[YMTC]: Reversible Bumbers Rules

Hello, I am the president of Team 4212 the Techno Ferrets and we competed at the Central Illinois Regional in Week 3. We were picked to be a part of the 4th seeded alliance and our strategy was to be a defender bot to limit other teams’ scoring. While we were playing defense during our second semifinal match one of the teams on the opposing alliance drove on our bot, spun the tires, and then backed off. This caused one side of our reversible bumpers (the ones that use Velcro to hold it up) to fall down and show the red side. The remaining 3 sides of our bumpers were all blue. We continued playing defense and then on our way to cross a defense, score a low goal, and get on the batter, we were e-stopped because we were not in compliance with the bumper rules.

Here is the rule we were said to have violated:

G19-1 ROBOTS must be in compliance with Section 4 (4.7 BUMPER Rules) throughout the MATCH.
Violation: FOUL. DISABLED if structurally non-compliant or the Team number or ALLIANCE color is ambiguous.

I would just like to know what everyone else take is on this rule. We probably could have won that match if we were not e-stopped which would have forced a 3rd match.

If the bumper fabric fell off by negligence on your own drivers hand I would understand this but, since it was an opposing alliance that caused it to happen I think you should have gotten away with it. Personally reversible bumpers have caused too many headaches to ever use them again.

At some times during that match your alliance color was ambiguous; this was especially so with about 90 to 80 seconds left, about 5 to 15 seconds after 876 was flipped by (IMO clean) contact while you defended against them. After the flip, a ref can be seen counting off the ten second grace period during which no opposing robot is permitted to contact them. During that count and for a few seconds afterward, your robot’s incorrectly colored bumper side was facing toward the Head Referee. That might be a reason for ruling your alliance color ambiguous per G19-1.

Rule states it pretty clearly, I can see why they called it. Makes you think twice about reversible bumper construction and durability.

I think this is actually an instance where the other robot can’t force you to get a penalty? If they were driving on your bumpers, they were probably encroaching your frame perimeter anyway - and forcing you to take a penalty in the process of doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing anyway. I dunno.

This year team 11 used reversible bumpers as we have done for numerous years. However, for this season, our bumpers fold across the length of the bumper right to left as opposed to the usual top to bottom. We have not had any problems and even found that in makes the bumper look better due to the seam being in the middle of the bumper, and not across the bumper with the seam going straight through the team number.

We also did a vertical seam in 2014. The bumper assemblies were two C shapes, and the end of the bumper fabric that was movable was tucked into a 1/4" gap in the bumper, where it had velcro holding it in place as well as friction.

This year we did a horizontal seam and a one piece bumper assembly, and used bungee cord in a loop to keep all sides either up or down. This had one unexpected failure mode where the end of a bungee did get caught in our drive train one match. We now zip tie it up, and have to cut the zip ties every time we are blue, but it works well.

Bungee cords and zip ties are not listed bumper parts.