3 Min timeout rule

I am running a tournament for the first time this year. I am trying to get as much info on rules and referees as possible. One situation came up at a recent tournament that I did not understand.

Final single elimination round: Red top seed, Blue second seed. Blue places robots on field and starts to position and set up robots. Red places robots on the field and calls a 3 min time-out before Blue finishes setup. Red continues to work on their robots during their 3 min time-out. Referee says that blue cannot touch their robots for the time-out. So after red time out, Blue calls their 3 min time-out to complete their setup, Referee says blue still cannot touch their robots because Red has placed their robots on the field. Blue never gets the chance to finish their stup and autonomus selction before beginning of match.

Does the Red 3 min timeout eliminate the the completion of the blue set-up? Can Blue touch their robots during their time out?

This seems like a situation which requires very precise understanding of the rules to disprove the referees. According to G5, it seems like it would be illegal to change the robots position if the robot is placed, even during a time out. But, despite being illegal, I believe this rule should not be said in a manner as to “Do not move your robot,” but a manner of “If you move your robot, the opposing alliance gets the opportunity to move their robots too after you.” This would be very difficult to discuss because it’s so hard to figure out what to do during a time out because the time out rule is so so vague when it comes to what a team can and cannot do during time outs, and that may be at a point where the Common Sense rule may need to be applied compared to logic.
To answer your question, I do not believe it eliminates the blue completion of setup, and it should allow blue to move their robots as well, provided that the referees allow the red alliance to move their robots after them.

Either all of G5 should be enforced or none of G5 should be enforced. If Blue can’t touch their robot during a time out, then Red needs to promptly place their robot on the field.

G2 supersedes this interpretation of G5.
The time out resets everything… teams can do what they want during the time out. They need to report back to the field promptly after the time out is complete. Don’t give one team an unfair advantage… don’t read extra stuff into the rule book.

Just make sure that matches are run in a timely manner. Make sure if at all possible that all 4 robots are on the field and all teams are ready and satisfied they can begin the match. If you are running way behind schedule then teams get fewer accommodations.

I think this is a pretty clear rule violation by the referee (maybe attempted by red). The rules let red / higher seed place their robot “last,” not simultaneously. Blue must be allowed to finish placing its robots, or red is not actually going last.

Let’s take this further for clarity. Red waits. The first blue robot touches the field and hasn’t even been turned on yet. The red alliance then immediately puts down both their robots and calls a time out. According to what was written in the OP, the ref is saying blue will have to play with only one robot on the field, and that one not even turned on. I think we pretty clearly know this is not how the rules work, and since this necessarily follows from what is described in the OP, we know what is described in the OP does not follow the rules.

The referee should not say this as it is incorrect (unless there was a ruling somewhere that I missed).

Timeouts are just like football (or any other sport as far as I know): both alliances can use the time to do whatever they wish on their robots. Just because red took the timeout doesn’t prohibit blue from working on their robot. I’ve seen timeouts called at Worlds and that’s how they’ve worked. At the conclusion of the timeout, all teams must set up on the field again. The highest seed gets the privilege of placing their robots last.

G5 is simply there to prevent both alliances from reacting to each other’s placement indefinitely. If the rule wasn’t there, each alliance would potentially want to keep adjusting their robot in response to the other alliance’s adjustment in an endless loop. Practicality requires that someone has to be “last”, which is seen as a possible advantage, so the rule was created to remove the ambiguity and give the privilege of last placement to the higher-seeded alliance in eliminations. In qualifications, the red alliance gets the privilege (which essentially means it’s random luck).

This reminds me of Chinese teams were calling timeout during the match… Yes, during the match, like when there is 1 min left and they call “timeout”, field comp got cut and teams start discussing strategies. I scratched my head and searched for the rules, it does not explicitly say timeout cant be called during the match…

This sounds like an excellent Q&A question! I posted it.


actually, with common sense the ambiguity still exists. In other sports where time outs are permitted, the time out can occur during game play. The fact that calling time out was accepted by the referee indicates EP and referee did not have enough guidance on this matter.
Q&A will address this quickly enough before some teams game the ambiguity.

No ambiguity by my reading:

If the head ref doesn’t want to allow timeouts in a match, they can disallow it.

That potentially covers the case of the ref choosing not to allow it, but it does not cover the case of the ref choosing to allow it. I’d argue the ref should not be permitted to allow a timeout in the middle of the match, as I don’t think taking a timeout in the middle of a match was intended to be permitted.

I agree. I was more speaking to the “is there grounds for a referee to deny the request without asking Q&A for clarification” question. You could make an argument from the “Matches must progress according to schedule” clause as well as <G2> that timeouts were not intended to be allowed in matches, as a three minute timeout in a two minute match is a silly delay.

Timeouts in the middle of either the 0:15 or the 1:45 of match time seem like a bad idea. What happens when someone calls a timeout during autonomous? Even not in autonomous, what happens if someone’s user-control code has something that gets reset as a result of stopping user control and restarting user control? I think it’s pretty clear that timeouts in the middle of either of those time periods are a bad idea. In between them should be fine.

I’m surprised we’ve never had this clarified in any previous game.

Who the heck allows timeouts to be called in the middle of matches? That’s stupid and is a bad idea.

Right, that is the case I would like closed in the Q&A.

All it takes for one person to do it and then it becomes a “thing” :slight_smile:

I’ve never experienced anyone calling a timeout during match, it was ruled on a few years back.

Maybe time to add “before start of match” to the Game Manual :slight_smile: