Answered: Pinning against large balls

In this footage from the REX competition, you can see a *Robot *inhibiting the movement of an opponent *Robot *while the opposing *Robot *is in contact with the foam playing surface and a Large Ball:

This contact goes on for about ten seconds, starting shortly after the linked time. (This isn’t a request for a ruling on the video, the video just illustrates the sort of contact I mean and demonstrates that it is in fact possible to inhibit the movement of another robot this way).

Large Balls aren’t Field Elements, so according to the Pinning definition this is not Pinning. It isn’t unambiguously *Trapping *either. However it does allow defensive robots to completely contain the movement of offensive robots, which is what both these rules are designed to prevent.

Some questions arising from this:

  • Is contact of this kind pinning?
  • Is contact of this kind trapping?
  • When assessing whether a robot has been “restricted into a small, confined area of the field” should area occupied by big balls be included in this area? That is, if a robot has restricted an opponent robot and one or more big balls into an area larger than a foam tile, but the opponent robot cannot move the big ball(s) and so is in practice confined to an area smaller than a foam tile, is this trapping?
  • When assessing whether a robot has been provided with an “avenue for escape”, should avenues that involve travelling through big balls be considered avenues for escape?

For the purposes of the rule, any Large Ball which is being held (i.e. carried) by a Robot, or held in place (i.e. wedged between a Robot and a field wall) by a Robot, would be considered an extension of the robot. Loose balls on the field are treated like any other Scoring Object, and do not affect the determination of Pinning and/or Trapping.

See above.

See above. A loose Large Ball should be treated the same way you would treat a BuckyBall.