Answered: Intricate Elimination Double DQ Problem

Today a situation arose in California that I’d like some clarification on.

In a semifinals rubber match, the blue alliance engaged in illegal defense and was disqualified. The blue alliance also brought it to the event manager’s attention that a red robot was using illegally modified parts that imposed a minor safety hazard and some minimal performance benefits. The referees talked for a long time and eventually decided that both alliances were disqualified and the semifinals match on the other side of the bracket was now the finals match. They also decided the red alliance robot with the illegal modification was disqualified from the entire tournament and denied a worlds spot.

I have several specific questions regarding this situation.

In the instance of a double disqualification in elimination, is it considered a tie or do both alliances lose? Should a forth match have been played? Was it right that the semi finals match on the other side of the bracket became the finals match?
Should the red robot have been disqualified from the entire tournament or just that 1 match and instructed to remove the illegal parts from their robot? If they should have been DQed from the entire tournament, is their entire alliance done as well or can they still compete just by playing the other 2 robots in every match?

I know this is very murky water and these situations don’t happen often, but they are very relevant to that one particular team that is (in my opinion unfairly) being denied a worlds qualification spot. Thank you very much for your time!

Rulings by referees and Event Partners at an event are considered final, and the GDC cannot formally rule upon or overturn these decisions after the fact. We were not at the event and cannot comment on the event staff’s decision-making process, especially based on a snapshot description without greater situational context.

To directly answer your question - under normal circumstances, if two alliances receive Disqualifications in the elimination rounds, they both receive a loss, the match is considered a 0-0 tie, and another should be played.

However, this answer does not take into account any other situational possibilities or extreme circumstances. Any concerns about specific scenarios that occurred at an event should be directed towards the relevant Event Partner or your REC Foundation Regional Support Manager.