there is no indication from the nearby referees or the head referee that there is any penalty being incurred. The contact really seemed like normal gameplay to me, and the interaction happened while we were being defended.
What alarms me so far from this season is how subtle several of the yellow and red card offenses are this year. The case of the drive team member stepping over a closed gate seems harsh to give a card for, but it’s also been a FRC rule for years and should be followed.
HOWEVER, I think cards should only be given in matches for actions that are either dangerous or with obvious contempt for the rules and spirit of the game. I think FIRST has done a good job of this in the past, but if an entire match can be played without either alliance or any spectators noticing what the card was given for, it shouldn’t be a card in the first place. Was 118’s hatch ejection really strategic, intentional, or dangerous? Not really - it was a robot malfunction. It should warrant a foul, or maybe a tech foul, but certainly not a red card.
If a robot spinning completely out of control doesn’t warrant a red card (and it shouldn’t), neither should that offense.
I’m obviously biased here since my team was hurt by one of these rules. But I will say that I can only remember maybe half a dozen match-outcome-affecting red cards being given in a SEASON over the last few years. There’s already been close to that number this year, and it’s only week one. Maybe you can argue that teams just have to learn to deal with these rules, but, to me, handing out so many cards for relatively minor offenses seems to run contrary to the values FIRST promotes.