Answered: Pre-load tube extending outside the arena

In a recent event, several teams employed a strategy where they began the match with a pre-loaded tube attached to the robot that was suspended in air, surrounding one of the wall posts, but not touching the post or any aspect of the field. During autonomous, the bot would simply drive forward, with the ring falling onto the post.

Intuitively, it seemed that this ought to be illegal, as part of the ring extends outside of the perimeter of the arena at the start of the match, but the refs couldn’t find any explicit rule against it, so it was allowed.

The only rule(s) that I could find to potentially disqualify this strategy was:

  1. Definition of robot: anything a team places on the field prior to a match. Thus, the pre-loaded ring would qualify as part of the robot.

  2. Rule <G2> At the beginning of a match, the robot must be smaller than a volume of 18" X 18" X 18". Thus, if the extending tube makes the robot larger than 18" in any dimension, it disqualifies. However, if the robot is small enough to include the tube within its 18" cube, this strategy would still be legal.

Is there any other rule that would disqualify this strategy? Extending outside the arena seems intuitively illegal, but I’m not seeing an explicit rule to disallow it.

No, there are no rules preventing this strategy. It is legal. Tubes are not considered part of the robot.