Answered: Clarification on <G11a>

Rule <G11a> reads:

a. Robots which have expanded horizontally in an effort to obstruct the field will undergo even more scrutiny under <G11>, and will not be protected under <G11>. e.g. If you choose to undertake this type of strategy, your robot should be built to withstand vigorous interaction.

i. Furthermore, teams that undertake this type of obstructive strategy would not be protected by <SG3>. e.g. There is no penalty for pinning a “wall-bot”

Can you please give a measure of how wide a robot has to become before it is no longer protected under <G11>? I need to know before I order parts for my design.

We cannot provide an exact measurement, as obstructing the field is very context specific. However, a good estimate is that if your robot is obstructing more than the length of one trough, you are most likely now subject to <G11a>. However, this does not mean that robot which has expanded to less than that length is immune from <G11a>.

If you can clarify these examples, I would be very much obliged.

  1. A robot that has a 30 inch “shovel” that folds out horizontally, and is placing it over the opposing trough to prevent scoring while remaining stationary

  2. A robot that has a 20 inch “shovel” that folds out horizontally, and is placing it over the top of the opposing trough to prevent scoring while remaining stationary

  3. A robot that has an 18 inch “shovel” that folds out horizontally, and is placing it over the top of the opposing trough to prevent scoring while remaining stationary

  4. A robot that has a 12 inch “shovel” that folds out horizontally, and is placing it over the top of the opposing trough to prevent scoring while remaining stationary

  5. A robot with a 12 inch “shovel” that does NOT fold out horizontally, and is placing it over the top of the opposing trough to prevent scoring while remaining stationary

  6. A robot with a 12 inch “shovel” that does NOT fold out horizontally, and is placing it over the top of the opposing trough to prevent scoring while moving along the trough

  7. A robot that has a 12 inch “shovel” that folds out horizontally, and is placing it over the top of the opposing trough to prevent scoring while moving along the trough

Sorry, I know it’s a lot to ask for a ruling on, but I would like to avoid having my robot in any danger.

We understand that you are asking very precise questions in order to avoid your robot running into any ruling difficulties, but we are unable to give concrete answers to hypothetical situations based on snapshots of robots. Here are some rules of thumb that should clarify things for you.

  • Devices which expand horizontally and obstruct the field are generally bad
  • Using arms or shovels to cover troughs, but have not expanded horizontally are generally acceptable

We expect teams to try and block goals. However, if you expand horizontally in an effort to do this, you do lose the protections set forth in <G11>

Basically, if you design a robot to expand to block the field, you should be prepared to handle vigorous interaction from your opponents who are trying to penetrate the blockade.

Hm. So, even if I expand by 2 inches on either side to reach a 20 inch width on an intake, I would no longer be protected by <G11> if I am playing defensively (eg. covering the troughs). That rule seems to have been clarified fairly well, thanks.

Second question. Can you take the various “shovel” sizes above and say if they qualify as being “too large”, even of they are not used defensively to no longer be protected under <G11>? Specifically, I mean at 30 inches, 20 inches, 18 inches, and 12 inches.

If these devices are not being used to obstruct the field, they would still be protected by <G11>.