What're Our Thoughts on Wall Climbing?

In the classic contest between irresistible force and immovable object, which do you root for?

If we get through all this COVID stuff, have a competition and somebody destroys the field to the point that we can’t actually compete… I… I… I… I dunno, but it will be ugly. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My first year and first event as an FTA, I needed to go out and get a replacement for one of the large polycarbonate plates that guard drive teams. Yeah, no spare in the truck that time. We were just lucky the crack didn’t grow (much) before the new piece arrived.


In the stronghold year, wasn’t the autonomous mostly to see how hard you can ram the other alliances driver station wall? I recall the Poofs got carded for catching their driver station as it was heading to the ground.

G102 *ROBOTS, stay on the FIELD during the MATCH. ROBOTS and anything they control, e.g. CARGO, may not contact anything outside the FIELD except for MOMENTARY incursions into the TERMINAL and MOMENTARY contact with the CHUTE.

So not specifically drivers but they are a subset of anything. The only consequence the first time is your robot is disable. Continued and it might be considered egregious then it is up to the Bumble Bee.

Correct me if I am wrong, but the exception of crossing the line to catch your falling drivers station console has been in the rulebook for YEARS. They got a card for this in the past? Dang. (2016 was a bit of an odd duckling because of the camera towers and high COG on the consoles)

From H401 this year (regarding auto):
An example of an exception for equipment safety is if an OPERATOR CONSOLE
starts to fall from, or has already fallen off of, the DRIVER STATION shelf. In that
circumstance, DRIVE TEAM members may step forward to catch it or pick it up
off the ground and return it to the shelf.


I chipped in for everyone here and asked a question that, I think, gets to the root of the concerns around legality.

Would driving a wheel against the alliance/hanger wall (for a protracted length of time, ie not as incidental contact) violate G303? Such an action could result in the wall partially supporting the weight of the robot (perhaps as much as 50% of the weight). It could also cause markings on the wall, either minimally each time or significantly, depending on a number of factors. This action would be strategic, in an effort to solve or minimize the difficulty of game tasks.

The real lesson here - others have tried to ask the question in a way that doesn’t “give away” what they’re trying to do. Trying to ask a question that doesn’t make your plans clear means you’ll get an answer that may not actually tell you what you want to know. You may get false assurances only to find out what you built was illegal much later.

The question at hand is driving up the wall. Using wheels on the wall to support the robots weight, and the impact it has on, really, one specific rule. So ask that!


Yeah… Sometimes have to be explicit. I am pretty sure HQ has seen this thread and (might be) waiting for the explicit question. This strat is not a secret.


Actually I think it was added specifically for Stronghold since the ramming of the driver station wall was so violent. This was a while ago, Referees don’t generally make a lot of public comment about how they rule, and I had no involvement so take what I say with a grain of salt. I believe the referee felt the driver held on to the controls for longer than necessary.

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Alright, from what I remember as a student we could catch the driver station (2011-2014), however I cannot recall that being a rule at an official event. It was used at offseason events though (homemade fields can be wobbly). So that all makes sense.

Either that or they are very confused about why there are multiple questions about driving up a wall haha


lots of rules and exceptions like this get added after being a problem and everyone basically agrees its stupid and so they say its now fine

Q23 was just answered:


that… uh… an interesting answer?

So for starters, they’re passing the buck onto head refs.
I’m mean I kinda get what they’re saying in that they can’t give hypotheticals on robot design.

So unless the GDC gives a ruling on this, I prob won’t encourage my team on pursuing it. Not unless someone can give an appropriate question that get’s a definitive answer.

“Can a robot be partially supported by an alliance wall?” Don’t know if that fits the bill or not.

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Currently, 5/30 of the Q&A questions seem like responses to this thread/idea. So far, number 24 is one of the few left unanswered, possibly because of the other questions regarding this that have been asked. Is the GDC getting tired of this concept? I doubt it. Are they getting tired of low effort questions regarding it? Probably. Hopefully we can get a response on it eventually.

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Q24 is what happens when the GDC refuses to give a straight answer to questions. FRC veterans ask them in very specific and narrow “Is this a violation or is it not a violation” terms.

And trust me, things happen when that rare event occurs. It doesn’t happen often–but when it does, the GDC gives straight answers even if they don’t like to.

To be fair to the GDC… Q23 ruled out the only rule we’re really concerned about in the question itself. Q19 was very vague and broad, where a specific answer to the problem in this thread would seem out of place to people who don’t obsessively follow CD, and perhaps imply issues with normal robot behaviour we’ve all seen every year. Q7 and Q14 don’t even mention the wall, and this don’t provide an opportunity to even address this issue.

Personally, I put the lack of a clear issue on the question askers, not the answerers.


GDC when asked direct rules questions

Seriously I don’t understand how they can’t answer direct questions. The GDC know whether they want teams driving up the player station or not. So how about you tell the teams.


One would hope that they say “We cannot comment”, then edit after TU02 says putting weight on the wall is considered suspending, or however they’re going to do that.

Or just withhold answering the question until TU02.

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