other team get a foul.

But you are PHYSICALLY forcing another bot to break a rule. Who does the rule get called on? Watch the videos, the ref is not pointing at the defense bot when these events happen, they are pointing at the robot being force to cross the line. The ref is not calling these fouls in a way that fits your argument.