What is a field fault?

So it seems we’re having issues with calling field faults consistently…

A contentious one: NC DCMP match 19
✂️ huh? - YouTube (another clip from the same match)

Another contentious one: NC DCMP match 6

so… what is a field fault? And what makes it a replay?


Per the Game Manual, Section 11.3: An Arena Fault is an error in Arena operation that includes, but is not limited to:
A) Broken Field elements due to normal, expected gameplay or robot abuse of Field elements that affects the outcome of the match for their opponents,
B) Power failure to a portion of the field,
C) Improper activation by the FMS, and
D) Errors by Field Staff (unless noted elsewhere)

Also per Section 11.3: If an Arena Fault occurs that affects the outcome of the match AND any team on the affected alliance desires a replay, replay. HQ can replay a match if an Arena Fault impacts the outcome of the event.

Your third one is… debatable. I suggest reading the first Blue Box with Section 11.3; I could see that going either way but would argue that that is NOT a Field Fault but an unfortunate result. I’m having trouble understanding what you think the Field Fault is on the first two. (If you think the middle blue robot should have gotten points at the end of the match, I have more homework for you.)


For the first two, it’s hard to see on stream, but the red charge station plate lifted up and prevented red robots from driving onto the charge station. I do have better clips filmed from my camera.

I think I see what you’re getting at–camera left side of the red charge station, yes?

And this is where I point out two things: Field measurement and calibration time (AKA “show the FTA where they didn’t build the field right” time), and timely informing the field crew that there seems to be an issue. Preferably before the match–I didn’t see any indication of it shifting during the match. (Other than the usual ramp tilt/ramp drop that these things do.)

The issue is that if a field is built not-to-spec (happens occasionally) and it’s allowed to continue, it’s a LOT harder to argue a field fault. “Field isn’t to spec” in Qual 1 or better yet in practice matches? “Crud!” from the FTA, and you’ll have a shot at getting it fixed (it’s happened before). “Field isn’t to spec” in Qual 75, when it’s been the same for all preceding 74 matches plus this one? Uh… No. At that point it’s more of a “yeah, we screwed up, thanks for noticing but we are NOT redoing all 75 matches”.

Out of curiosity do you know if anyone went to the question box to request a replay?

If so what were they told?

For the third video linked (qualification 6), we requested a replay but were told that the robot’s interaction with the charge station was “A broken FIELD element caused by ROBOT abuse” and not “normal, expected game play”. This diverged from the NC Mecklenburg district event we played at, in which Final 2 was stopped after a blue robot accidentally damaged the charge station in a similar manner (video download link). I assume that the field was stopped at Mecklenburg because “FIELD STAFF anticipated FIELD damage” under Section 11.3, making a replay in this scenario essentially based on field staff’s opinions/predictions of further damage during the match.

Further clarification: The score in the video showed blue winning, but it was later rescored and changed to a red win because the G301 for damaging the charging station was mistakenly counted as a foul instead of a tech foul.

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Yeah, we were all puzzled about that too. Being on the other alliance, we didn’t know that this was the ruling until the rescore when we were suddenly given credit for the win. It was a very strange thing and we were all expecting a replay after what happened at Mecklenburg, which we were there to see, thus our surprise that this time it didn’t happen.

I have firsthand experience with field setup and teardown at events this season, and by later weeks in the season, the fields definitely have survived a lot of harm. Additionally, during field setup, at an event which was relatively understaffed on field/pit setup day, during times when assembly wasn’t matching up precisely with what was intended in the manual, we (a bunch of kids) resorted to “alternate procedures” to get the field together.

Fortunately, we had some great FTA’s and event volunteers who helped us get it done the right way. (I’m just glad they didn’t let us anywhere near the controls stuff!)