On June 15th, 2018, the following updates were made to the VRC Turning Point Game Manual . This update included several "red boxes", which are used to provide additional clarification or explanation beyond the verbiage of a given rule.
1. <G5> received a red box to clarify what is meant by "placed on the field promptly".
The exact definition of the term “promptly” is at the discretion of the Head Referee and the Event Partner, who will consider event schedule, previous warnings or delays, etc.
2. <G19> was appended with the following line:
The Q&A is the ONLY official source for rulings besides the Game Manual.
3. <SG2> received a red box to provide some guidance for the leeway associated with the 18" height limit and the Expansion Zone.
Robots which choose to expand vertically in the Expansion Zone should be very cognizant of <SG2a> and the Note. It is expected that brief or minor violations, such as a mechanism that is in the process of retracting while the Robot leaves the Expansion Zone, may occur. These will likely only result in a warning if there is no gameplay interference.
However, Teams should be aware of the risk associated with “cutting it close” like this. If a tall (i.e. vertically expanded) Robot blocks a launched Ball while not in contact with the Expansion Zone, the Note will come into effect whether the action was intentional or accidental. To avoid any confusion or potential violations, Teams are advised to drive and design their Robots such that it is abundantly clear to the Head Referee that they have retracted back to a height of 18” before leaving the Expansion Zone.
The 18” height limit specified by <SG2c> refers to the Robot height when it is placed on a flat plane, such as a field tile or an inspection table. An 18" tall robot which tips slightly while climbing a Platform would still be legal.
4. <SG4> received a red box to explain the purpose of the Note in <SG4>.
The intent of the Note is to point out that there are both legal and illegal ways to interact with a High Scored Cap while already Possessing a Cap. Teams should be cognizant of <SG8> and the definition of Possession if attempting any maneuvers around High Scored Caps.
5. The definition of Hoarding and <SG5> were updated to change the Hoarding limit to more than two Balls or more than one Cap (i.e. more than the standard Possession limit). High Scored Caps and Possessed Game Objects do not count towards Hoarding.
<SG5> Hoarding is prohibited. Robots may not Hoard more than one (1) Cap, or more than two (2) or more Game Objects Balls, at any point during the Match.
a. High Scored Caps do not count towards the Hoarding limit.
b. Possessed Game Objects do not count towards Hoarding limit.
<SG5> also received a red box.
The key phrase in the definition of Hoarding is “actively blocking opposing Robot access”. This means strategically positioning a Robot such that it is “defending” these Game Objects, and actively preventing an opponent from accessing them.
Hoarding is a very intentional and strategic maneuver. Most scenarios where a Robot interacts with multiple Game Objects in the corner of the field would not be considered Hoarding. However, Teams should exercise caution in these situations, and referees are encouraged to provide verbal warnings if a Robot is in danger of a violation.
6. <SG11> received a red box to clear up the confusion between <SG11 > and <G11>.
This rule is a specific exception to <G11>. Normally, under <G11>, a Robot which is forced into breaking a rule (such as being pushed into the Net) is not penalized. However, because Entanglement with the Net is a safety concern, a Robot which becomes Entangled must be Disabled, regardless if it whose fault it was. Of course, strategic or intentional violations could be considered a violation of <G1> and result in a Disqualification.
7. <R1> received the same red box that was included in last year's VEX Worlds manual update, attempting to make it clear that teams should build their own robots.
The intent of <R1a>, <R1b>, and <R1c> are to ensure an unambiguous level playing field for all teams. Teams are welcome (and encouraged) to improve or modify their robots between events, or to collaborate with other teams to develop the best possible game solution.
However, a team who brings and/or competes with two separate robots at the same tournament has diminished the efforts of a team who spent extra design time making sure that their one robot can accomplish all of the game’s tasks. A multi-team organization that shares a single robot has diminished the efforts of a multi-team organization who puts in the time, effort, and resources to undergo separate individual design processes and develop their own robots.
To help determine if a robot is a “separate robot” or not, use the Subsystem definitions found in <R1>. Above that, use common sense as referenced in <G2>. If you can place two robots on a table next to each other, and they look like two separate legal/complete robots (i.e. each have the 3 Subsystems defined by <R1>), then they are two robots. Trying to decide if changing a screw, a wheel, or a microcontroller constitutes a separate robot is missing the intent and spirit of this rule.
8. <R5e> was added, stating that V5 beta components are not legal for use. This was also included in the agreement that all beta participants signed.
Components obtained from the V5 beta program, including V5 beta firmware, are not legal for competition use. All V5 beta hardware can be identified by its lighter gray pre-production color. Robot Brains, Robot Batteries, Controllers, and Vision Sensors from the V5 beta have a “BETA TEST” stamp on them. Smart Motors and Radios do not have this stamp, but can still be identified by color.
9. <R8g> was added, stating that "Vision Sensor distractions" are not permitted.
Decorations that visually mimic field elements or could otherwise interfere with an opponent’s Vision Sensor are considered functional and are not permitted. This includes lights, such as the VEX Flashlight. The Head Inspector and Head Referee will make the final decision on whether a given decoration or mechanism violates this rule.
10. Appendix B, the Robot Skills Challenge, was updated to clarify that Teams may only use one Ball as their Preload. The other three Preload Balls typically found in a VRC Turning Point Match are not used. This included changes to the image on the first page, <RSC1>, and <RSC2>.
11. Several minor typo fixes.
On June 15th, 2018, Appendix E (the VEX U Appendix) received the following changes:
1. <VUG4b> was added, providing a protocol for ending the 45-second Autonomous Period early if both teams are finished. This has been successfully piloted at VEX Worlds for a few years and is now officially supported at other events as well.
If both Teams complete their routines before 45 seconds has elapsed, they have the option to signal that they wish to end the Autonomous Period early. Both Teams and the Head Referee must all agree on the “early stop”. This is not a requirement, and the option must have been established for all teams at the event, such as during the driver’s meeting.
2. <VUG6> was changed to implement specific expansion rules for VEX U.
<VUG6> Both Robots follow theThe VRC rule <SG2> applies in VEX U, adjusted for the starting height of each Robot.
a. The Robot which starts 24” tall must return to 24” once it is no longer contacting the Expansion Zone. The Robot which starts 15” tall must return to 15” once it is no longer contacting the Expansion Zone.
b. The 36” horizontal expansion rules laid out in <SG2> applies to both Robots.
A Robot which interferes with gameplay as a result of violating this rule, such as Toggling a High Flag or blocking a launched Ball while outside of the Expansion Zone, will result in a Disqualification, whether the interference is Match Affecting or not.
3. <VUR2d> was added, please don't try to use a VEX t-shirt as a functional part of your robot.
4. <VUR3> was expanded to specify what types of plastics and composites are permitted for use. A red box was also added to explain the intent of <VUR3> and provide some guidance for what "unlimited parts for VEX U teams" is supposed to mean.
a. An unlimited amount of non-shattering plastic from the following list: polycarbonate, acetal monopolymer (Delrin), acetal copolymer (Acetron GP), POM (acetal), ABS, PEEK, PET, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon (all grades), Polypropylene, FEP.
b. An unlimited amount of composite materials, such as G10 (Garolite), FR-4, or carbon fiber.
The intent of <VUR3> to encourage teams to explore fabrication techniques like milling, 3D printing, injection molding, sheet metal punching, etc., to develop their own new robotic components in addition to the “standard” set of VEX components permitted by <VUR2>. To utilize these techniques, raw materials from the list provided in <VUR3> may be used.
However, the intent of <VUR3> is not to legalize all commercially available items made from these materials. The only commercial components (other than pneumatic components) that may be used are those purchased from VEX Robotics, as specified in <VUR2>.
For example, aluminum billet may be used to machine a custom bracket. However, purchasing a custom aluminum bracket is not within the spirit of this rule.
Similarly, pre-drilled or extruded metal, such as angle aluminum, is not permitted, unless it can be found on www.vexrobotics.com.
5. <VUR10> was added to specify what the pneumatic rules will be for VEX U this season.
<VUR10> Teams may utilize commercially available pneumatic components from the following list: Cylinders, actuators, valves, gauges, storage tanks, regulators, manifolds, and solenoids.
a. Pneumatic devices may only be charged to a maximum of 100 psi.
i. Compressors or any other forms of “on-Robot” charging are not permitted.
b. All commercial components must be rated for 100 psi or higher. Teams should be prepared to provide documentation that verifies these ratings to inspectors if requested.
c. Components must not be modified from their original state as purchased from a commercial vendor, other than the following exceptions:
i. Cutting pneumatic tubing or wiring to length, assembling components using pre-existing threads, brackets, or fittings, or minor cosmetic labels.
6. <VUS1> was added, regarding the VEX U Skills Challenge.
<VUS1> VEX U teams may only use one (1) Robot in the Robot Skills Challenge. This Robot must start within a 15” x 15” x 15” cube (i.e. Robot B from <VUR1>).
On August 17th, 2018, the following updates were made to the VRC Turning Point Game Manual .
1. <G6> was modified to clarify that it applies across the entire season, not just at a specific event.
<G6> Drive your own Robot. Each Team shall include up to three Drive Team Members. No Drive Team Member may fulfill this role for more than one Team in a given competition season.
2. The Notes in <G12> were re-written, and images were added, to better clarify what Platform interactions should or should not result in <G12> violations.
<G12> Note 1: Alliances who attempt to utilize the Center Platform should expect vigorous interactions from opponent Robots. When a Robot is contacting or engaging with the Center Platform, incidental damage that is caused by opponent Robots pushing, tipping, or Entangling with them would not be considered a violation of <G12>. Intentional damage or dangerous mechanisms may still be considered a violation of <R3>, <S1>, or <G1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.
Note 2: Damage caused by indirect contact with the Center Platform is included in Note 1. In Figure 21, if “BLUE1” pushes “RED1” off the Center Platform and this interaction causes tipping, damage, or entanglement to “RED2”, then “BLUE1” would not be penalized. This was a legal interaction between “BLUE1” and “RED1”, which resulted in indirect damage to “RED2”.
Note 3: The Alliance Platform by itself is not included in Note 1. Robots which are Alliance Parked and not contacting or interacting with the Center Platform are treated the same as Robots on the floor or otherwise playing the game. So, in Figure 22, if “BLUE1” were to tip over or cause damage to “RED2”, they would be considered in violation of <G12>.
3. Notes were added to <G17> to specify that some Net variance should be expected. (Q&A reference 1 )
Note 2: There is no specification for “tautness” or “looseness” of the Net.
Note 3: Minor Net repairs that do not impact gameplay are permitted. These could include (but are not limited to) using tape to patch together a torn section, or replacing the stock pipe clips with standard PVC connectors.
4. The "Match Ladder" page was re-written to clarify that Event Partners may choose to run between 8 and 16 alliances at their discretion. The previous verbiage implied that this decision was mandated solely by the number of teams at the event, not by EP discretion.
Event Partners may choose to run Elimination Matches with eight (8) to sixteen (16) Alliances, depending on their event schedule and the number of Teams in attendance. A sixteen (16) Alliance bracket would play as follows:
If an event chooses to run with fewer than sixteen (16) Alliances, then they will use the bracket shown above, with byes awarded when there is no applicable Alliance. For example, in a tournament with fourteen (14) Alliances, Alliances 1 and 2 would automatically advance.
<R16> c. External wires on VEX electrical components may be repaired by soldering, using twist/crimp connectors, electrical tape or shrink tubing such that the original functionality / length is not modified in any way. Wire used in repairs must be identical to VEX wire. Teams may make these repairs at their own risk; incorrect wiring may have undesired results.
i. Using the V5 Smart Cable Crimp Tool, V5 Smart Cable Stock, and V5 Smart Cable Connectors to create custom-length Smart Cables is permissible. Teams who create custom cables (using these tools) acknowledge that incorrect wiring may have undesired results. Teams MUST use official V5 Smart Cable Stock if creating custom-length cables.
6. Minor typo fixes.
On August 17th, 2018, Appendix E (the VEX U Appendix) received the following changes:
1. <VUR8> was moved to <VUG7>, since it is not a Robot rule. It was also modified to be consistent with the "Team Composition" section and clarify that students not enrolled in a post-secondary school are not eligible to participate on a VEX U team.
<VUG7> Each Robot is allowed up to three (3) Drive Team Members, as stated in <G6>.
a. Drive Team Members MUST be post-secondary school individuals. Any matriculated individual enrolled in post-secondary school is eligible to be a Drive Team Member.
b. Professionals not enrolled in post-secondary education are not eligible to be Drive Team Members or participate on a VEX U team.
c. Students that are dual-enrolled in both a secondary school and in post-secondary courses are not eligible to be Drive Team Members or participate on a VEX U team.
2. A new <VUR8> was added, to clarify that VEX U teams may use additional fasteners than are permitted by the standard <R6c>.
<VUR8> Teams may use the following fasteners on their Robot:
a. Any commercially available #4, #6, #8, #10, ¼-20, M2, M2.5, M3, M4, or M6 screw (of any length), and any commercially available nut and/or washer to fit these screws
b. Any commercially available aluminum or steel rivet, up to ¼” nominal diameter.
3. <VUR9> was updated to clarify that VEX U teams should follow the same License Plate rules as VRC teams.
<VUR9> Teams must display their team identification letters (e.g. “IFI”, “ABCD”) in two visible locations on opposing sides of the Robot, per <R20>. Teams must use the official VEX Robotics License Plate Kit (276-3938) for this identification. The identification must clearly display which alliance color the Robots belong to in that Match (i.e. red or blue).