Answered: Herding of Bucky Balls judgement

While in the process of a Toss-Up Scrimmage today, we came across a scenario in the Finals which caused some division in opinions. We understand the ruling of the referees is final, and purely ask for the sake of clarification in case this happens again.
The situation:
After Autonomous ended, a red robot was carrying two/three red Bucky Balls. They attempted to pick up a red Large Ball and in the process knocked three red Bucky Balls from the bump into the middle zone. From our position this did not appear intentional, and neither alliance on the field believed it to be intentional. They did not manage to successfully pick up the ball, so after driving over the ramp they gave up and moved on.
The ruling was made that the red alliance had possessed these three balls they knocked off the ramp and they were given a disqualification. We do not know for sure what the match score would have been otherwise, so of course we cannot judge whether this affected the match outcome, however we believe the difference in scores was 10-15 points and therefore would not have affected it.
EDIT: From a video we can say the point difference was 17, meaning those three balls did not affect the outcome in regard to the score.

Relevant rules:

SG8:

Definition of possession:

From the information given (of course as you were not there we understand it is hard to judge), how would this be ruled? Would there be any rules violated?
Further, can you please explain more on what is defined as “the path of the robot”?
I.e.
Is a team expected to drive around the balls on the bump if they are already carrying three?
Is there such a thing as intentionally creating a path of the robot which accidentally scores Bucky Balls? How would this be judged and ruled?

Thanks for your time and my apologies for the long post
-Stephanie Crossley

From what you’ve described, this sounds like accidental herding, and not a matter of possession. Furthermore, if it were intentional herding, being that it did not affect the outcome of the match, a warning would be sufficient. That being said, without being at the tournament and seeing the full situation, it’s impossible to issue any sort of blanket ruling.

No, they are not. However, if a team goes out of their way to put those BuckyBalls in the path of the robot (i.e. Turning and driving towards the BuckyBalls), that would be intentional herding.

Thanks very much Karthik, very helpful as always. We appreciate your time and effort!

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You’re welcome, and thank you!

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