Answered: Automatic Siding with "Offensive" vs "Defensive" Robot

I am posting by the request of the host team who filled the referee positions and with their permission I am using their official response.

‘College A’ was accused of violating G12 in a match where Robot from College A pushed Robot from ‘College B’ in order to disrupt them from scoring on a goal post (not skyrise). My argument is that both robots are offensive and that being a “defensive” robot does not automatically disqualify you. None the less, the referee ruling was final. We will be returning to the host team for additional competitions this year and would like this clarified for future tournaments.

This is their official response:
“Under section 2 <G12> in the Game Manuel (pg.10), clearly states that the referee has to take the side of the offensive robot when posed against a defensive robot. Karthik Kanagasabapathy, Chairman of the VEX Robotics Competition Game Design Committee, defined offensive and defensive actions here. Since your robot’s end-effector did not contain any scoring objects when it collided with (College Name) robot, hindering them from scoring, your robot was considered a defensive robot under these circumstances.”

The link is here:
Where your referenced quote is: "Typically, offensive actions include, but are not limited to; Scoring, picking up Scoring Objects, etc. Typically, defensive actions include, but are not limited to; pushing, blocking, pinning, etc. "

So, was there an infraction of any rule? Can this rule even be broken at all…

Let’s take a look at the entirety of <G12> to make sure there’s no misunderstanding. I’ve bolded the text pertinent to this situation.

The first bolded section is the most important part. <G12> is intended to protect Robots, especially Robots engaging in offensive maneuvers, from strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of their robots. The offensive vs. defensive clause in this rule only applies if there is a borderline call that involves strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of robots. In these sorts of close judgement calls, referees should err on the side of the offensive Robot.

In the case you described, there is no destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement. Simply pushing is never a penalty in VEX Skyrise, unless it violates another rule (e.g. <SG9>). Thus there should have been no penalty here, based on what has been described to us.