Answered: Improper Ruling at Events?

Hello, this question is not directly relating to the game manuel, but rather how rules are interpreted at a given competition and what should be done when the rules are not being followed/ enforced correctly.

At our last competition there was a clear violation of the rules by a certain team which was clearly impacting the outcome of their matches (placing large stacks of game objects in corner goals which were all counted as points.) We pulled up “scored” rules on a laptop and showed it to the refrees. They agreed that it was illegal but decided to continue to allow it because they had already been allowing it previously. In the same competition we were told that in auto we could not move our robot into a scoring position while still in the starting zone (just turing the robot, not manully lifting the arm and pieces being scored under robot power.) After we showed the refree’s the rules regarding this and the many QandA threads answered by you they still refused to allow it because they decided that it was “not the intention of the GDC.”

We are not at all bitter about this. However, we would like to know what should have been done in these situations and/or if you could provide some text saying how the event staff should proceed regarding improper ruling which we could reference in the case of a potential future situation like this.

Thank you very much, Bryan

Refereeing a VEX tournament is a difficult job. That being said, VEX teams put a tremendous amount of effort into their robots and as such we understand that you expect the referees to enforce the game rules in an accurate and consistent manner.

In situations like you have described, your course of action was correct. If you feel the referees have made a mistake, approach the head referee and engage in a discussion. It always helps to have printed copies of official material to backup your point.

From the VEX Gateway Referee’s Guide:

If there has been an error in scoring or reffing that has consistently been happening at an event and is discovered part way through the day, every attempt should be made to rectify the mistake and prevent it from happening again. However, in some cases this may not be possible.

Thank you very much, we’ll be sure to bring the latest printed manuel to our next competition; I think tangible paper is a better pursuader than a computer monitor. In any case, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

Thanks again, Bryan

You’re welcome. I do agree, I think every team should always have come to a tournament with at least one printed copy of the manual.