If there is one toxic idea in FRC game and rule design that I wish we could banish from the league forever, it is the idea that red cards should be used as a tool to teach kids valuable lessons about misinterpreting confusing situations in the heat of a moment.
The “red card if the volunteer opens the gate but the field isn’t green” penalty is absurd. Spare me the rhetoric about how this is a vital safety issue - it is a minor safety issue, sure, but the gate is open in that scenario because field reset is everywhere on the field - so how unsafe is it, really. I’ve had field reset personnel mistakenly encourage students to come out with them. I’ve had a ref walk out onto the field while talking to me, not realizing only he was allowed to be on the field, and luckily I just happened to notice the field lights in the middle of a conversation.
Using red cards as the sole mechanism to modify behavior, and ignoring all of the other factors that lead students to make the choices they do, is a recipe for heartbreak and a horrible teaching tool.
If the field isn’t open the gate should be closed. Field reset can step over the barrier - they are already entrusted with safely walking across a “dangerous” field condition, stepping over a wall should be fine too. Make the gate only open when the lights are green, and make it so the gate going down early negates the red card, and then you’ll have actually solved your problem without ruining events for entire alliances over the slightest mistake.