Answered: Pinning and refs

We need a clarification on the pinning rule. Here is what the manual says:

<SG4> A Robot cannot Pin an opposing Robot for more than five seconds during the Driver Controlled Period while on the foam playing surface. A Pin is officially over once the Pinning team has moved away from the pinned Robot by 2 feet (approximately one (1) foam tile). After ending a Pin, a team may not Pin the same Robot again for a duration of 5 seconds. If a referee determines this rule to be violated, the offending Robot will be Disqualified for the match.

However, there is no indication of how referees are to point this out, and therefore how teams are supposed to know that they are pinning. If a ref sees that a pin is occurring, does the ref need to give a verbal warning and start a countdown?

(For a point of reference, last year’s RoundUp animation shows a ref giving a pinning warning and starting a count.)

The reason we are asking is that this happened in a match we were involved in over the weekend. Another team accused us of pinning during the match. The referees said nothing about it during the match, so our drive team assumed that we were not pinning. After the match was over, the refs announced that we were guilty of pinning, and disqualified us.

Please let us know if refs are required to give any warning and/or count regarding a pin, or, can a ref make a determination after a match is over that a pin occurred and disqualify a team this way.

Thank you,


The referees are instructed to and highly encouraged to give a vocal and visual indication to any team who pins another. This includes counting out the pinning duration. However, referees can make the determination after a match to disqualify a team for pinning, without having given any sort of warning or count during the match. It is the responsibility of the teams to make sure they do not run afoul of the pinning rule.