Answered: Moving a disabled robot during a tournament match or driver skills

Question from our competition today. If the kids’ robot is hung up and not able to move (sitting on a ring spinning wheels or hooked on the goal), can they pick it up and put it back in the starting position, or does it have to be a broken robot to reset?

Rule <G15>, which governs handling a robot mid-match, is quoted below for reference, with a portion bolded for emphasis:

<G15> If a Robot goes completely out-of-bounds (outside the playing field), gets stuck, tips over, or otherwise requires assistance, the Drivers may retrieve & reset the Robot. In the process they must:

  1. Signal the Referee by placing their VEX IQ Controller on the ground.
  2. Move the Robot to a Starting Position.
  3. Any Rings in possession of the Robot while being handled must be removed from the Robot and taken out of play for the remainder of the Match.

This rule is intended so teams can fix damaged Robots or help get their Robots “out of trouble.” It is not intended for Teams to use as part of a strategy to gain an advantage during a Match. If a Head Referee sees Teams strategically exploiting this rule, they may be Disqualified from said Match.

It is always difficult to issue a blanket ruling based off of a snapshot of a match. However, it sounds like both of your examples (where a robot is unable to continue operating) would qualify as “stuck” or “otherwise requiring assistance”.