Answered: Programming Skills and Electing to End Early

At a skills event I refereed at, a team asked for their programming skills run to end early. However, there was a slight delay between when they asked for the run to end and when the person controlling the field actually ended it, and as a result their robot continued moving and ended their run in contact with two cubes which were scored in a floor goal, cancelling those points.

The team argued that because the person controlling the field had not promptly ended their run, as a result costing them two points (which, had they scored them, would have put them in first place at the event), they should be allowed another attempt. I ruled that the score should stand as is and without any additional attempts for three reasons:

Allowing teams to end early seems meant more as a courtesy to all involved to prevent a robot sitting there doing nothing for 45 seconds rather than something to be utilized to precisely end a run exactly when the team wants

The idea behind programming skills is to have minimal human interaction, calling an end to a run in order to indirectly control your robot seems to go against that spirit

allowing replays because the person controlling the field was not fast enough in ending a run would lead to far too many replays, which should only be issued in extreme circumstances

was my call correct?

Thank you for volunteering!

You are correct. The option to end a Programming Skills Challenge run early is meant as a time saver for Robots who don’t utilize the full minute. It is not meant to be used by teams as a strategic way of stopping their robot without having programmed it to stop. The end early option should only be used if a Robot has ceased all motion, not to cease motion for the Robot.

Awesome, thanks!

You’re welcome!

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