Answered: How to score broken starting pegs

During game play a team attempted to remove the rings from the starting peg. In the process the starting peg broke off and the rings were completely removed from the peg. Their claw mechanism was caught on the ring and when they attempted to lift and pull back, the peg broke off. The competing team was a newer team and did not intentionally damage the field element. How would this be scored?

Relevant Rules: [INDENT]<G7> Drivers are prohibited from making intentional contact with any Field Element or Robots during a Match, except for the allowances in . Any intentional contact may result in a Disqualification. Accidental contact will not be penalized, unless the contact directly impacts the final score of the Match. This type of accidental contact may result in a Disqualification

<G11> Robots may not grasp, grapple, or attach to any Field Elements. Strategies with mechanisms that react against multiple sides of a Field Element in an effort to latch onto said Field Element are prohibited. The intent of this rule is to prevent teams from both unintentionally damaging the field, and from anchoring themselves to the field. Minor violations of this rule that do not affect the match will result in a warning. Score Affecting offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion.

<G14> Replays are at the discretion of the Event Partner and Head Referee, and will only be issued in the most extreme circumstances.[/INDENT]

Because this event was just a scrimmage and not an officially scored event we decided to let the team receive the emptying the starting peg points.
However, because this will probably happen at another event (with our league mainly consisting of inexperienced drivers) we want to be clear on how to properly score/address this situation.

Rule <G7> states that accidental contact will not be penalized unless it impacts the final score of the match. In this case, the final score was impacted because the starting peg was then emptied. I would like to instruct my referees to invoke rule <G14> and force a replay of the match on the robot’s first offense. Then on the second offense, issue a DQ.

If it is clear that the damage to the Starting Peg was accidental or incidental, then the points for a Removed Starting Peg can be awarded, though the Rings should not be returned to the field (per G8). The team should receive a warning, as repeated violations of this in future matches could be grounds for a Disqualification.

If the damage to the Starting Peg is an intentional part of match strategy, then the referee would have the right to consider this a violation of G11 and a Disqualification. This is most easily identified by repeated violations, or by a blatant lack of any attempt to Remove the Rings correctly (e.g. by hitting the Starting Peg with a static mechanism that couldn’t possibly lift the Rings vertically if it tried).

As you pointed out, rule G14 does give referees the ability to call for a replay at their discretion. However, we generally advise against replays except for the most extreme circumstances, as replays can confuse teams/spectators and negatively affect event schedules.