Answered: More Clarification on <G11> a.

My question has two parts:

  1. What is the definition of obstructing the field? Is just covering one trough obstruction? What about multiple toughs? What if robots are still able to pass under the trough while it it covered? What if they are not?

  2. While this post and this do address the question in part, what is “vigorous interaction”? Is continued ramming OK? Does intention factor into it? What about willful destruction of structure such as a protruding arm? I would assume that this falls under <G1>*, but it’s nice to be able to point to a Q&A post when questioned. Do any of the answers change depending on whether it’s during autonomous period? What about college game / high school game? Referees will have to make a call at one point, and I’m looking for a guideline to go by.


There is no universal definition for obstructing the field. However, a general rule of thumb is that if you’re expanding outwards horizontally, and you are covering an area longer than one trough, you’re probably obstructing the field. Devices of this type that are use to cut off access to part of the field, or cover goals, will not receive the general protections set forth in <G11>.

Continued ramming would be considered okay, as per <G11a>. As long as the action is part of an attempt to pass through the “wall-bot”, the interaction would be allowed. If you’re going to stick a 4 foot arm out to cover a Trough or a section of the field, you should be prepared for your opponent to try go through it.

These rules will be enforced the same way whether it’s Autonomous or Driver Controlled, or whether it’s College or High School.


Thank you for the quick reply, Karthik. However, one part of my question has still not been clearly answered. What about destruction of structure? If, for example, there is a linkage of bars covering part of the field, and your opponent exerts enough force to snap the joints in an effort to get through, is that considered legal? Can you have a set of pneumatics whose sole purpose is to push through said joints? where is the line (approximately) drawn? And again, does intention / autonomous mode / driver mode factor into this at all?

If the action is undertaken in an effort to through the obstruction, yes this would be legal.

There are no rules prohibiting this type of design. However, there is only a very limited set of circumstances where these types of devices could be used legally. Having them on your robot would certain draw extra scrutiny from the referees.

The line is approximately drawn between actions that are causing damage for the sake of damage, and actions which are being undertaken in an effort to get past an obstructive device.

Intent is a factor as described above. There is no differentiation between Autonomous and Driver Controlled mode for this ruling.

Ok, thank you for explaining that so clearly Karthik.

You’re welcome!