YMTC: Redabot Disrupts Ringers

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You Make The Call (YMTC) is a series of situations where you are the official and make the call. Please reference specific rules when applicable. The results of YMTC are not official and are for educational purposes only.

Let’s start with a couple of “Not sure why this one is even a question” YMTCs.:slight_smile:

In the semifinals of the 2007 Magnolia Classic Regional, Redabot, with no yellow flags, drives along their own player station wall during the autonomous period. Bluateam’s ringers are flying everywhere and 6 of the ringers along with Redabot are in the corner at the end of the autonomous period. For the remainder of the match, Redabot successfully prevents Bluabot from laying a gripper on the 6 ringers in the corner. At the conclusion of the match, Billy-Bob, the emcee of the MCR, exclaims, “It looks like Redabot easily wins again using their strategy of defending the ringers in the corner!”

Based on the 2007 Rules, YOU MAKE THE CALL!

As far as I can tell this is a legitimate strategy as long as Redabot is not herding the ringers. If the ringers are laying there on the ground and Redabot is simply in the way, guarding the ringers, I think this strategy works.

By the 2007 rules, this is legal provided that redabot is never touching more than one ringer. However, in this scenario, six ringers wind up in the corner along with redabot. Redabot has therefore moved six ringers at the same time, or almost the same time (unless exceptional luck is with them). According to <G09>,

(emphasis mine) Possession is defined as:

I’d say that that’s pretty clear: Unless Redabot has somehow thrown six tubes one at a time into the corner autonomously, I’d call herding and its associated penalty (whatever that is).

The real question is “does pushing the tubes qualify as herding.”
I voted that it’s legit, but in hindsight, the answer is a little more complicated. If redabot is pushing the tubes in such a way that they all end up neatly in an easily defended corner, there’s a good chance they are in some way guiding the tubes, and that would probably mean herding.
However, the rules don’t specify a penalty for possessing multiple tubes.

At any rate, under the intent of the question and the wording of the rule, it’s legit.

I agree with Eric here. If that team found a way to knock them over while only touching one at a time, their strategy is perfectly legal and acceptable. Otherwise, they deserve a penalty.

The bolded part seems to hint a distinction for tubes on the ground.
Furthermore, although it is illegal to grab a tube that is in another team’s possession, it would most certainly be alright for bluabot to grab the tube on the left while redabot is pushing it through a series of tubes.

Also here we should look at the autonomous aspect. Lets say this strategy is deamed illegal, what happens if a team does this unintentionally, meaning their autonmous mode goes berserk and ends up plowing all the tubes? Would this be ok, o rnot necessarily ok, but not really looked at? Again this is a question of intent, which obviously no one can prove. I think this is a solid stratgey but you gotta do it 1 tube at a time or else its herding, plain and simple.

I voted “no penalty”, but after further thought, I think the correct answer would be that if, in the referee’s determination, Redabot strategically moved the opponent’s Ringers, then Redabot is in violation of <G09> because their contact with the Ringers was intentional. From what the emcee said, it appears that is the case.

However, <G09> does not specify what, if any, penalty is given for this infraction. Therefore, it would be up to the Head Referee to determine what, if any penalty would be given - most likely a Yellow Card for the first infraction and Red Card DQ for any subsequent one. If this was Redabot’s first infraction in the Eliminations they’d get a Yellow Card for it, but if they had done it in the QF and gotten a Yellow Card at that time, then Redabot would be DQ’ed, which would DQ their alliance per <T12>.

The word that makes <G09> problematic is “bulldozing”. It creates somewhat of a fine line between two scenarios. One is driving through the home zone at full speed, hitting every ring you see, sometimes “incidentally” more than one, and by sheer force sending them all to the same corner. The other is pushing all of the tubes into the corner in a “controlled” manner. The intent of this rule is clear at the edges, but somewhat fuzzier toward the middle; maintaining possession of multiple rings at once is illegal, but running over a tube while carrying another won’t be penalized. Unfortunately, I doubt that the GDC will be able to clarify this any further, because it will most likely be subjective at the time of occurance, dependent on intent and robot action. If the GDC doesn’t rule explicitly on this, I would suggest trying your strategy during the practice day on Thursday, and then asking your head ref how they would rule it.

This one is a bit tricky. You have to pay attention to how many ringers it has touched and when they touch. If the bot touches more than one ringer, which it most probably will if it was herding, even by mistake, I would give them a penalty and if they continued, I would card them. BUT if they were very safe about it and did not touch any more than one ringer at a time I would say that the redbot knows the rules and has found a loophole in a way.

POSSESSION: a GAME PIECE is considered to be in the POSSESSION of a ROBOT if it is being fully supported by the ROBOT, or if the ROBOT is controlling the position and movement of the GAME PIECE. A GAME PIECE on the floor is considered to be in the POSSESSION of a ROBOT if it contacts the ROBOT at more than a single point (e.g. the ROBOT has a concave “plow” feature that is used to push the GAME PIECE in a controlled manner).

This would be fairly straightforward, except for that last sentence. I believe that the GDC was attempting to limit inadvertent herding penalty’s with that sentence, but in this case it seems to allow the wall sweep. The last sentence adds another requirement to game pieces on the floor to be possessed. Because the ringers are on the floor, they must also contact the robot at more than a single point and is where I think that Redabot is OK.

However, reading <G09> negates all that reasoning by stating that any herding of multiple ringers is not ok.

[quote=<G09>Herding of multiple GAME PIECES, or herding of a GAME PIECE on the floor while in POSSESSION of another]

Now, it is a rule without penalty. There are four levels of penalty in this years game.

  1. Do nothing
  2. 10 point penalty
  3. Disable
  4. Disqualify

<G09> Seems to be a Do Nothing penalty, much like putting an opponents ringer over one of their own ringers. I suspect there will be an update on this.


The way I read the rules as they stand today, this is totally herding multiple ringers, thus handling, thus illegal. As they’re written right now, I think it’s pretty straightforward, though this is another one of those things I’m sure will be clarified.

If it turns out not to be illegal, you can be sure we’ll be all over that strategy. And so should you.

Pete I believe that everyone begins with a clean slate at the beginning of elimination rounds.

Alright the GDC came out with a ruling on intentional and unintentional contact with multiple ringers.


Hopefully this helps answer questions.