Answered: Further Clarification Regarding Defensive Ramming Strategy

I have included our previous post and your answer. My questions are below them. I am only seeking clarification, because I believe your previous answers were based on questions that were lacking specific details. I have already congratulated the team that beat us and in no way expect your ruling to change what happened. I do however believe that what you have to say about the questions below will affect how the game is played moving forward.

@Trojan Knights During the finals match this weekend at the competition in Nevada TX, the opposing team used a defensive strategy that we believed was against the G12 rule to block our alliance. The opposing alliance was a front dumper design that used standoffs as their intake. During both the 1st and the 3rd finals matches, this robot without any scoring objects in its possession, waited for our alliance to go to the fence and try to score. When our alliance went to the fence to score they rammed our alliance with their standoffs. In both matches they entangled their standoffs in our alliance’s claw and stalled out their claw motors. They were hitting our alliance with such force that in both matches they had broken standoffs on our side of the fence.

Is this type of strategy permitted?

As always, we cannot make rulings based on a description of an event without knowing exactly what happened. That being said what you have described sounds like normal defensive game play. Ramming is typical in VRC games. If the referee determined that the team was simply trying to prevent you from scoring and was not intentionally trying to damage or Entangle your Robot, this would not be a violation of <G12>.

My Questions:

“That being said what you have described sounds like normal defensive game play. Ramming is typical in VRC games.”

Is it legal to drive your robot (ram) with 15" and 16" standoffs sticking out the front of your robot, like a fork, into your opponent’s robot as a defensive strategy?

“If the referee determined that the team was simply trying to prevent you from scoring and was not intentionally trying to damage or Entangle your Robot, this would not be a violation of <G12>.”

This type of ruling seems to be based solely on the referee’s discretion and doesn’t seem to put the actual robot build into the equation. It is my opinion, that anyone who has played this game competively, knows that if you ram a claw bots’ claw with standoffs of any considerable length; entanglement whether intentional or unintentional will occur.

Shouldn’t the referees take the robot build into consideration before making a ruling? And, if the build of the robot is that of one which would easily entangle with another robot, shouldn’t the ruling be in favor of the offensive robot?

VEX Robotics Competition Starstruck is intended to be an offensive game. Teams that partake in solely defensive strategies will undergo extra scrutiny in regard to <G12>. In the case where referees are forced to make a judgment call on interaction between a defensive and offensive Robot, the referees will err on the side of the offensive Robot.

As said previously, ramming is typical in VRC matches.

Yes, the referees will take the entire situation into account. As I said, it’s difficult to give blanket rulings in these situations. So it’s not as simple as “ramming = legal”. The referees will look at the robots involved, the type of interaction, the duration, etc.