Answered: Attempt to Break a Rule

I think I caused some confusion in my previous question on intent to break a rule . A better word to use would have been attempt. So the question is: Is it illegal to attempt to break any rule, or is it only illegal to attempt to break G12.

To be clear, by attempt I mean to clearly take action towards breaking a rule without actually succeeding in doing so. G12 says

It specifically says that destructive strategies are illegal. It goes on to say

Therefore, the action does not have to be egregious, it can merely needs to be seen as intentional.

At the last world championship, it was ruled that attempting to tip a team was grounds for a DQ. G12 contains special language that seems to imply that such a ruling makes sense for G12, but not for any other rules. I want to make that is the correct interpretation.

I understand that referees will only make rulings based on what actually happens on the field and not based on what they think is going on inside a team’s head. In your previous answer you said

Does this mean a robot needs to actually get destroyed/tipped/etc. or is it sufficient for it to be clear to the refs that a team was attempting to destroy their opponent even if the opponent does not tip over etc.

This is a correct interpretation.

For one example, think about Pinning or Trapping, and SG4. The rule states that a Robot may not Pin or Trap an opposing Robot for more than five seconds during the Driver Controlled Period. Defensive teams will often Pin their opponent for 3-4 seconds, watch the referee count very closely, then back away right before the referee hits 5. They have clearly intended/attempted to Pin their opponent, and they would probably do it for the entire match if they were allowed to, but they remained within the confines of SG4 and thus are not penalized.

SG14 (the “expansion rule”) is another example. See this Q&A. A robot which is mechanically capable of violating SG14, but never actually violates it, does not get Disqualified just for coming close or from having the “potential” to break it.

Of course, it is always difficult to issue blanket rulings on hypothetical scenarios, and this explanation/interpretation does not mean that teams have complete freedom to try breaking rules. G1, G2, and T1 always apply, as well as the typical “Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion” verbiage when applicable.

The first line of G12, that you quoted, does not say “Destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement”. Rather, it says “Strategies aimed at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement…”. This is an intentional verbiage choice, and you are correct, a debilitating tip or extreme damage does not necessarily need to occur for a robot to be in violation of G12.

This is, of course, extremely dependent on match context. Referees are advised to use whatever context clues are available, such as if a destructive interaction appears pre-meditated, or if a robot doesn’t back away once a destructive interaction begins, to determine if the maneuver warrants a violation or not. As mentioned in response to your other Q&A, referees can only make decisions based off of what happens on the field.