Answered: Pinning an opponent your own 5 pt zone

If your opponent is trying block access to your 10/20 point zones and in the process of attempting to score, they are pushed into the field perimeter or starting bar, is this considered pinning? As such if unsuccessful after 5 seconds, the offensive robot would have to back off for 5 seconds before attempting to score again.

Pinning – A Robot is considered to be pinning an opposing Robot if it is inhibiting the movement of an opponent Robot while the opposing Robot is in contact with the foam playing surface and another Field Element.

This is an extremely situational and context-sensitive situation. We can provide some general guidance for what referees should watch for when this happens, but it is impossible to provide a blanket “one-size-fits-all” ruling on this type of interaction.

Ultimately, this comes down to two factors:

  1. Whether the Blue robot is actively trying to score (e.g. carrying a Mobile Goal) or simply holding the Red robot against the Starting Bar.

  2. Whether the Red robot is actively trying to escape or simply sitting against the Starting Bar.

Since the Starting Bar is considered a Field Element, it is definitely possible to Pin an opponent against it.
However, if the Blue robot is truly trying to score a Mobile Goal or Cones, they would generally be trying to drive around or outmaneuver the Red defender, rather than drive straight into them. This back-and-forth would not be Pinning.

Similarly, if the Red defender is merely sitting against the Starting Bar and not trying to escape (i.e. playing the role of a defensive “wall”), then this would not be considered a Pin, since their desired movement is not actually being inhibited. See this relevant portion of the referee training video for more information.

On a different but related note, if the Blue robot does push straight into the Red defender and pushes the defender into the Blue 10 Point Zone, then this becomes a question not just of Pinning, but also of SG10 and G13. Please see this Q&A post, the posts it links to, and the Q&A Summary for more clarification on this topic.