I served as a Field Manager at an event this past weekend where an issue came up. I believe the Head Ref and I made the correct determination, but for future reference, I wanted to confirm. What is done is done, but a ruling providing a reference for all teams would be good.
First, I recognize the need to give every team the opportunity to play a match if possible, but also recognizing that an event needs to stay reasonably on time teams should be responsible and report for matches on time.
One team that was missing at the start of a match walked up to the field as the Emcee was counting “3-2-1-Go” to start the match. We turned them away telling they were too late. A teacher or parent then stated (politely) that they should be allowed to place on the field after the match has started under the rules that allow them to handle their robot during autonomous. The Head Ref and I discussed this during the match and concluded we had made the correct call by not letting them place their robot and play part of the match. Your thoughts on this?
You made the correct decision. Robots that are not on the field at the start of the match, can not be placed on the field after that point. No new objects, aside from Match Loads may enter the field after the Match has begun. This includes individual robot components, or an entire robot.